Google Pixel 5 launch looks imminent — here's the proof

Google Pixel 5 design render
(Image credit: Sarang Sheth)

The Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G are both coming soon, possibly by the end of this month. And regulatory filings indicate that the fall launch of Google's next smartphones will proceed as planned.

9to5Google spotted FCC regulatory filings for both the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5. Phone makers register their devices with the regulatory agency, and when those filings show up, it usually means a launch is just around the corner.

It's no secret that Google has the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G waiting in the wings. When the Pixel 4a launched in August, Google announced that both phones were in the works. It even confirmed that the Pixel 4a 5G would cost $499, though it has yet to reveal a price for the Pixel 5. 

At least one rumor predicts the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G will appear on Sept. 30, and a French-language Google blog post tipped off October 8 as the day that pre-orders start for the new phones.

The Pixel 5 may be Google's flagship phone, but it's looking like it won't have the flashier features of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra or the rumored iPhone 12, as Google looks to keep a lid on price. Instead of a top-of-the-line Qualcomm system-on-chip, the Pixel 5 is expected to feature a Snapdragon 765G chip. That has less processing oomph, but comes with a 5G modem. Google also may ditch the Soli sensor introduced with last year's Pixel 4, putting an end to gesture-based Motion Sense controls.

As for the Pixel 4a 5G, think of it as the XL version of Google's budget phone, with 5G connectivity included. We're looking at a larger display and a Snapdragon 765G chipset, but the same lone rear camera that the Pixel 4a uses.

9to5Google's report notes that the FCC filings include another hint about the features planned for the Pixel 5. Those filings mention WPT, which stands for wireless power transfer. That means the Pixel 5 would be able to provide reverse charging for other wireless devices, similar to the Wireless PowerShare feature on recent Samsung flagships.

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.