There will almost certainly be a Google Pixel 5 this year, but it may not be a true flagship that will contend with the likes of the iPhone 12 and Samsung Galaxy Note 20. At least according to a new leak, that is.
The folks at 9to5Google got their hands on an early version of the camera app for the Google Pixel 4a, Google's next midrange phone that's expected to launch sometime in mid-2020. While poking through the software, 9to5Google also found some references to a "photo_pixel_2020_config," which may be referring to the Pixel 5.
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This early Google Camera software reveals a few key things about the potential Pixel 5, including the fact that it will likely have a telephoto lens, and its codename: Bramble.
That last part is key: If the Google Pixel 5 is indeed Bramble, that means it will likely be powered by Qualcomm's midrange Snapdragon 765G, and not the Snapdragon 865 found in new flagships like the Galaxy S20. That's according to leaked code for Bramble discovered earlier this year that suggests the presence of multiple midrange Google phones.
If the Pixel 5 is indeed powered by a Snapdragon 765G, there could be a big reason why.
Flagship phone prices are only getting higher, with the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra selling for a whopping $1,400. The iPhone 11 Pro isn't much cheaper with a starting price of $999, and we expect the iPhone 12 series to fall into a similar range. By releasing Pixel 5 that's slightly less powerful but much cheaper than the competition, Google could undercut Apple and Samsung and appeal to customers who are tired of paying upwards of $1,000 or more for a phone.
We've been expecting to see the Pixel 4a officially surface in May with the Pixel 5 to follow at Google's usual October event. However, Google's plans may be in flux due to the COVID-19 outbreak, with its annual Google I/O conference cancelled in favor of an upcoming online-only showcase.