Google Pixel 5 leak teases all-new design — but we're not convinced

Google Pixel 5 design render
An unofficial design for the Google Pixel 5. (Image credit: Sarang Sheth)

The Google Pixel 5 remains shrouded in mystery due to a lack of big leaks. These new images are in theory just what we're looking for, but we're not convinced they're legit.

The images, originally posted on Slashleaks by user Udagawa Ako (via PhoneArena) come from a page on online business-to-business retailer AliBaba. It purports to be selling a case for the Pixel 5, but you should be skeptical. This looks nothing like what we were expecting for the Pixel 5.

(Image credit: Alibaba/Laudtec)

One design for the Pixel 5 portrays it as having a U-shaped camera bump in the center of its back, with no scanner for Google's Pixel Imprint fingerprint unlocking tech. Also out of place is the headphone jack, which no longer tends to appear on flagship phones. The last flagship Pixel with a headphone jack was the original Google Pixel and Pixel XL from 2016, with the only Pixels to have one since then being the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL, which are very much budget devices.

(Image credit: Alibaba/Laudtec)

While the case doesn't cover much of the front of the phone, the placeholder design also looks off because it features a notch. While the Pixel 3 XL had a notch similar to this, the Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL all used bezels. In the Pixel 4 series' case, this was in order to house Google's Motion Sense radar sensor. 

With Motion Sense proving underwhelming, and flagship smartphone design moving away from notches and towards punch-hole cameras, it would be very surprising if this is what Google had planned for the Pixel 5.

(Image credit: Alibaba/Laudtec)

But think beyond the Pixel 5 for a second. There is a phone we know of coming from Google that may have a square camera patch, a rear fingerprint sensor and likely a headphone jack too: the Pixel 4a. There was allegedly a Pixel 4a XL that has now been cancelled so Google can concentrate on the single standard-sized model. It's therefore possible that it's this now extinct phone that Laudtec have received schematics for and made this design.

(Image credit: Alibaba/Laudtec)

Despite the Pixel 3a launching last year in May, we've been waiting for the Pixel 4a to launch several times only to have the launch date pushed back. There's even a chance it will share its launch with the Pixel 5, which is expected to land in October.

With all this disruption, it's possible that the case maker, wanting to get a Pixel 5 case design to market as quickly as it could, settled on the wrong set of specs. Otherwise, if this case does indeed fit the Pixel 5, a lot of smartphone leakers and rumormongers are going to be red-faced.

In the meantime, we're still waiting for more conclusive information about the Pixel 5. We can expect a few things about its hardware however. The use of a Snapdragon 765 chipset seems likely, in order to keep the phone's price down, as does the addition of a third camera on the back for ultra-wide shots. It'll probably also have a 90Hz or higher refresh rate display, and will come pre-installed with Android 11.

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.