Pixel 5 unmasked: Google brings a feature we all want …but a design we really don’t

This could be our very first look at the next flagship smartphone from Google, Pixel 5. According to prominent YouTube star Jon Prosser, this is one of the industrial designs being considered by the Pixel hardware team inside Google for the next flagship.

Prosser and the team working on the YouTube channel Front Page Tech have obtained a CAD model for the Pixel 5. CAD models are used during the manufacturing process and reveal the shape and dimensions of the design. These can be shared with trusted third parties to allow companies to begin designing cases and other accessories, so there is a choice for customers when the phone launches… something that would otherwise take months.

CAD model leaks are typically much more accurate than three-dimensional models or artists impressions based on hearsay and vague descriptions from sources inside the factories. Prosser and team created a high-resolution render based on the CAD model to bring the phone to life.

And it looks, well, “unique” is probably the kindest way to put it. Google’s critically lauded Pixel smartphone series has always struggled with its design. None of the previous four flagships have really wow-ed out of the box. Instead, the handsets have gained a huge amount of traction thanks to the unlimited high-resolution photo storage in Google Photos, the industry-leading smartphone camera that pioneered features like Night Sight and Astrophotography, as well as the latest Android operating system updates before rival manufacturers, like Samsung, LG and Huawei, which typically drag their feet due to the sheer number of tweaks needed to the software.

And if the Pixel 5 looks anything like this first leak, it doesn’t look like the smartphone series is set to become a design-led product anytime soon.

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Thankfully, Jon Prosser claims this is one of a number of potential designs that could be picked for the next-generation flagship. Prosser claims this design is one of three, so it’s possible this particular look never materialises.

According to sources speaking to Prosser, both of the other two possible designs have a square rear-camera design – like the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. This is an increasingly common trend in smartphone design, with the latest Samsung flagships unveiled last week all sporting mammoth square camera bumps packed with three or four cameras, depending on the model.

With this Pixel 5 leak, Google seems to be investigating a rounded camera bump in the middle of the rear shell. Three cameras circle an LED flash giving the whole camera design something distinctively face-like. Like the previous Pixel model, you can expect the handset to be a mixture of matte / soft-touch and glossier glass. Google has always tried to include a two-tone element to its smartphone design since the first iteration. With the hefty camera bump on the back of the Pixel 5, it looks set to continue the trend with different treatments of glass.

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But while the design might not be to everyone’s tastes… there is a feature that will likely have Pixel fans across the world punching the air. The alleged design includes an ultra-wide camera. For some reason, Google left-out the ultra-wide from its Pixel 4 series – even after it praised the technology as “fun” on-stage before stating that telephoto lens are more useful.

While you might not disagree with that assessment, most modern smartphones have opted to include both to offer smartphone owners the choice between the different features. And now it seems Google will finally catch-up with the likes of Huawei, Samsung, and Apple.

Unfortunately, we’ve still got no clue what the front of the as-yet unannounced smartphone. However, if Google is keeping its facial recognition and gesture control system Motion Sense – we’ll likely see the same hefty bezels. Google typically holds its annual hardware event, known as Made By Google, in October each year. So, there is plenty of time for things to change. Stay tuned to Express.co.uk for all the rumours on the Pixel 5.

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