Samsung’s recently concluded event once again brought foldable devices into the limelight. Now more affordable and a little bit more durable, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 are being positioned to help take foldable phones to the mainstream market. Of course, that would require that other manufacturers also jump on the train, and, surprisingly, Google might be one of those. In fact, that rumored Pixel Fold could come sooner than expected, at least based on some loose connection with the upcoming Pixel 6.
Google isn’t one to jump on bandwagons immediately, so the idea that it would be making a foldable phone is already quite out of character. The suggestion that it could actually be coming within the next 12 months is even more out of the ordinary. That, however, might be the case based on a small clue found in the latest Android 12 beta code.
According to tipster @cstark27, the source code refers to devices codenamed Oriole, Raven, and Passport. Passport has long been associated with Google’s first foldable device, which everyone’s calling the Pixel Fold for now. Oriole and Raven, on the other hand, are suspected to be the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.
The more telling detail, however, is the Samsung 5G modem referred to as “g5123b”. That is the same modem that will be used for the Pixel 6 series, suggesting that this Pixel Fold will be part of the same generation of Google devices that will run on its custom Tensor chip. If so, the chances that the phone launches before the next Pixel iteration next year are even higher.
Unfortunately, not much else is known about the Pixel Fold at this point. Sources claim that it will be using Samsung’s Ultra-Thin Glass (UTG) tech, but that component will be shared by almost all foldable phones that will be launched this year. Google has been preparing Android itself to support such foldable scenarios, and it will be interesting to see how different it will be from all implementations so far.