Google is designing the Pixel 5 with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765G, according to 9to5Google. It appears that a pre-release version of the Google Camera app, obtained by TecnoLike Plus, labels key details such as the codenames for two models and the chipset inside. Leading up to this, high-end Pixel phones shipped with a Snapdragon 800 series chipset. Yet that might end in late 2020 as Google considers a more efficient option.
Known as ‘Redfin’ and ‘Bramble’ internally, the Pixel 5 and the Pixel 5 XL are likely to ship with a chipset that falls short of the Snapdragon 865 by as much as 50% on Geekbench. Still, the Pixel 5 should support 5G connectivity. It’s just that power users in need of uncompromised speed and reliability might find themselves unhappy that Google wants to shift away from Qualcomm’s best chipset.
In spite of losing some performance, this transition to something like the Snapdragon 765G could allow the Pixel 5’s battery life to last a lot longer. Qualcomm develops the Snapdragon 700 series to offer modest speed, some premium features, and efficiency. So the Pixel 5 might not win on paper, but it could focus on the capabilities that matter most to consumers while sporting a lower price tag than other flagships.
Google sells the Pixel 3a for $399, and the still-unofficial Pixel 4a appears set to match that. How much could the Pixel 5 cost? That’s difficult to say due to lacking information, but it might start at $699 or $799 rather than $899 like the Pixel 4. It’d be refreshing to see a flagship not approach or eclipse $1,000 after sales tax.
Sales of Google’s cutting-edge Pixel phones aren’t amazing, and the Pixel 3a showed there’s plenty of interest in affordable, mid-range devices. Knowing that, it would be wise for Google to reduce its costs to manufacture future Pixel phones and thus offer a more attractive starting price.
Google might roll out an in-house co-chipset, too. In the past, the Mountain View-based company introduced the Pixel Visual Core and the Titan M. Both chips enhance features on Pixel phones. With the Pixel 5, the Snapdragon 765G could hand off some duties to a co-chipset that ensures performance remains in-line with pricier flagships.
Expect the Pixel 5 to go official this fall. Google often announces a fresh lineup of hardware in mid-to-late October, and the Pixel 5 should find itself joined by several other products. Since we’re still more than six months away from an official announcement, Google and its hardware engineers could introduce major tweaks to this flagship. It could get paired with low-end and top-tier siblings, or Google could reverse the rumored decision and reinsert of high-end chipset once again. Now it’s back to the waiting game to see what Google ultimately does with the Pixel 5.