This weird Google foldable phone prototype is a bizarre mix of Google and Samsung design – and it was listed for sale

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2. (Image credit: Future)

What’s claimed to be a prototype foldable phone from Google appears to have been put up for sale online, and it gives us some insight into the development process for the Google Pixel Fold.

Android tipster Mishaal Rahman spotted the listing and posted the images, taken from eBay, on X, They show a device codenamed ‘Jumbojack’, which is believed to be one of two early Google foldable phone prototypes; the other one was reportedly called ‘Passport’.

The experimental phones were likely made to test Android running on a foldable phone before Google proceeded with the Pixel Fold, which debuted in 2023.

The post shows what looks like a modified Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 running Android 12L, a variant of Android 12 made for tablets and foldable devices.

Rahman wrote in their post on X:  “This is allegedly ‘jumbojack’, a prototype Google used to test the Android software experience on foldables before they had working Pixel Fold prototypes. The hardware is Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 2 while the software is Android 12L. Someone naughty put this up for sale online.”

The odd codename is thought to be a reference to the Jumbo Jack cheeseburger from US fast-food retailer Jack in the Box, according to 9to5Google, which first became aware of the prototype's existence in 2021. At the time the codename was believed to be a reference to a clamshell-like design akin to the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5.

Jumbojack appears to be something of a Frankenstein mix of components, including thicker top and bottom bezels, looking more like the final design of the Pixel Fold than the Galaxy Z Fold 2. Going by this, there could also be other modifications under the hood, depending on what Google was testing, which may have been omitted from the Pixel Fold’s final release.

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Rahman did mention that the phone was listed on eBay but not how much it was being sold for, and the listing appears to have disappeared. However, it’s probably best avoided, as it could be a stolen prototype, and one that Google would likely shut down remotely as a result. 

The phone also wouldn’t hold much value to anyone other than collectors, and would likely feature less functionality than the Pixel Fold due to its older, and possibly unfinished, hardware and software.

Jumbojack is an interesting piece of tech history, never really intended for use or to see the light of day outside Google. And from a closer look we can’t really glean any hints at what to expect from the rumored Google Pixel Fold 2

Speaking of which, it’s been hinted that the second-generation Pixel Fold could arrive at the same time as the very much rumored Google Pixel 9. This is due to Google apparently waiting to equip its next foldable phone with a powerful Tensor G4 chip to help it compete with other chipsets like the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, as found in the OnePlus 12

An upgraded Pixel Fold could end up as one of our top picks for best foldable phones, much like its predecessor. 

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Staff Writer, Mobile Computing

James Ide is a writer for TechRadar specializing in phones and tablets, having previously worked at The Daily Mirror since 2016, covering news and reviews.  

James loves messing with the latest tech, especially phones due to their incredibly rapid pace of development.

When not surrounded by various devices and/or tinkering with gadgets while putting them through their paces, James has a love of handheld consoles.

He is almost the textbook definition of a geek, who loves sci-fi, comics, games and of course, all things tech. If you think you have a story for him or just want to challenge him at Smash Bros, get in touch.