Google’s 2020 hardware strategy is, to put it frankly, getting weird. The expected launch of the Pixel 4a at Google I/O had to be postponed after the event was cancelled, and with the launch of the Pixel 5 looming, a new leak has shown the Pixel 2020 line-up could be getting weirder. 

Instead of going down the expected path of announcing four Pixel phones this year, Google will apparently be only releasing three phones this year and to be frank, it’s a little bit confusing.

A teardown of the Google Search app (Beta) by 9to5Google has shown strings for only three Pixel phones, codenamed Sunfish, Redfin and Bramble – Google has always had a penchant for using fish as their phone codenames. The phones will be the Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a (5G) and the Pixel 5 (yep, there’s no Pixel 5 XL this year). 

The internal specs for the phones are rumoured to see the Pixel 4a launching with a Snapdragon 730 processor, while the Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5 will launch with a Snapdragon 765 processor. 

The phones will be split with materials as well as specs, with the Pixel 4a looking set to be a budget option with a single rear camera, plastic body which includes a headphone jack and a ‘small’ 5.8-inch display. The Pixel 4a (5G) will likewise have a plastic body and headphone jack, but will get a dual rear camera array. 9to5Google have also speculate that this phone will have the largest screen size of all three phones. 

This is most likely the Pixel 4a (5G)

The Pixel 5 will be the premium model, though reliable rumours on the specs are scant. The Pixel 5 could possibly be getting a 120Hz display with wireless charging including reverse wireless charging to top up your accessories, though with the woeful battery life on the Pixel 4, I’m hoping they amp up that spec. 

One notable difference across all three renders is the inclusion of a fingerprint sensor. Google dropped the fingerprint sensor in favour of face recognition technology which included an IR camera for mapping a users face on the Pixel 4/4 XL last year. The inclusion of a number of other sensors including their ‘Soli’ gesture chip, meant the phone sported a large ‘forehead’. The Soli feature was rumoured to be dropped and the renders showing a small punchhole notch in the Pixel 5 and no ‘forehead’ also don’t look good for the return of facial recognition, at least with IR facial mapping.

There’s not a lot to do for now but speculate until Google officially unveils the new Pixel phones, and that’s the big question at the moment: When will Google launch the phone(s) and also now the leaked smart speaker and whatever other hardware they have planned? 

After Google I/O was cancelled, the most recent rumour points to July 13th, so it’s possible we’ll see some sort of launch on Tuesday morning (Australian time) .It is also possible Google is holding off launching everything until their annual ‘Made by Google’ event which is generally held at the beginning of October. In the current climate, there’s really no telling what’s going to happen, but we’ll see what Google has to say on Tuesday morning.