Leaked Pixel 5 XL case shows a physical fingerprint reader, 3.5mm headphone jack, and small notch
The highest-end phone from Google this year will probably not be a flagship. Rather, the Pixel 5 duo will reportedly be powered by the Snapdragon 765G, which will make the phones more of midrangers. Pixel 5 XL case has now surfaced online and it shows that the phone will also have other things in common with mid-tier handsets.
Pixel 5 XL might not feature Face Unlock
The Pixel 4's sole biometric option is Google's Face Unlock system as the phone does not come with a fingerprint sensor. You might have expected its successor to arrive with an in-display fingerprint reader but that's apparently not happening. Looking at the leaked Pixel 5 XL case, it seems like the phone will instead feature a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, which is not necessarily something to frown upon as in-screen fingerprint scanners have their own issues.
The decision might have something to do with the fact that the Pixel 5 will likely not have the Soli radar chip and this would free up space for a fingerprint reader. The radar chip powers a feature called Motion Sense on the Pixel 4 which, amongst other things, speeds up the facial recognization process. Thus, we wonder if Google would be removing the Face Unlock feature from the phone too.
On that note, the leaked image does suggest the Pixel 5 XL will have a small notch and not a full-fledged bezel like Google's current generation flagships. And if the notch is on its way out, chances are there would be no space left for the Face Unlock sensors.
The alleged Pixel 5 XL also shows a cutout for an audio port, implying that the 3.5mm headphone jack is returning. For reference, the Pixel 4 and 4 XL do not have the port. This is something many consumers would appreciate, as not everyone has hopped on the wireless earphones bandwagon.
The back of the cover shows a square cutout, which means the phone will not have a weird-looking camera module as an earlier report had alleged, which surely sounds reassuring.
For this year, Google is apparently not planning to contend in the high-end market. The Pixel 5 will probably start at $699, which will make it $100 cheaper than the Pixel 4. Provided the handset stays true to its branding and offer an improved camera system, it would probably give other upper-end midrangers a tough time.
Overall, it's back to the basics for Google, and it might actually be a good idea, given the current state of affairs. Last year's Pixel 3a series is seemingly propping up sales and this proves you don't necessarily need a flagship to attract consumers.
Google may return to the flagship market next year
The company has apparently not given up on the high-end market for good. Part of the reason why the Pixel 5 will supposedly not come with the premium Snapdragon 865 that powers this year's Android flagships is its exorbitant cost. The phone will still probably offer 5G connectivity, given that the Snapdragon 765G has an embedded 5G modem.
Google is said to be making its own SoC in collaboration with Samsung and it will probably fuel next year's Pixel 6. Codenamed Whitechapel, the chip will be optimized for the company's machine learning technology and a part of it will be dedicated to improving the performance of Google Assistant.
Google already has an advantage over other Android vendors in that it makes the operating system. An in-house chip, if done right, can improve the performance of Pixel phones considerably and put the company ahead of rivals.
For now, all eyes are on the entry-level Pixel 4a, which has been delayed numerous times, and the Pixel 5 duo, which doesn't have a firm release date yet.
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