The Pixel 5 ended up exactly like what leaks have pointed out, a mid-range phone despite having no “a” to its name. Unsurprisingly, the phone didn’t have one of its predecessor’s most criticized feature, Motion Gestures powered by Project Soli. It seems, however, that it isn’t the only thing that’s missing but it’s also no surprise to hear that the processor that powers it was also removed from the phone as well.
Motion gestures may have sounded a bit fancy, almost Jedi-like in theory but Google’s implementation left much to be desired. The Project Soli radar’s best use was actually just presence detection but it meant that users were paying more in both cost and bezel for something they will not use most of the time.
Given that Google was aiming for a very affordable price point compared to the Pixel 4, it was not really surprising that Project Soli was shown the door. It wasn’t the only piece of hardware that was left out, though.
Nowhere to be seen, at least on specs list, is the Nueral Core chip that was present on the Pixel 4. This chip, which evolved from the Pixel Visual Core, is employed in many image-related data processing, from IR face unlock to photography. Given the absence of Project Soli, it’s not surprising that Google shaved off a few dollars by also skipping this chip. Whether the Pixel 5’s Snapdragon 765G and software will be enough to make up for its absence when it comes to photography, however, we’ll have to wait and literally see.
That said, Google also told The Verge that Project Soli and Motion gestures will return in the future. That may or may not be reassuring for Pixel fans who are glad that they are gone but, then again, Google never said on what device they’d be returning to.