Google has announced the new Pixel 5, its first 5G smartphone and an upgrade on the year-old Pixel 4.
For the first time, there is just one version of this year's flagship Pixel, instead of the normal two-pronged offering of a smaller Pixel and larger Pixel XL. At 6.0 inches, the new Pixel 5 fits somewhere between the 5.7 inch Pixel 4 and 6.3 inch Pixel 4 XL.
Google also used its 'Launch Night In' event on September 30 to announce the Pixel 4a 5G which is, unsurprisingly, a new 5G version of the company's entry-level phone, the Pixel 4a.
The event also saw the launch of a new smart speaker called the Nest Audio, and a new version of Google's Chromecast TV and movie streaming stick, which now comes with a remote for the first time, plus the company's revamped Google TV software, formerly Android TV.
Here is how the newly announced Google Pixel 5 compares to its Pixel 4 predecessor.
Google Pixel 5 vs Pixel 4: Display, design and hardware
The biggest difference between the two handsets is how the new Pixel 5 has a hole-punch front camera. This means the bezel area above the display has shrunk markedly and is now a uniform size around the perimeter of the screen.
For us, this is an improvement over the Pixel 4, whose front-facing camera, Soli radar sensor and speaker took away valuable screen real estate. The Samsung-style hole-punch camera means the Pixel 5 can have a larger screen without being a bigger phone.
The new Pixel 5 and larger Pixel 4a 5GGoogle
What's also interesting here is how the Pixel 5 says so long to the Soli radar system and Motion Sense technology of the Pixel 4, which worked in a similar way to Apple's Face ID, unlocking the phone when the owner's face was recognized. For the Pixel 5, Google has gone back to the circular, rear-mounted fingerprint reader of earlier Pixel phones; Google calls its fingerprint technology Pixel Imprint.
The 6.0-inch, OLED display of the Pixel 5 has a resolution of 2340 x 1080, compared to 2280 x 1080 for the Pixel 4. Both phone have the same 90Hz refresh rate.
As for dimensions, the Pixel 5 measures 144.7 x 70.4 x 8.0mm, and it weighs 151g. This compares to the Pixel 4, which is 147.1 x 68.8 x 8.2mm and weighs 162g.
Google Pixel 5 vs Pixel 4: Cameras
With its Pixel range, Google has always produced some of the best cameras of any smartphones. This is largely down to the company's computational photography expertise, and it's a familiar story with the new Pixel 5, which only represents a minor hardware upgrade over its predecessor.
The Pixel 5 has a 12-megapixel dual-pixel main image sensor with an f/1.7 aperture, alongside a 16MP ultrawide sensor with an aperture of f/2.2. On paper this sounds very similar to the camera system of the Pixel 4, but Google has added some new computational photography feature to the 5.
The Pixel 5 is priced at $699Google
These include adding the company's hugely impressive Night Sight low-light photography mode to the camera's portrait mode, plus three new digital stabilization functions, helping users to take sharper images at night, and smoother, cinematic video during the day. We will be interested to see which, if any, of these new features also come to the Pixel 4 via a software update.
Meanwhile, the front camera of the Pixel 5 has an 8MP sensor, an f/2.0 aperture and a field of view of 83 degrees. This is the same resolution and aperture as the front camera of the Pixel 4, but the older phone has a slightly wider 90 degree field of view. This shouldn't make too much difference, and we imagine is due to Google shifting to the hole-punch design of the new Pixel's front camera.
When it comes to shooting video, the Pixel 5's rear camera can handle up to 4K resolution at 60 frames per second, while the Pixel 4 is limited to 30FPS at 4K resolution. Both phones can manage 1080 Full HD at 120FPS, but the Pixel 5 can also slow Full HD right down to 240FPS, whereas the Pixel 4 cannot.
Rear of the new Pixel 5 (left) and older Pixel 4 (right)Google
Google Pixel 5 vs Pixel 4: Specifications
The new Pixel 5 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G octa-core processor with 8GB of RAM; this is not Qualcomm's most powerful processor for 2020, but that is reflected in the new Pixel's price, and Google's historical reluctance to directly take on Samsung and Apple when it comes to spec sheet bragging rights.
The Pixel 4 uses the older, less potent Snapdragon 855 processor, also octa-core, and has 25 percent less RAM, at 6GB. Both phones are offered with 128GB of storage, however a cheaper version of the Pixel 4 had 64GB. To keep things simple, there is just one model of Pixel 5.
Despite being physically smaller, the new Pixel 5 has a larger battery capacity than even the Pixel 4XL from last year, at 4,000 mAh compared to 3,700 mAH (and just 2,800 mAh for the Pixel 4). We are very pleased to see this, and hope the extra capacity will help improve battery life, which is something the Pixel 4 struggled with.
Both the Pixel 4 and 5 have wireless charging, but new for the Pixel 4 is reverse wireless charging. This means a QI-compatible device, like the wireless charging case of a pair of earphones, can be placed on the back of the Pixel 5, drawing energy to recharging its own battery.
Speaking of battery life, Google has given the Pixel 5 a new Extreme Battery Saver mode which, when activated, is claimed to provide up to 48 hours of battery life.
Google Pixel 5 vs Pixel 4: Price, storage and color options
The Pixel 5 is available with 128GB of storage and is priced at $699, which is $100 less than than launch price of the Pixel 4.
The Pixel 5 can be pre-ordered now and ships from October 15. Color options for the Pixel 5 are 'Just Black' and 'Sorta Sage' (also known as pale green).