Google Pixel Fold 5G rumored to surface next year with a disappointing too familiar camera sensor

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Google Pixel Fold 5G rumored to surface next year with a disappointing too familiar camera sensor
If you assumed that the rumored Google Pixel Fold will use the same camera array found in the Pixel 6 Pro, better guess again. According to 9to5Google, the foldable Pixel might not have the space needed to allow the device t use the Samsung GN1 sensor which uses its larger size to let in more light (great for photos shot under low-light conditions) while also delivering sharper images.

The Pixel Fold's primary camera will be too, too familiar to long time Pixel users and could be disappointing to all

As a result, 9to5Google says that Google might have to take a step back from the GN1 to the 12.2MP IMX363 which has been the Pixel's main sensor since the Pixel 3. This could be the primary sensor on the Pixel Fold with the 12MP IMX386 sensor used for the ultra-wide-angle camera. The code that revealed these sensors came from files related to the Google Camera app. The 12MP IMX386 included the word "Folded" with the code which means that its use might be limited to times when the phone is closed.

The aforementioned files found in the Google Camera app also revealed the presence of two 8MP IMX355 sensors one listed as "inner" and the other as "outer." Since the IMX355 has been used as a front-facing selfie snapper on past Pixel phones (and even on the current Pixel 6), it looks like Google will allow you to shoot selfies with the same quality regardless of whether the Pixel Fold is open or closed.

Now is the time to pick up the Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro

Google Pixel 6

The Pixel 6 is also available at BestBuy with our without carrier plan activation. All storage and color versions are in stock.

Google Pixel 6 Pro

Same BestBuy conditions apply to the Pixel 6 Pro too. You can get an unlocked version or a version with a carrier plan.

What we don't know is whether Google will use an under-display camera similar to the Galaxy Z Fold 3, or whether it will sport a hole-punch camera similar to what is being used on the Pixel 6 lineup. Using sensors that were deployed on older Pixel models will give Google the opportunity to bring back the Machine Learning made for those sensors which should allow the Pixel Fold's cameras to produce the same kind of quality images that older Pixels were known for.

Code found in the Google Camera app suggests a 2022 unveiling and release for the Pixel Fold

The Google Camera app also makes a reference that reads "isPixel2022Foldable." This would seem to indicate that the long-awaited device will meet the light of day next year. The device could be equipped with a tablet-sized 7.6-inch screen when fully opened, and similar to the Galaxy Z Fold 3, it will feature an external display that lets users access the device even when it is shut closed (like a book).

Both the internal and external displays will redraw 120 times per second for buttery smooth scrolling, enhanced animations and flawless transitions. The device could come with Android 12L pre-installed. The latter is designed for Android devices with larger-sized displays which brings back memories of Android 3.0 Honeycomb (an Android build dedicated to tablets).

In its release introducing Android 12 L, Google said, "There are over a quarter billion large screen devices running Android across tablets, foldables, and ChromeOS devices. In just the last 12 months we’ve seen nearly 100 million new Android tablet activations—a 20% YoY growth, while ChromeOS, now the fastest-growing desktop platform, grew by 92%." The fact that Google mentioned foldables in that statement certainly indicates that the Pixel Fold will run on Android 12L.

Google's first foldable might come out of the gate priced to sell. That would mean undercutting the Galaxy Z Fold 3 which is priced at $1,799 and up. Previously we've suggested a range of $1,499 to $1,799. At the low end of that range, Google might be able to take the fight to Samsung.

Considering that Google has said that Android 12L will be released "early next year, in time for the next wave of Android 12 tablets and foldables...,"  we probably will see the Pixel Fold released at the same time.

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