Earlier this month, Google I/O saw the release of a new flagship Pixel phone – the Google Pixel Fold. Marking Google's first entry into the world of foldable phones, the Fold looks set to go toe-to-toe with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4. That handset has dominated the market for book-style folding phones for a long time, with very little competition.
By comparison, it's smaller sibling – the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 – has had a lot more opposition. Devices like the Oppo Find N2 Flip and the Motorola Razr have given it a run for its money, offering added features at more competitive price points.
Now, it's emerged that Google could have entered that fight, too. The companies' head of design for hardware products, Ivy Ross, has mentioned that Google had two foldable phones in the works. The comment was made as part of the Pixel Perfect podcast.
And while there is no outright confirmation that the other was a clamshell flip phone, it would make more sense than marketing two book-style devices. Ross mentioned that the other device was dropped because it wasn't good enough yet – suggesting that it could still be in the works for a future release.
I'm a huge fan of this. While the book-style foldable is the epitome of a flagship, I think they can be a little too pricey for most users. Clamshell flip phones often hit the market at a much more manageable price, making it easier for users to justify.
I also think it's a much more useful form factor. Sure, the Pixel Fold is remarkably thin, but when folded over, it's still chunkier than a traditional slab phone. The same may be true of flip phones, but the smaller form factor when closed can be really handy and make the device feel much more compact overall.
I certainly hope we see a Pixel Flip at some point. Google have nailed some really key areas on the Pixel Fold, and seeing that come to the smaller, more affordable foldable segment could prove to be a game-changer.