Google is doing a major revision of its Pixel lineup in 2020, and the Pixel 5 smartphone will be a different beast than years past, morphing into what can only be described as a more worthy successor to the Google's discontinued Nexus series than the Pixel models.
It all started with the heavily delayed Pixel 4a, which released on Aug. 20, 2020. Before that release, however, its announcement on Aug. 3 also gave us information on the rest of the 2020 lineup — the Google Pixel 4a (5G) and Google Pixel 5 — both of which will be Google's first foray into the 5G market.
2020 is also the year in which Google dropped its "XL" sizes, the larger versions of the smaller Pixel models that have been around since the first generation. The Pixel 4a was the first to scrap it, and the Pixel 5 is expected to do the same. That means we can expect one model per variant from now on if the rumors are correct.
But variants and 5G aren't the only changes that are happening on the Pixel 5. The new flagship model will be a controversial phone. Many of the tweaks are sure to be welcomed by the majority, but others will gravitate fans toward other OEMs.
The Pixel 5 will sport a 90 Hz 5.8-inch display, according to the latest rumors, which are the same specs that the Google Pixel 4 and 4 XL have. It will double the RAM of the Pixel 3, which means it'll have 2 GB more than the Pixel 4 variants. And the Pixel 5 will be one of the first Google phones to support 5G, alongside the Pixel 4a (5G). Its pricing will start at $699, which is $100 less than the Pixel 4.
According to Jon Prosser, who is known more for his accurate Apple leaks, the Pixel 5 will be announced officially on Sept. 30, 2020. A slipup on the official Google France Blog in August may or may not substantiate that date somewhat when it said the Pixel 5 and 4a (5G) would have a preorder date of Oct. 8.
For at least the last two generations, Google has almost always set preorders the same day of announcements, and those dates were the same for the U.S. and France. So that may mean an Oct. 8 announcement and preorder date. However, the Pixel 4a broke that tradition, seeing as it's still not available in France even though it was released in the U.S.
- Release date: October 2020
- Preorder date: likely Oct. 8, 2020, but could be Sept. 30, 2020
- Announced: likely Sept. 30, 2020
There have been two storage options for each primary Pixel model since the start, and they've always been 64 GB and 128 GB (except the first generation that had 32 GB and 64 GB). While the "a" models are limited to one size, there's no reason to believe that the Pixel 5 will only have one option available. While it makes sense that it would be 64 GB and 128 GB, it could also jump to 128 GB and 256 GB, but we're betting on the former to keep costs down.
Like all Pixel models, the Pixel 5 is not expected to have an expandable storage tray.
- Storage available: 64 GB or 128 GB
- Standard: UFS version unknown
- Expandable storage: no
Price for Everything
Earlier this year, Google released a survey that asked participants if they had two options for a Google Pixel smartphone, which one would they prefer to buy. There was a cheaper option starting at $349 and a premium one starting at $699. Because the former proved to be the Pixel 4a, it's only logical that the premium is referencing the Pixel 5. It could mean the 4a (5G), but we don't think 5G is enough to increase the price of the 4a by $350.
- Price: starts at $699
- Manufacturer protection: $149 (Preferred Care)
- Frame: aluminum
- Material: glass (matte)
- Finish: black and green
The latest rumors suggest that the Pixel 5 will be similar in size to the Pixel 4, not the Pixel 4 XL, so we're looking at a phone that's 5.7 inched tall by 2.77 inches wide.
- Height: 5.7 inches
- Width: 2.77 inches
- Depth: 0.32 inches
- Weight: unknown
- Dust/water resistance: IP68 under IEC standard 60529
- Supported carriers: Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, US Cellular
- Infrared blaster: no
The Pixel 5 will run the latest version of Android, Android 11. This is a given since every new primary Pixel has run the latest and greatest out of the box.
The Pixel 5 will run a nearly stock version of Android with Pixel-exclusive features. Some of the highlights include the Recorder app and Call Screen. According to rumors, there will also be a few new exclusives added in Android 11, including a device drop monitor, new back cover gestures, and a multi-colored Quick Setting icon.
- Version: stock Android (with Pixel exclusives)
There are some conflicting reports as to the size of the Pixel 5. Accord to Ross Young, founder and CEO of Display Supply Chain, it will have a 6.67-inch display from Samsung and BOE Technology Group. Also, the screen will have a 120 Hz refresh rate, which, like the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, would be limited to 1080p.
However, according to @OnLeaks and Pricebaba, that is referencing to the Pixel 4a (5G), and the Pixel 5 will be between 5.7 and 5.8 inches. It will use a flat OLED display with a QHD+ screen and a 90 Hz refresh rate.
Either way, it will top DisplayMate's charts as its predecessor previously did.
- Screen size: 5.8 inches
- Screen resolution: 3300 x 1440
- Total pixels: 4,752,000 pixels
- Pixel density: 620 ppi
- Screen type: OLED
- Curved/Flat: flat
- Notch/Punch Hole: punch hole
- Screen-to-body ratio: unknown
- Aspect ratio: 20.6:9
- Minimum brightness: unknown
- Maximum brightness:unknown
- Refresh rate: 90 Hz (90 Hz for touch-sensing)
- Color temp: unknown
- Color gamut: unknown
One of the most significant changes to the upcoming Pixel is the loss of the Snapdragon 800 series SoC (system on a chip). It would be the first Pixel device not to include the same SoC as most other flagship Android devices of the same year.
Instead, to save money, they are opting for the Snapdragon 765G, a "budget" flagship chipset with performance just below Pixel 3. However, it will have more than enough power to compute all of its AI-enhanced features, as a leaked benchmark shows a score right below the Pixel 4 XL
- Memory: 8 GB RAM
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
- Chip size: 7 nanometer
- CPU frequency: 2.4 GHz (1x Prime), 2.2 GHz (1x Gold), 1.8 GHz (6x Silver)
- CPU cores: 8 cores (1x Prime + 1x Gold + 6x Silver)
- GPU: Adreno 620
- GPU frequency: unknown
According to leaker Jason C on Twitter, Google is planning to focus on optimization rather than larger battery capacity, similar to Apple. His sources say that the battery will be 3,080 mAh.
That's only a ten percent increase from the Pixel 4's terrible battery, so it won't do anything to improve battery life significantly. (The Information reported that the Pixel 4's horrible battery life was one of the reasons the head of the Google Pixel camera team, Mario Queiroz, left the company.)
- Battery: rechargeable lithium-ion
- Capacity: 3,080 mAh, 3.85 volts (11.86 watt-hours)
- Wired charging: yes, USB PD (18 W)
- Wireless charging: yes, Qi charging (up to 11 W)
The camera will be housed in a transmissive hole (aka a punch hole) in the upper left of the display. Currently, we don't know much else about it, but we assume it will be similar to last year's Pixel 4.
- Resolution: 8 MP
- Aperture: ƒ/2.0
- Zoom: no
- Flash: yes, screen immulation
- Image stabilization: no
- RAW support: yes
- Object detection: unknown
- Formats: JPEG, RAW
This may be the last industry-leading Pixel camera. As mentioned before, Mario Queiroz, who led the Pixel camera team, left the company earlier this year, and he was single-handily the reason Google went from the average cameras of the Nexus series to one of the best cameras in the Pixel lineup. Leaked images show dual rear cameras in a very similar square cutout as the Pixel 4, but the sensor is unknown at this time, so we may not be looking at much improvement.
- Resolution: unknown
- Sensor size: unknown
- Aperture: unknown
- Zoom: unknown
- Flash: yes, LED
- Image stabilization: yes, optical and electronic
- RAW support: yes
- Lens cover: sapphire crystal
- Object detection: unknown
- Formats: JPEG, RAW
Video capture will once again be limited to 4K at 30 fps, this time, the SoC is to blame.
- Resolution: 720p, 1080p, and 4K
- Max frame rate: 30 fps for 720p and 4K, 60 fps for 1080p
- Slow motion: yes, 1080p at 120 or 240 fps
- Time-lapse: yes
- Photos: unknown
- Zoom: unknown
- Flash access: yes, see above
- Image stabilization: yes, see above
- Object detection: unknown
- Autofocus: unknown
- Audio: stereo
- Formats: H.264, H.265
- 3.5 mm headphone jack: no
- Stereo speakers: yes, earpiece and bottom-firing
- Mics: 1
- Max speaker volume: unknown
- Audio: MP3, AAC, AAC+, WMA, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, WAV, FLAC, APE, OGG, MID, M4A, IMY, AC3, EAC3, EAC3-JOC, AC4, Opus
- Video: MKV, MOV, MP4, H.265(HEVC), AVI, WMV, TS, 3GP, FLV, WEBM, HDR10+, AV1
All the normal sensors are expected to reappear on the Pixel 5.
- Sensors: accelerometer, ambient light, barometer, color temperature, compass, magnetometer, proximity, gyroscope
And the Pixel 5 will bring back dual-frequency GNSS support.
- GPS: yes, (L1 + L5)
- aGPS: yes
- Glonass: yes
- BeiDou: no
- Galileo: yes, (E1 + E5a)
- QZSS: no
Not much here is expected to get a big upgrade on the Pixel 5.
- Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac)
- Bluetooth: 5.0
- NFC: yes
- Modem: Snapdragon X52 (up to 1.2 Gbps download)
- 5G: yes, Sub-6GHz and mmWave (up to 3.7 Gbps download)
- SIM: nano-SIM, eSIM (Dual SIM support)
- Port: USB-C (USB 3.1 Gen 1)
Leaks show a return of the fingerprint scanner — a physical one — which seems like a step back for Google. Remember, the Pixel 4 and 4 XL use Face Unlock, and while rumors indicate it will not return, going back to Pixel Imprint seem to be backward-thinking, especially when there are better options such as Qualcomm 3D Sonic Max in-display fingerprint scanner.
- Fingerprint scanner: yes, rear-mounted
- Face scanner: no
- Iris scanner: no
- Manual authentication: password, PIN, pattern, swipe
The usual applies here, so expect:
- Pixel 5 phone
- 3.3-foot USB-C to USB-C cable (USB 2.0)
- 18 W USB-C PD Power Adapter
- Quick Switch Adapter
- SIM eject tool
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