The Google Pixel 5 is that the next top-end phone we’re expecting from Google after the Pixel 4a, a more mid-ranged offering, was officially unveiled in August. Compared to a lot of other big phones coming soon, just like the iPhone 12, we’ve not been hearing too many leaks and rumors on Pixel 5.
The Google Pixel 5 is the anticipated follow-up to 2019’s Pixel 4, a great camera phone running stock Android with some top features, but also one or two big issues too. There will likely be a bigger version called the Pixel 5 XL within the spirit of the Pixel 4 XL.
If precedent holds true, we’d expect to see the Google Pixel 5 around October 2020 – that being said, it’s possible we might see it later, as the Pixel 4a was delayed due to the coronavirus’ impact on the supply chain. But given Google has officially announced the Pixel 5 (called the Pixel 5G) would be coming in 2020, we’re a minimum of expecting it this year.
When the Google Pixel 4 phones launched in late 2019, we unsurprisingly loved their photo capabilities but found they fell short in other areas.
The shortfalls we saw in the Pixel 4 phones give us ideas for what we’d like to see in the Google Pixel 5, and since there aren’t many real leaks or rumors about the upcoming Pixel 5 devices just yet, we’ve taken this chance to form a list for Google’s next flagship smartphone.
The Pixel 4 and 4 XL were popular devices but didn’t get quite the enthusiastic welcome that the Pixel 3 phones did, so the upcoming handsets could be Google’s opportunity to wow buyers who may enjoy what Google does best. Read on to get where we expect the Google Pixel 5 could succeed.
Latest story: Google has seemingly let slip that pre-orders for the Pixel 5 will open on October 8, so a full announcement is likely to happen around then.
Cut to the chase
What is Google Pixel 5? Google’s next full-featured flagship smartphone
When is the Google Pixel 5 launch date? Possibly October 8
How much will Google Pixel 5 cost? The price may be around $799 / £669 / AU$1,049
Google Pixel 5 release date and price
It’s a bit early to assert with confidence when the Pixel 5 release date will be, given how tumultuous 2020 has been. While Google officially announced the Pixel 5 and stated it would be coming out before the end of 2020, we aren’t sure if it will be delayed like the Pixel 4a was – but if not, we have a good idea of when it might land.
That’s because while in most regions Google simply said the Pixel 5 was coming this year, in France its blog briefly stated that pre-orders for the phone would open on October 8.
It’s worth noting that pre-orders may not open the same day as the phone is announced, but it seems likely that Google is planning for an announcement in early October anyway.
October makes sense too, as the Pixel 4 launched on October 24 of 2019, and every previous flagship Google Pixel has also launched in October.
In terms of what proportion you’ll pay, the Google Pixel 5 price will likely be at an equivalent price or a touch above the Pixel 4, which had a starting price of $799 / £669 / AU$1,049.
Smartphones have been slowly climbing in price, up from above-mid-range territory to true flagship price tags, and Google seems to be pitching its flagship phones as equal to that tier – so we’ve expected them to keep apace with rising flagship costs, too.
And yet, Google might be thinking about dropping the price: a survey allegedly went out asking if consumers would buy a ‘premium Google smartphone’ at $699 (around £572 / AU$1,070). That could certainly give it an edge over rival flagship smartphones that are only getting pricier and pricier.
Of course these are all guesses at this point, and when we hear some concrete leaks we’ll update this article.
Google Pixel 5 leaks and news
The first thing to know about Pixel 5 leaks is that according to a number of sources they might all be fake or subject to change, with Google apparently not yet having finalized the design of the phone (as of July 2020). So take all of the following with even more salt than normal.
With that being said, the most important Google Pixel 5 leak thus far actually relates to the Pixel 5 XL. A high-quality render showing a supposed prototype of the phone has leaked, which you’ll see below.
As you’ll see, the camera design is quite different and certain to be divisive, but the source claims this is often only one of three prototypes, and therefore the others have a more conventional square camera block.
One of the three lenses pictured here is apparently wide-angle, which would be new for the range. As for the front of the phone, that isn’t pictured but is apparently similar to the Pixel 4, including a large top bezel – though this is apparently slightly smaller this time.
We’ve now also seen leaked renders supposedly showing the quality Google Pixel 5 but variety of sources have cast doubt on them, so they’re likely fake.
As you can see below, they show a phone with sizeable side bezels, a square camera block and a fingerprint scanner on the rear, and a punch-hole camera on the front.
The same leaker has also now shared images supposedly showing the Pixel 5 XL and them – perhaps unsurprisingly – look very similar to the standard Pixel 5 leak.
This however means that they look different to the Pixel 5 XL leak above, so given that, the suspect source, and the claims that most leaks so far are wrong, we’d take these with a serious helping of salt.
One surprising leak is that the Pixel 5 might not have flagship power, as unreleased code in the Google camera app suggests that it uses the upper mid-range Snapdragon 765G chipset.
This is pin- and software-compatible with the Snapdragon 765G, so it should be easy for Google to make the change if it had been intending to user the 765G, and it offers all-round improvements, coming a touch closer to the top-end Snapdragon 865.
We’ve mentioned the Google camera app – a newer build of the said app mentioned a few new camera features that could come to the Google Pixel 5 including motion blur in photos, audio zoom in photos, and easier sharing of videos you record.
One source has said the Google Pixel 5 will use a rather lower-end chipset than either of these, within the sort of the Snapdragon 765. This is a processor that’s only slightly different from the G variant, but it’s older too.
We’ve also heard the Google Pixel 5 could have a reverse wireless charging feature, consistent with Android 11 code found during a developer beta. This would allow you to power up other devices, like earbuds, a watch, or another phone, using the Pixel 5 as a charging mat.
This feature can be a bit of a power drain though, so has the company found any ways to fix our biggest Pixel 4 gripe?
Well, possibly, because we’ve also heard of an ‘ultra-low-power mode’ which could come to the phone as well as the Pixel 4. This mode will likely close up a load of features of the phone like location tracking and auto-syncing apps, so as to stay your handset ticking along as long as possible.
Finally, it seems the Soli radar present within the Pixel 4 could be gone within the Pixel 5. This would mean there’s no hands-free navigation, but most people found that feature didn’t work very well, so it’s unlikely many will care. The absence could bring the cost of the phone down too.
Check back for more Google Pixel 5 news and leaks, as clearly we’re a touch early into the method to ascertain anything concrete. That should change over subsequent few months and perhaps even weeks, as manufacturing of Google Pixel 5 prototypes continues.
What we would like to ascertain within the Google Pixel 5
The Google Pixel 4 refined on its predecessor, but it left tons to be desired in certain very obvious areas (read: the Pixel 5 battery must improve). But there are also features and perks Google still hasn’t put into its flagship phone. Here’s everything we would like to ascertain within the Google Pixel 5.
- Expand the Google Pixel 5 battery
By far the most important gripe about the previous Google Pixel phone was its short battery life. While capacity isn’t necessarily indicative of how long it takes for the percentage to tick to zero, the 2,800mAh battery is small by 2020 standards – and many users found the battery dying before the end of the day.
The Google Pixel 4 XL fared somewhat better with its 3,700mAh capacity, but even that lasted only a touch quite each day. If Google wants to play with the big phone boys, it has to keep up with the 4,000mAh-and-greater batteries out there.
- Bring back the fingerprint scanner
The Google Pixel 4 has no rear-mounted fingerprint scanner like the Pixel 3, nor does it sport an in-screen finger sensor like many premium smartphones as a backup biometric. All it had was facial recognition, and…it wasn’t the best.
Some might find it easier to use, but others are likely frustrated to have to stare into their phone until it unlocks. In Pixel 5, we’d prefer both face recognition and a physical or screen-mounted fingerprint sensor. Heck, just put a button on the back – we’re not picky. We just want to be convenient.
- Add an ultra-wide lens to the Pixel 5
Google, we come on bended knee. We entreaty. We plead. Make like every other Android flagship in 2020 and provides us an ultra-wide lens on Google Pixel 5.
The addition of a zoom lens was very welcome, justifying tons of hopes that a second lens would enhance the Pixel’s portrait photography and expand its versatility. But the phone could be so much better, and have so much more range, with an ultra-wide camera. We can, and will, still dream.
- Give the Pixel 5 a microSD slot
A minimum of 64GB of storage and a maximum of 128GB? Is this a joke? Google’s not-so-subtle nudging for users to offload their storage to the cloud is pretty egregious. People store locally for reasons – especially when they don’t have a reliable signal. It’s frustratingly limited not to cheaply expand what’s typically the easiest auto-include in an Android smartphone.
Truthfully, we doubt a microSD card slot is going to be a neighborhood of the Google Pixel 5 – it wasn’t in any previous Pixel phone, nor was it a part of the Nexus series. But there’s ample reason to desire a microSD card slot.
- Stick with the weird design
The Google Pixel 4 smartphones sure do look a touch odd compared to their dual-finish, single-hued predecessors. They’re bare-backed apart from a questionably stylish camera block, with a matte glass finish encased with a rubber frame around the edges. It’s an odd, distinct aesthetic.