The Google Pixel 5s, explained

The 2020 Pixel story took an interesting turn earlier this week, with the emergence of an apparent “Pixel 5s” variant. An apparently turbocharged version of what could be one of the year’s best Android phones. The images, leaked on Twitter, show an EVT Google phone resembling a Pixel 4a with dual cameras and slimmer bezels. EVT means this is a very early device intended to iron out bugs in the Pixel’s hardware before moving onto the later stages of development. A sticker on the back of the device points to a manufacturing date of April 8. We can also tell it’s an older unit because it’s running a pre-beta version of Android 11, which in the photos is still calling itself “Android R.”

*EVT: Engineering Validation Test

Google Pixel 5s
Source: Andrew Martonik / Android Central

We’ve seen this kind of pre-production Pixel leaked before, with the Google “G” logo on the back twisted into something from an alien alphabet, and other identifying marks to thwart leakers.

The conventional wisdom when this “Google Pixel 5s” first leaked was that it could be a higher-end version of the Pixel 5, possibly with millimeter-wave 5G tech built-in. But the fact that this is an old unit, clearly running old firmware, gives us clues as to its true origins.

Another clue came to Android Central recently, as news of the Pixel 5 and 4a 5G’s arrival broke. Our sources revealed that, in fact, the names of Google’s 2020 Pixels had changed throughout 2020, as the company grappled with delays to the Pixel 4a’s rollout caused by COVID-19.

Google’s fall 2020 phones started out as Pixel 5 and Pixel 5s.

The original plan, we’re reliably informed, was for the Pixel 4a 5G (codenamed Bramble) to arrive as the Pixel 5; while the second, more premium Pixel (codenamed Redfin) would carry another name to signify its higher status. Based on the timeframe for Redfin entering the EVT stage. And the fact that this device is running old firmware, I’m pretty confident we’ve solved the riddle of the Pixel 5s. At some point the plan was for Redfin to ship as Pixel 5s — a smaller and more premium version of the base model Pixel 5 (Bramble, the phone we now know as Pixel 4a 5G).

We’re told the names for Bramble and Redfin changed multiple times throughout the phones’ development. Indeed, XDA’s Mishaal Rahman found evidence that Bramble at one point was called Pixel 4a XL.

So the timelines for both devices might’ve looked something like this:

Bramble:
Pixel 5 -> Pixel 4a XL -> Pixel 4a 5G

Redfin:
Google Pixel 5s -> Pixel 5

 

The original naming convention — Pixel 5 and Google Pixel 5s — makes more sense in the alternate-universe good timeline of 2020, where there’s no COVID and the Pixel 4a launched on-time at a jam-packed Google I/O. The 4a could enjoy a solid four months of sales before the premium Pixels arrived. But in our current, bad 2020 timeline, Pixel 4a phones are just now making their way out to customers, only three weeks before the expected arrival of the two new models.

It’s a weird year for Pixels in general, as Google hits the reset switch.

Google, understandably, might have felt that launching two phones with “5” in their name so soon after the Pixel 4a would make the latter seem unnecessarily dated.

What’s more, it’s just a weird year for Pixel hardware in general. As Google hits the reset switch on the traditional “small” plus “XL” dynamic used in every previous Pixel release cycle; and eschews a Snapdragon 800-series chip in its higher-end models. Bramble and Redfin defy Google’s usual Pixel naming conventions.

Although all three 2020 Pixels share design similarities; the internal hardware of Bramble and Redfin are close enough to basically make them two variants of the same phone — we’re expecting both to be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765G chipset, for instance.

But with its plastic body, 60Hz refresh rate and larger screen borders, Bramble also has quite a lot in common with the Pixel 4a. The naming was always going to be awkward, with Bramble straddling both Pixel 4a and Pixel 5 territory. Hence the slightly clumsy compromise name we ultimately ended up with: Pixel 4a 5G. (And as such, the Pixel 5s reverts back to just plain old Pixel 5.)

As for the Google Pixel 5s name, this week’s leak shows us that Google was, until recently; still grappling with how its new and very different lineup of phones should be presented to the world.

Comparison between Google Pixel 4a and iPhone SE

Leading smartphones have passed the $ 1,000 mark in the past few years and continue to be more expensive. However, not everyone needs or wants a maximum flagship, and consumers are clamoring for more affordable alternatives.

Surprisingly, those are the two companies well known for their overpriced flagships: Google with Pixel 4a and Apple with iPhone SE.

phone

Apple surprised everyone with the 2020 version of the iPhone SE, and while the idea of ​​an affordable Pixel isn’t new, the Pixel 4a is still one of the most anticipated smartphones in the year.

After months of rumors, leaks, and unfortunate delays, Google removed the Pixel 4a and it jumped right into the ring against the iPhone SE. How do the two compare? Let’s find out quickly about Google Pixel 4a vs iPhone SE 2020 in this article!

Design and display

Vintage chic is the best way to describe the design of the iPhone SE. It is almost identical to the iPhone three years ago. But the way things have changed since then made the iPhone SE seem old.

That is far from a bad thing though. Its small and easily pocketable footprint and physical fingerprint scanner are often more accurate than in-screen variants.

Google has a similar roadmap with Pixel 4a, but it’s not extreme. The latest affordable Pixel is leaps and bounds far more modern than its predecessor and even its top name.

phone

A front-facing camera with no bezels and no holes is a feature of the new generation Android. That said, an actual rear camera unit and physical fingerprint scanner never seen in the Android world, and the headphone jack is a welcome addition.

Design is completely subjective, depending on which one you like. While I appreciate what Apple is doing with the iPhone SE, I will give the Pixel 4a in this article.

The Pixel 4a comes with an inch bigger screen, but its overall size isn’t much bigger. On the other hand, some may prefer the metal and glass construction of the iPhone SE, compared to the polycarbonate body of the Pixel.

Both the iPhone SE and Pixel 4a come with tiny displays compared to other mid-range devices. The iPhone’s 4.7-inch HD display is particularly striking, but a Full HD screen of fewer than 6 inches on an Android center-back is also a surprise by 2020.

Finally, this is a battle of different screen technologies. The resolution doesn’t matter, but the Pixel 4a’s OLED display is one of the best we’ve seen on a device that’s affordable for a while.

Performance and battery life

Like the old iPhone SE as on the surface, it is anything but a hood. Keeping this affordable mid-ranger working is the same powerful processor found with Apple’s flagships and against the Snapdragon 865.

Apple’s excellent RAM management ensures that even 3GB of RAM you have is enough to keep things stable smoothly, and you certainly won’t get any performance complaints here.

On the other hand, Google keeps the price of Pixel 4a low by choosing the mid-range Snapdragon 730G decision. Even so, 6GB of onboard RAM and great software experience has helped the processor. And we found no hiccups or noticeable issues with everyday performance.

The iPhone SE also comes with a similar setup. A single 12 MP camera on the back and a 7MP selfie shooter. SE produces images similar to Google Pixel 3a, with blue tones in the dark. The iPhone SE certainly provides a more dynamic range than the Pixel 4a.

But that’s not always a good thing. The iPhone seems to have increased the shadow quite a lot without paying much attention to the contrast and borders, which leads to the image looking a bit blurred compared to.

Should buy iPhone SE or Google Pixel 4a?

Choosing 1 in 2 models is difficult. We are aiming to revive the compact and affordable phones. And both iPhone SE and Pixel 4a are great options for you. 

Both are in the same price range, but the Pixel has a decent price advantage. The iPhone SE offers top quality metal and glass construction, wireless charging, water-resistance, and top processor.

It is difficult to deny the value that these phones bring. But it lacks a super-bright OLED display, a headphone jack, and a better camera supposedly for the Pixel 4a.

In the end, both phones are great additions to a seriously lacking mid-range segment in the US, especially if you want a phone with a great camera at a cheap price. The final choice is up to you, be a smart user. 

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