We knew it was going to happen and it has. One of the most leaked devices in recent history was finally officially announced at this year’s Google I/O. There is no doubt it looks good. Despite the hefty $1799 starting price, there’s no doubt it will have its suitors too!
The Google Pixel Fold is Google’s answer to the likes of Samsung, Oppo, and Microsoft. Yes, did you forget Microsoft released the Duo 2? Well, Pixel Fold apes that device more closely than some of the others mentioned, in dimensions at least.
Why Is It Different?
Leaving the beautiful hardware aside, there are many ways that Google’s foldable phone differs from the competition, but Software is perhaps the one that will give the longer-lasting experience for users. It’s a Google Pixel device, and like the Nexus devices before it, Pixel devices offer several exclusive Android features. Features like Night Sight, Call Screen, Magic Eraser, Call Screen, and Photo Unblur are all added value for the user. Whilst other companies have created similar offerings, in most cases none quite offer the user experience or the quality that Google manages to deliver. Expect the same from the Google Pixel Fold, especially as it comes pre-loaded with Android 14, Google’s latest OS.
Google had several devices to look at to cherry-pick the best from all before launching their foldable phone. It seems like they’ve taken the format of the Microsoft Surface Duo 2, and used the Huawei Mate X3 as inspiration for the thickness (albeit they don’t quite hit Huawei’s 5.3mm when closed), whilst learning from all of them when it comes to the hinge. Time will tell on the latter.
The Pixel Fold has undoubted class-leading specifications (see below), albeit its charging implementation is significantly slower than many of the competition’s devices. With such a large battery (which is nice to see) it remains to be seen if this is a pinch point for users.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is the inclusion of IPX8 dust and water resistance. When you’re dropping significant amounts of cash on bleeding-edge technology you want as much protection as possible – it’s a welcome addition.
One area where the Google Pixel Fold might struggle is ironically in the app development arena. Other foldable Android phones have seen many users flock to forums to air their grievances about the state of the “tablet” versions of Android apps, and how they function across larger display devices. Google will have to encourage developers to deal with this if the Pixel Fold is to be the hit Google wants it to be.
Perhaps the biggest stumbling block right now is the limited distribution Google seems to have slated for the Pixel Fold. Debuting in the UK, USA, Japan and Germany might belie Google’s true narrative around the Google Pixel Fold. This almost feels like a concept device, to show other manufacturers how to deal with the emerging foldable market.
- Display – 5.8-inch outer display with 7.6-inch inner display with Corning Gorilla Glass Victus (external)
- External – 17.4:9 aspect ratio, FHD+ 2092 x 1080 OLED at 408 PPI
- Internal – 6.5 aspect ration, 2208 x 1840 OLED at 380 PPI
- CPU – Google Tensor G2
- RAM – 12GB
- Storage – 256/512GB UFS 3.1
- Camera (rear)
- 48 MP Quad PD with OIS + CLAF, 0.8 μm pixel width, ƒ/1.7 aperture
- 10.8 MP ultrawide camera, 1.25 μm pixel width, ƒ/2.2 aperture
- 10.8 MP dual PD telephoto camera, 1.22 μm pixel width, ƒ/3.05 aperture
- Camera (front)
- 9.5 MP Dual PD, 1.22 μm pixel width, ƒ/2.2 aperture
- Camera (inner front)
- 8 MP, 1.12 μm pixel width, ƒ/2.0 aperture
- Video Recording – up to 4K @ 60fps, 10-bit HDR
- Battery – 4,821 mAh
- 30W USB charging
- Qi Charging
- Features – Dual SIM, Wi-Fi 6E, MIMO Bluetooth, USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 2, Fingerprint unlock, IPX8 dust/water resistance
- Colour Options – Porcelain & Obsidian
Is this a device that will finally break the back of the foldable market and start the race to the bottom? Is it purely a concept device aimed at guiding the way for future premium offerings from others? Is it priced correctly, or competitively? Finally, are you interested in buying one? Google does have a trade-in program that offers around £400 for a current-gen Samsung device – might it be worthwhile?