Has Google Just Leaked Its Pixel Fold's Design?

No doubt, Google just leaked the design of the Pixel Fold?

Images of a foldable were recently discovered in the Android 12L beta, suggesting Pixel Fold might still be coming and possibly hinting at the design.

Rumors of a Pixel Fold don't seem to be dying and recently discovered images might provide some insight into what a Google foldable might look like. With the Pixel 6, Google showed that it's willing to take some risks with unusual smartphone designs. The bold camera bar that stretches the full width of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro has not deterred customer enthusiasm, resulting in one of the most successful phones Google has ever made.

A few years ago, foldable screens were futuristic concepts that appeared only as prototypes and renderings. In 2022, there is a surprising number on the market already, with more planned soon. Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Motorola all have flexible screen foldables and even Microsoft made a foldable with two separate screens. All have met with at least partial success, but Samsung is clearly outpacing the rest with its Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Z Fold 3.

Google is working on better support for foldable phones in Android and a beta version of Android 12L is where the latest hint of a possible Pixel Fold was found. Uncovered by 9to5Google, Google's beta contained images that show a device with a Google logo that hinges on the left, has volume rockers on the right, and a SIM card tray on the bottom. These are illustrations, not photos, and appear to be instructional materials to show where the SIM tray is located. While this proves nothing, it is certainly intriguing and might provide a glimpse at the shape of a future Pixel Fold.


What The Pixel Fold Images Reveal

An embedded image of a device that has hinges, buttons, and a SIM tray only serves to demonstrate that this is a phone or tablet that folds. Of course, the Google logo implies that it will be made by Google. Looking at the hinge placement it can be seen that there is a vertical seam and a design that is meant to open double-wide rather than collapsing to half height like Samsung's Z Flip 3.

A closer look at the shape shows the device is very nearly square, but slightly wider than it is tall. Assuming this is a phone, this sets it apart from the design of Samsung's Z Fold 3, perhaps making it closer to the form factor of Oppo's Find N as 9to5Google suggests. For what it's worth, the report also notes that the Find N more reliably opens apps in tablet mode due to the wider design. If Google is actually designing a Pixel Fold, concerns about the proper display of apps shouldn't be a problem since the company is also the developer of Android, and everything should work seamlessly with a fully Google foldable.