Google Pixel Fold still on the way according to hints in latest Android beta

Google Pixel 6 Pro
(Image credit: Google)

Although it was previously believed that the rumored Google Pixel Fold device was canceled before it was even announced, new evidence continues to point to the foldable still being in development.

Last week, we reported on a Geekbench listing for a handset believed to be the Google Pixel Fold, suggesting that the device is indeed still in the works, and now the latest piece of attestation comes from an even more reliable source: Google itself.

As spotted by 9to5Google, the new Android 12L Beta 2 includes animations that depict a Google-branded foldable device in diagram form. 

The animations proceed to show the SIM card insertion process for the foldable device, and are similar to animations seen for previous non-folding Pixel devices.

Google Pixel Fold leaked animation

The SIM insertion process for the alleged Google Pixel Fold. (Image credit: 9to5Google)

Analysis: here's what Google's animations tell us

As depicted in the animation above, the alleged Google Pixel Fold appears to be shorter and wider than Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 3, making it closer in design to Oppo's Find N foldable.

A second animation, which can be found on 9to5Google, also shows the SIM card insertion process on the device while closed. In this instance, we're able to see that Google plans to offer an outer display that's mostly bezel-free, outside of a visible hinge area along the left side of the handset.

Like we've already seen with Oppo's Find N, the Pixel Fold's shorter design should allow the outer display more breathing room for texting and other everyday tasks when the device is closed. This would also combat complaints about the Galaxy Z Fold 3's longer candy-bar shaped outer display.

Apart from what we've noted above, the only other visible clue given by Google's alleged Pixel Fold animation is the placement of the device's volume rocker, which puts it at the lower half of the right side of the phone. 

As always, we can't say for certain that this information definitively proves that Google is still planning to release a Pixel Fold. That said, its inclusion in the latest Android beta does give us hope that the search giant is indeed still working on the Google Pixel Fold, and that we may see it sooner rather than later.

Stephen Lambrechts
Senior Journalist, Phones and Entertainment

Stephen primarily covers phones and entertainment for TechRadar's Australian team, and has written professionally across the categories of tech, film, television and gaming in both print and online for over a decade. He's obsessed with smartphones, televisions, consoles and gaming PCs, and has a deep-seated desire to consume all forms of media at the highest quality possible. 

He's also likely to talk a person’s ear off at the mere mention of Android, cats, retro sneaker releases, travelling and physical media, such as vinyl and boutique Blu-ray releases. Right now, he's most excited about QD-OLED technology, The Batman and Hellblade 2: Senua's Saga.