Google has finally officially revealed the Pixel 5 on the virtual stage at its "Launch Night In" event today and the leaks were dead on with this one. Google's new flagship represents a change in direction for the Pixel with a lower $699 price. While some corners were cut on the specs to make that happen, Google is depending on its software to make up the difference.
The end result is a phone with some flagship specs, like 5G support and a higher 90Hz refresh rate display, but a processor that is a step down from what the top options on the market offer and a more limited collection of cameras than what you'll find on the best from Samsung or Apple.
Another sacrifice is the facial recognition found in the Pixel 4. Google has brought the fingerprint sensor back to the rear of the Pixel 5. While this may not feel as futuristic as the in-display or facial recognition, there are plenty of users that haven't been thrilled with the performance of either of those options, so this may be a welcome regression for some.
No longer needing the large sensor array on the front for facial recognition, Google has moved to a hole-punch 8MP front-facing camera in the upper-left corner of the display.
The display itself is a 6-inch OLED panel with an FHD+ resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate.
The rear cameras are a 12.2MP f/1.7 standard lens and a 16MP f/2.2 ultrawide. Google is taking video more seriously with the Pixel 5 by introducing a number of new stabilization modes. Locked, active, and cinematic pan will look to deliver superior results for your home videos based on techniques that Google observed on YouTube.
Internally, the Pixel 5 is running a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G SoC with 8GB of RAM. It's a step down from the Snapdragon 865 and Snapdragon 865+ found in most other Android flagships this year, but should still deliver enough for most users. We'll hold judgment on this until we've had an opportunity to test it ourselves.
Internal storage is 128GB and there is no option to upgrade.
Battery life should finally be solved with the Pixel 5 with a 4,000 mAh battery and you can charge it up via wireless charging or share your extra battery with other devices using reverse wireless charging.
You can pre-order the Pixel 5 starting today and it will ship in early November.
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Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more. Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.