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, the Google Pixel 5 will be the official follow-up to 2019’s Pixel 4, 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, and both Pixel 5 phones could launch alongside the Pixel 4a 5G.
Other phones we expect to see in what’s left of 2020:
If precedent holds true, we’d expect to see the Google Pixel 5 around October 2020, or the very end of September – 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. Given the official line from Google, we’re expecting it at some point this year.
When the Google Pixel 4 phones launched in late 2019, we unsurprisingly loved their photo capabilities (traditionally a strong point for the Pixel phones), 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: 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. We’ve also seen some high-quality renders and hands-on photos leak out in recent days.
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, or 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. 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.
The most recent rumor we’ve heard – and it just just a rumor – is that the Pixel 5 and the Pixel 4a 5G will be announced on the slightly earlier date of September 30.
In terms of how much you’ll pay, the Google Pixel 5 price will likely be at the same price or a bit higher than the Pixel 4, which had a starting price of $799 / £669 / AU$1,049. That said, one leak (that we’re not hugely confident in) suggests that $699 will be the starting price point in the US.
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.
Google Pixel 5 leaks and news
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. In fact, there’s not much left for Google to reveal at this point.
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 notch on the front of the phone, and the fingerprint sensor around the back.
Those unofficial renders have since been joined by some hands-on photos mysterious posted to Reddit and then deleted again (but not before the internet had grabbed hold of them).
You can see that the Pixel 4a 5G on the right is the larger of the two devices, although the Pixel 5 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.
The more recent Google Pixel 5 leaks pour cold water on the accuracy of a high-quality render that we saw a few months ago, 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 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).
NO FREAKIN’ WAY @madebygoogle!!! ????https://t.co/eT3VlWC4Hf#Google #Pixel5 #Pixel5XL by @frontpagetech @jon_prosser pic.twitter.com/eRSGIyijxeFebruary 14, 2020
The leaked 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
It now seems certain that the Pixel 5 might not 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.
Recently spotted benchmarks have backed up that idea, 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 on board, with the phone sporting a 6-inch, 90Hz refresh rate screen.
We’ve mentioned the Google camera app: a newer build of 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.
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 heard the Google Pixel 5 could have a reverse wireless charging feature, according to 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 ticking along 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.
Check back for more Google Pixel 5 news and leaks, as clearly we’re a bit early into the process to see anything concrete. That should change over the next few months and maybe even weeks, as manufacturing of Google Pixel 5 prototypes continues.
Google, last year, actually provided its own ‘leak’ of the Pixel 4 in shadow in June, so we can keep our fingers crossed that it spoils its own surprise when it comes to the Pixel 5. Stay tuned for more updates as that happens.
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 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.