Pixel 6-era Pixel Fold prototype leaks out [Gallery]

Before launching the Pixel Fold in June 2023, Google had been working on foldables for some time. The iteration just before has now leaked, with this Pixel Fold prototype featuring a distinctly Pixel 6-era design.

In August 2020, we reported that Google was working on a foldable called “Passport” that would launch in Q4 2021 alongside what became the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. Software evidence of this device has appeared in several places, including in Android 12 Beta.

Over the course of this period, references to foldables have changed names: “pipit”. We wrote at the time:

It’s unclear exactly what changed, but this type of mid-development codename change has happened before. For example, the Pixel Slate was developed under the name “Meowth” when it was originally intended to run on Intel’s Cannon Lake processors. When those were delayed, Google rebuilt the Pixel Slate on older Intel processors under the name “Nocturne.”

According to Android Authority Today, the Passport and the Pipit “were separate projects at one point,” but “they eventually converged into a single device,” with images of the Pipit emerging today. It was posted on the XDA forums and has since been deleted. There is only one high-resolution image of this Pixel Fold prototype:

Pipit looks almost identical to the first generation Pixel Fold, except for a camera bar that matches the Pixel 6 generation. There is a single piece of glass with metal rails at the top and bottom that extend from edge to edge with a conical shape. This is a cleaner, more consistent look than the direction Google ended up taking.

In terms of camera specifications, we announced in November 2021 that there would be two main lenses:

  • “…instead of the new GN1 sensor, the foldable Pixel will have the same 12.2-megapixel IMX363 used since the Pixel 3, likely as the main sensor.”
  • “…Pipit foldable will feature a 12-megapixel IMX386 sensor which, if we can go by the Pixel 6’s design, should be used for an ultra-wide camera.”

This was confirmed today. Android Authority reports that the same internal foldable screen/panel was retained across the entire Pipette and what ultimately launched (Felix). Google prototyped stylus support for the Fold, which would almost certainly have impacted durability.

In terms of other specifications, the pipe was powered by the first-generation Tensor (G1?) and the Exynos 5123 modem instead of the Tensor G2 and the Exynos 5300 modem. This gives further credence to the launch plan with the Pixel 6 series.

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