While Google has revealed much about the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, it hasn’t so far said anything about the Pixel Fold, despite being heavily rumored to have a foldable on the way this year. But while Google is so far staying quiet, its code isn’t, as details of the Pixel Fold seem to have been found in Android 12 beta code.
Modder cstark27 found reference to five different Google devices, codenamed Oriole, Raven, Passport and Slider, with the fifth name unknown at the time of writing. The first two of those are codenames for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, while Passport is rumored to be the codename for the Google Pixel Fold, and we’re not sure what Slider is.
In any case, these names are all mentioned in relation to a Samsung modem listed as ‘g5123b’. While that in itself doesn’t tell us much, it’s likely that if these phones share a modem they also share a chipset – meaning the Google Pixel Fold could have the Tensor chipset that has already been confirmed for the Pixel 6 range.
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This chipset is designed to speed up AI and machine learning processes, which could benefit the cameras, speech recognition and more. It also has the “most layers of hardware security in any phone.” So it sounds promising.
If the Pixel Fold does have this chipset (which is likely on the basis of this evidence, especially if the phone launches soon like it’s rumored to), there’s a good chance it could have the same cameras as the Pixel 6 or the Pixel 6 Pro as well, given that this chipset is tuned to make the most of those snappers.
That would mean a dual-lens or triple-lens camera, with main, ultra-wide, and possibly also telephoto (4x optical zoom) lenses. While the exact specs - let alone performance – of these cameras is unconfirmed, Google tends to fare well when it comes to photography, so we’d expect good things. Though for now there’s no guarantee that the Pixel Fold will have this combination.
Analysis: the Pixel Fold could be Google’s secret star
Google recently made the odd decision to reveal many of the features of the Pixel 6 range, despite the phones not being fully announced until later this year. This seemed strange, but the Google Pixel Fold could be the reason for it.
If the Pixel Fold is landing this year then it would make sense to launch it at the same time as the Pixel 6 range, and by revealing much about those phones in advance, more time can be dedicated to the Fold, making it the star of the show.
We’re still not at all sure the Pixel Fold will land this year, as Google has kept it fairly quiet if so. But this leak and others all suggest it might well do, and that certainly makes more sense of Google’s odd announcement strategy.
If we do see the Pixel Fold soon then it could have some serious competition from the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3, but if it has a new suite of Google cameras attached then it might at least have a photographic edge.
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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 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.