Google Pixel XE just leaked — but there’s a catch

Google Pixel 5
The Google Pixel 5 (Image credit: Google)

This has been a good year for the Google Pixel lineup, with the launch of the Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G, and Pixel 5. We’ve even heard rumors about a Pixel 5 Pro, which may arrive next March.

But a new rumor has hit the web today, and it involves a totally new Pixel phone — a Pixel XE. The only trouble is, we have some doubts as to whether this leak is legit or not.

The first clue that this phone is coming is a screenshot discovered by Tom’s Hardware, showing the “About” menu of an Android phone's settings. The phone is referred to as “Google Pixel XE” twice — once under “Device name” at the top and again as “Model & hardware” toward the bottom. While you can change a phone’s name to whatever you like, the same doesn’t seem to be true of the Model.

pixel xe

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The top left corner of this screenshot also seems to show that this device has eight cores, so if it really is a Pixel XE, it’s not likely to be an ultra-cheap device that sits below the Pixel 4a in Google's phone lineup. The mystery device is also running Android 11, and only a handful of devices have access to that. All this assumes that the image hasn't been altered in some way.

Another set of images come from SlashLeaks, showing off a very blurry phone that is also reportedly called the Google Pixel XE. Crucially, though, we don’t actually see the model name, or what version of Android it's running — only the name of the phone. 

Pixel xe

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

As previously mentioned, the name of the phone can be anything you like — even “Baby Yoda” if you’re so inclined. So the SlashLeaks images prove absolutely nothing, and the fact we can’t see the model number is a little bit suspicious.

Interestingl, the front camera is in the center of the screen, while the recent slate of Pixel phones have their front cameras in the top left corner of the display. The close-up image seems to show Pixel Launcher icons, but there’s no camera in sight, and it has us skeptical about whether it’s even the same phone

We can’t verify where these images really came from, and who’s responsible for them, so we can’t say with any certainty how trustworthy they are. There’s a lot of reason to doubt them, and even if the Pixel XE is real, we wouldn’t put money on this being it — not unless we see some more convincing evidence.

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.