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Google Pixel Fold: Foldable smartphone's rumoured 'ultra-micro-hole camera' shown in patent drawings

Google's first foldable smartphone could feature an innovative interior camera. (Image source: WIPO - edited)
Google's first foldable smartphone could feature an innovative interior camera. (Image source: WIPO - edited)
The World Intellectual Property Organization has shared patent drawings of a Google 'foldable device with bezel located camera'. Thought to be the Pixel Fold or the Pixel Notepad, patent drawings highlight Google's work towards developing an 'ultra-micro-hole camera', a rumoured feature to avoid using punch-hole or under-display camera solutions.

91mobiles has discovered a patent that could relate to the Pixel Fold and its 'ultra-micro-hole camera'. While there have been plenty of rumours about the Pixel Fold and the Pixel Notepad, details about an 'ultra-micro-hole camera' only surfaced earlier this month, courtesy of Digital Chat Station. According to the leaker, Google has prototyped a camera solution that fit within the frame of a foldable device, rather than relying on an under-display camera (UDC) like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4.

Subsequently, 91mobiles has discovered a corresponding patent that Google filed last year. Published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on August 25, the patent (PCT/US2021/039591) dates to June 2021 and is described as a 'foldable device with bezel located camera'. As the patent drawings highlight, the foldable device has an uninterrupted internal display, albeit with thick bezels to accommodate a front-facing camera. 

Additionally, the patent contains several front-facing camera variants, underlining that Google is experimenting with the best solution. Evidently, Google is still developing a foldable smartphone. As we discussed in July, Android 13 Beta files contained references to 'P7', a device with four cameras, including an ISOCELL GN1 as its primary sensor.

Based on earlier rumours, Google may wait until spring 2023 to launch the Pixel Fold. In the meantime, Google is expected to release the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro in October, with a Pixel 7 Ultra rumoured too. The Pixel Watch should join the Pixel 7 series during Google's next hardware event, but it remains to be seen whether the Pixel 7 Ultra will be in attendance.

(Image source: WIPO)
(Image source: WIPO)
(Image source: WIPO)
(Image source: WIPO)
(Image source: WIPO)
(Image source: WIPO)
(Image source: WIPO)
(Image source: WIPO)
(Image source: WIPO)
(Image source: WIPO)
(Image source: WIPO)
(Image source: WIPO)
(Image source: WIPO)

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2022 08 > Google Pixel Fold: Foldable smartphone's rumoured 'ultra-micro-hole camera' shown in patent drawings
Alex Alderson, 2022-08-28 (Update: 2022-08-28)