Google Pixel Fold 2 leaks in hands-on pics showing one major change

Is a design change coming for the Pixel Fold 2?

Google Pixel Fold
(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)
Quick Summary

The Google Pixel Fold 2 foldable phone appears to have been leaked. The image showcases a number of interesting design changes, which could revolutionise the usability of the handset.

The Google Pixel Fold divided opinion when it launched in 2023. Some thought it lacked the bite that the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 offered - one of the best folding phones on the market - while others saw it as an important stepping stone for Android. Google, it seems, is working on the next-gen Pixel Fold 2, looking to make improvements over the previous iteration.

When we reviewed the current Pixel Fold, we found that there was insufficient optimisation of apps to use the space, software that was a little buggy, and battery life that didn't really stand-out.

We've already heard that Google might be planning to boost the performance of the Pixel Fold 2 by loading it up with the Google Tensor G4 chip, but now we've also seen a photo leak claiming to reveal a design change via Android Authority.

Google Pixel Fold 2 photo

(Image credit: Android Authority)

The Pixel Fold 2 hands-on photo shows a device that's clearly a prototype, so this might not be representative of the final design. But what it shows is a phone that's narrower than before.

This change would be a double-edged sword: on one hand, a narrower device would boost app compatibility and avoid some of the frustrations we found with the first-gen device. On the flip side, having a narrower display removes one of the best features of the current model - the external display is really great to use, and it might lose that.

Pixel Fold 2 has a mystery sensor on the back

But there's a bigger physical change that can be seen through this leaked image. The signature camera bar that has graced Pixel devices so far could be redesigned into a camera island.

The squared presentation of cameras appears to host four sensors. Three of these sensors are predictable: the main camera, the ultra-wide and the telephoto. The fourth sensor is a mystery. It could be a temperature sensor as found on the Pixel 8 Pro, although I can't help feeling that's a bit of a niche feature.

The other alternative is that Google is going to make a substantial change and include a second telephoto lens for middle distance zoom. We've seen similar from Samsung recently on the Galaxy S24 Ultra. Or it could just be a sensor for better 3D mapping.

Whatever the sensor is, this leak hints not only at a design shift for the Pixel Fold 2, but perhaps for the Pixel line as a whole - I'd expect the Pixel 9 to carry some of these traits too. I'm expecting a lot more leaks - and perhaps even confirmation from Google in the coming months - but wouldn't expect the Pixel Fold 2 launch until June 2024.

Chris Hall

Chris has been writing about consumer tech for over 15 years. Formerly the Editor-in-Chief of Pocket-lint, he's covered just about every product launched, witnessed the birth of Android, the evolution of 5G, and the drive towards electric cars. You name it and Chris has written about it, driven it or reviewed it. Now working as a freelance technology expert, Chris' experience sees him covering all aspects of smartphones, smart homes and anything else connected. Chris has been published in titles as diverse as Computer Active and Autocar, and regularly appears on BBC News, BBC Radio, Sky, Monocle and Times Radio. He was once even on The Apprentice... but we don't talk about that.