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Google Pixel Fold: Everything We Know So Far

A mockup render of the Pixel Fold.
A mockup render of the Pixel Fold. @WaqarKhanHD

As foldable phones continue to grow in popularity, it’s only a matter of time before Google launches its long-awaited Pixel foldable. Early leaks and rumors suggest that Google’s first foldable will be a compelling, competitive device, and it could launch alongside the Pixel 7! Here’s everything we know about the Pixel Fold so far.

Broad Details: Release Date and Pricing

While Google hasn’t announced (or even hinted) a Pixel foldable release date, recent leaks point to a 2022 launch. As discovered by 9to5Google, the Google Camera app contains a line of code stating “isPixel2022Foldable.” Google has also included several Pixel foldable codenames in its latest Android beta releases, including “Notepad” and “Passport.”

If that’s not enough, trusted leakers like Ross Young state that the Pixel foldable’s display will enter manufacturing between July and September.

Assuming that at least one of these leaks are correct, the Pixel foldable may launch alongside the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, similar to how Samsung’s first foldables were flanked by Galaxy S-series phones. We expect Google to host the Pixel 7 launch event this October, as that’s when it streamed the Pixel 6 event last year.

While we don’t know anything about the Pixel Fold’s pricing, it will probably compete with Samsung’s Galaxy Fold 3, a $1,800 device that regularly goes on sale for about $1,600. (Google could aim for a more reasonable price, though, as that was its strategy with the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro flagships.)

The Design: Well, It Folds!

The Pixel Fold patent.

We know very little about the Pixel Fold’s design. Most concept renders, like the ones used in this article, are based on patents filed by Google over the last year. One patent shows the Pixel Fold with a book-like design, similar to the Galaxy Fold 3. Another patent uses a brochure-style design that folds in two places, oddly enough.

That said, we expect Google to stick with the book-like design. The company is (according to TheElec) ordering 7.6-inch foldable displays from Samsung, and these displays are too small for a brochure-styled phone. (By the way, these are the same 7.6-inch displays that Samsung uses for its Galaxy Fold 3.)

I should note some of the details of Google’s patent—the one with the book-like design, not the weird brochure thing. This patent describes a phone with a “stretching” display; some of its screen rolls inside the phone when it’s closed and tightens itself out when the phone is open. Motorola utilized a similar idea in its Razr foldable.

Google’s first foldable could also feature an outer “cover” display, and given the leaked camera specs, we think it may have a flat camera array in place of a chunky camera bump.

The Processor: Tensor All the Way!

A drawing of the Google Tensor processor

We recently learned that Google is working on a second-generation Tensor processor for the Pixel 7. It’s an exciting move, as the original Tensor chip has been an overwhelming success—if you don’t count the Pixel 6’s buggy first few months, I guess.

But will the Pixel foldable use this second-gen Tensor chipset? Judging by some recent leaks, the answer is probably “no.”

Google uses internal codenames for all of its phones, and notably, the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro go by the feline names “Cheetah” and “Panther.” The Pixel foldable does not go by a feline codename; Google calls it the “Pipit,” which is a type of bird.

Stay with me here. Google also uses bird codenames for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. Plus, the company calls its upcoming Pixel 6a the “Oriole,” another bird. It seems that Google is naming all of its first-gen Tensor devices after birds, and since the Pixel foldable is called “Pipit,” it likely runs an original Tensor chipset.

Don’t take this speculation to heart; we don’t know why Google uses certain codenames for its devices. Consider it an interesting observation.

The Cameras: Very Promising!

A mockup render of the Pixel Fold.
A mockup render of the Pixel Fold. @WaqarKhanHD

Most foldable phones have disappointing cameras. It’s just a fact of life—and yes, even the Galaxy Fold 3’s cameras fall short of what you get in a traditional phone. But Google could flip the narrative with its Pixel Fold.

When our friends at 9to5Google went datamining in the Google Camera app, they discovered the Pixel Fold’s camera specs. If these specs are accurate, then the Pixel Fold will feature the same 12.2MP main sensor that Google used in its Pixel 3, Pixel 4, and Pixel 5 handsets.

Some people are upset that Google isn’t using the Pixel 6’s 50MP sensor in its first foldable. But it doesn’t need to. Unlike Samsung, which relies on crazy camera hardware to take great photos, Google uses computational photography AI to pull the best pictures from “weak” components.

If the Pixel Fold uses this 12.2MP sensor, it should take photos at a quality that’s comparable to the Pixel 5, which shoots amazing pictures. And that means it will offer the best camera quality of any foldable device.

Notably, LetsGoDigital discovered a Google patent for an under-display selfie camera. Samsung used this kind of camera in the Galaxy Z Fold 3, and the results suck, so let’s hope that Google doesn’t do anything with that patent.

I should mention that it’s hard to pin down a foldable phone’s camera specs. This isn’t a regular phone that has one camera on the front and three cameras on the back—a foldable might have three selfie cameras, for example, and all of those cameras may use identical hardware.

Again, we think that Google will launch the Pixel Fold alongside the Pixel 7 in late 2022. But until the company comes out and announces something, all we have are leaks and rumors.

We will continue to update this article as new Pixel Fold information comes to light. Bookmark this page or join our free newsletter to keep up with the latest Pixel Fold leaks and rumors.

Andrew Heinzman Andrew Heinzman
Andrew is the News Editor for Review Geek, where he covers breaking stories and manages the news team. He joined Life Savvy Media as a freelance writer in 2018 and has experience in a number of topics, including mobile hardware, audio, and IoT. Read Full Bio »