The most recent evidence of Google’s Pixel foldable shows a smartphone that resembles the Oppo Find N rather than the Samsung Galaxy Fold.
We’ve been following the progress of Google’s first foldable Pixel phone for almost a year. It’s gone by two different internal codenames in that time – initially “Passport,” and more recently “Pipit,” a bird-themed codename. While the final name isn’t official, let’s call it the Google Pixel Fold for now.
We’ve already demonstrated that the Pixel Fold’s camera may be inferior to that of the Pixel 6. The Pixel Fold will use the same Google Tensor (GS101) chip as the Pixel 6 series.
Late last year, allegations surfaced that Google was canceling part orders for the Pixel Fold’s manufacture, implying that the device will not be released. We now have grounds to suspect, however, that progress has continued.
We uncovered new animations depicting how to insert a SIM card into a foldable phone in Android 12L Beta 2, which was released this afternoon. They resemble the animations seen today while setting up a Pixel during the stage where the phone requests a SIM card or eSIM. More importantly, the coding for this animation mentions the Pixel Fold’s codename “Pipit.”
Here’s what we can learn from the animations
The animation above depicts a folded device with a stout shape and a right-hand volume rocker. The SIM card tray is located in the bottom, while the hinge appears to be on the left. This animation appears to depict the smaller, outer display of the Pixel Fold.
Another animation depicts the device’s SIM card insertion process while it is closed. Outside of a noticeable hinge area along the left side of the device, we can see that Google wants to give an exterior display that is mostly bezel-free.
Many had assumed that Google’s Pixel Fold would be similar in size and shape to Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, with a 22.5:18 aspect ratio. Instead, these simulations show a Pixel Fold that looks a lot like the Oppo Find N foldable, which has a nearly square 8.4:9 aspect ratio.
The Pixel Fold’s shorter shape, similar to Oppo’s Find N, should provide the outer display more breathing area for texting and other common tasks while the smartphone is closed. This would also address the Galaxy Z Fold 3’s lengthier candy-bar-shaped outside display, which has been a source of criticism.
Apart from what we’ve already said, the positioning of the device’s volume rocker, which is in the lower half of the right side of the phone, is the only other visual clue provided by Google’s claimed Pixel Fold animation.
We can’t claim for sure that this information demonstrates that Google is still going to introduce a Pixel Fold, as we never can. However, the inclusion of the Google Pixel Fold in the current Android beta gives us faith that the search giant is still working on it and that we will see it sooner rather than later.