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No more flagship Pixels: Google Pixel 5 and Pixel 5 XL rumored to be powered by the Snapdragon 765G 5G

(Image Source: Jon Prosser, Front Page Tech)
(Image Source: Jon Prosser, Front Page Tech)
The upcoming Google Pixel 5 and Pixel 5 XL may not be flagship phones, if a recent teardown of a pre-release version of the Google Camera app for the Pixel 4a is any indication. The Pixel 5 and Pixel 5 XL are likely to be powered by the Snapdragon 765G and could be the beginning of Google's new strategy to focus on bringing more premium features to the upper-midrange segment rather than deploying the fastest SoC available.
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With all the Pixel 4a rumors around, we haven't heard much about the Pixel 5 save for a few renders. While the Pixel 4a isn't exactly expected to turn heads, the Pixel 5 may lead to further disappointment and, for the first time, could mark Google's departure from offering flagship phones.

This information about the Pixel 5 comes via a pre-release version of the Google Camera app from a prototype Pixel 4a that has been passed on to 9to5Google by TecnoLike Plus. A teardown of the app indicates a telephoto capability for the Pixel 4a and describes the phone as "photo_pixel_2020_midrange_config" confirming that the Pixel 4a is a midrange phone as expected. Another reference in the app named "photo_pixel_2020_config" points towards the upcoming Pixel 5, which is also expected to feature a telephoto lens. 

The Google Camera teardown also indicates another possibility — Google may stop offering flagship Pixel phones starting with the Pixel 5 series. @Cstark_27, a modder and expert on the underpinnings of the Google Camera app, confirmed the presence of codenames "Bramble" and "Redfin" in the app — Bramble and Redfin have been associated with the Pixel 5 purported to be powered by the Snapdragon 765G 5G.

The indication of Bramble and Redfin as the main Pixel phones seems to strongly suggest that the Pixel 5 and Pixel 5 XL will be a departure from Google's tradition of featuring flagship SoCs for its main Pixel lineup. 

Why Google would want to stop offering flagships is anybody's guess at this point. One possible explanation could be to bring some added panache to the upper-midrange segment given that other OEMs have fully loaded flagships that cross the US$1,000 mark. While the Google Pixel 4 does have niceties such as the Soli radar, geographical restrictions meant limited success for this tech.

Another possible reason could be that the stock Android version that Google offers in the Pixel phones is well-optimized so Google really needn't give it a ton of muscle power. Instead, the company can focus more on features such a much improved camera, a long battery life, and an overall well-rounder smartphone experience. 

What are your thoughts on Google not likely to offer a true flagship Pixel 5? Let us know in the comments below. 

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Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam - Managing Editor - 1355 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2012
Though a cell and molecular biologist by training, I have been drawn towards computers from a very young age ever since I got my first PC in 1998. My passion for technology grew quite exponentially with the times, and it has been an incredible experience from being a much solicited source for tech advice and troubleshooting among family and friends to joining Notebookcheck in 2017 as a professional tech journalist. Now, I am a Lead Editor at Notebookcheck covering news and reviews encompassing a wide gamut of the technology landscape for Indian and global audiences. When I am not hunting for the next big story or taking complex measurements for reviews, you can find me unwinding to a nice read, listening to some soulful music, or trying out a new game.
contact me via: @Geeky_Vaidy
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 03 > No more flagship Pixels: Google Pixel 5 and Pixel 5 XL rumored to be powered by the Snapdragon 765G 5G
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2020-03-15 (Update: 2020-03-15)