Google’s Pixel Fold is just around the corner, and we expect the company to unveil it at this year’s Google I/O conference. It will pack a Google Tensor G2 chipset that powers the Google Pixel 7 series, 12GB of RAM, up to 512GB of storage, and 120Hz displays outside and inside. In other words, it will be a high-quality foldable. But hardware is only half the battle.
While companies like Samsung are at the top of the foldable package, devices from Oppo and Honor are competitive in the space as well. The reason Samsung comes out on top is due to its availability, but more importantly, its software, and that’s one aspect that Google will really need to nail in order not to spoil the Pixel Fold. Hardware is one thing, but software can make or break a phone.
Given Google’s proficiency with software, we’re optimistic the company can pull it off. It often introduces new software features that put its devices above the rest, even if they don’t have much unique Features. But there are a lot of things that need to be done to give the Pixel Fold the best possible chance of success.
Bring the flagship cameras
If there is one major criticism of current foldable smartphones, it is the lack of main cameras. Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4 has a pretty good camera, but the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s cameras are just…better, and the same is clearly true of the S23 Ultra. In foldable devices, the camera always seems to take a backseat to the rest of phone development.
So it seems imperative that the Pixel Fold has good cameras. It would be an easy way to beat a lot of the competition, and good cameras and camera software are synonymous with the Pixel brand at this point. In fact, it’s so important that even the mid-range A-Series can take good photos, so it’d be really weird for a Fold no For good cameras anyway. Google has the software part mostly down; It just needs the hardware to back it up.
Introducing collapsible software features
This device is somewhat self-explanatory, but the Google Pixel Fold really needs to take advantage of the unique hardware it has. Not every phone folds, which means the experience will be different from a traditional Android smartphone. Features such as the bottom dock must be used, and improving the multitasking experience is imperative.
Arguably, Google will also need to do what Samsung did and offer features that work in certain apps depending on the device’s folded state. For example, folding the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 in half with the YouTube app open will adjust the user interface so that the screen fits nicely with the hinge as the inflection point. If Google had a similar kind of flexible mode, the features it used would be important to make the whole thing cohesive.
Really good battery life
Google’s battery life has been little or no with the Pixel line in recent years, and foldable devices can be very power-hungry. The Tensor G2 may not necessarily be up to the task, and I’ll admit seeing it on the spec sheet worries me a little. A foldable device needs to have all the benefits of a smartphone while also being a tablet, and that includes the ability to survive without running out of power in the middle of the day.
Without that guarantee, the Pixel Fold wouldn’t be a start for many people, myself included. I struggled with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4’s mediocre battery, and I don’t see that changing in the larger form factor.
Something that a lot of companies have figured out, but Samsung apparently hasn’t, is how to hide the crease. Samsung’s foldable devices suffer from this the most, while others that use a so-called “waterdrop” hinge do not. These actually don’t fold the entire screen but instead fold into a teardrop shape when the phone is folded. It protects the screen and means the crease isn’t noticeable when opened.
If Google were to implement something similar, it would give it an edge over Samsung in the design department. From what we’ve seen so far, the Pixel Fold has some pretty big bezels, so it won’t win in all departments, but the internal display will be one of the most important parts of the whole experience.
Like most products, the Google Pixel Fold needs to have good competitive pricing in order to really stand a chance, and luckily that seems to be the case. According to the leaks, the pricing will start at $1,799, which is an exorbitant asking price for a smartphone. But this is not just another smartphone; This price is right in line with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 starting price.
That’s only half of the picture. It may start at $1,799, but that doesn’t include any pre-order offers or other carrier deals that may be available. Leaks and rumors currently indicate that the phone will come with a free Google Pixel Watch if you pre-order it, which is a pretty sweet deal for a watch starting at $350. I actually still use mine, and it’s a great complement to my Pixel phone.
The Google Pixel Fold is expected to be announced at this year’s Google I/O conference, and it’s supposed to come in at around $1,799, according to current leaks and rumors. It is expected to be available for pre-order shortly with the device shipping later in June. We’re excited to play around with one and feel Google has the potential to pull off an excellent foldable, especially given the company’s software prowess. The hardware is a bit of a question mark, but we hope the company has nailed it like it did with the Google Pixel 7 Pro.