Update, July 29, 2020 (10:30 AM ET): Weâ€™ve added evidence that suggests there might not be a Google Pixel 5 XL. Read on for all the details!
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 weâ€™re not sure if that will be the launch window this year. However, we can be relatively assured that a Google Pixel 5 is on the way at some point soon!
Although weâ€™re months away from the supposed Pixel 5 release date, we figured weâ€™d put together a rumor roundup. We have only a few tidbits to go on for now, but we know enough to start building a picture of what to expect.
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, youâ€™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.
However, there could be some changes in store for this yearâ€™s Pixels when it comes to specs and design (more on that in a bit). Those changes could push Google to alter the naming scheme slightly this year. We donâ€™t have any information to confirm or deny that, to be clear. But in 2020, more than any other year, the possibility of a name change is there.
Check this out:Â The best upcoming Android phones of 2020
In fact, 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 byÂ 9to5Google, we now are under the assumption that only one â€œflagshipâ€� phone will land this year from Google. This makes it even more possible that a name change could be in the works. For now, though, weâ€™re just going to use the name Google Pixel 5.
As far as a Pixel 5 release date goes, every flagship Pixel has landed in October, so itâ€™s reasonable to expect the Google Pixel 5 to land in early or mid-October 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on release schedules, though, so that might not happen this year. For example, the Google Pixel 4a release schedule has been drastically altered by the pandemic (it still isnâ€™t even out yet!).
October is still the golden month for smartphone launches, however, due to its proximity to the holiday shopping season. As such, it is still very likely weâ€™ll see the Google Pixel 5 in October along with other flagships from OnePlus, Huawei, and more.
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.
With that in mind, the Google Pixel 5 could look a whole lot different from the Pixel 4. So far, weâ€™ve seen one leaker push out some renders of what the Pixel 5 series could look like. However, the leaker has an as-yet-unproven reputation, and some other more notable leakers say that these renders arenâ€™t likely to be accurate.
Regardless, youâ€™ll find the leaked Pixel 5 renders below. You can see the leaked Pixel 5 XL renders here, but they show more of the same design:
Obviously, the renders above suggest a few massive possible changes for the flagship Pixel line. The potential return of the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor would be a big shift, as it would essentially mean Googleâ€™s Motion Sense experiment was a failure. It also would make the Pixel line less of a flagship series and more of a souped-up mid-range series, which would dramatically change Googleâ€™s standing in the industry.
As we said, we are not totally sold on these leaks, but they are the best weâ€™ve got so far. Stay tuned as we will likely see leaked renders from other leakers soon.
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 yearâ€™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 768G 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 youâ€™re worried about how something like the Snapdragon 765G would compare to the Snapdragon 865, donâ€™t worry: weâ€™ve got you covered.
Google Pixel 5: Other specs
Outside of the processor, though, we can be relatively assured Google wonâ€™t downgrade other established specs of Pixel phones. That means you can safely expect at least 6GB of RAM, at least 64GB of storage, at least a dual-lens rear camera, wireless charging, an IP68 rating, etc.
Itâ€™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 doesnâ€™t do that, it might as well hang the Pixel line out to dry.
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.
As far as availability goes, that depends on what Google has in mind for the features of the Google Pixel 5. If Google sticks with the Motion Sense radar system on the front of the Pixel 4 lineup, that would very likely mean India would, once again, not see the Pixel 5. If Google drops Motion Sense, though, itâ€™s possible most major markets around the world would be able to buy the new Pixel.
Unfortunately, Google has a poor history when it comes to the wide availability of its phones even without Motion Sense as a hindrance. Itâ€™s reasonable to expect, however unfortunate it might be, that a full global rollout on the level of Samsung or Apple probably isnâ€™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!