The Google Pixel 5 Has an Amazing Camera, Killer Battery Life, and Is the Perfect Gift for Travelers

Man holding Google Pixel 5 phone

The Pixel 5 and the Pixel 4a (5G) are likely to turn heads this holiday season thanks to their sleek design and their ability to tap into ultra-fast 5G connections.

Of particular note is the flagship Pixel 5, clocking in at about $700, the same as you’d pay for the newly announced Apple iPhone 12. Travel + Leisure has spent the last week or so testing the Pixel 5, trying out its newest features and using the device in real-world conditions to determine if it’s worth an upgrade — or a switch — from your current device. My TL;DR take? Put it on your Christmas list, particularly if you’ve got lots of trips planned for 2021.

Here are five reasons why the new Pixel 5 is an ideal choice for travelers:

The camera is absolutely ridiculous.

One of the best features of any phone in Google’s Pixel lineup is the camera, which captures stunning images, enhanced automatically through AI software and backed up to the cloud for users of Google Photos. The Pixel 5’s camera doesn’t disappoint. New features include: An ultra-wide option, at 0.6x, with AI-powered smoothing to limit distortions. An upgraded Night Sight mode that helps capture low-light images without blurriness or noise. A Portrait Light mode that lets you edit the lighting in photos of faces after you’ve taken them. (Pretty neat party trick.) The Pixel 5 also has Google’s astrophotography mode that takes super-sharp images of the night sky; since I live in New York City, I wasn’t really able to test it — but other reviews say it’s “incredibly [impressive].”

Before and After images of a landscaping demonstrating the Super Res Zoom function on Google Pixel 5

The phone is the perfect size.

In years past, bigger has been better when it comes to mobile devices. Lately, handset makers have seen the error of their ways, slimming down screens to more manageable dimensions that fit easily into a pocket, a purse, even — yep, we’re going there — fanny packs. The Pixel 5 comes in one single size, with a six-inch screen set into a frame that measures 5.7 inches high by 2.8 inches wide by 0.3 inches deep. It just feels good in the hand, with a soft curve around the slim bezel and a fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device on the reverse side. (While the device is mostly made of metal, the rear is covered in “bio-resin,” Google says, which gives it a supple, organic feel.) The phone’s available in two colors: Just Black and Sorta Sage. The minty sage hue is quite nice.

Black and Sage models of the Google Pixel 5

It has serious battery life.

Google has packed the slim Pixel 5 with a sizable battery, with at least 4,000 mAh of capacity. (The previous iteration of Google’s flagship, the Pixel 4, by contrast, came standard with just 2,800 mAh of capacity.) That’s good enough, Google says, to last “all day.” The phone also comes with an “extreme battery saver” mode that can stretch the battery to last 48 hours, Google says, by switching off “some power-heavy features and [slowing] your phone’s processing.”

During T+L’s hands-on week with the Pixel 5, the battery did indeed last all day on most days. But I also set out to test the all-day promise by intentionally using the device heavily one day:I spent nearly an hour on a Zoom video call, used the AllTrails app to track my location activity for hours, took close to 100 photos and videos, and did all the normal stuff we do with our phones like check email and texts and browse Google Maps for lunch options. Those atypical demands zapped the battery by dinnertime but, generally speaking, the device did get through a normal day without charging.

One additional note: The Pixel 5 is the first Google phone to offer reverse wireless charging, meaning you can use it to charge other Qi-compatible devices. Nice touch.

It comes ready for 5G speeds.

The Pixel 5 and its sister device, the Pixel 4a (5G), are the first Google phones built with 5G capabilities. That means they can take advantage of super-fast data connections that let you download movies in the blink of an eye, hold crystal-clear video calls, stream anything without  hiccup, and even tether other devices like laptops to your blazing cell connection to get stuff done on the go. I say “capable” because the rollout and effectiveness of 5G is still very much a work in progress. As Google says: “5G service, speed, and performance depend on many factors including, but not limited to, carrier network capabilities, device configuration and capabilities, network traffic, location, signal strength, and signal obstruction.”

In my testing in New York City, the Pixel 5 did zip along, with its 5G signal indicator illuminated most of the time. Streaming video and video calls were crisp — more so than on other devices I’ve used recently. Was that because of the magic of 5G or because the Pixel 5 has a powerful processor and lots of memory built in? Yes.

Ultrawide Lens example on the Google Pixel 5 phone, showing a woman in a boat with a water skier on a lake

It has helpful Google tools built in.

One of Google’s greatest innovations for travelers has long been Google Translate, which often feels like something out of a sci-fi fantasy: Punch in a string of text, ask someone to speak into the phone, or even just snap a photo of a foreign script, and Google can render a fairly reliable translation in just moments — sometimes even without a cellular data connection. (Seriously, if you haven’t tried it, try it. It’s incredible.) That tool is built right in on the Pixel 5, along with all the other helpful stuff the voice-activated Google Assistant can do, from pulling the weather report in your favorite destination to making sure your flight is still on time to keeping track of your Airbnb reservations.

The $699 Pixel 5 is available from Google, wireless carriers, and other retailers.

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Dixie D’Amelio & Liam Payne’s "Naughty List" Lyrics Live Up To The Song’s Title

Christmas came early this year for fans of Liam Payne and Dixie D’Amelio. The singers dropped their surprise X-mas song collab on Friday, Oct. 30, and the track is sure to be on repeat all holiday season. Dixie D’Amelio and Liam Payne’s "Naughty List" lyrics are so flirty.

Payne announced the release of the song in a sweet Instagram post that showed just how excited he was to partner up with D’Amelio. "Well… I had this whole grand plan about announcing who was featuring on my new song #NaughtyList on Friday but you all did it again and found out!" he wrote alongside a side-by-side picture of him and D’Amelio. "You’re all detectives! 😅I’m so excited to have @dixiedamelio join, so say hello, give her a warm welcome like I know you guys can and listen to our track on Friday!"

The former One Directioner went on to share how the unlikely collab came about: "I have fallen in love with TikTok and I’m excited to have some fun leading up to the holidays with Dixie and her family…As we approach Halloween and Christmas during such a whirlwind year it’s important everyone looks out for each other, so please join in the fun with us."

As soon as "Naughty List" dropped at midnight, fans quickly started streaming it on repeat — and rightfully so. The track isn’t just upbeat and catchy, but it’s also filled with steamy lyrics that will leave you feeling all types of ways.

Listen to the tune below then check out all of the lyrics.

Verse 1: Liam Payne

Turned on the lights

Party was over so I said my goodbyes

Stepped out the car and you were waiting outside

Gave you my coat ’cause I could see that you were cold

Pre-Chorus: Liam Payne

The driver messaged that he is stuck in the snow

I said there is no way I’m not walking you home

Next thing you know we were drying our clothes

But I didn’t mean to get you in trouble

Chorus: Liam Payne with Dixie D’Amelio

Now we’re on the naughty list

Must’ve been the way we kissed

Santa saw the things we did

And put us on the naughty list (Oh)

Undernеath the mistletoe (Mistlеtoe)

We were supposed to take it slow

Baby, you’re my favorite gift

Now we’re on the naughty list

Verse 2: Dixie D’Amelio

Under the tree

It’s Christmas morning and there is nothing to see

One hundred messages like "Where have you been?"

No, I don’t wanna but it’s time for me to go

Pre-Chorus: Dixie D’Amelio

My driver messaged that he is stuck in the snow (In the snow)

He said there is no way that I am letting you go (Oh)

Next thing you know we were drying our clothes (Oh)

And I know you meant to get me in trouble

Chorus: Liam Payne & Dixie D’Amelio

Now we’re on the naughty list

Must’ve been the way we kissed

Santa saw the things we did

And put us on the naughty list (Put us, yeah)

Underneath the mistletoe

We were supposed to take it slow

Baby, you’re my favorite gift

Now we’re on the naughty list

Bridge: Liam Payne

Three-six-five days (Oh, yeah)

You’re at my place (Oh, yeah)

We’ll misbehave

With kisses like snowflakes all over your body (All over your body)

Three-six-five days (Oh)

You’re at my place (You’re at my)

We’ll misbehave

With kisses like snowflakes all over your body

Chorus: Liam Payne & Dixie D’Amelio

Now we’re on the naughty list

Must’ve been the way we kissed

Santa saw the things we did

And put us on the naughty list

Underneath the mistletoe

We were supposed to take it slow

Baby, you’re my favorite gift

Now we’re on the naughty list

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Qld election 2020: International students kept out

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has ruled out expanding international arrivals to include students, saying it would put too much strain on the hotel quarantine system.

She said the hotel quarantine was coping adequately with the arrival of 115o passengers a month and there was no need to increase that number at a time when the state had COVID-19 case numbers under control.

Ms Palaszczuk said now was not the time to allow international students to enter despite other states rolling out the welcome mat.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says now is not the time open the borders to international students. Picture: Tertius PickardSource:News Corp Australia

“If we had a rush of international students coming into Queensland, that could put at risk our hotel quarantine and put at risk the health of Queenslanders,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“You cannot stretch hotel quarantine, you cannot go too quickly, and too fast.

“Our hotel quarantine is very robust, but I'm not going to put the lives of Queenslanders at risk by rushing into decisions.

“The priority is to get Queenslanders and Australians home and families reunited, but we are not going to rush international students.

“We don’t know which countries they’re coming from and we know that there are large infections happening at the moment, across many parts of the world.”

Besides not welcoming international students, Ms Palaszczuk’s will announce on Friday whether all of NSW will be welcomed in Queensland.

The impending decision comes as Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young feared there may be undetected cases of coronavirus in the community.

Queensland recorded no new cases overnight despite almost 5000 tests.

Dr Young’s concerns come after viral fragments of COVID-19 appeared in routine wastewater testing in southeast Queensland.

The fragments were discovered in sewage at the treatment plant in the Ipswich suburb of Carole Park.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young fears there may be undetected cases of coronavirus in the community after fragments of the virus were detected in sewage. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan PeledSource:News Corp Australia

Dr Young’s concerns about the latest detection of viral fragments in wastewater comes less than two weeks after testing at three other southeast Queensland wastewater plants returned positive results.

The wastewater plants were at Maroochydore, on the Sunshine Coast, and Wynnum and Sandgate. They had all previously returned negative results.

Dr Young said the fragments in the wastewater were likely to be undetected cases of the virus eventhough the treatment plant was near the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre at Wacol where a cluster of COVID-19 cases was discovered in August.

On Wednesday she urged anyone with even the mildest symptoms to be tested for coronavirus and a fever clinic at Ipswich Hospital was open from 10am to 4pm.

Ms Palaszczuk said she was encouraged by no new cases and just five active cases across the state, all of them in hotel quarantine.

“We've had over 4900 tests in the past 24 hours and I’ve said, throughout this time, we are seeing second waves overseas and we are seeing countries go into lockdown and that is not the Queensland I want,” she told reporters on Thursday.

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Autumn staycations: Fall at your feet

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So lace up your walking boots and head out to some of the National Trust’s and National Trust for Scotland’s best leaf-peeping locations.

The nearby holiday cottage options, meanwhile, are ideal for inspiring autumnal breaks.

Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk

With its eye-catching autumn foliage and fungi, the Great Wood at Felbrigg is one of Norfolk’s best-kept secrets. Take a stroll down the beech-lined “Victory V” avenues, where towering branches create tunnels of colour.

It’s worth making a detour down the “Lion’s Mouth” too, where the winding lane flanked by trees really does feel like the jaws of a fire-coloured big cat.

Access: Pre-book online. The parkland and gardens are open (garden one-way only). The tea room is selling refreshments.

Stay for longer: Stable Apartment at Felbrigg Hall has parkland views. Sleeps two, from £487 for three nights.

Balmacara Estate, Wester Ross, Scotland

Explore the historic woodland of Coille Mhñr near Balmacara Square which was created by crofters as they grazed their animals in open oak woodland pasture and birchwoods with ravines and mossy archways.

Also take in the routes round the banks of Loch Alsh and through pretty villages and crofting landscapes.

Access: Car parks are open, booking is not required, entry is free. balmacara-estate

Stay for longer: Enjoy loch views from Craggan Cottage on the banks of Loch Alsh. Sleeps four, dogs welcome, from £788 per week.

Buckland Abbey, Devon The best autumn displays at the abbey’s historic woodlands can be found on the red and blue walking routes, which both start along the Beech Avenue with its beautiful gold and orange foliage, and views over the Tavy Valley.

Explore the oaks and beeches in Great North Wood too – a brilliant spot for blackberrying in season.

Access: Pre-book online. The garden, estate, restaurant and shop are open, plus the ground and middle floors of the abbey (limited entry).

Stay for longer: Tucked away on the Buckland Abbey estate, Cider Cottage is a cosy retreat after autumn walks along the River Tavy. Sleeps four, plus one dog, from £302 for two nights.

Longshaw, Peak District

Set on the eastern edge of the Peak District, Longshaw offers excellent walking country for those who like a bit of adventure.

Enjoy a colourful stroll among ancient oaks in Padley Wood, meander along historic packhorse routes lined with heather and gorse, or head up on to the rugged moors for views over the Hope Valley. Take binoculars as you might catch sight of majestic red deer in the distance.

Access: Pay and display car parks are open; booking not required. NT members park for free. Refreshments are available from Croft Cabin in Woodcroft car park.

Stay for longer: Enjoy the magic of that autumnal low golden light from White Edge Lodge, with Peak District views. Sleeps five, plus two dogs, from £879 for seven nights.

Carding Mill Valley, Shropshire From heath-covered hills to the valley stream, there’s plenty to enjoy here.

Miles of footpaths and bridleways mean there are walks for everyone, but if you’re after a challenge, a hike to the top of the Long Mynd is certainly worth the effort. You’ll find the colours fading from high summer’s purples and greens to autumn’s rusty reds and browns – all set against views from the plateau.

Access: Car parks are open – booking is not required but spaces are limited. The tea room is open for takeaway refreshments.

Stay for longer: At nearby Dudmaston estate, 1 Sternsmill Cottage, has a garden cave. Sleeps four, plus one dog, from £369 for three nights.

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Park, Yorkshire The World Heritage Site makes an impressive sight, especially when surrounded by bright reds, oranges and golds from the autumnal foliage. This route will take you through the medieval deer park with its panoramic views, through the sprawling water garden and up the riverside with views of the abbey to finish.

Access: Pre-book. The abbey, garden, play area, visitor centre shop and restaurant are open .

Stay for longer: Abbey Cottage is a former 18th century haybarn and 1930s shop on the estate’s river walk. Sleeps six, plus one dog, from £565 for three nights.

Crom, Co Fermanagh, Northern Ireland

Discover a landscape of woodland, islands and historic ruins on the shores of Upper Lough Erne.

Crom is one of the UK’s most important nature reserves, with the largest area of oak woodland in Northern Ireland – perfect for wandering beneath the canopy of russet leaves. You might even spot wading birds, otters and red squirrels.

Access: Book in advance via the website. The grounds and tea room are open.

Stay for longer: A short stroll from Lough Erne, charming Willow Cottage has an open fire. Sleeps three, plus one dog, from £219 for two nights.

Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Kent

When Vita Sackville-West designed the garden, she ensured year-round interest with seasonal planting. Her legacy continues with the gardens full of colour right up to the end of autumn. Visitors can also explore the wider estate, where the mixed woodlands create a patchwork of yellow, russet and red.

Access: Pre-book online. The garden, estate, restaurant and takeaway cafe are open. For formal gardens, arrive within your 30-minute time slot at the gate.

Stay for longer: Garden enthusiasts will love Priest’s House on the edge of the estate’s White Garden. Sleeps six, from £714 for three nights.

Ickworth, Suffolk

If you’re a bit short on time, the easy two-mile Albana walk offers plenty of autumn colour, with maples, chestnut, beech and oak trees ranging from bright yellow to deep red at this time of year.

Or head off the beaten track for a longer walk around the estate, taking in the park and woods. The remote areas and ancient woodland provide likely spots for deer sightings.

Access: Pre-booking online is advised. The parkland and gardens are open. Buy refreshments at the outdoor café.

Stay for longer: Horringer Park Gates was once home to the Ickworth estate gatekeeper. Sleeps four, from £331 for three nights.

Plas Newydd, Anglesey

Stroll to the estate’s hidden corners to take in sweeping vistas across the Menai Strait and beyond to Snowdonia. The landscape really comes into its own in autumn, when the woodlands are blazing with colour and the red squirrels are hard at work foraging for nuts.

Access: Book in advance online. The garden, café and shop are open. The house remains closed.

Stay for longer: The quirky period cottage Porthdy Wiwer Goch (formerly Plas Newydd Lodge) sits at the estate entrance by the shores of the Menai Strait. Sleeps five, from £506 for three nights.

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Walking in the cagoule countryside of the Lake District can be a joy – if you’re prepared

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It was February, and while there was gradual awareness of the silent killer out in Wuhan, we were still more than a month away from lockdown. Pandemic panic had yet to grip the nation by the throat and halt life as we knew it.

No, the headlines were dominated by Storm Ciara, the powerful force of nature set to sweep the country with gusts of up to 130mph and widespread flooding. And we had a date with the Lake District, no raincheck considered.

So it was that we found ourselves in a tower room at the Old England Hotel & Spa in Bowness-on-Windermere as the gales battered the windows while raindrops like bullets sought out every crack and crevice in the masonry.

The jetties bordering the hotel gardens disappeared under the rising water as the lake was whipped into a white horse stampede; pleasure craft were secured; the lake’s famous cruisers ceased to run – such was the ferocity of the storm. We felt smug in our spacious room, survivors with a tale to tell back home.

But surprised? No, not at all. I don’t care what the weatherman says, when you visit the Lakes, you pack your waterproofs. Every time.

This is cagoule country. The Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa is the grande dame of Bowness, a sturdy Georgian mansion beside the lake, with requisite views from many of the 106 rooms, and from the restaurant and terrace bar.

In better weather, the gardens must be inviting and there’s an expansive sun terrace where you can sip summer cocktails with little umbrellas rather than the industrial-strength rain protection required by Ciara.

Rooms are unashamedly old-fashioned, although a recent refurbishment has brought many of them up to date.

And here’s a tip. Ask for Room 224 when booking. It’s huge – almost a suite without the price tag – with a big bed, sofa, armchairs, writing desk and chair, long coffee table and thoroughly modern en suite with monsoon shower.

There are tea and coffee-making facilities, fresh milk, wall-mounted large screen TV, free wifi, crystal glasses, USB chargers, ironing board and windows on two sides, offering views up and down the lake.

We could happily have stayed in the room all weekend watching Ciara visit her worst upon Windermere. But, like the Lake District itself, we’re made of sterner stuff and, besides, there’s plenty to do on the hotel’s doorstep.

Just walking in the wind and rain can be a joy if you’re prepared for it, and an amble through town, past all the anorak and umbrella shops, throws up surprises.

Just 100 yards or so from the hotel, The World Of Beatrix Potter celebrates the Lakes author’s adventures of Peter Rabbit and his pals – timeless tales that continue to enthral young children.

And while the stories are gently old-school (albeit with the occasional glimpse of malice in wonderland), the family attraction is anything but.

Clever use of light and sound makes a warren of rooms much more than it actually is.

You’re never quite sure what’s around the corner, with traditional tableaux rubbing shoulders with interactive fun.

It’s such a clever use of space that the designers must have worked on Doctor Who’s Tardis too.

Partway along the trail – allow around 45 minutes for your visit – you can step outside into the Peter Rabbit Garden, a small but lovingly planted real-life kitchen garden straight from the books.

It’s not all for show – produce is used to create dishes in the family-friendly character cafe – and you’ll need more than one visit to spot all the little references to the books hidden among the fruit, veg, herbs and flowers.

Designed by Chelsea Flower Show gold medallist Richard Lucas, the garden clings to the side of the attraction and is crafted from local materials such as Honister slate 
and Furness bricks.

Here too you’ll find an impressive 15ft tall statue unveiled in 2006 by Hollywood Oscar winner Renée Zellweger, and depicting three children releasing Beatrix Potter stalwart Jemima Puddle-Duck.

But, like the garden, there’s more to it than at first meets the eye.

Look carefully and you’ll spot characters from every single one of Potter’s 23 tales, a depiction of her lakeland home and the mysterious code she used in her personal diary.

Almost next door you’ll find another cuddly character, this one a tribute to Lake District ingenuity and determination. It’s Herdy the sheep, a firm favourite for visitors from around the globe who flock to his home.

Inside a Scandi-style shop are Herdies galore – on mugs, plates, tea sets, umbrellas and much more.

The Herdy Company was born in 2007 in Kendal, created by designers Spencer and Diane Hannah to offer visitors to the Lake District and locals a choice of responsibly produced, high-quality giftware.


“Herdy launched amidst the second outbreak of foot and mouth at the Westmorland County show,” says Spencer.

“We were hoping for thousands of visitors, but instead we launched among empty pens due to an outbreak of foot and mouth disease.

“This wasn’t the event we’d dreamed of and it did make us very nervous about what we’d done. But despite the lack of visitors, those who did turn up liked our products.”

He need not have worried. Word spread and from just an operation based in a shack, the company now has four shops and worldwide exports online.

There’s also a charity, Herdyfund, which not only offers financial support but also brings together the community to back upland fell farming.

Herdy himself is named after the region’s famous Herdwick sheep and, to bring things full circle, Beatrix Potter herself was a champion Herdwick breeder.

Spencer and Diane keep things fresh, by the way – since Covid, Herdy smile face masks have been added to the range.

There’s wildlife of a different kind some 20 minutes away by car, or by ferry, at the Lakes Aquarium, which boasts Britain’s largest collection of freshwater fish among many exhibits, some of which can be viewed in their natural surrounds from a transparent tunnel.

But we were saving that for another day. We had an appointment with afternoon tea back at the Old England, which has made the tasty treat something of a specialty with sweet and sour options on offer.

Take a window seat in the terrace bar, sit back and watch the world go by.

It’s £32 for two, or you can add fizz for another tenner. Come rain or shine, it’s a relaxing self-indulgent hour like few others in the Lakes.

The hotel restaurant offers a menu majoring on local produce without breaking the bank.

It’s good, honest fare without being overly fussy. Just don’t tell Herdy about the lamb!

There’s a modest gym, a pool and a spa offering treatments if you want to really pull out the pamper stops, but check for Covid restrictions.

As we prepared to check out, the weatherman was getting excited again. A check online revealed that all the roads bar one out of Bowness were blocked by flooding or fallen trees. Sadly, the open road was our route home.

Thanks, Ciara, for a memorable weekend. If only you’d managed to close the road south too, we would have stayed put for some more Lake District hospitality.


Autumn and winter breaks at the Old England Hotel & Spa in Bowness-on-Windermere, Lake District, start at £195 a night on B&B. 01539 487894.



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