Rumors of the 2020 iPhone 12 hint at a flat-edge design inspired by the iconic iPhone 4

When I see these renders float around the twitterverse, I don’t take them as entirely sacrosanct, but I don’t completely reject them either. Apple has, over the past few years, developed a very sound strategy to selectively leak its product designs just to help keep the hype and buzz going. By the time we’re a few months away from the actual launch, the internet has already painted a reasonably accurate picture of the phone Tim Cook’s about to unveil… even down to its color options!

Created by concept-designer Aziz Ghaus, this is perhaps the best representation of the upcoming iPhone 12, which is all set to launch this year around October-November. The iPhone gets a design-refresh every 2-3 years, and given that we haven’t seen much of a design change since the iPhone X debuted in 2017, this year might be the year the iPhone gets a makeover. Its new design isn’t a radical deviation though… in all honesty, the 2020 iPhone concept borrows a lot from the design language set up by Jony Ive and Steve Jobs (before his unfortunate passing in 2011). The iPhone 12 concept performs a hat-tip to the design of the iconic iPhone 4 and 5, with a flat-edge running around the sides helping break the continuous transition from screen to back. As far as the changes go, there’s also a noticeable update to the camera bump, which now features 4 prominent camera lenses instead of 3. Some may remember this camera bump from the 2020 iPad Pro launch and all indications show that the iPad’s camera layout will make its way to the smartphone, with space for a ToF sensor that’ll help the iPhone 12 perform 3D scanning to support Apple’s ARKit and possibly AR-based games that may roll out in the future.

Some things remain immutable with the iPhone’s design though. The front still looks exactly the same, with the notch design that seems almost exclusive to Apple now, especially since its competitors have moved on to hole-punch cameras. The iPhone 12, from the looks of these renders, will still have FaceID too, a feature that I wonder why Apple hasn’t moved beyond, considering how everyone wears masks nowadays. The new phone also looks like it’ll still sport the lightning port, although prominent Apple insiders and analysts claim that the new iPhone will come without a charging cable and adapter in the box (they’ll need to be bought separately)… although in terms of change, that might be pushing things a bit too far, don’t you think??

Designer: Aziz Ghaus

Picture Credits: @smazizg

What should smartphones look like after COVID-19? An open letter to Apple, Google, and Samsung

Hint: It definitely doesn’t involve expensive folding smartphones.

In a span of one month, I’ve seen leaks and official releases from OnePlus that indicate that they’re launching 3 phones (the 8, 8 Pro, and the Nord) in just the first half of 2020. That figure pales in comparison to Samsung, which has ALREADY launched 6 flagship phones just between January and March of this year (with more in the pipeline). Apple’s launched one low-end iPhone and is working on two more flagship iPhones to launch in September, Google’s allegedly working on the standalone Pixel 4A and the Pixel 5 series. Do we really need so many phones? Wait, let me rephrase that. Do we really need each tech company to launch a minimum of three smartphone models each year? I’m not even including Samsung’s A and M series, which would bring its grand total of 2020 launches to 16 separate smartphone models. Now, I’m no supply chain expert or marketing whiz, but I’ll just say this from a place of common sense. The human race DOES NOT NEED 16 new Samsung smartphones each year. It’s ridiculous that I even have to articulate such a thought. That doesn’t mean that launching 3 smartphones each year, like Apple, is a better business model either, ethically speaking. Consumer demand for smartphones may be high, but the demand for alcohol is high too. Does it make it ethical to ‘cater to consumer demand’ and pump out more alcohol each year? I honestly don’t think so.

(If you’re wondering why I’m equating smartphones with alcohol, it’s pretty simple. They’re both addictive, have a negative impact on behavior and mental health, and just to drive the point home, you’re legally forbidden from driving a car while under the influence of alcohol or while you’re on your phone… makes sense now, right?)

The world can’t pay $1.5K for ‘an innovative slab of glass’ anymore

The pandemic has done a good number on the economy, and consumer technology will surely feel the burn. The last thing phone manufacturers need to do right now is focus on quantity. Here’s my advice to Apple, Google, Samsung, and other smartphone manufacturers. Spare yourselves the trouble, maybe reconsider your marketing team and its budget, and cut down the number of phones you release each year to a more sensible number like TWO phones per year. One flagship, and one mid-range. Nobody has money to throw at folding display phones, so here’s an open request to Samsung to ditch the upcoming Galaxy Fold 2. Focus more energy on building phones that cost less, last longer, and can be repaired. You could consider charging a premium for repairing phones and earning your money through fixing and prolonging the lifespan of existing devices, not through selling new ones.

Don’t try to be ‘disruptive’. This year has disrupted enough.

Sparring isn’t always about throwing punches, it’s about dodging them too. When you anticipate a knockout blow approaching your face, it’s only common sense to take a step back instead of trying to land a punch of your own. That metaphor holds true when it comes to business, technology, and innovation too. When the situation is conducive to moving forward, facial recognition, faster processors, flexible displays, and pop-up cameras make absolute sense. When the world as we know it is in tailspin, relying on more robust features like better battery life, fingerprint reading, durable construction, and a radio chip for emergencies makes more sense, even if it feels like a step backward. After all, that’s how you avoid being knocked out, right?

Now would be a good time to focus on redefining ‘safety and protection’

As we enter these unprecedented times, the approach to safety needs to be manifold, involving both physical as well as digital protection. It’s pretty common knowledge (and I’ve shared this a bunch of times) that the average smartphone is as dirty as, if not dirtier than, your regular toilet seat. It collects bacteria on an hourly basis, constantly touches our hands, our face, and rarely (if ever) gets sanitized. Now I’m thinking out loud here, but wouldn’t it be a good time to make a smartphone that, by design, repels germs? We’ve covered, in-depth, hook-shaped EDC designs machined from copper or brass that help you maneuver through life, opening doors, pressing buttons, or carrying bags without having to use your hands. The copper/brass construction helps actively kill/repel viruses and bacteria, so how about if the backplate of your phone, instead of glass or aluminum, was made of an anti-microbial material like brass or copper which would help reduce germ collection? What if the phone’s OLED display had a built-in low-intensity UV-C light that could neutralize germs on the glass screen while the phone was idle? It’s time to start thinking of the phone as an extension of the body, and just how masks and PPE are necessary to protect YOU from viruses, your phone should be built to resist germs too… it isn’t too much to ask, especially for a device that we throw thousands of dollars on, and use for an average of 6-8 hours every single day.

Speaking of viruses and its obvious dual-meaning both in real life as well as in tech, digital safety is arguably just as important as physical safety. As companies like Apple and Google roll out their contact-tracing APIs that help track users and who they’re interacting with, the obvious risk to personal privacy is more than apparent. We’re always quick to surrender our privacy for safety immediately after a disaster, but it’s been nearly 20 years since 9/11, and Edward Snowden says the FBI still taps into our devices, has records of our lives, and reaches out to big companies for information on you. Google’s even being slapped with a whopping $5 billion lawsuit for tracking user data even within their browser’s incognito mode, and it’s happening as we speak. Privacy is a basic human right, and a disaster shouldn’t really change that fundamental fact. It’s an opportune time for phone companies to appeal to us by being more trustworthy. I, for starters, wouldn’t mind a smartphone with a physical disengage switch that turns off the cameras, microphones, and disconnects the SIM card. Like an Airplane Mode that goes ahead and physically severs your phone’s connection to the SIM card, WiFi module, GPS module, camera, and microphone… or better yet, a smartphone that isn’t that smart to begin with – Nokia, Blackberry, it’s your time to shine!

Final Thoughts

To conclude this monologue (which I hoped would be a little more optimistic than it’s turned out to be), it’s time big OEMs revise their playbook, not just for the sake of their customers but for their own longterm health. It’s obviously time to say goodbye to massive keynotes with large swathes of journalists and fans, and to hardware releases that show up every year like clockwork… and to usher in an age where smartphones are designed to actually last, and to be repaired when for some reason they don’t. A long-term relationship with your phone isn’t going to be complete without trust either, which, to be honest, there is an absolute deficit of… especially after how many times companies like Google, Facebook, and the like have betrayed our trust, prioritized profits over basic human decency, or have been so incredibly tight-lipped about what they’re doing with our data. How else do you explain major companies boycotting Facebook Ads to the tune of $7 billion, or the fact that people are legitimately tipping over 5G towers as a form of protest??

The virus, as negative and devastating as its impact has been on the global scale, has also given us a unique opportunity to wipe the slate clean and begin afresh. I honestly hope that companies like Apple, Samsung, Google, and their contemporaries actually seize this moment to reflect on their values, to do better, and to be better.

Apple-inspired designs to fulfill every tech lovers dream!

Apple’s WWDC just wrapped up and the highlight of the event is Apple’s switch to ARM instead of Intel. While that would be a major transition and not an easy one, we thought we would showcase the best of Apple-inspired designs to get a headstart on what we imagine the next set of hardware designs would be like. From touch-based MacBook concepts to Apple accessories for your existing gadgets, there is a design in here for everyone!

MacBook Pro 2018 concept

Designed with designers in mind, this MacBook Pro 2018 concept by Daniel Brunsteiner explores the integration of a full-size touchpad in place of the traditional keyboard. It relies on Apple’s own Taptic Engine system to give the user the feel of physical buttons or even emulate a scroll wheel or sliders. It retains the touch bar for shortcuts and function keys but the entire surface is touch-enabled! Better yet, now Apple Pencil is compatible with the new MacBook Pro, helping creative professionals in their workflow and allowing for new applications using the touchpad area.

If you look at the iPhone X Fold’s OS by  Roy Gilsing Design, you see that it’s essentially an iPad Mini folded in half… a desirable #bendgate if you will. It features a secondary screen on the front that resembles the iPhone X (why it features the notch, I’ll never know), but its most unlikely yet apt inspiration comes from one of Apple’s most reliable products ever, the MacBook. The XFold features an inward screen as the MacBook does, and even comes with the same anodized aluminum finish. Look at the rim and you’ll even see a slight cutout on the frame to slide your thumb in and open the phone, just like the MacBook has.

Ludovico’s MacBook redesign takes similar routes to the iPhone X and rather appropriately christens itself the MacBook X. Featuring a body that’s curved, rather than wedged, the MacBook X does a hat-tip to the iPhone and looks less susceptible to horrible denting given the lack of a sharp edge. It also explores a more expansive display that has those incredible curved edges and absolutely no bezels. The absence of a notch means there’s no webcam on the MacBook X, which does raise questions, but none too serious, considering this is purely conceptual. Look down at the bottom half and you’ll see the touch-bar is still there, sitting above what I can only say is a keyboard that feels much too different. Deviating from the regular square-keyed board, Campana’s MacBook concept takes on a circular key design, which I honestly have conflicting opinions about, but then again, conflicting opinions are all too common in the domain of consumer electronics… aren’t they?

Apple may have killed the AirPower, but if anything, it’s still the most customer-friendly company out there! Take for instance this Dongle by Ryan Geraghty that truly empowers iPad Pro users into connecting pretty much anything to their iPad Pros. With one USB-C port at one end and a WIDE variety of possibilities at the other, the latest dongle lets you connect everything from a LAN cable, to a pair of headphones, to memory cards, to even iPods (Hallelujah!). The dongle even comes with a proprietary cable technology that ensures that the dongle’s multitude of wires don’t get entangled, and is available in a wide variety of colors.

Now while Apple doesn’t have a reputation of listening to its consumers, most third-party OEMs do. Take the AirBar for instance. This amazingly thin little beaut is capable of turning your MacBook screen into a touchscreen. It broadcasts invisible light-waves to detect movement, allowing virtually anything to become a stylus. Use anything from chopsticks to a paintbrush to even your fingers (with or without gloves) to touch, navigate, zoom, swipe, or even paint on your MacBook! All you got to do is plug the AirBar into a USB port and mount it on the bottom of your screen. The only drawback here is the lack of pressure sensitivity since the AirBar only works in the X & Y axes.

The Wanle phone case for the iPhone turns your futuristic device into a slice of retro gaming heaven. It uses the backside of your phone and turns it into a retro Gameboy of sorts, letting you play classic games like Tetris, Tank, F1 Racing, and the legendary Snake. Without inhibiting any of your iPhone’s functions or ports, the Wanle case sits nicely on the back of your smartphone, turning what would be just a plain metal surface into a gamer’s paradise. It uses its own button-cell battery to power the video games at the back, allowing you to simply flip your phone over when you want to game without draining your iPhone’s battery. The cover case is beautifully designed with a curvature that feels great to the touch and actual 3D buttons that feel like the real thing.

The Retroduck stand does something rather noteworthy. Phones are light, portable, and have a reputation for being multi-tasking devices. Televisions on the other hand are the exact opposite. When you dock your phone into the Retroduck, your perception of your phone instantly changes to that of a television, therefore allowing you to watch content on your phone’s screen with much more attention… as you would on a TV. The Retroduck works as a rather neat multimedia dock, with its beautiful vintage-inspired design (even built with dummy controls and antennae!). It’s thick/hollow design helps channel sound better, allowing sound from your phone’s speakers to resonate within the empty space, effectively making it louder/punchier, while evenly channeling the sound through both the front as well as the back of the dock.

‘Reality leaves a lot to the imagination’, this quote by John Lennon is what I believe must be the inspiration behind this wonderful mix of reality and imagination displayed by designer Philip Lück. Philip has been adding a twist of imagination to the mundaneness of our daily lives. Now here’s a version of the iPhone 11 Pro that adds some fun to the 3 camera setup, and keeps the trypophobia at bay! Not to forget, the hours of screen-free analog procrastination it would provide when the phone was not in use.

The guys at Caviar, famous for their custom-made iPhones, have launched the Cyberphone, an iPhone 11 Pro’s soul in the body of a Cybertruck. This pimped-out iPhone 11 Pro comes with a PVD-coated titanium body featuring a polygonal edgy design reminiscent of the ‘polarizing vehicle’. The body extends all the way to the front, entirely covering the screen like a clamshell phone (so there’s never a repeat of the ‘shattered-glass’ incident), but with the hinge located at the bottom edge. The unique hinging mechanism allows the phone to immediately have a kickstand that you can use anywhere to prop the phone up on a table as you show it off.

The designer of DGRule Nicole Chang describes it as an “invisible hub” and I guess we can see why. The DGRule promises to be a convenient alternative to the limited Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports since they aren’t always compatible with all devices. Subtle, discreet, and far from bulky, DGRule snaps onto both sides of the MacBook Pro. Available in Space Gray or Silver, it camouflages with your laptop, appearing to be a natural extension of it. Created from CNC aluminum, this allows the hub to comfortably merge with the MacBook Pro. The DGRule encloses two Thunderbolt ports on the same side, leaving the two others on the opposite end completely free. The invisible hub connects your Thunderbolt 3, HDMI display, USB-C, Mini DP, three USB 3.1, one MicroSD, SD, and your headphones!

If you love everything Apple, this curated selection of Apple accessories and the list of iconic Apple Store Designs is exactly what you need!

The Nokia 5310 XpressMusic just got a clean, hip new revival!

The Nokia 5310 XpressMusic was to audio what the N.Gage was to gaming. Now I personally never got Nokia’s nomenclature system, but there are a few phones that really stood out, and the 5310 was definitely one of them. The company, of late, has been on a resurrection spree, bringing these phones back to life with a similar design and a refreshed OS on the inside that is smart enough, but otherwise still a handy, dumb phone.

The 5310 revival looks quite like the original, with the iconic buttons on the side of the screen that control music playback and volume. The phone still packs a camera, although don’t expect it to compare to the ones you find on smartphones of today. If you were to pit it against smartphones of today, its battery life which should easily last a week on standard usage and a whole month on standby. The phone also comes with a dual-SIM slot, and packs all the apps you’d want in your dumb phone, including a radio and the Snake game! Yeah, there’s Facebook too.

Designer: Nokia

This Teenage Engineering-inspired smartphone fits an entire synthesizer into its body!

Billie Eilish and her multiple Grammy wins last year is proof of one undeniable fact. You can, most certainly, make great music using just one laptop and a crummy set of speakers in a bedroom. Eilish’s tracks were produced entirely using consumer tech, with hardly any professional instruments, backup band, recording equipment, and production setups. Now just imagine a future where the bar for entry into the music industry was even lower. The OP-S is a conceptual smartphone designed by GRIS Design with an actual synth built right into it.

Modeled on the OP-1, an iconic portable synth and sequencer from Teenage Engineering, the OPS compresses all that technology into a tiny handheld frame. The smartphone comes with a sliding screen to reveal 24 keys and a sequencer. Pair this with the touchscreen interface and you’ve literally got yourself a complete Digital Audio Workstation that you can use to compose, sample, loop, and produce audio. The OP-S packs not one, but TWO audio jacks too… one for monitoring on your headphones, and another that lets you send sound out to a speaker setup or a laptop running your music software of choice. Designed to also be a pretty capable smartphone, the OP-S comes with a three-camera setup and a camera bump that actually does something pretty smart by propping up the phone in a stable way to enable you to use the keyboard without your phone rocking back and forth. Pretty neat, eh? Sadly though the OP-S is just a fan-made concept… but I wouldn’t put it past the guys at Teenage Engineering, who could probably build a prototype of this if they wanted.

Designer: GRIS Design

The Best iPhones So Far

The iPhone is amazing phone to buy that is if you know which one to buy. With the iPhone, you get more than a phone, you get a personal companion. From the games to the space to the memory to the size, you would think that each iPhone was tailor made for their users as they are so compatible. If you want to join the iPhone family but are not sure which of the many iOS phones to buy, we have you covered. We have a list of the best iPhones in 2020 so far. Top 2020 iPhones Ranked iPhone…

The post The Best iPhones So Far appeared first on Trendy Gadget.

This Apple-inspired conceptual camera is the bridge between DSLR cameras and smartphones

Ever wanted more than a phone camera but less than an advanced camera? This conceptual Apple-esque iCamera perfectly fits that gap! DSLR cameras can be daunting if you are just starting out but if you want to learn beyond the simple point-and-shoot then this camera is the perfect stepping stone into your visual art journey.

Get those professional shots without having to study the manual and watch several YouTube videos, the iCamera aims at breaking down the complexity of advance cameras to make people comfortable with the idea of shooting with a gadget that is not their phone. “It increases your ability and easily leads you to the world of cameras,” says the designer about the gap he wants to bridge with this concept design. The designer wanted to simplify the existing advanced cameras’ user experience by making the body more compact and lighter. The bulk of the lens is reduced but it still includes the revolving functionality to zoom. However, now you can do it comfortably with just a finger. It also aims to make transferring your files easier through cloud-based technologies – that one tedious task every photographer hates to do but has to do. So say goodbye to HD cards, setting up Bluetooth, and keeping a track of multiple accessories that one usually needs to transfer. It charges wirelessly and has a handy flash that attaches magnetically to the body!

The idea revolves around letting you control everything with one hand. The ergonomic form and intuitive design make the process of creativity flow smoothly. The iCamera was envisioned with the latest technology like triple lenses (wide + normal + zoom) and highly calibrated sensors so you don’t have to rely on carrying additional lenses. It also features WiFi connectivity and eSim so you can share your memories from wherever you are. I love the idea of the iCamera, it is the perfect gateway into advanced photography and the right solution for businesses that have creative requirements which can be met without buying unnecessary equipment. This camera is basically Goldilock’s perfect mid-range choice!

Designer: Cha Hee Lim

Toast the bacteria off of your smartphones!

We all collectively want to roast this pandemic out of existence, it has truly turned us all into Monica Geller with the constant disinfecting and cleaning things. Our phones are actually dirtier than toilet seats and we obviously use it all the time, so considering the rise of the bacteria we should make sure to also sanitize our phones along with our groceries (what a time to be alive). Combining two of Monica Geller’s favorite things, cooking + cleaning, this neat toaster actually is a smart appliance that disinfects your phone.

This conceptual toaster was designed to make disinfecting your phones a little easier and, honestly, more fun! Instead of the usual wipe down, this turns the task into a small interaction with the product that leaves you with a nice feeling instead of “I have to wipe my phone 25 times a day because there is a pandemic”. It aims to make the interaction between products and people more playful. The toaster also charges your phone while disinfecting it which is a nice way to reduce your screen time, I mean your phone is being “toasted” so you can’t take it out till it’s done! While the concept is still being developed, I assume it uses UV light to disinfect and sanitize the phone while wirelessly charging it.

The physical form is that of a minimal, modern toaster – something we recognize and value. While we are on that topic, we could also have a panini press or grill that does the same job for tablets and laptops! It reminds me of how the fresh plates at a restaurant are always warm and that leaves you with a sense of them being clean. That is the very emotion I gather when I imagine using this smartphone toaster to disinfect and charge my phone. Food and technology are evidently my two favorite things and if they are disinfecting, then its a win-win in this crazy world!

Designer: Lee Sungwook

Here’s that all-in-one charging dock Apple should have made for its products

Was the AirPower mat Apple’s biggest marketing mistake or its greatest tactic? The minute they announced the all-in-one wireless charger for the iPhone, Airpods, and the Watch, designers and tech startups all around the world jumped at the opportunity to out-Apple Apple. Years later, the AirPower still hasn’t arrived, but the market is inundated multiple products that allow Apple’s users to charge all their gadgets. Apple spent absolutely zero dollars on actually pushing a solution into the market, but benefitted by having third-party companies fill in the void. However, amidst the sea of wireless chargers, the Air Omni stands out as perhaps the one true product that Apple ple hopes it had tried to push out. The Air Omni charges your iPhone, Watch, Airpods, and even your iPad. Apart from juicing the batteries of your favorite devices, it props them up too, acting as a stand for your iPhone/iPad so you can charge your devices while using them. With its virtually perfect desk-friendly size, the Air Omni fits seamlessly into your workspace, and can slide right into your laptop bag too, so you don’t need to have it just at your office. You can carry it back home, use it at cafés, or even at the airport, as a quick charging hub and workspace alternative. Just dock your devices, prop up your iPad, connect a wireless keyboard, and your charging hub becomes your makeshift office space. Like I said, the AirPower mat wishes it were the Air Omni.

The Air Omni’s biggest defining feature is that it comes built to dock the iPad too, which should honestly be given the same status as the iPhone, Watch, and AirPods… after all, the iPad is a mobile device too. Designed for not just charging but docking too, the Air Omni comes with a dedicated pop-up wireless charging hub for your Watch, specified wireless charging zones for your phone and AirPods, and a stand that lets you dock the iPad vertically and charge it via a cable – all while complying with Apple’s MFi charging standards. The docking zone’s unique design is truly innovative as it shapeshifts to let you alternate between docking your iPad as well as your iPhone. The vertical docking setup is supported by a port that pops right out of the Air Omni, allowing you to plug your phone/tablet as you place it against its backrest. But wait Sarang, you’re probably wondering, how can one port charge the iPhone as well as the iPad especially when the iPad’s later variant uses a Type-C connector? Well, that’s where the Air Omni’s clever switcheroo trick comes handy. On the back of the device is a nifty button that allows you to mechanically alternate between Lightning and Type-C ports, making switching between docking your iPhone and iPad incredibly easy. If you’ve got other devices that need charging (a fitness tracker perhaps, or a power-bank), the Air Omni comes with an extra set of ports that allow you to plug up to two devices in… and as far as wireless charging on the Air Omni’s surface goes, a unique, patented coil layout allows you to wirelessly charge your gadgets no matter how you place it.

Speaking of out-Apple-ing Apple, the Pitaka Air Omni ditches the white plastic and anodized aluminum CMF palette for something more hardcore – after all, the product is vastly better than anything Apple could think of. Made from Aramid (Kevlar), the Air Omni comes in matte black, and is incredibly damage-resistant (which is more than I can say about Apple’s charging cables) as well as flame-resistant. It supports the charging of non-Apple devices too (definitely a baller move), and for good measure, also throws in a secret compartment for storing things like SD cards, money, or anything you’d need to stash away inside a secret compartment. A culmination of a bunch of good ideas, the Air Omni is perhaps the most mindful charging hub I’ve seen in a while for a few reasons. For starters, unlike Apple’s AirPower mat, it exists. Additionally, it holistically charges all your devices including your iPad, comes with the ability to turn your charging setup into a workplace setup (thanks to the vertical dock), takes care of all your charging needs while occupying just one plug-point… Plus, you don’t need to worry about tangled-up charging cables (or throwing money at Apple every time a charging cable breaks) – which to be honest is perhaps Air Omni’s most unsung bit of praise.

Designer: Pitaka

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Is this the new Google Pixel 5?

I remember around this exact time two years back, when it was nearly half a year left for Google’s event, and the leaks of the Pixel 3 could JUST NOT STOP coming. Images leaked out early, then some person was spotted using the Pixel 3 to click pictures outdoors, then one phone got accidentally left in a cab, and finally, an e-commerce site put the phone up on their online store before Google even launched the product. Now I would personally expect a company as large and powerful as Google to be a little less careless, which leads me to believe that the phone was intentionally leaked. Some tech reviewers believe this process helps blunt the force of bad press by spreading it out. If customers dislike the product’s design 5 months before the product launches, that’s enough time for them to hate it just a little less when the product actually DOES launch. It’s been two years since the Pixel 3, and it seems like Google’s slowly embracing and perfecting this strategy. Based on credible leaks from quite a few well-positioned and reputable people, this is probably what the Pixel 5 will look like.

The Pixel 5, based on rumors, comes with a design that’s almost like the 4, with the exception of that camera (which I’ll get to, obviously). Its front still has that slight forehead to accommodate the earpiece and front-facing camera, and the phone still has its colorful glass back, a USB-C port, and no headphone jack. A few articles on tech websites have delved deeper into the phone’s insides, and by far the most noteworthy difference between the Pixel 4 and Pixel 5, at least as far as its strategy is concerned, is that the Pixel 5 isn’t going to be Google’s top-of-the-line phone. It seems like the company is actually cutting back on tech specs to build a good, affordable, non-flagship phone. Whether that’s the result of our current economic climate, or whether Google had this strategy all along seems difficult to point out, but the Pixel 5 apparently will sport a Snapdragon 765G processor, which is Qualcomm’s second-best chip in its 2020 lineup. This effectively means Google’s pushing for a phone that’s greater than the sum of its parts. The company’s more than capable of making a great phone out of ordinary hardware – case in point its single-lens camera being able to perform portrait-mode photography. The Pixel 5 probably won’t be 2020’s best Android phone, but considering that it’s coming from Google, it should still be a pretty damn good phone.

Which brings me to its unique design. The Pixel 5 may not be a top-tier device, but it’s really important for it to not look like a cheap phone. The strange U-shaped camera bump is, to put it a certain way, eye-catching, and reminds me of the Nexus 5… which was yet another phone that had an incredibly unique and iconic aesthetic. Call me sympathetic, but the Nexus 5 was also my first ever smartphone. That massive camera bump is a feature that you’ll probably love or hate. Believe it or not, I’m still undecided. I really want to hate on it, because it looks like a supermassive notch on the back of your phone, but at the same time I’m sort of liking it. The aesthetic aside, the camera is unique for Google also because it’s the first Pixel phone to sport three lenses. Details on the lenses seem scarce, but the 3-lens setup also comes with a flash as well as an extra component that some speculate to either be a time-of-flight sensor or a laser autofocus sensor. That’s all we really have on the Pixel 5. I’m not really banking on Google making any announcements right now, partially because the company’s working hard on its contact-tracing app, and also because this phone’s precursor, the Pixel 4A, hasn’t been announced yet. If I were you, I’d wait a bit though… going by Google’s track record, a teaser image should find its way on Twitter pretty soon!

Designer/Visualizer: Sarang Sheth