While we don't know much just yet, Google is set to go big as it tries to catch up with the likes of Samsung and Apple in producing a killer flagship phone for 2020. With an event confirmed for later this month, it's not long until we'll get our first look at Google's upcoming Pixel 5.
When is the Google Pixel 5 coming out?
As correctly predicted by prolific leaker Jon Prosser, Google has sent out invites to a virtual event on 30 September where it's likely we'll see the Pixel 5 for the first time. The Launch Night In event is due to kick off at 7pm BST for those tuning in from the UK, with Google teasing updates on the "Chromecast, latest smart speaker and new Pixel phones".
It's possible that the smartphone will go up for pre-order a little over a week after the event. After all, Google's French site accidentally published a blog post - since edited - claiming that the Pixel 5 and 4a 5G would both be able to pre-order from 8 October.
How much will the Google Pixel 5 cost?
The Pixel 4 started at £669, while you had to jump up to at least £829 for the Pixel 4 XL. We'd expect pricing to be fairly similar, undercutting the most expensive flagships but very much out of the mid-range bracket - with the caveat that this time around there's only expected to be one model, with no XL version on the cards.
The processor Google ends up using will have the most notable effect on the final pricing, with the potential for a lower starting price compared to the Pixel 4 line.
Leaked pricing for the Pixel 5 via @NilsAhrDE suggests that Google will drop the price lower than the Pixel 4. He says it will come in at €629 in Germany or $649 'with a bit of calculation'.
That price in dollars is the same as the original Pixel so we might be looking at a price of £599 for the Pixel 5 in the UK. Great news if that turns out to be true.
Exclusive for @TechnikNewsNET: Here are all the Prices and Colors (for Germany) for the new Pixel 5G Devices (Pixel 5 and 4a 5G)— Nils Ahrensmeier @IFA20 (@NilsAhrDE) September 1, 2020
Pixel 5 (Green, Black) : €629 (with 16% VAT)
Pixel 4a 5G(Black, White) €499
Thanks @maxim8980 (go follow him)#Pixel5 pic.twitter.com/2HbjTbNV1K
Germany's Computer Universe agrees with that price listing the Pixel 5 at 629 Euros with 128GB of storage.
What are we expecting to see in the Google Pixel 5?
While many people would assume that the Pixel 5 will come with Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon processor, doesn't look to be the case.
9to5Google unearthed unreleased code in the Google's Camera app, suggesting the Pixel 5 would come with a Snapdragon 765G, as opposed to the 865 we were initially expecting. This processor is designed to support 5G, implying we'll get that feature, even if the chip lacks the blazing speed of the 865. Make of that what you will.
We've already got an idea of what Google's next flagship might look like, too - thanks to a mix of well-executed renders and, more recently, a supposed spy shot.
The image above originally appeared on Reddit before being quickly pulled, however, XDA Developers was able to nab a copy before it disappeared beneath the waves again. The Pixel 5 (left and the Pixel 4a 5G (right) appear to closely follow the design language established by the Pixel 4a and marry up nicely with the renders previously generated below, based on existing rumours.
WinFuture has managed to get hold of some Pixel 5 renders (below) that show the phone off along with with a load of specs, much of which agree with the below from Reddit but also include details of a 6in 2340 x 1080 OLED panel with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio and 90Hz refresh rate.
The site also says that the Pixel 5 will drop the radar-based Motion Sense array used for gesture controls and the main camera will be bumped to 16Mp. Other details include 18W charging with reverse charging facility, IP68 waterproofing, 128GB of storage and a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner.
Here are specs comparing the two phones via slashleaks.
Previously, OnLeaks and Indian tech site Pricebaba partnered to release a set of renders of the device that appear almost official. There are more images and a 360-degree video if you want a closer look too.
The renders show nothing too surprising. Like the leaked image, there's a rear fingerprint sensor, a square camera module with two lenses, a punch-hole camera is found on the front and a sandstone finish is present that matches the one shown on the side of the Pixel 5 in Google's official tease, near the top of this piece.
Perhaps the most interesting element is the claim that the screen will be between 5.7 and 5.8in, making it one of - if not the - smallest flagship phone(s) around; even the regular Galaxy S20 boasts a 6.2in panel. The smaller size might put some off, but there's clearly space in the market for smaller phones, and Google might do very well with the Pixel 5 in that regard.
As for colours, the above render is in black, which seems like a given. Alongside claiming a launch date of 30 September, Jon Prosser also suggested the Pixel 5 would launch in black and green, so it seems there may be one other colour that we're yet to see.
That green model has been hiding for a while but Roland Quandt has posted the following image showing it sitting on a coffee table along with the remote from the rumoured Chromecast with Google TV and the new Nest Home smart speaker.
The design above matches a previous render created by Pigtou and xleaks7, using leaked CAD information and rumoured dimensions.
p.s. this is not a cancelled Pixel 4a XL pic.twitter.com/xbYC0teUWO— xleaks7 (David Kowalski) (@xleaks7) July 6, 2020
Both designs are very different from one of the earliest designs we saw, an alleged prototype design that was presumably either incorrect or long ago scrapped by Google.
This would have served as a huge design change from the Pixel 4 and 4 XL (or any previous Pixel for that matter), with what looked like a raised camera module in a more central position along the top edge of the phone's back.
We're curious to see what Google does with the Pixel 5's camera setup, considering the person responsible for the excellent pictures Pixel phones have been taking up until now, left the company in March 2020; not long after another senior member of the Pixel team, general manager - Mario Queiroz, also walked.
The cameras would still be among the best in the business, even if Google made no changes to the setup, but expect it to be a priority once again. Don't expect crazy specs such as the 108Mp sensor used on Xiaomi and (later) Samsung phones, Google instead relies on its software processing to produce great stills.
The battery life was the main reason we couldn't recommend the Pixel 4 in our review, so improvements here must be imminent too. The latest rumours suggest the Pixel 5 will have a 3,080mAh, which is more than the 2,800mAh in the Pixel 4, but not by much - which makes us nervous.
What might not be kept from the Pixel 4 is Motion Sense, which was made possible by the Soli motion-sensing radar set into the phones' bezel. It allowed users to interact with the phone with gestures but it looks like Google will ditch this feature for the Pixel 5 due to it not working well and users disliking it, according to a 9to5Google podcast.
Our Google Pixel 5 wishlist
While there has been no confirmation that any of these features will be making their way to the Pixel 5, we'd love to see them on Google's next flagship:
- More modern design - There was nothing wrong with the Pixel 4 and 4 XL's design per se, but they seemed out of place in a market where manufacturers are constantly pushing the limits of their devices. Google appears to have overestimated people's desire for a display free of cut-outs and notches, so its approach will surely have to change.
- Improved video capture - Pixel devices have always had superb cameras for taking stills, but its video remains below par. Improving this would make for a more complete camera experience.
- Support for expandable storage - The Pixel 4 and 4 XL start with 64GB of storage and although we'd like a boost here that was perfectly acceptable for 2019. What's more disappointing, however, is the lack of expandable storage, which would allow users to add more storage as and when they needed it.
- More RAM - Like Apple, Google will claim it doesn't need as much RAM as other manufacturers as it is able to control both the hardware and software side, but 6GB of RAM is the only option on the Pixel 4 series. We'd like to see the option for 8 or even 12GB of RAM.
- Wide-angle front and rear cameras - Google strangely chose a telephoto over a wide-angle for the second lens on the back of the Pixel 4, but we hope it adds a third, wide-angle sensor in 2020. All the software in the world won't help when your field of view is just 77°.
- Bigger battery - The paltry 2,800mAh cell on the Pixel 4 just didn't cut it, with truly awful battery life for the price. We'd hope to see a big boost here, especially with some handsets having almost double that capacity nowadays.
We'll update this article as and when we hear more on how the Pixel 5 is shaping up.