Code suggests Google’s folding Pixel will return to 12-megapixel camera next year

9to5Google reports that Google's rumored foldable phone could be released next year. It will feature similar camera hardware as the older Pixel phones before this years major Pixel 6 overhaul. The device was first reported about this summer. It was then expected that it would launch by the end of 2018. The codename of the device has changed from Passport, to Pipit. It is now expected to launch in 2022.
This information was made possible by code found in the Google Camera app. They suggest that the foldable will have a 12.2-megapixel IMX363 camera sensor as its main camera. This suggests that the foldable will not be equipped with the 50-megapixel Samsung GN1 sensor for its main camera. It is the same sensor Google used to create the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. The IMX363 sensor is what Google used on the Pixel 3 through 5. The foldable's low resolution might mean it is not as sharp as the Pixel 6 series.

Google introduced a 50-megapixel main sensor in the Pixel 6

Apart from the main sensor code snippets indicate that the Pixel foldables other cameras will more closely match the Pixel 6. The 12-megapixel IMX386 sensor is capable of taking ultra-wide shots. It also has two IMX355 8-megapixel sensors that can be used as its selfie cameras. To allow selfies while the foldable is open and closed, two selfie cameras are required.

9to5Google points out that it is not unusual for companies to equip foldables using less powerful cameras hardware than their flagships. For example, the recent Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 had a 12-megapixel sensor instead of the 108-megapixel Samsung used in its Galaxy S21 Ultra. It might disappoint anyone who expected Google's rumored foldable camera to be as good as its flagships.

The release date for the foldable is likely to be next year, given what we know so far about Android 12L, an upcoming Android update. It's expected to launch in the first quarter of next year. This update will offer improvements for larger screens and foldables, as well as a host of other features. This update, previously known as Android 12.1, contains code that suggests Google may have another foldable device under development.