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Google ‘Jumbojack’ foldable appears to have been a Galaxy Z Fold 2 with ‘stock’ Android

2 months ago 257

samsung galaxy z fold 2

Google’s road to the launch of the first Pixel Fold last year was long and complicated, but as time goes on, we’re getting a bit more clarity into the development. This week, the “jumbojack” Pixel foldable we spotted back in 2021 has allegedly surfaced, and its a little different than expected.

In 2021, we reported that a beta version of Android that was later released as Android 12L had added a new Pixel codename – “jumbojack.” At the time, our Kyle Bradshaw reported that the device was being used for testing foldable software, including Android’s native ability to detect “positions” of foldables such as when they’re half-open.

The documentation we viewed showed Google explicitly calling “jumbojack” a Pixel device, but even back then we believed it could simply be a test device for foldable software. And, as it turns out, that’s exactly what it probably was.

“Jumbojack” has apparently hit an online sales website as Mishaal Rahman posted on Twitter/X. While the actual listing isn’t shown, images of the device show the “jumbojack” codename in the Settings menu of a build of Android 12L. While that doesn’t fully confirm this is indeed the device Google was testing with in 2021, it seems unlikely that it would be faked.

Assuming this is that device, it’s actually really interesting to look at the hardware, because this is not some custom prototype. Looking at the placement of the camera cutout, the hinge hardware, and the bits of color (see header) peeking out from the sides, it’s quite clear that this is a repurposed Galaxy Z Fold 2. Samsung’s 2020-released foldable would have been the device available to Google at the time “jumbojack” was being used (the Galaxy Z Fold 3 released just weeks before the codename first appeared).

The device is running the “stock” version of Android 12L that’s used on Pixels, with apps such as Recorder and Safety installed. This appears to be an earlier version, too, where the notification drawer isn’t split into two panels as the final Android 12L release did. “Stock” isn’t technically the right term, as Google does make modifications to the software on Pixels that’s not found in AOSP, but generally speaking the experience on Pixel phones is considered as close to “stock” as a major phone release gets nowadays.

One notable tweak here seems to be with the bezels. The device appears to be simulating bigger bezels than the Fold 2 actually had. The reasoning for that is unclear, but it seems possible it could have been preparation for the later release of the Pixel Fold we did get, which has bezels on the inner display and more rounded corners compared to the Fold 2.

This isn’t the first time that a Pixel prototype has surfaced a few years later either. For example, back in 2021, the Pixel 2 XL prototype “muskie” made by HTC appeared on eBay. But it’s extremely surprising this time around to be seeing a test device that Google codenamed as if it were a Pixel, when it was really just a repurposed Samsung phone, especially seeing as the Nexus days have long past.

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