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Google’s Pixel 5 costs $699 and packs major camera improvements

Tuning into hardware events these days feels like a surprise party someone has spoiled for you — fun, but you know what’s going to happen. So today, after endless leaks and rumors, Google today announced the Pixel 5. It costs $699 and will be available starting October 15.

At first glance, the Pixel 5 looks a whole lot like the Pixel 4, at least from the rear. This time around, however, there is only one size of the model (with a 6.0″ display), and Google has abandoned the radar-based gesture and facial recognition system, opting for a fingerprint reader on the rear instead.

This isn’t a flagship in the traditional sense.

For the first time since the inception of the Pixel line, Google isn’t using for the most powerful Qualcomm processor, but rather the increasingly popular Snapdragon 765G. That means the Pixel 5 is technically weaker than the Pixel 4 in terms of raw processing performance.

While that’s sure to annoy some tech enthusiasts, let’s face it: Google’s phones have never been about the hardware. Whether because it doesn’t have the same access as established hardware companies like Samsung or because it actively chose to prioritize software, the company has consistently lagged behind the competition when it comes to raw specs on its flagships.

But after years of reviewing phones, I’m well aware of how poor a predictor processor choice can be; I’ve found the OnePlus Nord to run smoother than my Pixel 4XL, despite the latter having the more powerful processor. Hopefully opting for a weaker processor means Google has doubled down on software optimization.

RAM and storage, at least, are still decently up to par, at 8GB and 128GB, respectively. Perhaps more importantly, the battery is pegged at 4,080 mAh, which should translate to oodles of battery longevity

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