The Pixel 5 may not have the flagship processor we were expecting

Google Pixel 4 and Google Pixel 4 XL
(Image credit: Future)

Apart from the Pixel 3a mid-rangers, every time Google has pushed out a Pixel phone, it's arrived with the best available Qualcomm chip fitted inside – but there are signs that the Pixel 5 isn't going to follow that trend.

9to5Google did a bit of digging into unreleased code for the Google Camera app, and found that the Pixel 5 and Pixel 5 XL are most likely referred to as Redfin and Bramble inside Google's apps.

Those are the Redfin and Bramble devices that have previously been linked to the Snapdragon 765G processor from Qualcomm: no slouch in the performance department, but not as speedy as the top-end Snapdragon 865.

This is all speculation and informed guesswork for now, but the suggestion is that the Pixel 5 might be positioned as a more affordable flagship phone, as Google looks to undercut the premium handsets offered by Samsung and Apple.

Specs appeal

Google already makes mid-range versions of the Pixels of course. We're expecting the Pixel 4a to arrive around May time, and that will have its own mid-range processor on board – perhaps the Snapdragon 730.

That would potentially make the Pixel 4a and the Pixel 5 a lot closer in terms of performance, though there may be differences in terms of the camera setup and the other features on board.

At this stage it's too early to be sure what spec the Pixel 5 is going to rock up with, or to know precisely why Google might go for a less-than-top-end CPU inside – though cutting costs would be an obvious reason.

Expect to hear more about both the Pixel 4a and the Pixel 5 in the coming months, when hopefully we'll get a bit more clarity about what to expect.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.