When Google unveiled its latest flagships this week, the eagerly anticipated 5G Pixel 4 was nowhere to be seen. According to the company's VP of product management, Brian Rakowski, there are two reasons behind this decision.
Google Thinks It Doesn't Make Sense To Buy A 5G-enabled Phone Right Now
First of all, Rakowski says that the next generation of wireless technology isn't ready for consumers. Google primarily sells its phone in the U.S.
Even though the top four carriers, Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T have hyped up their 5G networks, the truth is that coverage is pretty patchy right now. So, consumers who don't have 5G ready devices aren't really missing out.
In fact, having a 5G phone can prove to be disadvantageous right now. That's because, as Rakowski notes, the latest generation of wireless communication takes a toll on the battery.
And Pixel phones aren't particularly known for impressive battery life. The Pixel 4 handsets don't have gigantic batteries, to begin with, and 5G connectivity would have drained them a lot faster.
The Pixel 4 is underpinned by the Snapdragon 855 chipset which has LTE onboard. For a 5G Pixel 4, the Snapdragon X50 modem would have been needed.
This might have resulted in even smaller batteries and power users certainly would have scoffed at that idea. Of course, that doesn't mean we shouldn't expect a 5G phone from Google. Rakowski says the company is keeping an eye on developments and will roll out a 5G phone at the right time.
The 5G Pixel 4 Might Arrive in May 2020
Before the latest Pixel handsets were launched, it was reported that a 5G Pixel 4 has entered test production.
Since the phone wasn't revealed at the Made By Google event, it may arrive next year, alongside the affordable Pixel 4a and 4a XL smartphones. Otherwise, we can probably expect the internet giant to release a 5G-ready phone in October next year.
Since Google is more of a service-oriented company, a 5G handset can boost its other offerings too. As Rakowski explained, 5G networks can benefit Google Lens as they will enable high-resolution frames transfer.
This will improve the quality of the service. Similarly, the Mountain View-based company's Stadia gaming service can also take advantage of low-latency 5G.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company expects sales of 5G-ready handsets to reach 300 million units next year.
This is a more optimistic prediction than most analyst estimates. Since TSMC's approximations hold a lot of weight, we think it will perhaps make more sense for Google to release the 5G Pixel 4 in spring instead of skipping it entirely for this generation.
Google's latest smartphones are pretty big on features. The company has upgraded its camera system and introduced new things such as face unlock and gesture controls.
With 5G connectivity, users will be able to download data up to 100 times faster than 4G LTE connections. And by the time spring arrives, we can also expect coverage to get better. This will also give Google a head start over Apple, which is the only key industry player right now that hasn't released a 5G-ready phone.