Google's Pixel 5 and Pixel 5 XL might not be flagship phones but may support 5G

Google's Pixel 5 and Pixel 5 XL might not be flagship phones
Remember when Google leaked information about the Pixel 4 months before the phone's unveiling? Rumors that the phone would use the company's Project Soli radar technology to allow subtle hand gestures to control the phone created quite a buzz; a few weeks later, Google confirmed the feature which it called Motion Sense by releasing a video. And there was speculation that the Pixel 4 series was being seen by Google as a real competitor to the Apple iPhone; to this end, it removed the fingerprint scanner from the phone and added a facial recognition system called Face Unlock.

When the Pixel 4 launched in October, the limitations placed on Motion Sense made it more of a gimmick than a useful tool. Many Pixel 4 users we spoke with don't even use it at all. And the puny battery that the Pixel 4 is equipped with is a pain to all of the phone's users. While the larger battery on the Pixel 4 XL is better, it still has to power the display's 90Hz refresh rate. Google also blundered by allowing Face Unlock to work even with the user's eyes closed. An update is apparently close to being officially disseminated.

Code in the Google Camera app suggests that the Pixel 5 models will be powered by the Snapdragon 765G SoC

Some of the issues and decisions made by Google make the Pixel 4 series less than what it could have been. As a result, some Pixel and Android fans have decided to wait for the Pixel 5 series to buy their next flagship phone. But it now appears that the Pixel 5 and Pixel 5 XL might not be flagship models after all. 9to5Google was able to obtain a pre-release version of the Google Camera app from a pre-production Pixel 4a. The app refers to the latter device as "photo_pixel_2020_midrange_config," while the Pixel 5 is referred to as the "photo_pixel_2020_midrange_config."

From the Google Camera app, it can be deduced that the telephoto camera is returning to the Pixel 5 line. The app also reveals the code names for the Pixel 5 models, Redfin and Bramble (both fish-related names as usual). And both of these phones are going to be powered by the Snapdragon 765G Mobile Platform. While these chips feature integrated 5G modems, they are not Qualcomm's flagship chips. As a result, the Pixel 5 series might not be considered flagship phones. Benchmark tests have shown that the Snapdragon 765G performs 30% to 50% worse than the Snapdragon 865 SoC.

Google might have given up on the possibility that its Pixel phones could be in the same class as Samsung's Galaxy S flagship models and the iPhone. In this scenario, the Pixels could be positioned as a low-cost alternative to high-priced $1,000 handsets, albeit with a top photography system. It also would be something new for Google which has always powered its high-end Pixel handsets with that particular year's flagship Snapdragon chipset.

A CAD-based render of a Pixel 5 XL prototype didn't exactly do Google any favors. Not that there is any guarantee that this design would be the final one chosen by the manufacturer. The render showed a huge camera module in the top middle of the phone's rear panel. It looks different than anything we've seen before, and that is certainly not a compliment. Since Google has made a number of miscalculations when it comes to its Pixel line, there really isn't any confidence that it will do the right thing when it comes to the design and specs for the 2020 Pixel handsets.

Even if the Pixel 5 line is not considered a flagship series, Google needs to take care of business. Battery capacity on each phone must be larger, Motion Sense must have more useful capabilities, an ultra-wide camera must be included, and an increase in the base configuration to 128GB of storage must be made if Google wants the Pixel 5 models to be competitive.
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