Today, at its ‘Launch Night In’ event, Google unveiled the details of its new Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 devices.
Pixel 4a 5G
The Pixel 4a 5G is, as its name suggests, a 5G variant of the budget-friendly phone released last autumn. But it’s not just an improved cellular modem that’s been added to the 5G variant.
The Pixel 4A now has a larger OLED screen — 6.2” over the 5.8” on the 4a — as well as a slightly faster Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor (compared to the 730g found in the 4a). All of these upgrades together have increased the starting price of the 5G variant to $499, $150 more expensive than the base Pixel 4a at launch.
Compared to the improvements the Pixel 4 brought over the Pixel 3, the Pixel 5 feels like a much smaller update. While the specifications haven’t improved dramatically, Google has added a number of new and improved features, particularly in regards to the camera software.
Starting with internals, the Pixel 5 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor with an X52 5G modem that supports both sub-6GHz and mmWave 5G. This is a bit of an interesting move as more flagship devices are beginning to use the Snapdragon 865 or 865 Plus, but using a slightly older chipset means the price of the Pixel can keep it below more top-tier Android devices.
The Pixel 5 features 8GB of RAM, starts with 128GB of internal storage, uses a 4080mAh battery. Other notable details include reverse wireless charging, IPX8 water-resistance and the newest version of Corning Gorilla Glass.
The 6” screen is a 2340 x 1080 OLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate and 19.5:9 aspect ratio. Although it retains the 8MP hole-punch front-facing camera, the lack of the Motion Sense array means the screen now stretches the full width of the device.
As for cameras, the Pixel 5 has an optically-stabilized 12.2MP main camera with a 77-degree field-of-view (FOV) as well as a 16MP ultrawide that covers a 107-degree FOV. To make the most of the humble hardware, Google is, as it has for years, relying on its software to get the best image quality possible.
New shooting modes include the inclusion of a Night Sight Portrait mode, improved HDR+ capture and a new AI-powered Portrait Lighting mode that will automatically adjust the lighting on subjects captured in Portrait mode. Also new are three new image stabilization modes: Locked, Active and Cinematic Pan. The new Cinematic Pan setting is designed specifically for capturing gimbal-like footage, complete with slow-motion capture.
The Pixel 5 will be available on October 15 through Google Fi, Verizon and unlocked starting at $699 for the 128GB version — a $100 drop from the $799 the Pixel 4 retailed for at launch. AT&T will also offer the Pixel 5 later this autumn. Pre-orders are available starting today.