The code suggests that Google’s collapsible Pixel will return to its 12-megapixel camera next year

Google’s rumored foldable device could be released next year with similar camera hardware to what older Pixel phones used before this year’s major Pixel 6 overhaul, 9to5Google reports. Reports of the device first surfaced this summer, after which it was expected to be launched before the end of the year. Now it looks like the device, whose code name seems to have changed from “Passport” to “Pipit”, is on its way to a launch in 2022.

These latest details have emerged thanks to code found in the Google Camera app. In particular, they suggest that the foldable will use a 12.2-megapixel IMX363 sensor for its main camera. This suggests that the foldable will not be equipped with the same 50-megapixel Samsung GN1 camera sensor that Google used on this year’s Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. Instead, the IMX363 is the sensor Google used for Pixel 3 to 5. Its lower resolution suggests that the foldable may have a hard time matching the excellent camera quality of the Pixel 6 series.

Aside from the main sensor, the code snippets suggest that Pixel foldables other cameras will be more in line with the Pixel 6. There is a 12-megapixel IMX386 that is expected to handle ultra-wide images and two 8-megapixel IMX355 sensors for its selfie cameras. Two selfie cameras seem to be needed to allow selfies to be taken while the foldable is both open and closed.

As 9to5Google notes that it is not uncommon to see companies equip folding devices with less powerful camera hardware than their flagships. For example, the latest Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 had a 12-megapixel sensor instead of the 108-megapixel sensor that Samsung used in the Galaxy S21 Ultra. But it can be a disappointment to anyone who expects Google’s rumors to fold to match the camera quality of its latest flagships.

A release date for next year makes sense for the foldable given what we know about Android 12L, the upcoming Android update to be launched early next year and designed to offer a number of enhancements for devices with larger screens, including foldable. The update, which has previously been referred to as Android 12.1, also includes code that suggests that Google may have another foldable device under development under the codename “Jumbojack”. It is unclear when or even about, this other foldable may be released.

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