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Google has just announced that we have a September 30 Pixel event to look forward to. In the wake of Pixel 4’s resounding success, expectations are high for the flagship follow-up. The leak rate has also increased, and although some details are still unknown and there is some disagreement about the information, we probably know most of what we can expect from Google̵
What will it look like?
Both real photos and renderings of the upcoming Pixel 5 have been leaked and show the phone from pretty much every angle. Note that the images are for a “Pixel 5s”, but based on what we know right now, that name corresponds to Pixel 5 (or at least a version of Pixel 5).
Pictures of the phone side by side with the larger Pixel 4a 5G also leaked:
The leak rate has increased since Google officially shipped the phone along with 4a 5G. Previously, @ xleaks7 published a handful of renderings based on leaked CADs (via Pigtou) that showed what we considered a likely design, and recent leaks have confirmed that.
The industrial design can be immediately identified as a Pixel if you have seen last year’s Pixel 4, Pixel 4a or leaked renditions of
Pixel 4a XL Pixel 4a 5G. The physical configuration of the rear cameras looks largely unchanged compared to the Pixel 4, although the flash has moved to the top and the cameras themselves can be tweaked – more on that later.
Google also looks set to drop Pixel 4’s smart face-locking technology and return to the tried-and-true, much-loved, rear-mounted capacitive fingerprint sensor. The large, almost borderless screen also means it probably does not have Soli Motion Gestures. We do get one of the snazzy modern hole-punch front cameras, though, like the Pixel 4a. Unlike the Pixel 4a, the Pixel 5 may also control perfect frame symmetry including the bottom. (It’s a small point, but I live for these little details.) And while we initially thought the Pixel 5 would have a textured or coated (presumably metal) body, a recent leak suggests it might have a plastic backing, so we are not sure what kind of materials we can expect now.
A phone or two?
Just one. While earlier this spring we thought that “bramble” might be a Pixel 5 XL, recent developments show that it is the Pixel 4a 5G. (The pixel layout is weird now.) Based on specifications, you could think of the Pixel 4a 5G as a larger and at the same time cut version of the Pixel 5 as they share some internal. But Google places the name in a different lineup, and the Pixel 5 stands alone.
There may be an exception to this: the phone power comes in two versions with and without mmWave support, and it is possible that the “Pixel 5s” leak may correspond to a slightly different name for these two versions, but that should be the only difference; there will probably not be a larger and smaller size like last year.
What are the specifications?
We’ve had a few leaks when it comes to technical specifications. Some details like the chipset are known with almost total certainty. Other details such as exact battery size, screen dimensions and refresh rate are a little less secure – although we trust the origins of these newer details, they lack the repeated confirmation that other specifications have. In short, take some of it downstairs with a grain of salt; it could change:
We know it will have a Snapdragon 765G chipset – the same as the recent OnePlus Nord, Moto Edge and Vivo X50 Pro. While that means it may not have “flagship” performance like some thousand-dollar phones that pack the Snapdragon 865, we’m not worried.
Leakage regarding the Pixel 5’s screen tends to disagree. Some have claimed that we get a 90Hz panel, others 120Hz. Based on sources, I’m more sure of the 90Hz requirement, but we could eventually see both, and resolution is still an issue.
Based on some information dug up in Android 11, Pixel 5 will probably has reverse wireless charging for charging other devices. I also expect the primary camera configuration to be similar (if not identical) to last year’s Pixel 4, but so far it sounds like Google is switching telephones to a wide angle.
If one is to believe the 4000 mAh battery leak, Google is taking it seriously when it comes to longevity of its flagship phones. Last year’s Pixel 4 phones had medium to poor battery life, so this will be a appreciated change if true. The same goes for storage, with several sources now confirming that 128GB will likely be the “base” size as it was for the Pixel 4a – though we’re not sure if other larger sizes will be offered.
Pixel 5 also marks a return of the capacitive fingerprint sensor, which brings us to …
What features does it lose compared to the Pixel 4?
Based on leaks, we are convinced that the Pixel 5 will technically “lose” a few features compared to the Pixel 4. With the new edge-to-edge screen design, there is no more space in the frames. This means a more beautiful design, but it also means that we almost certainly lose both Solis Motion Sense movements and face locking – all of these sensors need some serious space, and thus the Pixel 4’s small forehead. Unless Google is somehow able to integrate them below the screen and at the same time hide that fact until now (which is quite unlikely), you can probably count them out.
There is just no room for all these sensors.
We are also sure that there will not be an “XL” version of the Pixel 5. Although the Pixel 4a 5G may fit the bill as an XL variant for some and it has similar specifications, Google has placed it in a second series.
Will it have 5G?
Yes. The Snapdragon 765G chipset supports 5G, and FCC filing for the phone shows 5G frequencies. However, some models in the FCC do not have 5G mmWave support, and there may be slightly different versions of the phone with and without this technology (although they may just be operator or regional variants, we are not sure).
In short, all this means that Pixel 5 must support 5G networks – if you do not care. We do not.
How much will it cost?
Prices are not leaked. However, a recent survey probably prompted Google respondents to compare a $ 349 “Google Pixel Phone” with a $ 699 “Premium Google Pixel Phone.” While there is no way to be sure it was a real vote by Google, given that Google is moving to a cheaper chipset and given the frequent complaints about flagship Pixel prices in the last few years a price of $ 700 seems plausible or at least possible.
When will it come out?
Announcement on 30 September.
Google has revealed that its next hardware event will take place on September 30th (and you can expect our live coverage at that time). At the event, the company promises that we will learn about “new Pixel phones”, anything other than dropping the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G, so expect the phones to be announced then.
Earlier, Google posted another date on its French blog, saying pre-orders would open on October 8th. Historically, you’ve been able to pre-order pixels on the date of their announcement, so either Google changes how it handles pre-orders, not all regions get it at the same time, or the timeline has changed since this leak. This has been a year of delays for Google, so the dates could easily have been mixed around.
Also note that Google has been upfront that the Pixel 5 is not coming to India or Singapore at all.