Google Pixel Fold prototype shows it could have been a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2

Although there were plenty of rumors and high expectations, it was still a bit of a miracle that Google came out with a foldable phone. After all, it didn’t exactly hold tablets in high regard, so a phone that transforms into one would have probably been even less within Google’s radars. Of course, that’s now history with the launch of the Pixel Fold, Google’s first and so far only foldable, which turned out to be quite popular, especially with its design. It turns out, there was a slim possibility that the Pixel Fold could have turned out very differently and looked more like Samsung’s design, at least based on a prototype that is now running over the Internet.

Designer: Google (via Mishaal Rahman)

Phone manufacturers go through numerous prototypes before settling on a final design, especially when the device is rather new or unconventional. That’s true for seasoned brands like Samsung, and even truer for the likes of Google, and a device codenamed “jumbojack” was spotted nearly four years ago as Google’s foldable prototype. Now that name has become a real device, at least based on what is allegedly that very same prototype device which happens to be a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2.

This “jumbojack” foldable doesn’t look like a custom prototype made by Google but an actual Galaxy Z Fold 2 that has been repurposed to run “stock” Android stripped of Samsung’s branding. It’s pretty much a quick and easy way for Google to test its Pixel user experience on a foldable without having to go through the trouble of assembling a prototype. That said, the final flavor of Pixel is quite different since it was designed to work on a foldable with a distinctly different form factor.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2

The prototype does raise the question of whether Google actually considered following in Samsung’s footsteps to adopt a design that was already in use for a few years by that time. That meant that it would have used a design that resulted in a narrower external display, a squarish unfolded shape, and possibly a gap at the hinge when folded. Perhaps it was for the best that it went the other way and used a design more similar to the OPPO Find N, which was wider, a little smaller, and also a bit more comfortable to hold.

Then again, the “jumbojack” prototype might have simply been used to test the software without committing to the device’s design. Unfortunately, there are now rumors that Google might actually be heading towards Samsung’s direction for the Pixel Fold 2, along with a camera design that’s sure to cause some controversy. If anything, this alleged prototype only proves that there is still plenty of room for improvement in the foldable phone design space, but recent rumors are already painting a rather bleak future in that regard.