Although the 5G market is still extremely small and the footprint is even smaller it is the next level for smartphone vendors to step up. With Apple not releasing a 5G smartphone this year Google is looking to one up them with a 5G smartphone.
Sources close to the situation have said that Google is currently working on a 5G smartphone:
The two [Pixel 4] smartphones are already going into mass production and will be ready to ship after Google’s [new products] unveiling next week. Google is also working on a version with 5G technology, which is in test production.
It should come as no surprise that Google is working on a 5G Pixel phone given the state of the market but that it has one currently in testing is interesting. It is possible they are looking to release it early next year alongside the Pixel 4a but that would most likely make three smartphones to be released at that time (5G, 4a, 4a XL).
Google have said that they are trying to look to the future with their hardware in an attempt to bring their software to more people in the best and fastest way possible. The 5G version of the Pixel is currently in testing in China apparently with an Autumn release next year (Downunder time) — while not early and over 12 months behind some 5G phones it would still put them ahead of an Apple 5G release.
We will be sure to ask Google first chance we get of their 5G plans but given their secrecy so far on the issue do not expect much in the way of details.