• Google will host a virtual press event on Wednesday to unveil the Pixel 5, the new Chromecast, and other Nest hardware.
  • Several products leaked online before the event, including the upcoming Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G.
  • A last-minute Pixel 5 leak shows the design of the handset, further confirming all the Pixel 5 rumors from the past few weeks.

Like every fall, Google is about to take the stage on Wednesday to unveil its next-generation of Pixel and Nest/Home products. But unlike other “Made by Google” hardware events, this press conference is taking place during the massive coronavirus pandemic. That means we’re looking at a virtual presentation that will take place online, lacking an in-person audience. Google is also going to announce a first-of-its-kind Pixel flagship phone. Pixel 5 is the first significant Pixel device to be unveiled in the fall without being a true flagship device. The phone is supposed to feature premium design, but the chip that powers it will just not cut it. The phone will be slightly faster or slower than the Pixel 4, so that’s hardly an upgrade. Still, the Pixel 5G, and especially the Pixel 4a 5G version, might be the kind of mid-rangers running a pure version of Android that some fans need this year.

The pandemic ignited a socio-economic crisis that’s far from over, and many won’t be able to purchase the phone upgrades they may have wanted. That’s where affordable phones can help, and Google’s Pixel 4a, 4a 5G, and Pixel 5 can help. Then again, Google decided on what kind of Pixel experience it will offer buyers well ahead of the coronavirus reaching pandemic levels, as the first rumors detailing the Pixel 5 mid-range chip came very early this year. As we explained before, the best explanation for Google’s decision is the higher cost of 5G components, including the Snapdragon 865 chip and the additional 5G modem that everyone else is using.

Another significant hardware compromise concerns biometrics authentication. But, depending on how you look at things, that’s also an upgrade. Using 3D face authentication is impossible with a face mask on, so you’ll need to input a PIN or password on your iPhone or Pixel 4 phone.

The Pixel 5 has ditched the 3D face recognition feature and the sophisticated Project Soli radar that Google unveiled with last year’s Pixel 5. Instead, users will get a rear-facing fingerprint sensor. The removal of the bulky Soli components also allowed Google to offer a much better Pixel 5 design. We’re looking at an all-screen design with a hole-punch camera that resembles pretty much every high-end phone out there.

Also on the back, there’s a dual-lens camera shooter that will also feel very familiar.

We’ve heard these rumors repeatedly, and we saw plenty of leaks to confirm them, including a now-deleted tweet from Google Japan that showed the phone design and listed its starting price for the nation.

That’s why the images above, posted on Jon Prosser’s Twitter account, are hardly surprising. That’s an actual Pixel 5 spotted in the wild, ahead of Wednesday’s Google event.
The “Launch Night In” event starts at 11 AM PST, and will stream online on YouTube:

Chris Smith started writing about gadgets as a hobby, and before he knew it he was sharing his views on tech stuff with readers around the world. Whenever he's not writing about gadgets he miserably fails to stay away from them, although he desperately tries. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.