Google Pixel 5 leak looks so ugly we really hope it's fake

Google Pixel 5
The Google Pixel 4. (Image credit: Future)

Google’s Pixel 5 is slowly having its secrets exposed by rumor-mongers and leakers, even though we’re several months out from its reveal. Not all leaks are created equal though, and while the latest one isn’t from a reliable source, it shows us a few things that we hope aren't true.

The leak in question comes from Slashleaks (via BGR), which claims it shows the Pixel 5 (on the right in the image below) next to the Pixel 4 XL. The user points out that the top and bottom bezels are smaller, but that the Pixel 5 still has Face Unlock, the security feature that originally debuted on the Pixel 4. They also claim that the display is once again an OLED panel with a 90Hz refresh rate, and that the CPU powering the whole thing is a Snapdragon 865.

Google Pixel 5

(Image credit: Slashleaks)

The big news here is the only minor change to the phone's front face. The Pixel 4 looked a little outdated with its big bezels compared to the notches and punch-holes on rival devices, including the old Pixel 3 XL. It would be unfortunate if Google decided to stick with this for its next phone. But considering that this leak also shows that Face Unlock remains on the Pixel 5, the extra space might be necessary.

Face Unlock and Motion Sense were the two new features on the Pixel 4 that made use of its inbuilt radar sensor. These are smart ideas, but in practice have a few issues, Motion Sense proving tricky to use and limited in effectiveness and Face Unlock being the subject of an unpleasant scandal about it unlocking Pixel 4s even if a user's eyes were shut

If Google took a second run at implementing these features, hopefully this time it would be able to iron out the kinds and give us the features we thought we were getting last year. However there may be some people who just want Google to give up on these ideas and move onto something else.

Less exciting are the display and the CPU, but for different reasons. The use of a Snapdragon 865 chip was pretty much a given if you look at previous Pixel series phones, with the most recent Pixel 4 using a Snapdragon 855. The 90Hz display is disappointing, because not only does this sound to be identical to the display on the Pixel 4, but it’s also going to be outclassed the moment it debuts by other phones. These include the Samsung Galaxy S20 series that has a 120Hz refresh rate on every model.

We’ll likely find out more information as we close in on the expected October launch at another Made by Google event. Before that comes Google I/O in May, where we’re likely to see the Pixel 4a, which will hopefully please fans of Google’s amazing software features that don't want to pay the high price of the standard Pixel 4.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.