Pixel 5 and 4a 5G clues release Google’s next big switch

Chris Burns - Jul 10, 2020, 10:05 am CDT
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Pixel 5 and 4a 5G clues release Google’s next big switch

Code from the latest iteration of the Google Search app showed a couple of clues for the future of the Pixel smartphone lineup. In said code, a line of Google Pixel devices can be seen, from Pixel 4 all the way to Pixel 5. In the list is also the device called Pixel 4 XL, as well as the midrange (not quite public just yet) Pixel 4a. Then there’s another Pixel 4a, this time with 5G attached to the nomenclature.

If we’re running with what we might’ve expected from Google given the last few years of Google Pixel smartphones, we’d expect that the Google Pixel 5 would be the first 5G Pixel smartphone, while the Google Pixel 4a would simply be an “essentials only” sort of version of the Google Pixel 4. This list, from a teardown of a Google Search app from 9to5Google, shows that there’s a distinct possibility that we’ll get two different versions of the smartphone called Google Pixel 4a.

NOTE: Imagery above comes from an early leak of the Google Pixel 5. That’s a rendering based on CAD drawings made for accessory manufacturers and suppliers.

In the list we see evidence of a big switch on Google’s part for the Pixel smartphone collection. No more XL! Instead, we see the Google Pixel 4a, a 4a version with 5G, and a Google Pixel 5. That’d indicate that Google would release the following devices here in 2020:

• Google Pixel 4a
• Google Pixel 4a (5G)
• Google Pixel 5

Google Pixel 4a, a version of the Google Pixel 4 with nothing but the most essential elements onboard. That’s similar to what Google did with the Google Pixel 3a.

Google Pixel 4a 5G, a version of the Google Pixel 4a with the same hardware save what’s required for 5G connectivity. This might mean a higher-end processor inside, but that’s not the important part. The important part is the differentiation Google would potentially make between the Pixel 4a 5G and what’d otherwise be the Pixel 5.

Google Pixel 5 might well be released in a single size, a larger size, instead of coming in regular and XL. This way, Google would be able to sell two distinctly different devices, rather than two devices that look and feel shockingly similar.

One of two would be a lesser phone (4a 5G) with a hardware body that’s not unlike whatever last year’s phone was, but parred down to make the entire package exceedingly inexpensive. The other would be the greater, the Pixel 5, with a display size that’d otherwise be considered “XL”, but is here just the standard for Google’s best-in-class smartphone of the year.

In any case, we’ll likely see a Pixel 4a in the next few weeks, then a Pixel 4a 5G and a Pixel 5 later this year. Cross your fingers we get some more wild color combinations, or at least some more extreme silicone cases at launch!


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