Earlier this month, Google released the mid-range Pixel 4a, a decidedly good value smartphone that's, unfortunately, an uninteresting phone in a sea of really competitive and feature-packed phones like the OnePlus Nord. It got us wondering if Google even cares about making phones and that, perhaps, it's time for the Pixel to be rebooted.
While Google strangely promised both a Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 later this fall on the day the Pixel 4a was announced, some of the latter’s specs and design have purportedly leaked. And folks, we have some bad news… the Pixel 5 may disappoint you. Unless you're looking for (mostly) flagship specs at non-flagship prices... in which case, you may be pleased.
Plastic fantastic — Courtesy of reliable leaker, OnLeaks (via PriceBaba), the renders of the Pixel 5 show it will feature a design that's very similar to the Pixel 4a with a plastic casing, a screen between 5.7 and 5.8 inches, and a hole punch selfie camera. While the images available only include a black finish, reports indicate Google will also offer a green option, too.
Not flagship, but that's not the point — Don't expect the Pixel 5 to be a flagship phone that competes with $1,000+ devices like the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra or upcoming iPhone 12 Pro. The report claims the Pixel 5 will have a Snapdragon 765 chip and 5G. That means it should be slightly more powerful than a Pixel 4a and about as fast as the OnePlus Nord.
Nothing has been leaked regarding the phone’s RAM and storage capacity, but with the Pixel 4a’s 6GB of RAM, users should probably expect as much (or more) in the Pixel 5. Likewise, the Pixel 5’s full camera specs aren’t available yet, but the Pixel 4a has 12-megapixel rear camera and 8-megapixel selfie cameras, so anything worse seems unlikely. The phone is expected to have two rear cameras (main + telephoto or ultra-wide?!), but that means it'll still fall short of other phones that have three or more rear cameras. That said, Google's Pixel phones have consistently impressed with their image processing, so don't count it out just yet.
One thing Google is likely very fixated on with the Pixel 5 is battery life, which was the Pixel 4's biggest flaw. The Pixel 5’s rumored 3,080 mAh battery will place it above the Pixel 4’s 2,800 mAh offering, but below the Pixel 4 XL’s 3,700 mAh.
And the crowd goes... meh — So far, online reactions appear to be mixed-to-negative, at best. Most commentators seem miffed that Google looks to be ditching the radar-based face unlock on the Pixel 4 in favor of a fingerprint reader again. But then again, the Soli radar scanner was unreliable and hogged up a thick bezel above the screen, so perhaps there's simply no pleasing some people?
While there’s nothing inherently wrong with a plastic casing, it no doubt looks frustratingly cheap compared to other metal-and-glass smartphones. That's going to be disappointing if the rumored $699 price is true. But we'll reserve judgment until we've actually handled the phone and put it through its paces.