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Pixel Fold camera details leak: Expect a downgrade from Pixel 6

For better or worse, the Pixel Fold could be Google's Galaxy Z Fold 3.
By
November 5, 2021
The Google Pixel 6 in Sorta Seafoam color camera bar up close
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • An APK teardown has revealed the camera sensors for the upcoming Pixel Fold device.
  • The new foldable seems to have more in common with the Pixel 5 than the Pixel 6 range.

Google’s first Pixel foldable, unofficially dubbed the Pixel Fold, has been in the works for a while now. The device has been leaked via news outlets and APK teardowns, and it now looks like another teardown may have given us camera details.

9to5Google dug into the latest version of the Google Camera app, revealing camera sensor details for a foldable phone codenamed “Pipit” (formerly “Passport”). And it looks like we’ve got a downgrade compared to the Pixel 6 range, with Google adopting the 12.2MP IMX363 sensor seen on previous Pixels. The Pixel 6 series, on the other hand, uses a much newer 50MP Samsung GN1 sensor.

More reading: Everything you need to know about the Pixel 6 camera upgrades

The purported Pixel Fold is also believed to offer a 12MP IMX386 sensor as an ultra-wide camera — the same ultra-wide sensor seen on the Pixel 6 range.

The code points to this camera sensor only being used when the device is folded, which would be a strange limitation if it were next to the main camera in the first place. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Z Fold devices let you use all rear cameras when unfolded.

Google’s upcoming foldable will also apparently feature two IMX355 8MP cameras for “inner” and “outer” use. The outlet correctly notes that previous Pixels have used this particular sensor for selfies, so it stands to reason that one 8MP camera will land on the smartphone display and another will be mounted on the foldable screen.

A Pixel 5 in foldable form?

One notable omission here compared to the Pixel 6 Pro (aside from the older main camera sensor) is the lack of a telephoto lens. So those expecting great zoom performance might be disappointed, although Super Res Zoom should be aboard for decent digital zoom quality.

Either way, it sounds like the first Google foldable won’t be for photography fans, much like the Galaxy Z Fold 3 wasn’t for camera enthusiasts. But you can still likely expect the usual array of features like Night Sight and Astrophotography modes, as well as the latest options like Motion Mode, Magic Eraser, and Face Unblur.

So when should you expect the Pixel Fold, then? Well, 9to5Google also found a reference to “isPixel2022Foldable” in the teardown. This essentially confirms a rough release window for the new foldable.