The Google Pixel 5 will almost certainly not have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, and we have even more evidence

The Google Pixel 5 will almost certainly not have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, and we have even more evidence

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The Google Pixel 4a has been receiving a lot of attention lately as its announcement quickly approaches. After the Pixel 4a is announced, however, the rumor mill will move on to the Google Pixel 5. Not much is explicitly known about the device series yet, but there have been rumblings since early January of Google bowing out of the “flagship” market. Now, we’re fairly confident in saying that the Google Pixel 5 will indeed not be a “flagship” device in the sense that it will have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765 rather than the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865.

Back in January, we were the first to report of 3 possible Pixel code-names: sunfish, bramble, and redfin. Sunfish was a device powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 while both bramble and redfin were built on top of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765. We quickly confirmed that “sunfish” is indeed the Pixel 4a, but thus far there hasn’t been definitive evidence linking the bramble and redfin code-names to any particular Pixel device (and to this date, there still isn’t). We’ve long suspected that these two code-names refer to Google’s late 2020 flagship Pixel devices, though. Back in March, XDA Senior Member cstark27 analyzed the leaked Google Camera 7.4 APK and was the first to discover that bramble and redfin were possibly set to use the Pixel 2020 photo configuration.

We weren’t comfortable definitively proclaiming that the Pixel 5 will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765 at the time just based on that code analysis, though. That’s because there was still only one piece of evidence linking “bramble” and “redfin” to the Snapdragon 765—our initial code-name discovery back in January. Now, though, we have another piece of evidence linking these two code-names to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765.

In Android 11 Developer Preview 4, XDA Senior Member cstark27 discovered that the pre-installed EUICCGoogle APK was updated with a new reference to Google’s upcoming devices. In the APK’s resources, he discovered that the “modem_model_mappings_json” string now contained a new line for the “g7250” modem, which is likely Google’s code-name for the Snapdragon 765 (though it could also refer to the Snapdragon 765G or Snapdragon 768G since all 3 are pin and software compatible). The g7250 modem was paired with a hashed name (Google is being sneaky here), so cstark27 had to modify the Google Camera APK to return the hash from a given code-name. When he spoofed his device code-name to be “redfin” and “bramble,” the logcat output returned the hashed names that matched the ones from EUICCGoogle’s resources.

On the left is the hashed names from the EUICCGoogle APK and on the right is output from a modified APK to return the hash from a given codename.

In addition, earlier today David Ruddock, Editor-in-Chief at Android Police, claimed via his own source that the Pixel 5 will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765 SoC. Therefore, it’s safe to assume now that Google will not be releasing a device with Qualcomm’s top-tier Snapdragon 865 later this year.

As previously mentioned, this has been rumored since our initial discovery back in January, though no definitive proof has surfaced. In fact, there’s still no definitive evidence that this is the case, but all of the evidence we have thus far certainly points that way. This rumor also lines up with the recent Google Opinion Rewards survey that asked users if they would prefer a $349 Pixel or a $699 “Premium” Pixel smartphone. The $699 price is cheaper than previous flagship Pixel devices and would make sense if it didn’t have the Snapdragon 865.

Beyond the rumors of the processor, not much else is known about the Google Pixel 5. The aforementioned Opinion Rewards survey mentioned wireless charging and water-resistance as features for the “Premium” Pixel. Android 11 code also seems to hint that at least one Pixel 5 device (redfin) will support reverse wireless charging. There’s still plenty of time to learn more about the device series before a likely launch in the Fall.