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Behold: This is our first look at the Google Pixel 5 XL

Published Feb 14th, 2020 9:36AM EST
Pixel 5 XL Release Date
Image: Zach Epstein for BGR

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Valentine’s Day 2020 will be remembered in the tech world as the day when Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip went on sale, and the new foldable sold out quickly. That’s not surprising given the fact that the clamshell handset is more affordable than alternatives, and it happens to be the world’s first phone to ship with bendable glass on top of the OLED screen. But February 14th, 2020 will also be remembered as the day we got our first look at a phone that’s not supposed to launch for another eight months. That’s the Pixel 5, which should be unveiled in October during a “Made by Google” hardware event, and it’ll be released in stores soon after that. The render below officially marks the start of the Pixel 5 leak season, and from the looks of it, Android fans have a very exciting new phone to look forward to.

Google has never been able to keep its phones under wraps, and that includes not only all the Pixels so far, but also the Nexus series that preceded them. The Pixel 3 and 4 were easily the worst kept secrets in mobile, with the Pixel 4 (image above) likely taking the crown. That’s because Google actually confirmed the phone’s design well before launching the phone — that included the rear dual-lens camera, the 3D face recognition system on the front, and the new Soli radar chip. That helped us easily confirm all the Pixel 4 leaks that followed, leaks that ruined all of the phone’s hidden secrets.

This brings us to YouTuber Jon Prosser, who said a few days ago that he obtained CAD files for the Pixel 5 that would be used to create the first Pixel 5 renders. He then shared those images online on Friday, including them in his daily FrontPageTech segment on YouTube.

Here’s what the Pixel 5 XL looks like, according to Prosser’s sources:

Image source: YouTube

Google proved years ago that it was willing to follow Apple’s lead when it comes to manufacturing smartphones. The original Pixel looked exactly like the latest iPhone, and then Google copied Apple’s various other moves in the years that followed. The company axed the 3.5mm headphone jack after Apple, added a notch to the Pixel 3 even though its notch had no functional 3D face recognition components, and then it copied Face ID while ruining the Pixel 4’s design in the process. Add to that the camera design on the Pixel 4’s back that looks a lot like the iPhone 11, and you have a clear image of Google’s modus operandi for Pixel phone designs.

With all that in mind, the Pixel 5 design doesn’t come as much of a. The iPhone 12 is supposed to get a major redesign this year, but it’ll keep the display notch and the multi-lens camera bumps on the back. The Pixel 5 will still have a “forehead” at the top according to Prosser, but it will be smaller than the Pixel 4’s top bezel. That means Google isn’t about to ditch the Soli radar or its Face unlock feature anytime soon.

The YouTuber only showed the back of the Pixel 5 in his leak, and it includes a strange camera design. It looks monstrous, yes, but it ultimately won’t matter what Google does with the camera module as long as the Pixel 5 takes better photos than ever. According to Prosser, the back of the Pixel 5 has a similar texture to the previous models, including a “soft matte glass back with a glossy camera module.” The third lens inside that camera array is supposed to be a wide-angle sensor.

In addition to the design above, Google is supposedly working on two additional Pixel 5 prototypes, both of which feature square camera modules on the back like the Pixel 4. Google will settle on a final design for the Pixel 5 in the coming months, and we can expect that finished design to promptly leak.

The full FrontPageTech video follows below:

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.