Pixel XlSource: Android Central

What you need to know

  • A leaked phone prototype claiming of the Pixel 5 has surfaced on social media today.
  • The design is reminiscent of the two-toned shell donned by older Pixels.
  • Some people speculate it may be an older prototype of the Pixel 4a 5G instead.

Google's Pixel 5 has already been leaked six ways from Sunday, but a new leak today on social media (via 9to5Google) shows us something different from the usual. It's a look at "what it could have been," the path that Google didn't take when building this phone.

When Google first introduced the Pixel line, it did so with a series of two-toned devices. This included the Pixel, the Google Home, and the original Pixelbook. With the Pixel 4, Google moved away from that into the simple, single-toned design that we now see on its current hardware. This new leaked prototype shows that Google was once considering resurrecting that design.

Pixel 5 PrototypeSource: Twitter

It's not clear what the materials would have been, perhaps glass or maybe some kind of glossy plastic. It's worth noting that some on social media have speculated it to be a Pixel 4a 5G based on the headphone jack. It's also equally worth noting that the Pixel 4a 5G and 5 are so similar they were once to be launched both as variants of the Pixel 5, so the truth here may simply be a matter of perspective.

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What is clear is that this is simply a design direction Google explored and later scrapped. It's not something you should expect to see in any fancy power points or leaked store renders anytime soon.

Personally, I liked the two-tone design that was last seen on the Pixel 3a. It stood out from other phones. Google's new uni-tone design still strikes a chord, but one that's more subdued.

In any case, Pixel 5 will be coming next week. It'll ship in two colors, one black and one green. It probably won't have the very top of the line specs, but it'll set you back only $599. Not a bad bargain.

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