Google Pixel 5's processor may have just been revealed

A potential rear camera design for the Google Pixel 5. (Image credit: Front Page Tech)

We may have just seen the Google Pixel 5's CPU. It's not confirmed, but piecing together a new announcement from Qualcomm and other rumors give us a clearer picture of Google's next phone.

That announcement was for a new mid-range 5G-ready chipset, named the Snapdragon 768G. It will replace the current 765G CPU, which had been rumored to be the one used in the Pixel 5. Therefore it makes sense, as TechRadar points out, that Google would use the latest chip in this line for its upcoming phone.

Even if Google had been planning to use the older chip, the socket in the motherboard and the software used to run the 768G is the same used with the 765G. It'll allow Google to easily upgrade the phone in time for launch, or perhaps give it the option to release an enhanced version of the Pixel 5 at a later date.

The 768G also supports 120Hz displays by default, currently a flagship-only feature found on phones like the Samsung Galaxy S20 and the OnePlus 8 Pro. The Pixel 4 had a 90Hz display, so it wouldn't surprise us if Google upped the refresh rate again for this year's flagship Pixel.

Google has used Qualcomm's top of-the-line Snapdragon 8 series chips in its previous Pixel phones, such as the Snapdragon 855 in the Pixel 4 or the Snapdragon 845 in the Pixel 3. We'd expected the Pixel 5 to use the Snapdragon 865 found in most other flagships released this year, but rumors have pointed to it using a less-powerful chip, perhaps to make the phone cheaper and therefore a more attractive offer compared to the pricey Galaxy S20 and iPhone 12 phones it wants to compete with.

On the other hand, the Pixel 3a uses a Snapdragon 670, another step down in power from the 7 series chip. We'll probably see another 6 series CPU in the Pixel 4a, likely Google's next phone that will appear in the next few weeks.

The 768G is also tipped to be good for gaming (hence the G in its name), because of its new Adreno 620 GPU, a higher clock speed on the CPU and the ability to easily update its drivers for further optimisations. Gaming will likely not be a focus for the Pixel 5, but since Google also has its Stadia game streaming service, it will probably appreciate Qualcomm's improvements here.

Under normal circumstances, the Pixel 5 would launch around October of this year. However, because of the coronavirus pandemic, there's a chance Google's flagship could be delayed.

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.