First Pixel 5 leak shows off a polarizing design for Google’s new flagship

pixel 5 leak
(Image credit: Front Page Tech)

Nine months before Google will likely launch the Pixel 5 smartphone series, an official-looking prototype is already out in the wild. And boy, does it look different than anyone was likely expecting.

The leak comes to us via Front Page Tech on YouTube, and is centered on the camera stack on the back of what is believed to be a Pixel 5 XL. Jon Prosser, who runs the channel, says in the video that he is so confident in his source regarding this render that he is "99.9 percent" certain that the image you see here is an official prototype Google is considering right now.

The device in the image dons a similar matte-glass texture to some Pixel 4 colors and incorporates a very large triple-lens module, including a wide-angle shooter, that juts down from the top of the back of the handset.

Front Page Tech says this render is one of three prototype designs Google has pitched for its 2020 Pixel 5 phones. The Google engineering team is known to produce a few variations of its evolving flagship before fleshing out its final form.

In other words, there’s no guarantee this is what the Pixel 5 XL will look like. With about nine months to go until Mountain View's typical release window, it’s still too far out from the lineup’s release to believe Google has settled on this or any design.

Interestingly, while this particular picture only shows the back of the Pixel 5 XL, Front Page Tech says it has seen the front and — yes — it still has a forehead bezel, according to Prosser.

Although it's still very early days for Pixel 5 leaks, the Pixel 4a — the successor to Google's low-cost Pixel 3a introduced last year — is probably much closer to debuting, especially if the company chooses to unveil its new budget model at its Google I/O conference that normally happens late in the spring.

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.