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Does Google have a foldable in the works?

2022 could be the year the world finally sees the foldable version of the Pixel.

google pixel 6a smartphone on purple background
Image: Google

Do you remember the days of the flip phone? Back then, you could hang up your phone call with authority by slamming the phone shut.

Nowadays, most phones are completely touchscreen, but the days of a folded phone are starting to come back with companies like Samsung and Motorola.

However, Google looks to be the next one on deck.

When did Google start making the foldable?

Rumors of a foldable phone from Google date back to 2019, when CNET reported the tech giant was developing a mobile device with bendable screens.

Mario Queiroz — who led the development of the Pixel phones — threw cold water by saying Google was prototyping foldable phones, but there wasn’t a rush to develop this technology.

asus zenbook 17 fold oled
Image: KnowTechie

However, Google filed a patent the same year for a foldable OLED panel, which somewhat confirmed plans for the company to move forward with this type of phone.

In August 2020, news leaked of Google’s plans to release a foldable phone in the fourth quarter of 2021. In the summer of 2021, reports surfaced that Samsung would produce foldable OLED panels for tech companies — including Google.

The fourth quarter has already passed, so what is the latest update?

The potential release date and specs

At Google IO 2022, the company did not mention a foldable phone when announcing its future products.

It still seems to be a promising year, with some industry insiders projecting the fourth quarter of 2022 for a release of Google’s long-awaited foldable-phone debut alongside the Pixel 7.

lenovo thinkpad foldable
Image: Lenovo

Ross Young — a supply chain expert — broke the news about the foldable Pixel and its release date, which will help build hype for the phone in tech spaces online.

Nowadays, about 36% of shoppers use social media to aid their decision-making when deciding between brands that make gadgets like foldable phones.

Google seems to be basing its foldable phone on the Pixel, which first debuted in 2013. Some possible specs for the phone for the foldable Pixel include:

  • Design: The closest comparison for design likely comes from the Android 12L. This is a tablet from Android that would give the Pixel the feel of a book with its display.
  • Camera: The foldable’s cameras could consist of a single 12MP camera on the rear and two 8MP cameras on the front.
  • Price: The speculated price for Google’s foldable is reportedly lower than the $1,800 Galaxy Z Fold 3 from Samsung — Google’s primary competitor regarding this design. In contrast, Samsung’s foldable cost about $2,000 when the company debuted it in 2019.

Comparing Google’s foldable to competitors’

samsung galaxy z fold 3 handset on purple background
Image: KnowTechie

The leading company on the market for foldable phones is Samsung, which manufactures two different versions.

They make the Fold, which opens from left to right like a book. There’s also the Flip, an old-school flip phone that looks like a Gameboy Advance SP.

Google’s foldable will look more like Samsung’s Fold, but the size is one significant difference between the two devices.

Google’s version will likely have an external display of about 5.8 inches, making it smaller than Samsung Z Fold 4’s 6.2 inches for the same display. This means that Google’s foldable will have a wider aspect ratio for the inner display when you open the phone.

Another critical difference between the two phones could be in their thickness. Samsung’s Z Fold 3 is just over half an inch thick at 0.62 inches.

By comparison, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is about 0.29 inches. If Google draws from its past, the foldable Pixel could cut size to clock in below its Z Fold rival at Samsung to make a sleeker phone.

Will Google make it official?

google logo with blurred pixel background
Image: KnowTechie

The tech world has buzzed about Google’s foldable phone for a few years. Three years ago, the likelihood of one of these devices coming from the tech giant wasn’t high. Google didn’t seem too serious about it then.

2022 could be the year the world finally sees the foldable version of the Pixel.

Hopeful users will have to wait for more information from Google on the official specs and how they compare to those of its rivals on the market. However, the signs now point to late 2022 for the long-awaited release.

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