Android 12 beta suggests the Pixel Fold will use Google's Tensor chip
What you need to know
- Android 12 Beta source code shows four devices using a Samsung modem.
- Two of the devices are said to be the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.
- The third, "Passport," is the alleged codename for the Pixel Fold.
According to the source code found in the Android 12 Beta, references to a device codenamed "Passport" have been revealed. This codename is likely that of the rumored Pixel Fold that Google could be gearing up to release before the end of the year.
In a tweet by cstark27 (via FrontPageTech), there are references to four devices that make use of an unannounced Samsung Exynos modem. This modem features a model number of "g5123b," which would align with Samsung's most current processor, the "5123A."
Oriole, Raven, Passport, "Slider" are 4 out of 5 devices that have a modem referenced as "g5123b". The most recent Samsung Exynos ("shannon") modem is 5123A. Can't confirm the last one right now.Oriole, Raven, Passport, "Slider" are 4 out of 5 devices that have a modem referenced as "g5123b". The most recent Samsung Exynos ("shannon") modem is 5123A. Can't confirm the last one right now.— cstark27 (@Cstark_27) August 11, 2021August 11, 2021
Two of the devices referenced in the Android 12 Beta source code are "Oriole" and "Raven," which represent the codenames for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. "Passport" has been seen in previous leaks, along with previous Android 12 beta and developer preview releases.
With this information in tow, it's easy to surmise that the Google Tensor chip will power not just the upcoming Pixel 6 series but may also be used in the Pixel Fold. Samsung is rumored to be the manufacturer of the Google Tensor chip, so it would only make sense for this modem to be used, hence the reference in the source code. According to Google, Tensor is going to place the Pixel 6 in the ranks of the best Android phones, along with making it one of the most secure phones in the world. It gives Google complete control over how the hardware and software communicate, which could lead to even better image processing and more.
Other rumors and leaks point to Google waiting until the end of the year before unveiling the new foldable. It's said to use the same 7.6-inch folding LTPO display technology from Samsung, while offering a 120Hz refresh rate. Outside of that, this is the only semi-concrete "leak" that we've seen regarding what the Pixel Fold will offer. Some can posit that we'll see a similar camera system offered in the Pixel 6, but it's just too early to tell.
Now that the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is available, and no other rumors pointing to another foldable phone coming to the U.S. any time soon, all our hopes for a non-Samsung folding phone may rest on Google's shoulders. And that's definitely not a bad thing, given the upcoming changes in Android 12, which include additional support for folding displays. But until then, if you really can't wait, get the Z Fold 3 and enjoy the S Pen compatibility.
Water resistance and S Pen compatibility
In lieu of releasing another Galaxy Note this year, Samsung is putting all of its eggs in the Galaxy Z Fold 3's basket. The phone is 80% more durable than last year's model and includes S Pen support, along with being the first foldable phone to sport an official IP water resistance rating. Oh, and it's cheaper this year too.
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Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.
The Pixel Fold is the one that I want if I were interested in foldables that is.
That would be really disappointing if Google used the same screen as the current Galaxy Fold. The square ratio makes zero sense. At least with the OG Fold, the 4:3 screen didn't look that awkward when full screening content.