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Updated | New Google Pixel 5 leak points to a plastic back as a headphone jack is confirmed for the Pixel 4a (5G)

The Pixel 5 will apparently have a plastic back, despite its launch price of €629. (Image source: Dave Lee)
The Pixel 5 will apparently have a plastic back, despite its launch price of €629. (Image source: Dave Lee)
The Google Pixel 5 will have a plastic back, according to YouTuber Dave Lee. The Pixel 4a (5G) will be the larger of the two models and will be the only one to feature a 3.5 mm headphone jack. Google will announce both the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a (5G) on September 30.
Update: WinFuture contradicts Dave Lee's assertion with claims of an aluminium chassis.
Alex Alderson,
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Information about the Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5 are piling up ahead of their official unveiling on September 30. This week, multiple retailer listings went live, which were then followed by the publication of near-complete spec sheets by Roland Quandt and Max Weinbach. Now, Dave Lee has published a video that reveals yet more details about the two devices. Lee has based his findings on metal blanks, which are typically used to build cases for upcoming devices. According to Lee, these blanks represent the final designs and dimensions of the Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5, so they should be early representations of what Google will announce next Wednesday.

As we have previously discussed, the Pixel 4a (5G) will be the cheaper of the two upcoming Pixel smartphones. The metal blank of the Pixel 4a (5G) is bigger than the Pixel 4Pixel 4a and the Pixel 5, indicating that it will have the largest screen of the smartphones that Google releases this year. There will only be one camera on the 5G model, but its arrangement is different than on the Pixel 4a. As the photo below shows, the camera and LED flash on the Pixel 4a (5G) will be mounted in the same positions as the spectral/flicker sensor and LED flash on the Pixel 4.

The Pixel 4a (5G) in between the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4a. (Image source: Dave Lee)
The Pixel 4a (5G) in between the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4a. (Image source: Dave Lee)

The Pixel 4a (5G) will also have a 3.5 mm jack, unlike the Pixel 5. The latter will have an additional rear-facing camera though and will see the return of the 'Pixel Imprint' fingerprint scanner. The button arrangement on the Pixel 5 will be the same as the Pixel 4, too. However, Lee suspects that the Pixel 5 will have a plastic back. Lee explains that the back of the Pixel 5 metal blank has a similar curvature to Pixel 4a retail units, which would apparently be difficult to achieve with glass. Lee presumes that the Pixel 4a (5G) will have a plastic back panel, also.

So, Google's €629 and Snapdragon 765G-powered smartphone may also have the same build quality as its cheaper Pixel 4a series. If you were in any doubt about the Pixel 5 being a less premium device than the Pixel 4 series, then the inclusion of a plastic back of more or less confirms that.

Update - 09/23/2020

Roland Quandt and WinFuture claim that the Pixel 5 will have a 100% recycled aluminium housing, not a plastic one. The Pixel 5 will supposedly support wireless charging, so it is unclear how Google will combine a metal chassis with wireless charging. 

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Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - Senior Tech Writer - 3621 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2018
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.
contact me via: @aldersonaj
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 09 > New Google Pixel 5 leak points to a plastic back as a headphone jack is confirmed for the Pixel 4a (5G)
Alex Alderson, 2020-09-23 (Update: 2020-09-23)