What comes to your mind when you think about the Pixel phone lineup? Cameras and software, right? You know the drill by now, every tech reviewer with a Pixel device in hand almost always talks about the “best point-and-shoot” cameras and “guaranteed, fast software updates”. While true, is that really all there is to a Pixel?
Throwback to the Nexus
Taking a quick trip down DDR5 memory lane, the 5th Pixel installation corresponds to the 5th device in the Nexus phone line: the Nexus 5 – arguably the best (most popular?) device from Google. While fondly remembered, the Nexus 5 had glaring flaws, especially in the hardware department. The cameras were not great and neither was the battery life; two areas that could kill a release on launch in today’s market. The flaws were, however, extremely easy to overlook thanks to the Snapdragon 800 and the brand new Android Kitkat for just $349.
A Second Chance
Last year’s Pixel 4 line-up was not exactly received well. Google’s innovative additions were mostly overlooked and instead, the focus was on the relatively lofty price, uneven bezels, and underwhelming battery life. That was last year though. Google’s release of the Pixel 4a much to positive reception might bode well for the Pixel 5.
So, what should you as the user expect from the Pixel 5?
Better Camera Options
The Pixel 4 is right up there with the most leaked phones of all time. Even Google themselves got in on the action. The camera cut-out looked like it had a triple-lens setup. It eventually turned out to be 2 cameras, but the most disappointing aspect was that neither was a wide-angle lens.
This year bodes well for Pixel lovers and users because the word is that the Pixel 5 might have a triple-lens setup with the wide-angle lens joining the foray. Google has surely taken feedback from the Pixel 4 into account this time around.
Leaked renders show a familiar square-shaped camera cut-out on the back, with a flash unit and what looks like three lenses (it looked the same last year so…). The front has a single selfie camera, this time in a punch hole as Google will supposedly ditch the chunky top bezel in the Pixel 4 and 4xl.
As good as Pixel photos are, having more camera options would be a huge plus for Google. With competitors like Huawei, Samsung and Apple catching up (and even surpassing, depending on who you ask) with Google, more lenses will help re-cement themselves as the camera dons.
A Friendlier Price Tag
For devices that received a ‘meh’ verdict, the price tag accompanying last year’s Pixel was a huge point of contention. To be honest, they did have 90Hz refresh rate screens, high-res OLED screens, and 7nm processors; all standard for flagships. The small batteries and dim screens could not be overlooked though.
For this year, Google might just be re-thinking their strategy and going for a significantly lower price to be more competitive. Flagship prices are on the rise, making them harder and harder to get for the everyday user. Google might want to appeal to users by pricing the Pixel 5 competitively.
An image that surfaced on Reddit shows a $349 tag for a ‘Google Pixel Phone’ and a $699 tag for a ‘Premium Google Pixel Phone’. The Pixel 4a was announced for $349 so the premium may very well be the Pixel 5. The premium phone is described as having the best-in-class camera, wireless charging and water resistance, which are all flagship staples. It would offer great value for money as compared to other flagships.
A 5G-Capable Processor
One of the more interesting rumors about the Pixel 5 is that Google will forego a flagship processor and instead opt for an upper-midrange 700 series. This could be the 765G or the newer 768G with slightly better performance. This could explain the aggressive pricing. Both options are 5G-capable, but some worry is bound to be brought up by Pixel fans who expect the latest flagship processor instead. It is worth noting that by optimizing its software, Google can make the performance of the Pixel 5 feel almost as smooth as the higher-end processors, especially for the everyday user.
The Pixel 5 is said to start shipping with a 128GB base storage, ditching the 64GB variant from previous years. This would follow in the steps taken with the released Pixel 4a which only has the 128GB option. Roland Quandt, a twitter leaker with a solid reputation, is said to have found no evidence of the existence of lower storage options.
A Simple Design
If you have seen the 4a, then you have an inkling of what the Pixel 5 might look like. David Kowalski shared an image with a seemingly textured finish, a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, a square camera bump, an accented power button and a punch-hole selfie camera with slim bezels. The design, as always, depends on the user. It definitely looks like a typical Pixel phone though.
A Smooth Experience
Last year’s Pixels had 90Hz screens and this year’s phones should either have the same or a rumored 120Hz panel. Ross Young from Display Supply Chain Consultants stated that it would be not only 120Hz but also a 6.67” Samsung display. This would make it the biggest Pixel phone yet.
Coupled with the high refresh rate could be 8GB of RAM, up from the 6GB on the Pixel 4.
A Bigger Battery
One of the biggest gripes users have had with Pixel phones has been in the battery department. With the upgrades that the Pixel 5 is rumored to get, the battery will have to be on point. Leaks say that the Pixel 5 will see a significant bump in battery capacity, up to 4000 mAh. Rumors also claim that it will have wireless and reverse wireless charging at 15W and 5W respectively.
As always, the Pixel brings with it the new Android version and the Pixel 5 will come with Android 11 out of the box. Android 11 is set to bring with it great improvements in privacy, optimization, foldable screens and 5G use.
An Overall Improvement to the Pixel 4
Fingers crossed for the Pixel 5. It will hopefully be a significant improvement to the so-so Pixel 4 lineup. Meanwhile, make sure that you get the best armor for all your beloved devices here at Tech Armor!