Android phone users who are fans of affordable, fast and streamlined mobile experiences will without doubt have had one eye on the Google Pixel 5 as a potential upgrade later in 2020.
The reason why is because leaks have hinted at the fact that Google is going to deliver a flagship-grade handset that, thanks to it only using a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765 system on a chip (SoC) instead of the top-of-the-range Snapdragon 865, is going to ring in for much less than rival flagship phones.
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The deduced rational is that because Google is the master of Android, and is the best phone maker for optimising it, then a lower-level SoC can be used while still delivering top performance. And, after all, the 765 chip does still come with an in-built 5G modem.
And, with the rumoured price of the handset to be $699 rather than the Google Pixel 4's $799 and Google Pixel 4 XL's $899, it is evident why people could be very interested, as the new Pixel device will be more affordable. And it could be much more affordable than, say, the Apple iPhone 12.
However, it looks like the Google Pixel 5 is about to get some serious competition, with the OnePlus Z's specs apparently leaking online and showing a device that will stand toe-to-toe with Google's new handset.
The leak comes courtesy of tech news and leak group LeakerBaba, who report via Twitter (opens in new tab) that "A user got survey on Payback app with possible OnePlus Z specs", before showing a screengrab that shows the specs in question (see below image).
As can be seen by the survey image, the question asked is:
"How likely are you to buy the smart phone with these specifications if it's offered by the 'OnePlus' brand?"
The specs then show a handset equipped with a Snapdragon 765 SoC with 5G support, a 90Hz refresh rate 6.55-inch Super AMOLED display, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage space, a 4,300 mAh battery with 30W Fast Charge, a triple rear camera system (64MP + 16MP + 2MP), a 16MP selfie camera and an in-display fingerprint reader.
In addition, the survey also shows a suggestive retail price of ₹24,990 Indian Rupees. For the record, ₹24,990 coverts to £260 or $331, and while you should expect those prices to increase a little as straight conversions never work between the Indian and US/UK markets, there's no-doubting that on paper that looks much cheaper than the Pixel 5's rumoured price point.
Now, while the price is hypothetical, and no model name is listed on the survey, pretty much everything else about the specs lines up with what we've heard in the tech rumour mill about the OnePlus Z, such as that it is coming with the 5G-enabled Snapdragon 765 (opens in new tab).
And, if these are the specs for the OnePlus Z, and it is going to retail for around the £300 to £450 mark ($350 to $500) in the UK and US, then that is a big problem for Google.
After all, its Pixel 5 is slated to come with (opens in new tab) the exact same system on a chip, same 90Hz screen refresh rate and the exact same amount of RAM, while its internal storage, battery, and screen size could actually be beaten by the OnePlus Z.
Indeed, it is only in the camera department (as Google always nails image taking in its phones, and is an industry leader), as well as the fact that the Pixel 5 will come with Android 11 out of the box, that seem right now as guaranteed wins for it over the OnePlus Z.
And that naturally raises the question of value, as if the Pixel 5 does retail for $699, and the OnePlus Z does retail for the kind of low price point listed above, then that will open a massive cost gap between two phones that, in many ways, will be outfitted exactly the same.
Only time will tell if the slated specs and prices for both handsets hold, but considering the OnePlus Z is rumoured to be hitting store shelves in mid-July this year, it looks like we won't have to wait much longer to find out the truth at least on one side of this new affordable phone war.
As for the Pixel 5, that is expected to launch in October 2020, alongside the Huawei Mate 40 series and, maybe, the delayed iPhone 12 range.