- The upcoming Pixel 5 will remove Google’s radar technology introduced last year, said the new leak.
- Pixel 4 is the only handset in the world that has a radar chip that can detect hand movements and movements.
- However, Motion Sense powered by Soli is more a gimmick than a smartphone feature that must be had, and ruined the design of the Pixel 4 screen.
- Visit the BGR homepage for more stories.
Google announced several Pixel 4 features a few months before the phone was revealed, including a dual-lens rear camera design and a 3D face recognition system on the front, powered by Project Soli’s radar chip. Soli’s radar chip forced Google to use an all-screen design unlike anything ever seen on an Android phone. Pixel 4 gets several large asymmetrical bezels, with the ugliest ones. That’s because Google has to put all components of a selfie camera that allows 3D face recognition and Soli’s chip inside the bezel. Therefore, a notch design like the iPhone X or the look of a hole like the Galaxy S10 is not possible.
After Pixel 4 was launched, we studied fairly how sophisticated it is the entire Motion Sense system is. It’s also very useless, because it offers limited benefits for Face unlock and limited touchless control on the handset. So it’s not surprising to hear that Google is considering dumping Motion Sense on Pixel 5.
Make no mistake, placing a radar chip inside the phone is no small matter. This type of feature could one day open the way for interactions with smart devices through touch as imagined Minority Report. Radar may not be used only on smartphones, but also on computers and devices that can be used to detect the presence of a hand and interpret movements. That’s assuming Google has a plan for the technology. Apart from Pixel 4, there are no Android or iPhone handsets that have similar technology, even though LG try a similar function using Time of Flight (ToF) camera technology instead of last year’s radar.
But the big disadvantage of Motion Sense is that there is too much space on the front of the screen. Motion Sense is the best gimmick in Pixel 4, which is even Google struggling to maintain. The famous Leaker, Jon Prosser offers the following Pixel 5 rendering a few months ago that seemed to show Motion Sense very much in the picture, even though the Pixel 5 design below featured a much smaller bezel:
Fast forward to mid-May and 9to5Google Stephen Hall said that the source had revealed additional details about Pixel 5, including the fact that it was “likely to leave behind a hobby like Soli.”
Ditching Motion Sense will not damage the phone’s 3D face recognition capability. With Soli, Google believes that its Face Unlock works faster than Face ID because it detects user intentions via radar. But how much time do you save? As for interactions without touch, Google might have an idea of how many people are waving in front of their phones to do one of the limited tasks that Motion Sense can deliver. I dare guess that not many people use it as often as Google wants, and very few people will miss it.
That Pixel 5 has been reported as a 5G mid-range phone, because Google should be using a Snapdragon 765G processor instead of Snapdragon 865 which supports Galaxy S20 and OnePlus 8. Add Motion Sense, and you end up with a phone that can’t match these two flagships, or the iPhone 12, when it comes to specifications and the draft. Differently, the design of the Pixel 4a hole-punch is rumored to look much better than Pixel 4, and that would be one reason to choose it over the iPhone 2020 SE. The new iPhone will mop the floor with Pixel 4a when it comes to performance, but it does have large top and bottom bezels that don’t match the current trends.
Pixel 5 will have a much better build quality than Pixel 4a and will provide a closer experience with other premium handsets. And without Motion Sense, maybe Google can bring a much better screen-to-body ratio. A better design will make Pixel 5 more attractive, regardless of the specifications.
These are all rumors, of course, but as we get closer to falling, the final design of Pixel 5 and the full specification sheet will probably leak long before Google Pixel 5 reveals the event.