With the advent of the Samsung Galaxy Fold in 2019, nearly every Android device maker started working on creating their own take on the idea of a foldable phone. There have been flip-style designs like the Motorola Razr and hinged dual-screen devices like the Surface Duo, but many are looking to replicate the success of the Galaxy Z Fold series.
To make today’s world of foldable smartphones possible, Google has been steadily building support for foldables into Android since at least 2018. Over time, the rise of foldables revealed the ways that Android was still so much better on phones than on screens. tablet size. Year after year, Android has gotten better, especially with this year’s Android 12L, which is suitable for “large screens” of all types. Android 13 has further improved the ideas added in 12L.
Android apps can now have “continuity” when switching from a smaller to a larger screen. Switching between apps has become a breeze, thanks to a new application bar. Multitasking has also been overhauled, with new “app pairs”.
All the while, Google has been quietly, or perhaps not so quietly, working on a foldout of its own. In 2019, then-Pixel division head Mario Queiroz confirmed that the company was “prototyping” foldable phones. A year later, we exclusively reported that Google had a more tangible foldout, codenamed “Passport,” due for release in “Q4 2021” alongside the Pixel 6.
Details about this first foldable surfaced as late as 2021, with reports indicating the Pixel Fold would have a 7.6-inch screen from Samsung, complete with a 120Hz refresh rate. Analysts were hopeful that Google would unveil this ‘Passport’ device as the first Pixel Fold in October 2021. Our team even found the model number for the Japanese variant of this phone, pointing to a global release.
After that year’s Made by Google came and went without even a teaser of a Pixel Fold, our team found evidence confirming that a foldable was on track for 2022. Along the way, Google had canceled its plans for “Passport” and had switched to a new device, codenamed “Pipit”.
This second iteration of the Pixel Fold was poised to carry the same Google Tensor chip used in the Pixel 6. However, unlike Google’s traditional flagship, this foldable would continue to use the same dated cameras found in the Pixel 5.
We also got a little sneak peek at this second attempt at the Pixel Fold, thanks to the Android 12L beta. From a couple of included animations, we learned that “Pipit” would be sturdier in its design than the Galaxy Z Fold series, closer to that of the Oppo Find N (not that that’s a bad thing). Notably, those early animations still bear a striking resemblance to the latest Pixel Fold renders.
However, just as momentum started to build around this second Pixel Fold attempt, particularly with the release of Android 12L, Google delayed the fold yet again. We believe this was when the company shifted focus again, moving from “Pipit” to the third iteration, codenamed “Felix.”
It appears that this version of the Google Pixel Fold is now stalled, or at least far ahead to have more in-depth details leading up to this recent leak of renders, pricing, and a supposed launch window. As you’d expect, the base upgrade is a step up to the latest Tensor G2 chip, with all the speed and efficiency improvements that go with it.
Unlike Google’s previous attempts, the Pixel Fold is now poised to bring the kind of high-end mobile camera you’d expect from the Pixel series. According to the Android researcher Kuba Wojciechowskithe Pixel Fold is likely to carry the Sony IMX787 sensor (64MP, 1/1.3-inch size) for its primary photography.
On paper, the main camera hardware should be on par or slightly better compared to that used in the Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 series. You’ll also reportedly find the typical accompaniment of telephoto, ultrawide, and front-facing cameras.
That said, you probably won’t be making much use of the front camera when taking selfies with the Pixel Fold. Our APK Insight team found that Google Camera will allow you to take selfies with the main high-quality camera while previewing from the small external screen, matching a similar functionality that has long been present on the Galaxy Z Fold series and similar foldables on the years.
By the way, the outer screen is expected to measure in at a resolution of 1080 x 2100, while the 7.6-inch internal screen is expected to be 1840 x 2208. Unlike the Pixel 7, neither of these screens will include an under-display fingerprint reader. . Instead, whether the Pixel Fold is open or closed, you’ll use a fingerprint reader built into the lock button, just like Samsung’s foldables.
The Pixel Fold has clearly had a long journey towards release, and things are certainly looking up if these latest leaks turn out to be entirely accurate. In any case, it’s probably for the best that Google gave this particular device so much time to bake.
Foldables are, despite many improvements, still more prone to damage than traditional form factors. Additionally, the quality of Google’s Pixel hardware has improved dramatically with the Pixel 7 series, providing a better foundation for the Pixel Fold to truly thrive against the competition.
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