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Google reveals 5G Pixel smartphone and a remote control for Chromecast

Jamie Harris, PA Science Technology Reporter
·3-min read

Google is entering the world of 5G with new smartphones set to launch in the UK this October.

The tech giant has added support for the next-generation network speed in its latest Pixel handsets, the Pixel 5 and the Pixel 4a 5G.

Google is hoping to lure users with the promise of “5G speeds at affordable prices”, retailing the flagship device from £599 and the budget 4a 5G from £499.

Both handsets feature improved camera technology, capable of taking wide lens shots and adding enhanced portrait lighting options, as well as a cinematic pan setting for shooting movie-like videos.

Water-resistance, an extreme battery saver mode able to shut down certain apps saving as much as 48 hours of battery, and reverse wireless charging to provide power to other devices were among the highlights on board the Pixel 5.

Google was forced to scale back its usual launch arrangements, like Apple and other firms, opting for a streamed event online instead of a live conference hall with an audience.

The company revealed an updated Chromecast with Google TV offering for £59.99, which comes with a remote control allowing users to summon TV shows and films using their voice.

Google also added a £89 speaker to its Nest line-up aimed at music lovers, boosting bass by 50% and volume by 75% compared to the original Google Home speaker launched in 2016.

Ru Bhikha, mobiles expert at Uswitch.com, described the Pixel 5 price tag as “a breath of fresh air”.

“The £599 price tag may make it seem more of a competitor to the iPhone SE and the Samsung S20 FE than its traditional rivals’ top-end devices that cost more than £1,000, but there’s nothing low-rent about this handset,” he said.

“The performance of Pixel 5’s camera set-up compares well to the four lenses seen on many of its rivals’ devices, a real testament to Google’s ability to squeeze incredible performance from their tech.

“Google’s reveal of the 5G-ready Pixel 5 and the Pixel 4a 5G sends a clear message to consumers that this is the year of fifth generation connectivity, and means we now wait to see what Apple, the only big manufacturer to not yet offer a 5G enabled smartphone, will do.”

UK buyers will have to wait until October 15 to get their hands on the Pixel 5, Google Nest Audio and Chromecast with Google TV – while the Pixel 4a with 5G will follow on November 19.