Google Unveils 5G Smartphones

Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) has launched a pair of new 5G Android smartphones.

Google has unveiled the "Pixel 5," its flagship phone, and the Pixel 4a 5G, a more affordable entry-level smartphone that has faster cellular network speeds.

The Pixel 5 sells for $699 U.S. and matches the design of the latest top-end phones from Apple and Samsung, moving to a front display that is almost all screen. The facial recognition camera and motion sensor from last year’s Pixel 4 have been removed from the newest Google phone, instead adding a hole-punch sized notch for the camera and a fingerprint sensor on the back.

Google started offering its own smartphones in 2016 to demonstrate the best of its Android operating system. IDC data shows that Pixel shipments rose 52% to 7.2 million units sold last year. However, Apple, Samsung and Huawei Technologies each sell more than 100 million smartphones annually.

The flagship Pixel 5 for new fifth-generation, or 5G, wireless networks now comes in a single six-inch model, replacing the 5.7-inch and 6.3-inch Pixel 4 offerings from last year. The new Pixel comes in black and green colours. The phone also adds the ability to charge headphones on its back, and a new low-power mode to extend battery life.

The Pixel 5 also adds an ultrawide-angle camera, replacing the telephoto camera lens from previous models. The front camera on the Pixel 5 is eight megapixels, the same as the Pixel 4, but the new handset has more memory and a larger battery.

The Pixel 4a 5G is similar to the Pixel 4a announced in August, but adds a 6.2-inch screen, improved cameras and a faster processor. That phone costs $499 U.S., considerably more than the smaller non-5G version. Both phones are scheduled to go on sale October 15.