After what feels like ages of Pixel Fold rumors that saw Google’s first foldable phone canceled multiple times, it’s almost surefire – the Pixel Fold
is very much a real device, with a real price and even a real release date! In case you haven’t seen the exclusive leaks and renders, this is what the Pixel Fold looks like, and boy, does it look… intriguing!
The Pixel Fold seems like it was put together using parts from the Galaxy Z Fold 4
(the hinge and front display), the Xiaomi Mix Fold 2
(it seems to fold shut, it’s noticeably thinner than the Galaxy Fold, and it has a horizontal camera bar), and Microsoft’s Surface Duo
, thanks to the larger bezels on the inner side, overall slender look.
The Google Pixel Fold appears to be a mishmash of design elements we’ve seen in other foldable phones, which, of course, isn’t necessarily a bad thing but might disappoint some who might’ve expected to see something relatively more original from Google, like the Pixel 6 series, for example.
Anyway, the aesthetic design element that’s going to divide most opinions has got to be the large bezels on the top and bottom of the inner display of the Pixel Fold. Perhaps that’s a good moment to mention that according to Jon Prosser, the overall design of the Pixel Fold is now locked in, meaning this is what we should expect to see once the phone is released in May 2023, says Prosser.Frankly, I don’t find the larger bezels ugly or distracting – they even look like a good place where you can grip the phone when using it in tablet mode. Moreover, a trimmed-down top and bottom bezel makes what seems to be a pretty tall display a bit more conventional, which should be better for media consumption.
In an age of punch-holes and notches, it’s weirdly refreshing to see a perfectly uninterrupted display, so the Pixel Fold’s inner screen gets a (controversial?) thumbs up from me!
That being said, the bezels on the Pixel Fold aren’t the only controversial choice Google’s rumored to have made, which is a nice segway to the price and potential competitors of the Pixel Fold…
Though some of the specs are still a mystery, we already know what to expect from the Pixel Fold; brings amazing displays
Knowing some of the information leaked by Jon Prosser and what the Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 are capable of (I’ve been using the Pixel 6 Pro and Pixel 7 Pro for a long time now), I suppose I could make a few educated guesses here…
Well, the first thing to note actually isn’t an assumption at all since display analyst Ross Young
just told us exactly how large the two displays of the Pixel Fold should be (this information was missing from Prosser’s report). According to Young, we’re looking at 5.8 inches for the outer screen and 7.6 inches for the inner display, which sounds brilliant, sitting somewhere between the super-compact Oppo Find N and the Galaxy Z Fold 4.
We don’t have information about the refresh rate of the Pixel Fold’s displays, but it’s very safe to assume they’ll both be at least 90Hz (since even the Pixel 7a is now rumored to jump to a 90Hz panel instead of the 60Hz one from the Pixel 6a).
Pixel Fold and the new Tensor G2 – a match made in heaven or a combo from hell?
The Pixel Fold is almost certainly going to run on the Tensor G2 chipset. That’s a very important part of the hardware of the Pixel Fold since it’s responsible for powering everything you do on the device, but also for the overall efficiency/battery life.
Sadly, though, efficiency and battery endurance have proven to be one of the biggest challenges for foldable phones, and my experience of using the Pixel 6
and Pixel 7 (Tensor, Tensor G2) hasn’t been exactly stellar when it comes to efficiency.
Tensor and Tensor G2 haven’t been the most efficient chipsets to say the least, which might be a reason for concern when it comes to the Pixel Fold’s battery life. On top of that, competitors from Qualcomm (think: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2) might prove to be far ahead of Google in that regard.
Pixel Fold camera – shockingly, better than the Pixel 7?
On the other hand, the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro take great photos and very good videos, so it’s also safe to assume that the case with the first foldable Pixel won’t be any different. What’s truly intriguing is that Jon Prosser’s renders show three instead of two rear cameras (like some expected)!
That being said, it’s almost certain that Google hasn’t managed to fit the same 5x periscope zoom camera in the Pixel Fold, so don’t expect the Pixel 7 Pro’s rear camera system. Instead, the third camera could be a 2-3x optical zoom lens, which would put the Pixel Fold above the vanilla Pixel 7 when it comes to versatility (though slightly below the Pixel 7 Pro).
The Pixel Fold is said to feature two 9.5MP selfie cameras, which should be able to record 4K videos. We still don’t know if the Pixel Fold will be using the same 50MP Samsung sensor from the Pixel 7 or a smaller (newer) Sony sensor, which is rumored to arrive with the Pixel 7a.
Controversial! Sky-high Pixel Fold price and heavy body – major red lights?
And really f****** expensive!
Now onto the controversial part…
According to Jon Prosser, who is “very confident” in all Pixel Fold information he’s received from his sources, the Pixel Fold is expected to start at… $1,799, or in other words, match the Galaxy Z Fold 4’s launch price. There’s zero doubt that – this has got to be the brightest red light when it comes to the Pixel Fold and its overall appeal.
What’s confusing here is that Google’s usually willing to lose money in order to sell more phones, with Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 being the living proof.
Google gave out the $350 Pixel Watch with every Pixel 7 Pro pre-order, Pixel Buds Pro with every Pixel 7 pre-order and even $400 Bose headphones with the Pixel 6 Pro back in the day. On top of that, the company’s flagship phones are pretty affordable, to begin with, undercutting the iPhone and Galaxy with $200-300.
Personally, I was expecting to see the Pixel Fold launch at $1,400-1,500, which I think would’ve been a compelling price point. Sure, making a foldable phone must be pricey, but making a $600 Pixel 7 also isn’t exactly cheap – yet Google’s “normal” flagship is indeed more affordable than most other competitors.
I’m hoping the high price of the Pixel Fold doesn’t indicate that Google’s launching a foldable just for the purpose of performing a pilot study/test of Android 12L, which is Google’s Android version for tablets and foldable devices.
The Pixel Fold is going to be “really… heavy“, and that’s really not that great
The other topic that Jon Prosser emphasized in his Pixel Fold leak was how heavy Google’s first foldable phone is going to be. Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to know the exact weight of the phone, but according to his sources, we’re talking “really f**king heavy”. Pardon my French.This should mean the Pixel Fold is shaping up to be heavier than the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and noticeably heavier than some of the upcoming Chinese foldable phones from Huawei, Honor, and Xiaomi, which are rumored to be getting much lighter than what Samsung has to offer.
From my personal experience of using the Galaxy Z Fold 3, I certainly wish foldable phones were lighter as a whole. When you’re using the phone in its tablet state, weight isn’t going to be a problem, but when you use it as a “normal” phone is when 260-300g begins to seem outrageous.Weightdistribution is key here.
Pixel Fold gets tons of positive reactions from Android and iPhone users; some are ready to switch!
The Pixel Fold might give you the best fingerprint scanner experience since the Pixel 5, thanks to a side-mounted reader instead of an in-display one!
If I were still using an Android, I absolutely would consider the Pixel Fold. I loved my Pixel 3 and told myself I’d hold onto it until the fold launched. But I’m using an iPhone nowand won’t be giving that up, so I’m thinking about getting the Pixel Tablet next year to replace my Nest Hub and very old Nook HD+.
Wasn’t expecting it to come out next year. Looks nice though. If I did go Android, I would get this over Samsung’s Fold.
I wonder if Google are deliberately allowing the price to be leaked so that they can come along nearer release and surprise everyone with a sub $1,799 Fold so it looks like great value.
It looks gorgeous! I hope the Pixel 8 series adopts the same camera bar. But the inner bezels though… that’s gonna give a lot of people pause when every other foldable competitor doesn’t have them.
I was hoping it’d be a few hundred dollars cheaper so they have a better chance at stealing some market share if they’re competing with the Z Fold line which is much more mature and popular. That just puts the pressure on them to make the product as amazing as possible on their first try. it also better have IP rating water resistance if it’s demanding the same price
Timing is key for Google’s Pixel Fold; competing with the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and global Xiaomi Mix Fold 3 might be tough
In the end, as a Pixel 6 Pro and Pixel 7 Pro user, I remain rather optimistic about the Pixel Fold!
It appears that Google’s going for just the right amount of “different” to make its first foldable phone stand out from other foldable phones on the market, which is exactly what the company did with the Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 series.
Of course, the two big points of concern remain the price and weight of the Pixel Fold, which might be enough to make it a no-go for the majority of the people out there, including me. With a rumored price tag of $1,800, the only way I’d buy a Pixel Fold is when it gets to at least $1,000 on eBay, which, judging by the value drop of phones like the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Pixel 6 and Pixel 7, should happen in no time.
It’s important to note that you should absolutely expect Google to bundle some gifts with the expensive Pixel Fold. The company is famous for giving away expensive freebies, so I won’t be surprised if Sundar Pichai & Co throw in a free Pixel Watch and a pair of Pixel Buds Pro (worth over $500) with Pixel Fold pre-orders. That way, not only can Google soften the massive price blow but also put its entire ecosystem in people’s hands, finally challenging Apple and Samsung.
Unfortunately for Google, 2023 is shaping up to be the year of the foldable phone, and the competition won’t take it easy on the search engine giant! Of course, we expect to see the Galaxy Z Fold 5 in August – Samsung’s phone should (finally!) be redesigned. Then, the Galaxy will be followed (or likely preceded) by Xiaomi’s own and first globally-sold foldable, the Mix Fold 3.The Xiaomi Mix Fold 3 might turn out to be more significant than you think, given that the China-exclusive Mix Fold 2 is arguably the best-looking foldable device on the market right now, while being cheaper than the Galaxy Z Fold 4 even if you were to import it to the US or Europe.
I’m not sure what Google’s Pixel Fold plan involves, but it better include a price surprise because otherwise… the foldable Pixel might end up being an expensive Android L vehicle that no one can afford to ride in.