Hidden code hints that Google Pixel Fold will be cheaper than Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

It looks like the Google Pixel Fold might be cheaper than other folding phones

Google Pixel Fold
(Image credit: Waqar Khan)

The best folding phones are expensive right now, but we’ve just got our first indication that Google may be looking to try and keep the cost affordable for the upcoming Pixel Fold

During a deep dive of the code for the latest version of the Google Camera app, 9to5Google found references to the upcoming Pixel Fold’s camera system. If it’s correct and current, it looks like the upcoming foldable is going to reprise the 12.2MP IXM363 camera sensor that first appeared in 2018’s Pixel 3 and was used up until last year’s Pixel 5.

That’s obviously a step back from the 50MP GN1 camera found in the new Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, though it does look like the foldable will share the phones’ 12MP IMX383 ultrawide sensor for a secondary camera. The code dive added that it will also come with two 8MP IMX355 sensors — presumably for front-facing selfie cameras when the device is both open and closed.

Hopefully this is a sign that Google is targeting affordability with the Pixel Fold, though it might be a simple practical concern. Both the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro have a thick camera visor on the back which might be too much for a device that’s already likely to be thicker than most thanks to its foldable design. 

Also affordability is relative. A ‘cheap’ foldable is the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 for £949, which is still one of the most expensive handsets you can buy. The Pixel Fold is expected to adopt the ‘tablet inside a phone’ approach of the £1,599 Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 so any expectation of a sub-£1,000 handset seems like wishful thinking.

We likely won’t find out for sure until next year. Not only was there no sign of the Pixel Fold when Google unveiled the Pixel 6 handsets, but 9to5Google found the label “isPixel2022Foldable” within the code, which obviously points to a release next year.