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Pixel 5 wishlist: Things we really hope to see on the upcoming Google phone [Video]

The affordable Pixel 4a hasn’t even surfaced yet, but with a delayed-release cycle, it has us thinking ever further forward and, therefore, about our own Pixel 5 wishlist.

We already know that the late-2020 Made by Google phone isn’t likely to come with what we’d consider “flagship” specifications and internals. Instead, it looks like Google is going to adopt a more software and experience-driven device that will undoubtedly leverage clean, unobtrusive software to leave an indelible mark in other ways.

If that sounds familiar, well, that is essentially what the entire Pixel series has been doing since 2016. We’re still a little way from a proper competitor to the Samsung Galaxy series but slowly chipping away will hopefully pay long-term dividends. If pricing can remain competitive, then we see no reason why the Google Pixel 5 can’t be an immensely popular smartphone in the latter half of 2020.

You’ve told us how you feel, over 50% of people we surveyed recently are more than happy to pick up a more “mid-range” Pixel 5. With a potentially lower entry cost, Google can jam-pack in the extras, extras that we’re hoping will fulfill our Pixel 5 wishlist.

If Google is still on track for a fall 2020 release schedule for the Pixel 5, we’re sure that production is at least very close — if not underway already. We’re under no illusions that not everything we’d like to see can make it due to chipset limitations/support but we’re still hopeful that the Pixel 5 can be the “alternative” flagship for 2020.

Bigger battery

Pixel 4 battery power

The 3,700mAh battery in the Pixel 4 XL was passable at best. Some of you out there have had a great experience, I personally have had such a mixed experience that I simply can’t get through a busy day relying on one solitary charge. For that reason, a bigger battery is right at the very top of our Pixel 5 wishlist.

If we see a high refresh rate display, it needs to be above 4,000mAh at the very least. More and more flagships are edging closer that 5,000mAh mark, which is impressive. Something around the 4,500mAh mark would be a huge improvement and cover almost everyone out there. Plus it can’t hurt too much to increase if you have good battery life already.

Ultra-wide-angle lens

Google Pixel 4 usb issues

I’m in the “I don’t care about the wide-angle lens” camp but I understand that having the option on the latest and greatest smartphone is something that we kind of expect. Lots of sub-$500 smartphones are now steadily adding extra focal lengths, which is to be lauded.

Google should really be slapping an ultra-wide-angle lens into the Pixel 5, which is why it’s near the top of our wishlist. Imagine three lenses at the rear all backed by Google post-processing, now that is something to really look forward to.


pixel 5 wishlist - soli

The radar technology is a really neat trick that in its present state doesn’t feel fully realized. It would be really disappointing if Google abandoned the feature within 12 months. Pixel Feature Drops have even added new functionality, it’s not entirely groundbreaking but this could eventually be a killer feature. It would be sad to kill it off at this stage.

More matte colors

pixel 5 wishlist - more matte colors

There are not enough matte smartphones on the market, there is a real clamor for shiny, two-tone finishes — which I completely understand — but there is something eminently approachable about the Pixel series. Top of my Pixel 5 color wishlist would be something in blue, we’ve had Oh So Orange, but the color palette is begging to be explored and given a “Googlelifcation.”

Smaller bezels

The fact that the Pixel 4 has a large forehead is no reason to avoid it, but with that said it would be nice to see the Pixel 5 come with some slightly smaller bezels or more uniform bezels on all sides. If the face-scanning tech needs extra room, it’s more forgivable but it would still be nice to get a little extra screen real estate back on the upcoming Made by Google phone.

120Hz display

pixel 5 wishlist - 120Hz display

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G might pose some problems with high refresh rates and QHD+ displays, but if Google decides the Pixel 5 will have an FHD+ display rather than a QHD+ one, then we’d love to see a 120Hz refresh rate option.

Is 120Hz a killer feature? No, but it is such a huge jump over 60Hz that it has managed to sneak into our own Pixel 5 wishlist. Potential hardware limitations aside, a bump down from QHD+ to FHD+ would be a solid compromise in our opinion to accommodate the higher refresh rate. Plus Google could really take advantage of it by ensuring the smoothest Android experience.

More video modes

pixel 5 wishlist - more video modes

While the Pixel series has never struggled in stills modes, video hasn’t always fared quite as well. We’d really love to see the Pixel 5 improve all areas of video. Some more framerates would be ideal, 8K video probably isn’t possible with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G chipset but it’s overkill anyway. 4K at 24, 30, and 60fps would be excellent.

OIS in conjunction with EIS would also be a real boost. Provided the chipset could handle the extra processing overheads, additional effects in video modes would be an exceptional inclusion. We’ve seen Night Sight become an instant hit, Night Sight for video would be a real game-changer.

What’s on your Pixel 5 wishlist?

Are you excited for the Pixel 5 knowing that it is set to try something slightly different this time around? What would you like to see on the upcoming Made by Google phone? Let us know down in the comments section below.

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Avatar for Damien Wilde Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter @iamdamienwilde. Email

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