Google is reportedly testing a 5G version of the Pixel 4

Whether or not you’ll hear about a 5G variant at Google’s October 15th event is another matter. Test production suggests it’s still early, and Nikkei‘s contacts said Google might wait to unveil a 5G version in spring alongside a new budget Pixel phone (the Pixel 4a?). Not that there’s much of a rush to do so. Carriers’ 5G networks are still hard to find, and existing cellular chipsets frequently demand compromises in battery life.

Google hasn’t commented on the claimed leak. However, a spring 5G update might make sense beyond waiting for the technology to mature. By spring 2020, all of Google Fi’s carrier partners (Sprint, T-Mobile and US Cellular) will have 5G running in some capacity. A 5G Pixel 4 would serve as a showcase for those upgrades, and might keep people subscribed to Fi where they’d otherwise be tempted to leave for other providers.