This is the canceled Pixel Fold that wasn't good enough for Google

Written on 06/30/2024
Taylor Bell

This is the Pixel Fold that never was, and we know everything about it.

The Google Pixel Fold arrived on the market relatively late compared to the first generation of foldable devices from other manufacturers. When it finally launched in mid-2023, Samsung had just launched the fifth version of its book-style foldable phone (and also announced the second instalment of its popular Galaxy Z Flip series), and several other companies were also making their debuts. However, things could have been very different. According to Ivy Ross, head of hardware product design at Google, Google had actually prepared another prototype a year before the original Pixel Fold, but decided to scrap it because it "wasn't good enough." , revealed in a 2023 episode of the podcast "Made by Google".

The existence of this canceled smartphone is pretty well known, but we never saw it in photos or knew its detailed specifications, but today that changes. Photos of a seemingly mysterious Pixel Fold-like device first appeared in a quiet XDA forums thread (sadly, the original image is now lost, but copies exist), leading to quiet speculation that it was a fake or an early working prototype. Thanks to an anonymous Google source, Android Authority can confirm that this is indeed the first look at the canceled Pixel foldable codenamed "Pipit" and its specs.

Before we get started, it's worth noting that the devices codenamed "Pipit" and "Passport" were both rumored to be the canceled Pixel foldable, and are in fact the same device. They ended up as separate projects, but were eventually merged into one device that continues to be called "Pipit".

The canceled Pixel Fold looks eerily familiar. The only feature that is clearly different from the final version is a (nearly) seamless glass bar that runs the entire width of the device, making it look very similar to the Pixel 6. The released Pixel Fold comes with a small, polished metal camera island that matches the look of the Pixel 7 Pro.

Other than that, there are no major changes to the form factor. The unusual aspect ratio is the same, the frame and hinge look nearly identical, and even the matte back glass was already there (the carbon texture on the top of the device is just a shell added by the seller).

Unfortunately, the device discussed in the thread has a broken internal screen, so it can't be compared to the first-gen Pixel Fold. However, we can assume that it's similar, if not identical.

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