Scant information makes hoax a possibility
Google’s interesting relationship with its Pixel devices has continued this year, with the 4a continuing the company’s push into the midrange, and the 5 seeing it try to provide a smoother, cheaper experience at the expense of benchmark-busting hardware.
The American tech giant’s new devices have largely been well received, and thinking about which one is best for you does require some proper head scratching. And Google might be taking its Pixels in newer directions yet, if the emergence of some new leaks over the weekend is to be believed.
New images have surfaced that purport to show a new “Google Pixel XE” device that could be on the way. The first image is a screenshot of the ‘About’ section of an Android phone’s settings. In the phone’s Device name and Model & hardware sections, the phone is called a “Google Pixel XE”.
Now, you can change the Device name to whatever you want, but you can’t do the same for the Model & hardware section of the phone, suggesting this image may be legit. Additionally, the screenshot shows the phone running Android 11, which you’d definitely expect new Google devices to be running at launch. Of course, the screenshot could also be PhotoShopped in some way.
The next set of images comes courtesy of SlashLeaks, who appear to have got their hands on actual pictures of the phone. Unfortunately, these images are blurry, and crucially don’t show off the Model & hardware section of the settings.
— /LEAKS (@Slashleaks) December 4, 2020
Additionally, the good people over at Notebookcheck have scrutinised the phone’s body as best they can (and it also seems to be wrapped in a protective case), and they think it matches up with the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro. Both phones have an LCD screen, a central front camera (Google’s recent Pixels put their front cameras on the top left), and volume rockers about two thirds up the right side of the phone.
Even if the device does exist, it’s not clear where the phone would sit compared to its predecessors. The first screenshot implies it has eight cores, so it’s not going to be a low-range price-accessible phone, but Google’s output this year has suggested that it’s not interested in going for ultra-premium customers.
A recent emerging segment has been what I would term “affordable premium”, with phones like the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, the OnePlus 8T, and Xiaomi Mi 10T, but the Pixel 5 and 4a 5G already occupy that sort of price range.
At this time of year, where device launches and announcements are scarce, these leaks have got people talking, but they’re still quite barebones and unverifiable. They’re tantalising, but leave a lot of room for questioning and doubt. Until more leaks come to light, we’ll be taking these with a pinch of salt.