What just happened? Google has revealed its Pixel 5 smartphone, a handset designed for a world where many are struggling financially during the economic downturn. As such, it forgoes some flagship features in favor of a price that falls just under the $700 mark.
A few months before Samsung released the Galaxy Note 20, there were rumors that the pandemic and its economic effects would see the phone launch under $1,000. They were proved wrong, of course: The Note 20 Ultra cost $1,300, while the plastic-backed Note 20 was around $1,000. With the Pixel 5, however, Google has made a phone for the current times.
A water-resistant phone that creates quite a splash. The new #Pixel5 has 8 GB of RAM and wireless and reverse wireless charging to use with your Pixel Stand or to charge your Pixel Buds on-the-go.https://t.co/YYzCyiRlDR #LaunchNightIn pic.twitter.com/JB9NVMeWvK
— Made By Google (@madebygoogle) September 30, 2020
While today’s flagships come with the top Snapdragon 865 or 865 Plus SoC, the Pixel 5 features a Snapdragon 765G, which includes Qualcomm’s integrated X52 modem for 5G support. There’s also a 6-inch 2,340 x 1,080 OLED panel in a 19.5:9 aspect ratio with a hole punch camera. And while it lacks some top features, the 90Hz refresh rate from the Pixel 4 remains—the Note 20 has a standard 60Hz. There’s also 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a 4,080mAh battery.
Another similarity with the Pixel 4 is the dual-camera setup on the rear. This time, Google has gone with a 12.2-megapixel main camera with a 77-degree field of view and 16-megapixel ultrawide with a 107-degree FOV. There are also several AI-powered photo modes, as well as three stabilization modes.
Elsewhere, Google has brought back the fingerprint sensor that was lacking in the Pixel 4, while the face unlock feature has been removed and the thick bezels are replaced with an edge-to-edge screen. You also get IP68 waterproofing and 18W USB-C fast charging.
Google also announced the cheaper ($499) 5G-enabled Google 4a, which lacks a few Pixel 5 features, including water resistance, wireless charging, and Corning Gorilla Glass 6. It does have a 3.5mm headphone jack, though, which is missing from the Pixel 5.
As an incentive to buy, Google is bundling three months of Stadia Pro and 100 GB of online storage with the new Pixel phones.
The Pixel 5 will be available first in eight countries on October 15, then on October 29 in the US through Verizon, Google Fi, and unlocked from Google’s online store for $699. Pre-orders are available now.
The standard Pixel 4a with sub-6 GHz 5G connectivity will be available in the US on November 19, while a mmWave 5G version that costs $599 will be available for preorder from Verizon on October 29.