Google Pixel 5 preview: Lower price, mid-range parts, and 5G

Google is set to launch the next generation of Pixel phones at its Launch Night In event at 2pm ET on Wednesday. Google has already teased that two phones will be releasing: the Pixel 5 and the Pixel 4a 5G, which is a 5G-equipped version of the 4a that launched earlier this year. But while the Pixel 5 is supposed to be a surprise, we already know a lot about it. Keep reading to find out about the new display, design, camera and more.

Pixel 5: Design and display

Each new Pixel phone has previously introduced a new design language for Google’s handsets. Recent renders shared by Evan Blass have suggested, however, that the Pixel 5 is going to take its inspiration from the Pixel 4a, with a hole-punch camera, slimmer bezels, and a square camera array. Not that we’re complaining—the Pixel 4a is one of the nicest handsets designs Google has ever shipped.

As far as colors, Google appears to be scaling back this year and launching just two flavors of Pixel 5: Just Black and Subtle Sage. Recent leaks have shown the new color in the marketing shots and it appears to be a classic Pixel colorway: unique, understated, and classy.

pixel 5 green leak Evan Blass

The Pixel 5 will reportedly come in a new “Subtle Sage” color.

Like the Pixel 4a, rumors say that Google won’t be shipping two sizes of the Pixel 5 this year. Instead, a single 6-inch model is pegged for release, right in between the 5.7-inch Pixel 4 and 6.3-inch Pixel 4 XL. Google is clearly going for sweet-spot territory here, but fans of larger phones like the S20+ and Note 20 Ultra might be disappointed.

We were hoping the Pixel 5 would at least have Quad HD 1440p resolution like the 4XL but recent leaks indicate that it will only be Full HD 1080p resolution, like the Pixel 4 and 4a. Helping things along will likely be the same 90Hz refresh rate as the Pixel 4, but it’s still a far cry from the high-res, 120Hz Infinity displays on the newest Galaxy phones.

Pixel 5: Performance, specs, and features

We’ve come to expect leading-edge performance with the Pixel 5, but that might not be the case this year. Persistent rumors have suggested that the Pixel 5 will not use the Snapdragon 865 or 865 Plus this year, but rather adopt the more-mid-range Snapdragon 765G. That’s the same chip in the OnePlus Nord and LG Velvet, and it’s only slightly faster than the 730G in the Pixel 4a.

pixel 4a back Michael Simon/IDG

The Pixel 5 will reportedly be closer to the Pixel 4a than the Galaxy S20. once again got its hands on a purported spec sheet for the Pixel 5, and it looks like we’re getting 8GB of RAM and 128GB of base storage, an increase over the 6GB and 64GB in the Pixel 4. Additionally, the phone will reportedly have a 4,000mAh battery, which is the largest battery Google has ever shipped in a phone. The closest is last year’s Pixel 4 XL, which has a 3,700mAh battery.

Most importantly, however, the Pixel 5 will have support for 5G. That’s not a rumor—Google already confirmed that the Pixel 5 will have 5G on board when it launched the Pixel 4a back in June—but we don’t know what type of 5G it will be. It will certainly support sub-6GHz 5G. It’s possible but less likely that the Pixel 5 will also bring support for the faster mmWave 5G.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano is the lightest ThinkPad ever built

Yes, that is a Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano in your laptop bag. You probably just didn’t realize it because the laptop weighs barely two pounds. 

The ThinkPad X1 Nano is officially the lightest ThinkPad ever built. Lenovo said it managed to squeeze the weight out of the Nano by using a combination of carbon fiber and magnesium-aluminum in the die-cast chassis. “New technology and materials” in the keyboard and cooler also shave off some ounces. The ThinkPad X1 Nano will be available before the end of the year with prices starting at $1,399.

Lightweight typically means less performance, but Lenovo taps Intel’s new 11th-gen Tiger Lake CPU to power the ThinkPad X1 Nano. The company didn’t say which specific chip, but it is a Core i7 with Iris Xe. That tells us the laptop’s maximum of 16GB of LPDDR4X is configured for dual-channel, as you can’t get get an Iris Xe badge without the higher-performance memory configuration.

Because the ThinkPad X1 features Intel’s new Evo badge, we know the laptop features Intel’s Dynamic Tuning as well, which uses machine learning in its latest iteration to help push a CPU’s boost clocks harder.

07 tp x1 nano Lenovo

But the most standout part of the  ThinkPad X1 Nano is the screen. Most laptops in this class feature commodity 13.3-inch screens with a resolution of 1920×1080 (FHD). The next step up is typically a battery-draining UHD 4K screen with a resolution of 3840×2160. Although consumers absolutely love the idea of 4K, it’s can be a pretty poor experience: Some apps don’t scale well in Windows 10, and you can usually expect to lose a third of your battery life driving that high-res panel.

With the ThinkPad X1 Nano, Lenovo uses a 2160×1350 resolution, 13-inch screen. That increases the pixel density to 2.9 million pixels, which is about a third more than an FHD panel’s 2 million pixels. The effect is a higher pixel density, so you can squeeze in more windows, but without the battery-life cost of a 4K panel’s 8.3 million pixels. The panel is available with or without touch and is rated at 450 nits.

It’s, frankly, the most reasonable thing to do in a small laptop. The reason it’s not typically done outside of Microsoft’s Surface and Apple’s MacBook’s is cost. 

In other specs, the Nano will offer a 1TB PCIe SSD, WiFi 6, and two Thunderbolt 4 ports, along with a combo headset jack.