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.

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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> 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)
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam - News Editor - 1286 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2012
I am a cell and molecular biologist and computers have been an integral part of my life ever since I laid my hands on my first PC which was based on an Intel Celeron 266 MHz processor, 16 MB RAM and a modest 2 GB hard disk. Since then, I’ve seen my passion for technology evolve with the times. From traditional floppy based storage and running DOS commands for every other task, to the connected cloud and shared social experiences we take for granted today, I consider myself fortunate to have witnessed a sea change in the technology landscape. I honestly feel that the best is yet to come, when things like AI and cloud computing mature further. When I am not out finding the next big cure for cancer, I read and write about a lot of technology related stuff or go about ripping and re-assembling PCs and laptops.