Is there a Google Pixel 5 XL?
Best answer: No, Google did not release a Pixel 5 XL. If you want a newer Pixel with a big display, the Pixel 4a 5G is your best bet.
- Google's latest flagship: Pixel 5 ($700 at Amazon)
- The larger Pixel: Pixel 4a 5G ($500 at Best Buy)
You won't find a Pixel 5 XL anywhere... because it doesn't exist
For the first time since the Pixel lineup was introduced, Google's flagship lineup does not feature an "XL" variant. The Pixel 5 is all that you can get, along with its modest 6-inch display, but the Pixel 4a 5G was almost the Pixel 5 XL.
Originally, Google had plans to unveil and launch the Pixel 4a at Google I/O 2020, which was scheduled back in May 2020. However, since I/O 2020 never happened, that forced Google to re-think its strategy for its 2020 lineup of handsets, especially since the Pixel 4a was not officially revealed until August.
Thanks to the work of our own Alex Dobie, we learned that Google went through a few iterations of branding ideas before landing on what was revealed in the second half of this year. The Pixel 4a was intended to be a standalone release, giving Google a few months of "breathing room" before revealing the Pixel 5 lineup. The devices that Google would announce in September were to become the Pixel 5 and the Pixel 5s.
The Pixel 4a 5G, which is coming out in just a few weeks, was intended to be the "standard" Pixel 5, and the Pixel 5 that is also launching soon was slated to be the Pixel 5s, which is the "more premium" version of the entire lineup with its aluminum frame, wireless charging, and 90Hz refresh rate.
Because Google did not want to cannibalize a product it had just announced, the company shifted its naming scheme again. The "standard" Pixel 5 became the Pixel 4a 5G in an effort to keep the $350 Pixel 4a relevant, leaving the Pixel 5s to drop the "s" and be the only option in the Pixel 5 lineup.
All of this is to say that if you want a Pixel with a larger display, you'll have to go with the Pixel 4a 5G. While there's a larger battery, along with the same Snapdragon 765G processor, you'll miss out on the faster 90Hz refresh rate for the display that you get with the Pixel 5. That may not matter to some, especially since you're getting most of the same features, along with a headphone jack, for a couple of hundred dollars cheaper. Even with some of those "losses" in the feature department, the Pixel 4a 5G is still nestled in the middle of the pack for the best Android phones of the year, right behind the Pixel 5.
Google's latest flagship
Redefining the meaning of "flagship"
The Pixel 5 has everything you could want from a flagship handset in 2020. It sports a 90Hz OLED display, 8GB of RAM, and even 5G connectivity. Plus, as per usual, it has some of the best cameras in the game.
The larger Pixel
What could have been
The Pixel 4a 5G may have been rebranded, but at its core, it's the Pixel 5 XL that we all could have hoped for. Minus the lack of a 90Hz refresh rate, it still has everything you could want.
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Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.