Android 12L Beta Hints Google Is Working On A Foldable Pixel Smartphone After All
Rumors of a foldable Google Pixel smartphone have been circulating for more than a year. At one point, there were even reports of two such handsets being in the works. One of them was allegedly going to be released by the end of 2021, but that never happened. While the tech giant hasn’t confirmed such a device is in the works, animations found within the Android 12L beta suggest it’s still in development.
The foldable Google Pixel has held several codenames, including “Passport” and “Pipit” for one rumored device. This is the model many thought would arrive towards the end of 2021. A second such device, codenamed “Jumbojack,” may have simply been a prototype or a device used only for testing Android 12 features.
The animations, uncovered by 9to5Google, show how to insert a SIM card into a foldable phone. These animations resemble the current depictions of inserting a SIM card into the Pixel 5a. Reports indicate the code for these animated illustrations makes reference to the foldable Pixel codenamed “Pipit".
The first animation, displayed above, shows the Pixel Fold in its wider state, unfolded. At top and bottom, you can see a small indentation where the hinge would be, between the two halves of the handset. The SIM tray, according to this animation, is located on the half of the phone with the external display, much like the Oppo Find N’s layout.
In the second animation, we see the handset folded closed. There’s what appears to be a volume rocker on the right-hand side of the display. An apparent hinge is displayed on the left, and the SIM card tray in the bottom. Presumably, the SIM card tray, housed in the external display half of the handset, is now beneath the inner display.
Neither animations hint to the Pixel Fold’s other ports or buttons, but they do give us some indication of the handset’s size and shape. Visually, it looks similar to the Oppo Find N, with a roughly 7:8 aspect ratio for the inner display.
It’s obviously worth noting these animations are from prerelease software. It’s entirely possible Google could cancel development of a foldable Pixel and remove these depictions from the final Android 12L release.
Hero image of Oppo Find N for representational purposes