Is Google building a foldable Pixel phone?

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Its Pixel phones are no doubt safe, but the Pixelbook series, and perhaps new prospects like a Google foldable, may not survive the restructure.

The folks at Patently Mobile have discovered a patent application from Google for a foldable smartphone - the flip phone variety.

Shortly before the official announcements of these two foldable smartphones, Xiaomi has demonstrated a working prototype of the rumored Xiaomi Mi Flex (whose name is not yet confirmed), the first folding device from the Chinese company. Apart from an overview, the leaked patent images don't reveal much about Google's first foldable smartphone. Aside from that, the phone seems quite familiar to the Galaxy Fold from Samsung. The company has already announced that it worked on a specific Android build for foldable phones, which Samsung and Huawei now use, so it's clearly been thinking about folding devices for a while. This is already a sign that Google is interested in foldable devices and wants to ensure that users would get a great Android experience on devices that can quickly switch between laptop and tablet mode.

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The device is likely to have an inwardly foldable display

The upcoming Samsung Galaxy Fold. A World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) patent gives us a hint on what to expect from Google's foldable smartphone. The last picture shows the nature of the curved part of the device which, similar to the Galaxy Fold, would leave a gap.

In other words, if a Google folding phone is in the works, Google probably won't be in a hurry to reach the market with it, or use it to pioneer a unique Z-folding design. For a foldable Pixel phone, Google would have to order screens from Samsung, LG, and other display makers that can make foldable/flexible OLED panels.

While most companies are focused on making a big foldable, it's nice to see that some companies are considering a compact form factor for this category.

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