Google Pixel Fold smartphone to reportedly launch later this year

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Google Pixel Fold, the first foldable smartphone from the tech giant, may launch in late 2021. Google’s foldable smartphone under the Pixel lineup has been in rumours for quite a while and new leaks suggest that the handset will make its debut by the end of this year. The foldable Pixel smartphone is reportedly codenamed “Passport” and is speculated to feature a low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) OLED display.

Renowned tipster @evleaks mentioned that the Pixel Fold, codenamed Passport, is expected to launch before the end of the year. He says that Google has been working on this device for the past two years. David Naranjo, Senior Director at Display Supply Chain Consultants also mentioned the Pixel Fold in a list of devices that are rumoured to use LTPO OLED panels with a variable refresh rate indicating that a folding Pixel might actually be in the works and might launch sooner than you’d expected.

These rumours are also supported by the fact that the upcoming Android 12.1 update brings several improvements and enhancements to the foldable phone experience. This includes a hidden taskbar feature in the Pixel Launcher that will help you quickly navigate between your apps, similar to what we saw on the Galaxy Z Fold 3. There are some descriptions of a split-screen view that can be achieved by dragging and dropping apps from the taskbar, further indicating the usage of the feature on a large display like a foldable.

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It has also been reported that the South Korean giant Samsung will be supplying Ultra-Thin Glass (UTG) to Google for the Pixel Fold. Samsung and Google have partnered up for a few products in the past, the most recent being the Wear OS 3 for wearable devices and most of the hardware components for the upcoming Pixel 6 series flagship smartphones.

Google has not yet announced any details on whether it is planning to launch a foldable phone or if it is just testing prototypes for making Android more optimised for existing and new foldable devices in the market. Once unveiled, the Pixel Fold could take on these foldable smartphones. Google is expected to start taking pre-orders for the Pixel 6 series smartphones from 19th October and the sale could begin from 28th October.

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