Every year, it seems Pixel leak season begins just a little bit earlier, like the holiday shopping season but for smartphone nerds.
We’ve already seen an alleged render of the upcoming Google flagship, and possible codenames for the Pixel 5 and 5 XL — Redfin and Bramble — have turned up. Now, a code change submitted to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) contained comments that directly mention the Pixel 5.
As spotted by 9to5Google, an AOSP code change regarding Android’s Linux kernel includes a comment about testing the change on a Pixel 4 but not on a Pixel 5. You can read the comment in full below:
“Bounds sanitizer in arch/arm64/kernel/cpufeature.c makes image unbootable for Pixel 4 at 4.14 kernel. I didn’t have a chance to test it on Pixel 5 with 4.19, and preemptively disabling UBSan there now to ensure bootability.” (emphasis mine)
While the comment itself isn’t super important — it’s about disabling an optimization to C code called ‘UndefinedBehaviorSanitizer‘ (UBSan) — the devices mentioned are worth paying attention to. First, the developer mentions the Pixel 4 running on the “4.14 kernel.” That number refers to the underlying Linux kernel version that Android uses. For the unfamiliar, a kernel is a program at the core of an operating system with complete control over everything. Essentially, it acts as the interface between hardware and software.
As such, it’s important to note that the code not only mentioned the Pixel 5, but noted it ran kernel version 4.19. Considering the ‘Bramble’ codename was previously spotted running kernel 4.19, which adds further credence to the rumour that Bramble is the codename for the Pixel 5. Since 9to5 discovered the code comment, the developer took it down and replaced it with a nearly identical one. However, the new one swaps out the Pixel 5 for “an arm64 device with 4.19.”
What’s particularly interesting about Bramble potentially being a codename for the Pixel 5 is that a previous leak suggests Bramble will use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 730 chip, which launched in 2019. The 730 is a decidedly mid-range System on a Chip (SoC), which could mean the Pixel 5 won’t be a flagship tier device.
However, this far out from the Pixel 5 launch, anything could happen and things will likely change. Plus, speculation built off varied information obtained from snippets of code isn’t enough to say with certainty what we’ll see when Google launches the device later this year. For now, we’ll just have to wait for more leaks.