Google Pixel 6 and Pixel Fold mentioned in Android 12 beta code

Google Pixel 5
The Google Pixel 5 (Image credit: TechRadar)

Android betas often hide all sorts of secrets in their code, and the Android 12 one is no exception, as mentions of codenames and model numbers linked to a range of upcoming Pixel phones have been spotted.

Dylan Roussel - a contributor to 9to5Google – spotted four model numbers. First up there’s GR1YH and GF5KQ, associated with the codenames Oriole and Raven respectively. These are believed to be members of the Google Pixel 6 family, so presumably the Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 XL (or the Pixel 6 Pro as it’s more recently been rumored to be called).

Then there’s a device codenamed Passport, with the model number GPQ72, which is thought to be the long-rumored Pixel Fold, and finally there’s the Barbet, which has the model number G4S1M and is thought to be the Pixel 5a 5G.

Google's first foldable could launch soon

The model numbers are apparently for Japanese variants of the phones, and to our mind the most interesting is the Pixel Fold, since that’s the one with the most uncertainty regarding when or if it will launch. Its apparent presence here suggests both that it’s real and might land this year.

That said, there’s no guarantee of either of those things. 9to5Google points out that a device codenamed Needlefish was also found in the Android 12 code, and this is a codename that was first spotted in 2019 and believed to be for a 5G model of the Pixel 4 that never launched. So in other words just because a model is spotted in this code, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will land soon or at all.

There's no real doubt about the presence of the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 5a though. Google has even confirmed that the Pixel 5a is on the way, despite it not being present at the Google IO keynote.

The mention of two Pixel 6 models though does add to the evidence that there will be multiple models this year, in a change from 2020’s single Pixel 5. We should find out for sure in or around October, as that’s when the Pixel 6 is likely to land.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.