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Google leaked the names of all three Pixel phones coming in 2020

Published Jul 10th, 2020 3:43PM EDT
Pixel 5 Release Date
Image: Zach Epstein for BGR
  • The Pixel 5’s release date is several months away, but Google has apparently leaked all the official product names of this year’s Pixel series.
  • Google will bring three Pixel phones to market this year: Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a (5G), and Pixel 5.
  • A beta version of the Google Search app mentioned all three 2020 Pixel models. Sadly, it’s not exactly the good news Pixel fans wanted to hear.

It’s been a disappointing year for Pixel fans, and things aren’t necessarily looking up. Google delayed the Pixel 4a release, and the Pixel 5 is rumored to be a mid-range device that would still have a premium price. Several reports said Google went with a cheaper Snapdragon 5G processor than the one everybody else is using, so the Pixel 5 won’t be able to match the performance of phones like the Galaxy S20, Note 20, OnePlus 8, and every other device that ships with the Snapdragon 865 chip inside.

The thing about Pixel rumors is that they usually turn out to be accurate, as Google can’t keep a lid on its Pixel plans. If anything, the best Pixel rumor this year concerns a Google phone of the distant future, which see Google bring its own processor to the Pixel series. Getting back to Google’s 2020 plans, though, Google seems to have accidentally leaked the names of its 2020 Pixel phones. And the news isn’t what we were expecting.

Rather than using just fish-based codenames for its unreleased Pixel devices, Google used the actual names of the phones in the latest beta version of the Google Search app, which 9to5Google saw.

Previous reports said Google was working on three devices for 2020, as three fish names were spotted in previous code leaks. This time around, those codenames were associated with upcoming Pixel hardware.

Redfin and Bramble are both supposed to be based on the Snapdragon 765G processor that comes with a built-in 5G model. 9to5Google believed these were the Pixel 5 and Pixel 5 XL, respectively. However, the Google app indicates that Bramble is a Pixel 4a (5G), not the Pixel 5 XL. The code also lists the Pixel 4a and Pixel 5 product names that correspond to the two phones we were actually expecting to see from Google.

Pixel 5 Leaks
Screenshots shows purported Google Search app code that lists three Pixel phone names: Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a (5G), and Pixel 5. Image source: 9to5Google

What’s interesting is that several rumors claimed the Pixel 4a would come in one size this year and that there wouldn’t be an XL version, as was the case with the Pixel 3a. The Pixel 4a (5G) doesn’t necessarily have to be larger, but the 5G phone will definitely be more expensive given that it will have 5G support.

The bad news is that there doesn’t seem to be a Pixel 5 XL in the works for 2020. If you prefer big phones, you might be out of luck. Then again, there’s no indication that the Pixel 5 will be the same size as the Pixel 4a (5G).

What seems to be clear so far is that both of these devices will rock the same Snapdragon 765G processor complete with a built-in 5G modem. Google will have to differentiate them somehow. 9to5Google speculates that the Pixel 5 will feature a better build quality than the Pixel 4a (5G) and that it will feel more premium than the cheaper model. That certainly makes sense. There will likely be other differences between the handsets as well, including the presence or absence of the headphone jack and 3D face recognition. Also, Pixel 5 could have a better camera than the Pixel 4a phones. But that’s all speculation at this point.

It’s always possible that Google is looking to mislead fans who hunt for clues in its Android apps. But, again, Pixel rumors usually come true, and Google is pretty terrible at keeping new hardware secret.

With all that in mind, we still have no idea when Google will launch its 2020 Pixel phones. The Pixel 4a should already be here, but the novel coronavirus affected Google’s plans. The Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5 may be revealed in October if nothing else happens. Whatever the case, none of these phones appear to be true flagships, and there’s no way to spin Google’s decision to pick the Snapdragon 765G for the Pixel line.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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