Over the four previous generations, we’ve got used to Google Pixel being the “best of the best.” This is because the smartphone always has advanced hardware, an excellent camera, an interesting design, and unlimited Google support. After about six months, they will show us the fifth generation of this line, but now unpleasant rumors about its specs have spread. If you believe these rumors, the new product won’t receive a top processor, as we expect. But this is not so bad. In a way, if the company does this, it will even be good. We’ll explain why.
Google Pixel 5 may cease to be the flagship
We are used to new flagship Android phones being available with the most advanced processor. This is mainly Qualcomm Snapdragon, although there are exceptions in the form of Kirin in Huawei and Exynos in Samsung. Although, for the US market, Samsung releases its flagships with Qualcomm.
Google Pixel 5, as everyone expects, should also get this processor, but there’s a chance this won’t happen, and there are several reasons for this.
The Snapdragon 865, introduced late last year, is without a doubt an excellent processor. But it has two significant drawbacks. The first is price, which directly affects final cost. The second is its architecture – the processor takes up a lot of space. If it’s a complicated design then the X55 modem is not integrated and it will have to be installed separately. This leads to more complex design and a lack of space inside the phone.
The Snapdragon 865 has modem support, but not for all networks. To not limit this, a separate X55 modem is used.
According to rumors, precisely because of these two reasons, Google doesn’t want to use the most powerful processor in its new smartphone. It’s likely that they will opt for the Snapdragon 765G. This is Qualcomm’s second most powerful processor in its current lineup. It’s weaker than the 865, but it’s much cheaper, doesn’t take up a lot of space and a 5G modem is fully integrated in it. This is Qualcomm’s first SoC chip with integrated 5G.
SoC (System on a Chip) is an electronic circuit that performs the functions of an entire device on a single board.
Saving space may seem insignificant, but it will still be important in future designs. This will allow a more spacious battery or additional sensors inside the case.
Why does the phone need a powerful processor?
There is one rule called “diminishing returns”. This means each next stage of modernization, leading to an increase in processor power, costs more than the previous one. At some point, you will have to spend a lot of money on minimal improvements. This is approximately what is happening now with flagship phones.
If the rumors are true, Google experts sat down and have considered everything and they realized they shouldn’t use advanced hardware for their smartphone for the sake of a slight increase in performance.
Few people use 100 percent of their smartphone and they most likely won’t notice the difference in performance between the flagship and a good middle-grade device. Even games, although they work better on powerful smartphones, are still optimized for the mass market of more affordable devices.
Since Google produces the software and knows all the features of Android, it has a bold trump card up its sleeve. If it’s good to optimize Android 11 specifically for the Snapdragon 765G, buyers won’t notice a difference in performance at all. But they will get a cheaper device with advanced features and many years of support.
Not a single Google Pixel model has ever worked due to brute force. The advantage was always fine-tuning. The company’s smartphones simply work and are comfortable to use. Another proof of this is the Google Pixel 3a. It doesn’t have top-end specifications, but it works perfectly without causing any discomfort. I even recommended it as a current phone to purchase but for very little money.
When will the Google Pixel 5 come out?
If, due to the coronavirus pandemic, no deadlines are postponed, we should see the new Google Pixel 5 this fall. Google Pixel 4a should appear a few months earlier. With the launch the company will once again be able to verify why they chose the processor over the 865.
If the Pixel 4a works well, it will be much easier to explain to potential buyers that they shouldn’t choose the iPhone 12 or Samsung Galaxy Note 20. By buying a Pixel they will get more for less. At the same time, a wave of criticism will happen, which is always on the price tag and battery life of Google smartphones.
How much will the new Google Pixel cost?
There are many good – I would even say excellent – smartphones. Among them are Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus, Huawei P40 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro. But they all cost more than $1,000. Even the OnePlus 8 Pro, which is out soon, will cost about $800. This is also a wonderful device, but if the Google Pixel is the same price then the choice for many will be obvious.
It seems to me that if Google doesn’t use a top-end processor, the price of its new smartphone can really be no more than $800-850. This price will be its main competitive advantage. Good support and branded Android chips will only strengthen the phone. Plus due to the current climate, people won’t want to spend a lot of money on a phone.
You might think the Pixel will just be released in two versions (expensive and cheaper), but I don’t think so. This is difficult and will only scare away the buyer. A friendlier price tag will certainly be a simpler and more effective solution. In some ways, it even resembles the early stages of the iPhone.