The old flip phone may be out of date but smartphones are not, and the next challenge a lot of tech giants are looking at tackling is the foldable smartphone. Samsung’s lead the way in this area with the release of its third-generation Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip, and it seems Google may be looking to follow suit.
This article was originally published on August 17. It has since been updated with new information.
Rumours about Google developing a foldable phone have been circling for years now but nothing concrete has come out about it. But with Google set to unveil its Pixel 6 and 6 Pro on Wednesday next week, the whispers have been getting louder.
Let’s break down what we know about Google’s possible folding Pixel smartphone.
Google Pixel Fold: Leaks and rumours so far
Plenty of information has come out about Google’s next phones in the Pixel range, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. But less has been revealed about the potential foldable Pixel but there is reason to believe Google’s foldable will come out amongst the Pixel 6 lineup.
When the Android 12 beta was released in May, some clever folks discovered code that revealed the potential device names and model numbers of the upcoming Pixel phones.
One of these devices was ‘Passport’ which is believed to be the codename for Google’s upcoming foldable phone.
Heard from someone I trust that the foldable Pixel — codename: Passport, retail branding: unknown — will indeed launch before the end of the year. Apparently they've been working on this device for over two years, and if the P6 is any indication, it'll be worth a look.
— E (@evleaks) September 20, 2021
This means there’s a good likelihood the foldable Pixel could come out with the next batch, or that Google is at least getting ready for it soon.
Tech Radar also pointed out that a modder discovered these same Pixel device codenames within a Samsung modem. This could indicate that the foldable phone is a foldable Pixel 6 and will use the same new Tensor chipset as the other Pixel 6 phones.
Trying to find other details on the specs for the foldable Google phone is like finding a needle in a haystack. However, display analyst Ross Young did drop some interesting information earlier this year about Samsung, saying the company will provide foldable displays for six devices in 2021.
Outside of Samsung’s own Z Flip3 and Z Fold3, this leaves a few devices unchecked, one of which is believed to be the Google Foldable.
Young also dropped some specs for the Google foldable saying it will be 7.57-inches and feature a 120Hz and LTPO display.
Today's leak – All 2021 foldables using panels from Samsung Display will be 120Hz and LTPO. This of course covers the 6.70" Z Flip 3, 7.55" Z Fold 3 as well as the 7.57" foldable from Google, 7.11" from Oppo, 8.2" from Vivo and 8.1" from Xiaomi.
— Ross Young (@DSCCRoss) July 19, 2021
The Elec (via 9to5 Google) also pointed out in June that Samsung Display is supposed to be starting production on new foldable displays for Google, Vivo and Xiaomi starting in October 2021.
When will Google’s foldable phone be released?
It’s possible the foldable Pixel will be announced Wednesday next week during Google’s Pixel event, but it may push this announcement back a bit.
Rumours indicate that the Pixel Fold will be released before the end of 2021, so whether it’s revealed next week or later in the year we could be seeing it very soon.
Google will be taking the wraps off the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro on October 20 at 4:00 am AEDT. But there’s going to be a little bit more than just phones unveiled. Hopefully it’s a foldable Pixel.
We’ll continue to update this post as more news comes out about Google’s Pixel Fold.