Just yesterday, we reported on a YouTube video which featured a dummy model of the handset. Designed for third-party case manufacturers to create their products, the dummy confirmed a few things for us. We garnered some information about case thickness and camera placement, but the most notable takeaway was just how close to market these devices are – these models are usually sent out a few months before an intended release date.
I, for one, am excited. I had been considering their current flagship – the Google Pixel 7 Pro – but the opportunity to fuse my favourite parts of that phone with a foldable device seems too good to miss. There is something of stumbling block, though.
Rumours around pricing have so far suggested a handset that would market around $1,600. From a business perspective, I can understand that. You undercut the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 by a few hundred dollars and step toe-to-toe with the Oppo Find N2.
But based on the dummy seen in that video, the Pixel isn't as sleek as those devices. The internal screen is draped in a thick bezel – it's not the end of the world, but it's also not what you expect from a handset closer to $2,000 than $1,000.
A recently leaked Google Pixel roadmap suggested that further foldable devices were planned if the Pixel Fold proved a market for it. I think they've got that entirely the wrong way around. A circa-$1,000 flip phone would do a better job of proving the market for foldable phones because people could afford it more easily.
I don't think it's only Google who would suffer from a bad result with the Pixel Fold, either. As the team behind the Android operating system, Google have arguably more skin in the game than anyone. Hypothetically, if they were to lose faith in the foldable phone market, the knock-on effects could be substantial.
I'm still hopeful that the leaked pricing is incorrect. Even if Google could position themselves around $1,300 – undercutting the Oppo and sitting parallel with slab phone flagships like the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra – it could offer a gateway into the foldable phone world.
And at that price? Sign me up.