Google may have only just officially revealed the Pixel 4a to us
today, but that hasn’t stopped it from scooping its own fall Pixel announcements with some teasers about what’s to come. Coming later in 2020 will be Google’s first 5G phones, the Pixel 5 and the Pixel 4a 5G.
Now, Google isn’t entirely stupid: it isn’t giving the full game away at this early stage. Details about the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 with 5G are still in short supply, with the company only really saying that they will indeed be compatible with fifth-generation mobile networks.
They’ll go on sale in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, and Australia, too. That should give you an idea of which networks will be supported, though it’s not been confirmed whether they’ll have things like mmWave support, or be Sub-6 only. “5G service not available on all carrier networks or in all areas,” Google’s fine-print makes clear.
Certainly, there’s potential there for further definition between the Pixel 5 and the Pixel 4a 5G. Google could opt to use Sub-6 only for the Pixel 4a 5G, which will be the more affordable of the two at $499. That would count it out of Verizon’s UltraWideband network, but also help keep the cost down and leave space for the Pixel 5 to offer “full” 5G support across the US carriers.
As for what else the Pixel 4a 5G will have, the Pixel 4a finally announced today is probably a good indicator. That means the 12-megapixel camera of the Pixel 4, together with a chipset from Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 700-series inside. Google paired the Snapdragon 730G with a healthy 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, plus a 5.81-inch OLED screen and a punch-hole camera. With the exception of the processor – since the Snapdragon 730G doesn’t support 5G, so Google could either switch to the Snapdragon 765G or even the Snapdragon 690, both of which do – much is likely to stay the same on that front.
For the Pixel 5, so far all we have are rumors. Chatter has suggested there’ll be just one version – rather than the regular and “XL” versions that we’ve seen Google adopt so far – with the Pixel 4a 5G effectively stepping in to replace the Pixel 4. That would leave the way clear for the Pixel 5 to be the Pixel 4 XL replacement as Google’s flagship, with a bigger display and at least two cameras on the rear. If the Pixel 4a 5G gets the Snapdragon 690, the Pixel 5 could even use the Snapdragon 765G and avoid the extra expense of something like the Snapdragon 865.
Plenty left to be answered, then, though enough to possibly overshadow Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20 launch this week and pave the way for a good “Android vs iOS” argument when Apple announces the new iPhone 12 later in the year.