Google’s rumored foldable Pixel might have older cameras than the Pixel 6

The device, codenamed Pipet, could land next year.

David Imel for Engadget

After working on prototypes for several years, Google reportedly plans to release a foldable Pixel in 2022. According to 9to5Google's deep dive into the current Google Camera APK, the phone is codenamed Pipit. While there aren't many concrete details about what the foldable looks like or how it functions, the APK offered some insights into the Pipit's camera setup.

Seemingly, the main camera will have the 12.2MP sensor Google used in its devices between the Pixel 3 and Pixel 5. The new Pixel 6 lineup, meanwhile, uses a 50MP GN1 camera.

The Pipit (or Pixel Fold, or whatever it will actually be called) is said to use the same 12MP IMX386 ultrawide sensor as the current Pixels, as well as two front-facing 8MP IMX355 sensors. There's likely to be one of those on each side of the body so folks can take selfies whether the device is folded or unfolded.

It makes sense that the main camera might not be as powerful as the one in the Pixel 6 lineup. Those phones have a protruding bar on the rear to give the camera sensors enough room. Size is a bigger concern on a foldable than a slab-style smartphone, given it's twice as thick when its closed. So, camera sensors with a slimmer profile might be preferable for Google in this case.

Samsung has also used lesser cameras in its foldables than in the flagship S Series devices. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, for instance, doesn't have as powerful cameras as the Galaxy S21 lineup.

Elsewhere, the APK includes the term “isPixel2022Foldable." That's a decent indication that Google plans to release a foldable device next year, given how Google has used similar terminology to refer to previous Pixel models.

For what it's worth, Google recently announced a version of Android designed for tablets and foldables. The company plans to release the first public version of Android 12L next year, "in time for the next wave of Android 12 tablets and foldables."