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More evidence that Google’s foldable Pixel Fold phone is real

Published Aug 27th, 2021 3:55PM EDT
Pixel Fold
Image: Samsung

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In early August, Google unveiled two new Pixel phones, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro that had already appeared in plenty of leaks. Google confirmed the design leaks and took advantage of this soft-launch event to unveil its Tensor SoC for mobile phones. The company also alleviated our most significant concern in the process. The Pixel series will return to flagship status with the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro after last year’s Pixel 5 misstep. But the company left many things unsaid, including release dates and prices. That info will come later this year at Google’s fall press conference. That’s also where Google’s first-gen Pixel Fold might be unveiled. Or teased, at least. And now, we have more evidence that the Pixel Fold is indeed real: A 5G deal between Samsung and Google.

Pixel Fold hardware rumors

Several reports earlier this year said that Samsung will manufacture a few key components for 2021 foldable handsets from rival vendors. Google was listed among them, which made the Pixel Fold sound even better. Samsung’s foldable display and the more durable Ultra Thin Glass (UTG) will supposedly equip the Pixel Fold.

That was an exciting rumor even before Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Z Fold 3, which packs these components. The Fold 3 is more durable than previous foldable handsets. And Samsung’s 2021 foldables are already getting better reviews. They appear to be selling quite well.

Separately, reports said that Samsung will manufacture the Tensor chip for Google’s Pixel 6 series. The Pixel Fold should certainly benefit from the same high-end Google SoC.

Finally, a report from a few days ago revealed that Android 12 contains various details about the upcoming Pixel handsets. The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro might feature 50-megapixel wide-angle cameras from Samsung. That’s a 50-megapixel Isocell GN1 sensor, according to Android 12 code. The same camera might equip the Pixel Fold, given that the wide-angle lens is a phone’s primary camera. But the foldable wasn’t explicitly listed in the camera code.

However, the same Android 12 beta release indicates that at least three unreleased Pixel devices will feature a Samsung 5G modem instead of a Qualcomm modem. The list includes the Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and Pixel Fold.

Samsung to provide 5G modems for Google’s 2021 phones

All of that brings us to this week’s Reuters report claiming Samsung will supply 5G modems for Google’s new Pixel phones. The news comes from sources familiar with the matter who informed Reuters about Samsung’s big win over Qualcomm.

The report says Samsung will provide the 5G modems for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, making no mention of the foldable device. But the Reuters story seems to confirm the Android 12 code leak from a few days ago. Again, the latest Android 12 beta told us that Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, Pixel Fold will feature 5G modems from Samsung.

Samsung told Reuters that its 5G modem will support millimeter wave technology, which delivers the fastest theoretical 5G speeds available. Google also said its new phones will support millimeter wave tech. But neither party said whether the two are working together on Pixel 5G tech.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.