(Image credit: Future)
The Google Pixel 5 is the next flagship device we’re expecting from Google after the Pixel 4a mid-ranger launched in August. Compared to lots of other major upcoming phones coming soon – such as the iPhone 12, say – there haven’t been too many leaks and rumors around the Pixel 5, but we’ve collected the best of them here.
When it does arrive, which is likely to be at the end of September, the Google Pixel 5 will be the official follow-up to 2019’s Pixel 4.
That was a great camera phone running stock Android with some top features as well as one or two big issues. At the moment, we’re expecting a Pixel 5 XL to appear too – though we’re less sure of that – and both Pixel 5 phones could launch alongside the Pixel 4a 5G.
Other phones we expect to see in 2020:
We know the Google Pixel 5 is probably landing on September 30 as the company is hosting an event then where it says it’ll announce new Pixel phones alongside a new Chromecast device. The company is hosting an online livestream, so that’s likely where we’ll see everything about the new phone.
When the Google Pixel 4 phones launched in late 2019, we unsurprisingly loved their photo capabilities (traditionally a strong point for the Pixel range), but found they fell short in some other areas.
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 discover everything we know about the Google Pixel 5 so far.
Latest story: Full specs for the Google Pixel 5 have now leaked, revealing almost every single detail.
Cut to the chase
- What is Google Pixel 5? Google’s next full-featured flagship smartphone
- When is the Google Pixel 5 launch date? Almost certainly September 30
- 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 tricky to assert with confidence when the Pixel 5 release date will be given how tumultuous 2020 has been but the phone will likely be announced on September 30.
Google has previously announced the Pixel 5 name and stated it would be coming out before the end of 2020. It has now said that it will launch a new phone on September 30 at a livestream event, so it’s very likely that will be the launch day – though it’s possible that we’ll see the Pixel 4a 5G instead.
When will you be able to buy the Pixel 5? That’s a little uncertain, but one leak of a French Google blog briefly stated that pre-orders for the phone would open on October 8. We’ve also seen a retailer list the Pixel 4a 5G as shipping on October 15, a date that has been linked with the Pixel 5 too.
In terms of how much you’ll pay, more than one leak has hinted that $699 will be the starting price point in the US. Elsewhere we’ve heard that it could start at just $649, which is the same price as the original Pixel was at launch. If that holds true for other regions then we could be looking at £599 / AU$1,079 for the UK and Australia.
We’ve elsewhere seen leaks pointing to either €629 (roughly $585 / £455 / AU$815), or £615 (around $790 / AU$1,095).
These low leaked prices might seem surprising. After all, 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.
Plus, the Pixel 5 might not be as much of a flagship as you might expect, due to rumors of a mid-range chipset.
Google Pixel 5 design
Just Android and chill. New #Pixel5 (greeen!) #GoogleTV #Chromecast and #NestAudio all in one place: pic.twitter.com/0OsT9Rlr6ISeptember 24, 2020
As the release date for the Google Pixel 5 approaches, we’re seeing more and more leaks arrive for both that phone and the Pixel 4a 5G which is expected to arrive at the same time. You can see the former phone in a leaked promo shot, above.
The first thing to note though is that the Pixel 5 might actually be called the Pixel 5s if a recent leak is to be believed – though this could be a different phone altogether.
As for the design, it’s rumored to come in green and black shades, while the renderings below (from usually-reliable sources) show a Pixel 5 that follows on from the design of the Pixel 4a: we have the punch-hole camera on the front of the phone, and a fingerprint scanner around the back.
Those unofficial renders have since been joined by some hands-on photos mysteriously posted to Reddit and then deleted again (but not before the internet had grabbed hold of them).
You can see that the supposed Pixel 4a 5G on the right is the larger of the two devices, although the Pixel 5 – which is supposedly the device on the left – is expected to bring with it a better camera and a more premium finish. With only weeks until the rumored launch date, it shouldn’t be too long before we find out for sure.
Better yet, we’ve also now seen hands-on photos showing what’s supposedly the Pixel 5 from the front, and with the screen on.
As you can see below, they match previous leaks, and also show the phone as having 128GB of storage.
A more few images #googlepixel5 #google5s #leak pic.twitter.com/ZuKwL4wahoSeptember 12, 2020
The more recent Google Pixel 5 leaks above pour cold water on the accuracy of a high-quality render that we saw a few months ago supposedly showing the Pixel 5 XL, and which we’ve embedded below. To be fair, the leaker did say that it was a prototype.
As you can see, the camera design is rather different from what we’re expecting. The phone also has three lenses on the rear camera, whereas we now think the Pixel 5 will actually have just two (and the Pixel 4a 5G will have one).
It’s possible of course that the Pixel 5 XL (if such a phone exists) will have more lenses than the standard Pixel 5, but we doubt the camera design would be so different.
NO FREAKIN’ WAY @madebygoogle!!! ?https://t.co/eT3VlWC4Hf#Google #Pixel5 #Pixel5XL by @frontpagetech @jon_prosser pic.twitter.com/eRSGIyijxeFebruary 14, 2020
The leaked Pixel 5 renders posted to Twitter and embedded below look much more like the genuine article, even if a number of sources cast doubt on them when they were originally released.
As you can see, they show a phone with sizeable side bezels, a square camera block and fingerprint scanner on the rear, and a punch-hole camera on the front. That lines up with the most recent pictures we’ve seen.
EXCLUSIVE: Google Pixel 5 renders, dimensions and 4K video https://t.co/y65v3bQ03m#googlepixel #android #pixel5Thanks to collaboration with @xleaks7July 6, 2020
The same leaker has also now shared images supposedly showing the Pixel 5 XL and they – perhaps unsurprisingly – look very similar to the standard Pixel 5 leak.
This however means that they look very different to the Pixel 5 XL leak above, so we can probably discount that original and rather weird leak as one that was never real or got abandoned at the prototype stage.
Here it is! The larger #Google #Pixel5XL based on leaked CAD drawings. + 4k video + dimensions. Enjoy guys!Thanks to my partners at @pigtou_ – https://t.co/pt9mWECxtOp.s. some details still unconfirmed but my source is pretty sure we will see this design released soon pic.twitter.com/bi8QMzmdGvJuly 7, 2020
Elsewhere, Roland Quandt (a leaker with a good track record) has said that the Google Pixel 5 is clad in metal and glass, has IP68 certification (meaning it’s water and dust resistant), weighs 151g, and has dimensions of 144.7 x 70.4 x 8.0mm – which would make it very similar in size to the Pixel 4, but slightly shorter, wider and thinner.
Google Pixel 5 specs and features
As for specs, it now seems almost certain that the Pixel 5 won’t have flagship-level power, as first hinted at by code in the Google camera app. The upper mid-range Snapdragon 765G chipset is the one we’re expecting in both the Pixel 5 and the Pixel 4a 5G.
However, while the power might not be top-end, it will presumably at least support 5G, especially since a 5G model of the Pixel 4a is already confirmed to be on the way. Plus, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has seemingly certified 5G versions of the Pixel 5, as spotted by 9to5Google.
Recently spotted benchmarks have backed up the idea of a mid-range chipset, and a list of specs posted to Android Central as well as that Reddit post we mentioned earlier mention the Snapdragon 765G too.
8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage will reportedly be included, with the Pixel 5 supposedly also sporting a 6-inch, 90Hz refresh rate screen, a 4,000mAh battery, a 12.2MP main camera (just like its predecessor), a wide-angle secondary lens, an 8MP front camera, and a plastic back.
We’ve heard similar specs from another source, which claims the Pixel 5 has a 1080 x 2340 6-inch OLED screen with a 90Hz refresh rate, a Snapdragon 765G chipset, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, a 4,080mAh battery with fast and wireless charging, a 12.2MP main camera, a 16MP ultra-wide one, and an 8MP one on the front.
Evidence of the Pixel 5 sporting the same main camera as the Pixel 4 has also grown, as a former Google engineer has explained that new camera hardware is offering diminishing returns.
But the camera software could improve, as a new build of the Google camera 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.
Can confirm via my own source that the Pixel 5 will use a Snapdragon 765. No phone with a top tier CPU from Google this year.May 19, 2020
We’ve also seen evidence that the Google Pixel 5 could have a reverse wireless charging feature, going be Android 11 code found in a developer beta. This would let you 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 turn off a load of features of the phone like location tracking and auto-syncing apps, in order to keep your handset going for as long as possible.
Finally, it seems the Soli radar present in the Pixel 4 might be gone in 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.
What we want to see in the Google Pixel 5
The Google Pixel 4 refined on its predecessor, but it left a lot to be desired in certain very obvious areas (read: the Pixel 5 battery must improve). But there are also features and perks that Google still hasn’t put into its flagship phone. Here’s everything we want to see in the Google Pixel 5.
1. Expand the Google Pixel 5 battery
By far the biggest 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 bit more than a 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.
2. 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 the Pixel 5, we’d prefer both facial 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 convenienced.
3. 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 give us an ultra-wide lens on the Google Pixel 5.
The addition of a telephoto lens was very welcome, justifying a lot 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.
4. Give the Pixel 5 a microSD slot
A minimum 64GB of storage and a maximum 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 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 will be a part of the Google Pixel 5 – it wasn’t in any previous Pixel phone, nor was it part of the Nexus series. But there’s ample reason to desire a microSD card slot.
5. Stick with the weird design
The Google Pixel 4 smartphones sure do look a bit odd compared to their dual-finish, single-hued predecessors. They’re bare-backed except for a questionably stylish camera block, with a matte glass finish encased with a rubber frame around the edges. It’s an odd, distinct aesthetic.
And, of course, there was a return to a top bar bezel instead of a notch. All in all, the Pixel 4 devices are far from ‘conventional’ Android phones – far from the nearly full-screen sleek flagship phones put out by Samsung or Huawei, but darn if they aren’t unique and particular in a market of gleaming black rectangles.
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