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.
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The Pixel 5 will sport a 90 Hz 6.0-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.
The Pixel 5 will be announced officially on Sept. 30 during their Launch Night In event at 2 pm ET. A slip up on the official Google France Blog in August may substantiate that date somewhat, as it said the Pixel 5 and 4a (5G) would have a preorder date of Oct. 8.
- Release date: October 2020
- Preorder date: likely Oct. 8, 2020, but could be Sept. 30, 2020
- Announced: 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
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)
Despite early rumors of switching to plastic, according to reliable leaker Roland Quandt, the Pixel 5 will once retain the more premium glass back cover. It won't use the new Gorilla Glass Victus, instead opting for the Gorilla Glass 6. It will borrow from Apple and use 100% recycled aluminum for its frame. It comes in "Just Black" and "Sage Green."
Unique to the Pixel 5 is a matte finish and chrome power button. The pressure-sensitive sides are gone as Google is moving away from Active Edge.
- Frame: aluminum
- Material: glass (matte)
- Finish: just black and sage 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. It will retain its IP68 rating for maximum dust and water resistance.
- Height: 5.7 inches
- Width: 2.77 inches
- Depth: 0.31 inches
- Weight: 5.33 oz
- Dust/water resistance: IP68 under IEC standard 60529
- Supported carriers: Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, US Cellular
- Infrared blaster: no
The Pixel 5 will likely be the first phone to run Android 11 out the box. This comes as no surprise, as few phones have ever beaten Google to the punch on a new Android version.
- Version: Android 11
According to rumors, there will also be a few new exclusives added in Android 11, including a device drop monitor, multi-colored Quick Settings icons, and reverse wireless charging. The rumored new back cover gestures won't be preset at launch but could appear in a future Pixel Feature Drop.
- Version: stock Android (with Pixel exclusives)
The screen size of the Google Pixel 5 has been a roller coaster of rumors and leaks. First, it was reportedly a 6.67-inch 120 Hz display. Then, it was rumored to be a 5.8-inch 90 Hz display. Now, the latest leaks state it will be a 6.0-inch 90 Hz display.
It will have a 1080p resolution and use a flexible OLED for a slight curve on each end (about the same as the Pixel 4 XL). It will also support HDR and 24-bit color depth. It will likely top DisplayMate's charts as its predecessor did.
- Screen size: 6.0 inches
- Screen resolution: 2340 x 1080 pixels
- Total pixels: 2,527,200 pixels
- Pixel density: 432 ppi
- Screen type: OLED
- HDR: yes
- Curved/Flat: flat
- Notch/Punch Hole: punch hole
- Screen-to-body ratio: higher than Pixel 4 XL
- Aspect ratio: 19.5:9
- 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
Battery life shouldn't be a problem, as Google is adding the largest capacity yet for a Pixel phone at 4,080 mAh. It will also support reverse wireless charging (which is called Battery Share), allowing you to charge other Qi devices by placing them on the back cover of the Pixel 5.
- Battery: rechargeable lithium-ion
- Capacity: 4,080 mAh, 3.85 volts (15.7 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. It is rumored to be the same camera as the Pixel 4 and 4 XL. It is capable of shooting up to 1080p at 30 frames per second.
- Resolution: 8 MP
- Aperture: ƒ/2.0
- Zoom: no
- Flash: yes, screen
- Image stabilization: no
- RAW support: yes
- Object detection: unknown
- Formats: JPEG, RAW
This may be the last industry-leading Pixel camera. Mario Queiroz, who led the Pixel camera team, left the company earlier this year. Rumors indicate the primary camera is the same used since the Pixel 3. What is conflicting is the secondary camera, which is rumored to be either the same telephoto camera as the Pixel 4 or a new ultrawide camera, with the latest rumors indicating the latter.
- Resolution: 12 MP(primary) + 16 MP (ultrawide)
- Sensor size: 1.4 µm + 1.0 µm
- Aperture: ƒ/1.7 + ƒ/2.2
- Zoom: yes, 2x optical + 8x digital
- Flash: yes, LED
- Image stabilization: yes, OIS + EIS
- RAW support: yes
- Lens cover: sapphire crystal
- Object detection: unknown
- Formats: JPEG, RAW
According to Mishaal Rahman, Pixel 5 will upgrade video recording to 4K at 60 fps. This will be an exclusive feature to the Pixel 5. Additionally, while Google Camera 7.3 hinted at the more cinematic 24 fps, it will not be present at launch.
- 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, front 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
- 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 but apparently, that is what Google is going to do.
- Fingerprint scanner: yes, rear-mounted
- Face scanner: no
- Iris scanner: no
- Manual authentication: password, PIN, pattern, swipe
- Security Chip: Titan M
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
- Quick Start Guide
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