Google I/O delivered the business back on 10th May 2023, providing our first chance to get see the Pixel Fold, Google's challenger to the best folding phones.
This is Google's first shot at a foldable phone, which is increasingly populated by strong competition. When the Fold becomes available it will be fascinating to see how Google challenges the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4.
So here's the skinny on the Pixel Fold, from how much it'll cost, to when you can get your hands on it, to what cool tricks Google may have up its sleeve that could make the Google foldable the most appealing of the lot.
Google Pixel Fold: Price & release date
Foldable phones are still in the expensive phase of their development and the Google Pixel Fold certainly embraces that! In fact, the Fold will be priced £1,749/$1,799 – making it among the priciest of foldables you can buy.
So, yes, it's expensive, but also yes, we’re still excited about it – but at that price it'll need to be something special. The non-foldable Google Pixel range has so far been priced pretty reasonably, so this positioning feels like a whole new venture for Google.
You can pre-order the Pixel Fold right now, although in-hand dates will vary. It's thought the US will get the handset first, with Verizon offering it from as early as 27th June. In the UK, however, it's not thought to be available until July time.
Google Pixel Fold: Design
Pixel owners might find the looks of the Pixel Fold to be rather familiar – it almost looks like two Pixel 7 Pro handsets put together, which is no bad thing. The Fold is significantly more slimline than the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, though, with a mere 5.8mm thin/thickness when unfolded.
The elephant in the room however is the bezel. The Pixel Fold features fairly chunky borders all around its screen, not just where it will be held on the sides. Considering foldable phones are all about maximising screen real estate, this is an odd choice, similar to the Pixel 7a, but you can’t deny that as a whole the Pixel Fold looks beautiful.
Google Pixel Fold: Display
The Pixel Fold comprises two panels: the exterior, in folded format, is a 5.8-inch 1080 x 2092 resolution with 17.4:9 aspect ratio; the interior, in unfolded format, is a 7.6-inch 1840 x 2208 pixels display.
Google has lots to shout about with that interior display. Yes, it'll be reflective like all folding OLED panels, but with a 120Hz refresh rate, and 1450 nits peak brightness, this big screen is capable of display HDR10+ high dynamic range content.
Will that make it better than the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5? Well, that's a question we'll have to wait and find out about...
Google Pixel Fold: Features
Under the hood, the Pixel Fold uses the same Tensor G2 chip as found in the Pixel 7 Pro. Which is just fine by us. That's paired with 12GB RAM to ensure the device can handle multi-tasking with ease – an obvious need for a device such as this.
Obviously one standout feature is the folding mechanism. Google's own blog says: "The striking polished finish we went with for the hinge just really took it to the next level, it has a luxury feel, in addition to making it more durable." It's tested to 200,000 folds, too, so will last and last – and as it's made of stainless steel it shouldn't scratch either.
In terms of finish, the Pixel Fold comes in Porcelain or Obsidian options. The former, an off-white finish, comes with 256GB storage, while the latter, darker finish, offers an increased 512GB option (if you want to pay yet more).
Google Pixel Fold: Cameras
The camera in the Pixel Fold is pretty much identical to what you'll find in the Pixel 7 Pro's setup. And as that has one of our favourite cameras of any phone, again, that's no bad thing.
The triple rear camera comprises a 48-megapixel main sensor, a 10.8MP 5x optical zoom, and a 10.8MP wide-angle optic. The main and tele also feature optical image stabilisation (OIS), which further ups its game.
Thanks to the Tensor G2 chipset you can expect to see several AI-powered features too. From the already well-known Magic Eraser, to the incoming Magic Editor, Google offers some serious post-shot editing tools that other Android handsets simply don't offer.
If you were thinking a Tensor G3, i.e. the next-generation hardware, would be inside the Fold then we suspect you'll need to wait for Google Pixel 8 – which we think will be arriving around October... if we're lucky.