Update, August 18, 2020 (11:00 AM ET): We’ve added info on a possible launch date for the Google Pixel 5 as well as some rumors related to display specs. Read on for more!
Original article: Traditionally, Google launches its flagship Pixel smartphone lineup in the Fall. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused quite a few changes in the industry so far, though, so we’ve got our fingers crossed in hopes that the usual timeframe will happen again this year. That being said, we are completely assured that a Google Pixel 5 is on the way at some point soon!
Although we’re months away from the supposed Pixel 5 release date, we already know quite a bit about the device. We have only a few tidbits to go on for now, but we know enough to start building a picture of what to expect.
Read more: 5 things we want to see from the Google Pixel 5
We can also assume a lot about various features of the devices based on the history of the Pixel line. Certain things will always be predictable.
Below, you’ll find everything we know so far about the Google Pixel 5! Be sure to bookmark this page and visit often so you always know the latest news.
When is the Google Pixel 5 coming out?
Since 2016, the Pixel line has followed a very deliberate and dependable naming scheme. With that in mind, we were pretty confident that the next phone in the series would be called the Google Pixel 5. Eventually, Google confirmed that as being 100% correct.
However, we have new evidence to suggest that a Google Pixel 5 XL might not be in the cards this year. Thanks to some code-sleuthing by 9to5Google, we now are under the assumption that only one “flagship” phone will land this year from Google.
Check this out: The best upcoming Android phones of 2020
As far as the Pixel 5 release date goes, it’s possible we could see the launch on October 8, 2020. We learned this date from a French version of Google’s reveal of the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G, which erroneously included a pre-order date. Google eventually removed this information, which leads us to believe that could be the date of the launch event.
Even if that date isn’t correct, an October launch is a safe bet. It is unlikely that the Pixel 5 event would be delayed to the extent of the Google Pixel 4a release, which came three months later than expected.
Although Google didn’t directly confirm as much, we expect the Pixel 5 to be joined at its launch event by the Google Pixel 4a 5G, a slightly upgraded version of the recently released Pixel 4a. If the two phones don’t land at the same event, they will certainly launch very near one another.
Google Pixel 5 rumors: Design
Last year was the first time Google drastically switched up the overall design of its flagship Pixel phones. With the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, Google changed the shape of the phones, removed the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, completely overhauled the camera module, and rolled back its display changes from the Pixel 3 line. It was a big shift!
Naturally, it makes sense to think that the Google Pixel 5 will just be an updated version of the Pixel 4. That might not be the case though, as a recent leak of behind-the-scenes information exposed that major players on the Pixel team were disappointed with the Pixel 4 even before it hit store shelves.
Related: The only reason the Pixel line isn’t the crown jewel of Android is Google
With that in mind, the Google Pixel 5 could look a whole lot different from the Pixel 4. So far, we’ve only seen one reliable image of a Google Pixel 5, and it’s below. We expect the Pixel 5 to be the phone on the left with the black power button:
The render above suggests that the Pixel 5 could be a bit smaller than the Google Pixel 4a 5G, which is likely the phone on the right. However, we’re not sure about sizing in relation to known devices such as the Pixel 4a or Pixel 4.
The “5” as well as the left phone render heavily suggest that the matte textured sides of the Google Pixel 4 will be present on the Pixel 5, possibly even all over rather than just around the rim. It’s hard to say for sure based on this one image, though.
Finally, in a press release for its 2020 phones, Google said that the Pixel 5 will not land in India. This heavily suggests that Motion Sense will appear on the Google Pixel 5, although that is just a guess at this point.
What about the processor?
There are two things every flagship Pixel phone has had: the latest Qualcomm 800-series processor and the latest version of Android. While we are certain the Google Pixel 5 will land with Android 11, we are becoming more and more skeptical that it will have this year’s Qualcomm flagship, the Snapdragon 865.
Multiple Google Pixel 5 leaks suggest the phone will sport a more mid-range processor. As of right now, our best guess is that the Snapdragon 765, 765G, or 768G might be what powers the Pixel 5 lineup.
At this point, we are pretty certain the Pixel 5 lineup will feature mid-range processors, but that could be good for your wallet.
Why would Google make this change? The most likely reason we can think of is cost. A fully-featured Pixel phone with a Snapdragon 865 would need to start at $1,000, much as the Samsung Galaxy S20 lineup does. Even if Google cut a bunch of corners it would only likely be able to bring the entry price down to $899, the starting price for a OnePlus 8 Pro.
However, if Google goes with the Snapdragon 765G instead, for example, it could keep the cost down while still delivering more-than-capable processing power and 5G compatibility. It would also make Pixel phones appealing to cash-conscious consumers who would favorably compare the Google Pixel 5 pricing to the Galaxy S20 line.
If you’re worried about how something like the Snapdragon 765G would compare to the Snapdragon 865, don’t worry: we’ve got you covered.
Google Pixel 5: Other specs
Outside of the processor, though, we can be relatively assured Google won’t downgrade other established specs of Pixel phones. That means you can safely expect at least 6GB of RAM, at least a dual-lens rear camera, wireless charging, an IP68 rating, etc.
Now that we’ve seen the Pixel 4a launch, we can be relatively assured that the Pixel 5 will likely launch with at least 128GB of internal storage. With the Pixel 4a having that much, it would seem silly for the more-premium flagship to have less.
It is unlikely the Pixel 5 will downgrade established Pixel features, so we already can assume quite a bit when it comes to specs.
It’s also safe to assume that the battery capacity of the Google Pixel 5 will increase, hopefully by a significant margin. The aforementioned behind-the-scenes drama of the Pixel team strongly suggests that the battery life of the Pixel 4 was a contentious topic, which leads us to believe much bigger batteries are on the way. At this point, if Google doesn’t do that, it might as well hang the Pixel line out to dry.
Finally, a rumor stemming from sometimes-reliable leaker Ross Young suggests that the Pixel 5 could have a 120Hz display refresh rate. This would be an upgrade over the 90Hz rate of the Pixel 4 line and keep the Pixel 5 at parity with its premium flagship competitors.
Price and availability
We actually have a very strong piece of evidence to support the idea that the Google Pixel 5 will return to some old school Pixel pricing. A Google survey seeking to find out which hypothetical Pixel phone responders would buy strongly suggests that Google is planning on selling the Pixel 5 for $699 as a starting price.
If this comes to pass, it would make the Pixel 5 cost only $50 more than the original Google Pixel phone from 2016, which started at $649. This would no doubt be great news for Pixel fans.
Related: All Google Pixel phones released so far
As far as availability goes, Google confirmed in a press release that both the Google Pixel 5 and the Google Pixel 4a 5G will not be available in India or Singapore. It cited “local market trends and product features” as the reasoning behind the phones not arriving in those countries. This likely means that the Pixel 4a will be the focus for developing markets and could also mean that the Google Pixel 5 will have a Motion Sense system, which is what kept the Pixel 4 lineup out of India.
Unfortunately, Google has a poor history when it comes to the wide availability of its phones even without Motion Sense as a hindrance. It’s reasonable to expect, however unfortunate it might be, that a full global rollout on the level of Samsung or Apple probably isn’t in the cards for the Pixel 5 lineup.
Be sure to bookmark this page of the latest Google Pixel 5 rumors so you can always stay up-to-date!