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The Google "Pixel 5" was just mentioned for the first time

Days after renders of an early prototype emerged online, the people over at 9To5Google have spotted the first official references to Google’s next-generation “Pixel 5” flagship ahead of its release later this year.

An employee is working with the "Pixel 5"

Commenting on a recent Android Open Source Project code change, one Google software engineer left a very clear comment in which he reveals the code isn’t working on the Pixel 4 but hasn’t yet been tested on the upcoming “Pixel 5.”

This would suggest Google is planning to, rather unsurprisingly, brand its next-generation flagships as the Pixel 5 series. Of course, we’re still around eight months away from the official unveiling and Google still has plenty of time to choose a different name.

Information uncovered by 9To5Google suggests the Google Pixel 5 and Google Pixel 5 XL are codenamed Redfin and Bramble respectively. The latter was recently spotted with the Linux kernel version 4.19, which matches that of the “Pixel 5” referenced by Google’s employee.

Google may be planning a unique new design

Because the Pixel 5 series is still so far away, very little is known about the next-generation flagship lineup at this stage. However, recently leaked renders suggest Google could be working on a unique new design to help its smartphones stand out from the crowd.

One of the three Pixel 5 prototypes Google is working on features a massive camera bump on the back. The latter kind of looks like a robot’s face, with the primary and telephoto cameras acting as the eyes, the new ultra-wide-angle shooter as the mouth, and the trusty LED flash as the nose.

The two-tone construction used on early Pixel smartphones is, once again, nowhere to be seen but the accented power key is present.

Renders of the front panel weren’t published, but information suggests an updated version of the Pixel 4’s design is used. That means users can expect to find a slimmer forehead complete with 3D face recognition and Motion Sense tech.

High-end chipset, 5G connectivity, and hopefully bigger batteries

Like the Samsung Galaxy S20 series and upcoming LG V60 ThinQ, the Pixel 5 and Pixel 5 XL will probably be powered by the high-end Snapdragon 865 chipset from Qualcomm. Google has never been that generous when it comes to storage and RAM – the Pixel 4 series offers a 6/64GB configuration as standard – but things should improve with this year's Pixel 5 series because an 8/128GB configuration is currently expected.

As a direct result of the Snapdragon 865 chipset, Google's 2020 flagships are expected to support 5G networks as standard. This will allow them to compete more directly with the Galaxy S20 series and even the iPhone 12 lineup, but could severely impact battery life.

Hopefully Google will take note of this and increase the size of the batteries used inside the Pixel 5 and Pixel 5 XL. That would also minimize the impact of the displays, which are expected to jump from a 90Hz refresh rate to a super smooth 120Hz alternative.

Google Pixel 5 announcement and launch date

The Google Pixel 5 series is expected to go official in mid-October. The official date hasn't been revealed yet, but October 13 seems very possible considering past schedules.

Pre-orders are expected to begin immediately after and these will precede a launch later in the month. If history is anything to go by, the Pixel 5 duo could hit shelves on Friday, October 23.


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