Google Pixel 5 more budget friendly than predecessors

2 October 2020   By Dr Lucy Brown, Editor

Google Pixel 5 handset will cost £599 and will release on 15 October 2020, with pre-orders already available.

Some technical specs of the Pixel 5 are lower than its predecessors, including the removal of face-unlock sensors and a smaller screen than previous Pixel phones.

There is also no XL model this time around, so customers choosing the Pixel 5 will only have the standard option available.

At the same time, Google announced an upgraded Pixel 4a which comes with 5G capabilities and will retail in the UK for £499.

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Budget friendly

The Google Pixel 5 will cost £599 at launch compared to the £669 starting price for the Pixel 4 and £829 for the Pixel 4 XL when they were launched in October 2019.

There are no storage expansion options with the Pixel 5 - it comes with 128GB as standard - and several technical features have been downgraded from the Pixel 4.

For instance, the chip is the slightly slower Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G which marks a downgrade from the 855 (and the 845 used in the 3 and 3 XL models), although Google doesn't believe users will notice the difference.

Gesture control and face-unlock have been removed, but the Pixel 5 has 8GB of RAM compared to the 6GB offered on the Pixel 4 and allows both fast wireless charging and reverse wireless charging to allow users to charge another device.

There have also been minor adjustments to the camera, and the battery is larger than either the 4 or the 4 XL offered.

Mid-range model

This latest Google Pixel device bucks the trend for flagship devices to be bigger, faster and more expensive every year.

For example, when the Apple iPhone 11 launched in September 2019, both the Pro and the Max models broke the £1,000 barrier, with the basic model priced from £729.

Google say they designed the Pixel 5 as a device able to sell during an economic downturn, something they anticipated even before the coronavirus crisis.

It isn't a device bursting with fresh features, yet it comes with Google's stock Android experience which ensures customers receive updates directly from Google as soon as they're rolled out.

This has long been a reason to choose Google Pixel instead of other Android devices, although it remains to be seen whether it's a strong enough temptation to lure customers away from the higher-spec phones offered by Samsung and other manufacturers.

Google Pixel 4a 5G

While there isn't going to be a Pixel 5 XL, Google did announce an upgrade to their Pixel 4a which adds 5G functionality.

It will be released on 19 November 2020, just over a month after the original non-5G Pixel 4a goes on sale in the UK.

The device was originally expected to be unveiled in May 2020 in the same way the 3a and 3a XL were in May 2019.

Yet the launch event was cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis and there has been speculation that Google didn't want to release a new handset at the height of the outbreak when many people were being told to stay home.

Some of the specs of the 4a 5G are on a par with the new Pixel 5, including the use of the same Snapdragon 765G processor, 128GB storage as standard and the fingerprint sensor instead of facial recognition.

However, the battery is smaller, and the 4a 5G doesn't allow for wireless charging or reverse wireless charging.

For customers looking for a mid range 5G-capable phone, though, the Pixel 4a 5G may be the ideal solution when it's launched next month.

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