Google fans hearing the Pixel Notepad name for the first time will immediately associate it with some sort of Android or Chrome OS device with a large display and wonder whether a release date is near. Those who follow Pixel rumors closely already know that Notepad is the purported name for the first-gen Google foldable phone. The artist formerly known as Google Pixel Fold in leaks and reports.
Several rumors claimed last year that Google was going to unveil a Pixel Fold by the end of 2021. That never happened, and more recent reports said that Google went back to the drawing board, seeking to design a device that would offer better competition to the Galaxy Z Fold 3. That’s Samsung 2021 flagship and the foldable everyone else in the business is trying to beat.
We already saw a couple of Fold 3 alternatives from Chinese smartphone vendors. The Oppo Find N (above) and the Honor Magic V (below) launched in the past few months, featuring designs similar to the Samsung handset. But both devices are significantly more affordable than the Fold 3.
Similarly, the Google Pixel Notepad is rumored to be cheaper than Samsung’s foldable, with a starting price hovering around $1,400. That would be at least $300 cheaper than the Fold 3. But the Pixel Notepad’s release date also matters. After all, Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4 is a coming in the second half of 2022. And Samsung might further slash the entry price, considering what’s happening in the industry.
Google wants Android devices with bigger displays
Pricing rumors aside, there’s no question that Google is interested in Android devices featuring larger displays. In the past few months, we saw several moves that prove Google is looking at rejuvenating the Android experience for tablets and foldable devices.
For starters, Google’s Android 12L introduces optimizations that would cater to large-screen devices. Similarly, Android urges developers to use Android 13 to customize their apps for better experiences on tablets and foldables. Finally, Google has been recruiting engineers for its Android tablets division.
On top of all that, we have the ongoing Pixel Notepad rumor stream that delivers more details about the handset on a regular basis. All these moves suggest that a Pixel Notepad release might in the cards for this year.
The Google Pixel Notepad release date
The newest Pixel Notepad rumor comes from well-informed Ross Young. The analyst is the CEO of Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC), a source of plenty of accurate display-related reports about unreleased devices. Young was one of the people who leaked Google’s plans for the Pixel Fold last year.
He’s back with a new detail about the Pixel Notepad’s release schedule. Young doesn’t offer a commercial name for the device. But he says that Google will start panel production for the foldable handset in the third quarter of 2022. The phone will launch in the fourth quarter, likely in October. That’s usually when Google unveils new hardware. We expect the Pixel 7 series to launch around that time.
Replying to others on Twitter, Young said the Pixel Notepad’s display will be a 120Hz LTPO screen. But the display will be smaller than the Fold 3 or Fold 4.
Young also commented on Google’s previous release plans for the foldable Pixel handset, saying that the panel order for that device was canceled.
He didn’t offer other specs details for the Pixel Notepad, so we have no idea what else to expect from Google’s 2022 foldable. But he teased various foldable devices for this year, including a second Oppo device, two Vivo models, Xiaomi’s next-gen foldable, and the Galaxy Z Fold 4.