Google’s foldable Pixel phone is reported to be coming in 2022, but it won’t use the same high-end camera sensors found in the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.
The camera is one of the biggest improvements in this year’s Pixel line of phones. Google phones usually compensate for camera hardware through software and machine learning improvements.
The rear camera of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro devices was 50 megapixels. The Samsung GN1 sensor in the Pixel 6 series was physically larger, allowing for more light and more detailed images.
For the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, Google had to compensate for this physical size, which resulted in the camera bar sticking out of the phone by a few millimeters.
With a traditional smartphone, this is not a big deal. But for a foldable device, every millimeter plus counts, with the Galaxy Z Fold 3 measuring just over half an inch thick when folded.
To that end, the upcoming foldable Pixel phone – codenamed Pipit – uses the same camera sensors as the Pixel 5.
Instead of the new Samsung GN1 sensor, the foldable Pixel has a 12.2-megapixel Sony IMX363 sensor used since the Pixel 3, and is presumably the main sensor.
For example, the Pixel Slate was developed as Meowth when it was planned to run on Intel Cannon Lake processors. When the processor lags, Google rebuilt the Pixel Slate with older Intel processors called Nocturne.
Coming back to the camera specs, the foldable Pipit has a 12MP IMX386 sensor that should be used for the ultra-wide lens. This specific camera is marked with Folded, which indicates that it will only be used when the phone is locked.
The foldable Pixel phone also comes with two 8-megapixel IMX355 sensors. One is marked internal and the other is external.
Previous Pixel phones – including the Pixel 6. But not the Pixel 6 Pro – usually used the IMX355 sensor for the front selfie camera.
As a result, the inclusion of two identical cameras helps ensure that the Pixel foldable phone takes the same quality selfies when folded or opened. With one of these cameras located across the external screen and the other via the internal screen, like the Galaxy Fold.