Google Pixel 5 just leaked in new photos — and there's a big surprise

Google Pixel 5
(Image credit: Reddit)

The Google Pixel 5 just made an early real life appearance on Twitter, and it looks as if we'll have a new 'S' version of the phone to check out when it launches.

Mexican tech blogger Jose Antonio Ponton tweeted the two genuine-looking images you can see below, which he claims are of Google's next flagship phone (via Max Weinbach). While one of them is just the phone's About page, it actually shows us some interesting details.

The information page shows the handset's name to be the Pixel 5s. While we've heard previously that there won't be a larger Pixel 5 XL handset this time around, this is the first we've seen of a 5s model, which could be a more powerful, fully featured model compared to the basic 5.

(Image credit: Jose Antonio Ponton)

Equally, the 'S' could just indicate two very slightly different versions of the handset. For example, Google may be making a version of the Pixel 5 that works with carrier partner Verizon's 5G network, and another that works with the more common sub-6GHz standard to avoid packing a single model with compatibility for both. Such a move could save space within the chassis and extra money for the user.

The phone's display features a punch-hole for the single selfie camera - just like the Pixel 4a that launched last month. The panel it's embedded in is most likely another OLED screen like we've seen before, and will reportedly measure 6 inches. 

(Image credit: Jose Antonio Ponton)

You can see a fingerprint scanner on the back of the device for unlocking the phone. The Pixel 4 used Face Unlock, powered by its Soli radar chip, but Google looks to have dropped this tech in order to make other improvements to the phone, like shrinking the bezels and adding a larger battery.

Also visible on the back is a square camera patch with what looks like two camera sensors. For comparison, the Pixel 4 used a main/telephoto camera combination for its back cameras - the first time Google had moved from using just a single camera. 

While you might expect the same thing this time around, a recent report has suggested Google will swap out the telephoto sensor for an ultrawide sensor. That would still leave the Pixel 5 at a hardware disadvantage to some of its rivals, but more in line with other basic flagship phones like the rumored iPhone 12

We can also see the phone is using Android version 'R' - the codename for Android 11. This is no surprise, as Google always brings the newest stock version of its operating system to its own phones first.

The Pixel 5, along with the Pixel 4a 5G, are believed to be launching later this month, at least based on the leaks we've come across. Usually Google hosts a large-scale Made by Google event to show off the new Pixel and some other fresh hardware, but given the chaos caused by coronavirus this year, it's hard to make predictions.

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.