The Google Pixel 5 is shaping up to be one of the weirdest in Google’s phone story. Not only is it expected during a global pandemic, but Google may be moving this new version of the Pixel out of the ultra high-end phone category and into a space hundreds of dollars lower than usual.
The pool of info surrounding Google’s next flagship phone isn’t deep just yet, since we wouldn’t typically prepare for a Google Pixel 5 until October. Still, following the story so far has revealed a handful of interesting bits and because this is Google, our attention is here.
This is everything we know about the Google Pixel 5.
What is the Pixel 5?
Assuming the name sticks, this would be the 5th generation flagship phone from Google, following the Pixel (2016), Pixel 2 (2017), Pixel 3 (2018), and Pixel 4 (2019). Each of those previous phones came as two different models, a regular and XL, though there is already evidence suggesting that Google will skip the XL this year and release a regular 5 only.
The name, while you may think is unofficial this early, has essentially been confirmed at this point by Google. Within a beta version of the Google App, the name “Pixel 5” was discovered alongside other Pixel phones, including yet-to-be-released Pixel 4a and Pixel 4a (5G) devices.
We have also seen references to the Pixel 5 in AOSP as far back as February, which came after the first 2020 Pixel codenames surfaced. Those codenames arrived as “redfin,” “sunfish,” and “bramble.” All evidence to date points to sunfish as the Pixel 4a, redfin as the Pixel 4a (5G), and bramble as the Pixel 5. So you know, previous Pixel phones had difference codenames for regular and XL models.
Beyond references to the phone, what else do we have?
A specs list is pretty short for now
Again, with no phone expected for months, the Pixel 5 specs list is almost completely unknown. We’re pretty sure that the phone will run a Snapdragon 765G (or 768G), have 5G, feature a “best in class” camera, charge with wireless charging, and keep the elements out with water resistance. We could see reverse wireless charging too.
The rest is a mystery, like whether or not we’ll only get a dual camera again. Will Motion Sense and Project Soli radar return? Will there be a 90Hz or 120Hz display? Is Active Edge dead? Will we get more than 6GB RAM and a starting storage (finally) higher than 64GB? Last year’s Pixel 4 battery weighed in under 3000mAh – Google can’t make that mistake again, right?
- UPDATE JULY 30: While not official, an unpack of a Google Camera app could be hinting at upcoming Pixel 5 camera features like a dedicated Motion Blur function, audio zoom functionality for video recording, flash intensity settings, and quick video sharing options similar to what we have now for photos.
The thing is, we need Google to do a better job of leaving out the gimmicks and nailing essentials. That may be tough to do at the price they may be targeting.
What if the Pixel 5 is $699?
With a Snapdragon 765G onboard and not Qualcomm’s over-priced Snapdragon 865, Google has an opportunity to price the next Pixel phone well below its competitors. There’s still no proof that it will, but a survey in May gave us hope that a $699 starting price is being considered.
The survey compared a Google Pixel phone with the basics, a plastic body, and a headphone jack for $349, to another phone labeled as “Premium Google Pixel Phone.” The premium phone would have the “best flagship” experience, a top tier camera, first access to Google features and innovation, and a price of $699.
For further comparison, we can look at other Snapdragon 765G phones to see if that’s even realistic. As it turns out, it is. The Samsung Galaxy A71 5G released with the same chip, a large full HD AMOLED display, 6GB RAM, 128GB storage, 4500mAh battery with 25W fast charging, and a quad rear camera system for $599. The OnePlus Nord is coming with (rumored) similar specs and a sub-$500 price. The LG Velvet could arrive within this price range too.
Should Google stick to that Qualcomm processor, ditch Motion Sense, and give us the rest of the goods, I don’t see why they couldn’t hit that $700 price.
What does it look like?
This is where the Pixel 5 rumor world gets a little shaky. Up until now, the only leak claiming to be of the new Google Pixel phone is what you are seeing below. It comes from a newish leaker who says that the images are “based on leaked CAD drawings,” sort of like we have seen with numerous other phones in the past.
Most of the time, CAD renders are right, but something feels off about these. For one, leaker @onleaks isn’t sold on them and has since shared a few variations that he says are floating about. In his renders, you can see he’s suggesting there are designs for a regular Pixel 5, Pixel 5 XL, and Pixel 5 XL 5G in the wild, even though we already told you there isn’t yet evidence of more than one Pixel 5 device.
These images also showcase a design with a rear fingerprint reader, a backside incredibly close to last year’s Pixel 4, and a front that would require Google to ditch Motion Sense, a new technology that has only been used once.
To recap, these CAD drawings are out there and no one is quite sure what to make of them. At this time, one of the best at pushing these types of leaks is calling them unconfirmed.
- UPDATE AUGUST 2: Thanks to a posted teaser image, we might have a first look at the profile of the Pixel 5. Supposedly on the right side here, it could be bigger than both the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4a 5G, almost as if it’s the “XL”version without the name.
What about a release date?
Previous Pixel phones were all introduced in October and launched within a few weeks. The original Pixel and Pixel 2, were shown off on October 4, while the Pixel 3 and Pixel 4 slipped a week or two. It’s probably safe to pencil in October for the Pixel 5, but if things change, don’t be shocked. Again, we are living through a global pandemic that has already caused the Pixel 4a to be delayed at least two months.