A photo posted on Twitter late yesterday by Mexican radio personality Jose Antonio Ponton, reveals that the upcoming Pixel 5 might have originally been tested under as the Pixel 5s. The tweet shows a prototype of a unit with a sticker that reads, "R3 EVT." The EVT stands for Engineering Validation Test unit and these are prototypes that are tested to make sure that the phone's design meets all specs. If not, the phone goes back to the drawing board to see where the design needs to be revised.
There are at least a couple of reasons why a Pixel 5s branded handset has surfaced on Twitter
Google is using the names of fish as code and the "R3" signifies that the model pictured is the "redfin." Some believe that the phone known as the Pixel 4a 5G was originally going to be the Pixel 5 using the "bramble" name and that the Pixel 5s would be the "redfin." Now it seems that the latter fish name will signify the Pixel 5. If true, the tweeted image once again shows a fingerprint scanner on the back of the Pixel 5 sounding the death knell for Face unlock. Yes, it appears that it will be one and done for Pixel's facial recognition system.As usual,
Another possibility is that the Pixel 5s signifies a version of the Pixel 5 that supports mmWave 5G signals. At the beginning of September, the FCC revealed that two of the four Pixel 5 variants will support both sub-6GHz and mmWave 5G signals. The former covers long distances, penetrates structures better, but does not deliver the zippy 5G download data speeds that you will find with mmWave 5G; the latter signals do not travel great distances nor do they penetrate structures that well. But they do provide users with the extremely fast 5G signals that they expect from the next generation of wireless.
Last week, we told you that a document from Vodafone Germany showed a September 25th introduction for the Pixel 5. According to a premature release leaked by Google France, pre-orders for the phone will get underway on October 8th with a rumored October 16th release date. The Pixel 5 will reportedly be available in black and green, priced at $649 in the states. The model is expected to be powered by the Snapdragon 765G SoC and come equipped with a screen featuring a 90Hz refresh rate. This will give Pixel 5 users buttery smooth scrolling and improved video game animation. At 90Hz, the display updates 90 times each second.
The stickers placed on back of the prototype are not randomly placed. They are put on the back cover strategically to prevent Google from seeing any markings that might give away the source of the link. Additionally, the strange looking symbol on the bottom rear of the phone is often used by Google to denote a prototype.
Whether it is the success of the mid-range Pixel 3a line or just the realization that the Pixels cannot challenge Apple and Samsung's top phones, it does appear that Google no longer sees the Pixel as a flagship brand. Instead, the Pixel brand could end up as a device that gives Android fans early OS updates and first crack at new features before they are shared with other Android manufacturers. Google has had a problem delivering new Pixel models every year without some issues. Instead, it could behoove Google to offer the Pixel as a lower priced line that delivers the best software experience that Android has to offer.