Pixel 6 prototype leaked from the Pixel Fold era [Gallery]

Before launching the Pixel Fold in June of 2023, Google had been working on foldable devices for some time. The iteration immediately preceding that has now been leaked, with the Pixel Fold model featuring a distinctive Pixel 6-era design.

In August 2020, we reported that Google was working on a foldable device called the Passport that was scheduled to launch in Q4 2021 alongside what became the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. Code guides for this device have appeared in several places, including Android 12 Beta.

As this time frame passed, references to foldable devices morphed into a new name: “pipit.” We wrote at the time:

It’s not yet clear what exactly changed, but this kind of mid-development codename change has happened before. For example, the Pixel Slate was developed with the name “Meowth” when it was planned to run on Intel Cannon Lake processors. When these processors were delayed, Google rebuilt the Pixel Slate on older Intel processors as “Nocturne.”

according to Robot body Today, the Passport and Pipit were “two different projects at one point” but “eventually merged into one device”, with images of the Pipit emerging today. It was posted on the XDA forums and has since been removed. There’s only one high-resolution image of this Pixel Fold prototype:

The Pipit looks almost identical to the first-generation Pixel Fold except for the camera bar, which matches the Pixel 6 generation. It’s a single piece of glass with metal bars at the top and bottom that taper from edge to edge. It’s a cleaner, more consistent look than the direction Google ended up going.

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As for the camera specifications, we reported 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 sensor used since the Pixel 3, presumably as the main sensor.”
  • “The Pipit foldable phone will have a 12-megapixel IMX386 sensor, and if we can build on the design of the Pixel 6, it should be used for an ultra-wide camera.”

This was confirmed today. Robot body Reports suggest that the same foldable internal display/panel was retained via tubes and what was eventually released (Felix). Typical Google Pen support for the Fold which would have had an uncertain impact on durability.

In terms of other specifications, the pipit is powered by the Tensor (G1?) and Exynos Modem 5123 instead of the Tensor G2 and Exynos Modem 5300. It provides additional credibility to the plan to launch with the Pixel 6 series.

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