While Google’s flagship phone shares the Pixel 4a’s design language, one key difference is the smoother screen bezel. In fact, there is no upper grille as the Pixel 5 likely uses an under-display speaker.
This interesting design aspect was spotted today on Reddit after a look at Google’s official “Pixel phone hardware diagram”. The top speaker (4) clearly does not touch the top bezel and sits firmly in the screen. Just above is the proximity and ambient light sensor (2), similar to the Pixel 4a where the latter component is below the display to the right of the speaker.
In the diagram, these components appear to be centered. However, a Pixel 5 screen protector on the Google Store suggests it sits slightly to the left of center.
The Pixel 5 isn’t the first phone to feature an under-display speaker where the screen vibrates slightly to deliver sound. It’s found on high-end TVs and the LG G8, with my colleague Ben Schoon noting last year how “the sound quality is sharper with this technology, and I found the caller’s voice overwhelmed by background noise. less often”.
Internally developed by LG, CSO [Crystal Sound OLED] repurposes the OLED display as a diaphragm, vibrating the entire surface to produce a sound with impressive volume.
With Acoustic Surface Audio + ™ and TV center speaker mode, sound comes directly from the center of the screen with actuators behind the TV vibrating to create acoustics that move with the picture.
The Huawei P30 Pro and P40 Pro also take advantage of this technology and you can see a teardown from JerryRigEverything of the latter device below.
On the Pixel 5, this upper speaker below the display is paired with the lower one to provide stereo sound. It remains to be seen how well it works on the Pixel 5, but – coupled with the implementation of wireless charging – reveals that the technological innovation on Google’s flagship is subtle, but definitely present.
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