Pixel 5 With Google Tensor SoC Almost Became A Reality

Google Pixel 5 Review AM AH 13

It seems like Google was testing a Pixel 5 with its new Google Tensor SoC. XDA Recognized Developer, Freak07, discovered some evidence regarding this. He found it in the Pixel 6 source code.

A Pixel 5 with Google Tensor SoC was being tested by Google

He came across kernel device tree files for two variants of the Tensor SoC. It is referred to as “gs101”, internally. The first variant is codenamed “gs101-b0”, while the second is “gs101-a0”. Now, the first one, as some of you may know, is used in the Pixel 6 series. This is the first time we’re seeing the second one, though.

That made Freak07 dig deeper, to find out what’s going on. It turns out that the second Google Tensor variant relates to a Pixel phone codenamed “Whitefin”. That was spotted by Mishaal Rahman last month, and it has similar specs as the Pixel 5, but the Tensor chip inside, it seems.


Google may have planned to announce it

This does suggest that Google tested the Tensor inside the Pixel 5. It does not necessarily mean that Google wanted to launch the device with that chip, but it is possible.

The Google Pixel 5 launched with the Snapdragon 765G SoC last year, and the Google Tensor SoC would be quite an improvement for that phone. It would surely be interesting to see that device with the Google Tensor, and the new camera setup from the Pixel 6 (Pro). That almost certainly won’t happen, but it would offer a smaller flagship to Pixel consumers.

Google opted to release two large flagships this year, the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. The Pixel 6 is ever so slightly smaller, but both are huge. That’s a complete contrast to what Google did last year.


The company didn’t exactly announce a high-end phone in 2020, but it did announce a couple of more compact ones. In years before that, Google did offer a smaller flagship. We’re not sure why that changed, but there you have it.