Even though rumors about the foldable phone have been quiet recently, the Google Pixel Fold has been on our radar for quite some time. Nonetheless, a number of Google watchers believe that a Pixel Fold will be released this year. So, what should we expect if that’s the case?
Given Google’s efforts to make Android compatible with foldable phones such as the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4. Some argue that the search giant doesn’t need to create its own folding phone. However, from Google’s perspective, an idealized version of a foldable phone remains a tantalizing prospect.
Google Pixel Fold Release Date
The release date of the Google Pixel Fold has long been unknown. But Front Page Tech reports that it could arrive in May 2023 alongside the Pixel Tablet. For what it’s worth, Google’s developer’s conference is usually held in May each year, and the Pixel 6a and Pixel 7 phones were shown off at the 2022 event.
The Pixel Fold could arrive in the first quarter of 2023, according to to display analyst Ross Young’s forecast of panel shipments and production. We think this is a reasonable prediction, but we haven’t put any money into it yet. We’re hoping to see the Pixel Fold before summer next year.
Google Pixel Fold Price
Some rumors claim that the Pixel Fold will be less expensive than the Galaxy Z Fold line. Others claim that it will be as expensive as Samsung’s top-tier foldable.
According to Front Page Tech, the Pixel Fold could cost up to $1,799. It is significantly more than the Pixel 7 series and the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4.
Google previously reported that the Pixel Fold could be less expensive than the Galaxy Z Fold line. It is expected around $1,400, which would be a welcome move.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is currently the most expensive foldable, costing $1,799. At $999 and $1,399, respectively, flip phones like the new Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Motorola Razr 5G are a little more affordable — affordable being a relative term in this case.
Google’s strategy with its most recent Pixel phones has been to undercut the competition, with the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro both being very reasonably priced. Indeed, we believe it is one of the ways the Google Pixels outperform the current iPhone and Galaxy phones.
Is the Google Pixel Fold’s name “Pixel Notepad”?
According to a 9to5Google report, the Google Pixel Fold will be renamed the Pixel Notepad. If this is true, we can expect Google to support stylus input. According to the same report, Google considered other names, such as Logbook, but hopefully, that is no longer in play.
Google Pixel Fold Design
The first major Google Pixel Fold leak reveals an incredible design. According to the leaked images, the Pixel Fold may have a large outer display like the Oppo Find N. It also appears to have an impressive foldable design with numerous Pixel features.
A punch-hole cutout in the front outer screen appears to house an under-display 9.5MP front-facing camera. The bezels around the screen appear to be minimal. It appears to be a regular Pixel phone from the front. With a glass finish and a triple camera system housing, the back looks strikingly similar to the Pixel 7 Pro.
When you open the Pixel Fold, you’ll notice a large tablet-like screen that unfolds in landscape mode. The top and bottom bezels are noticeable, and there is another 9.5MP camera beneath the top bezel.
A USB-C charging port is also revealed in the leak.
Other ideas for how the Pixel Fold might look come from animations in Android 12L. This foldable and tablet-focused version of Android employs abstract illustrations of a foldable phone, possibly based on the Pixel Fold. If that’s the case, we’ll get a book-fold device with a full outer display in addition to a large inner display. The device’s shape isn’t as tall and skinny as something like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, instead resembling the squarer Oppo Find N.
Leaks on Display
Developer Kuba Wojciechowski leaked key details of the Google Pixel Fold. And they suggest similar specs to Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4. When opened, the foldable appears to measure 123 x 148 mm, which corresponds to a 7.57-inch display. The resolution of the inner display is also mentioned in the report as 2208 x 1840. This is also very close to the specifications of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, which has a 7.6-inch inner display.
The internal display will also reportedly have a refresh rate of 120Hz, though the leaker is unsure about this. In terms of brightness, the display achieved a peak brightness of 1200 nits and an average brightness of 800 nits.
According to 9to5Google, the Pixel Fold’s outer display could have a resolution of 2100 x 1080. We don’t know the screen’s dimensions, but based on the leaked resolution, it appears to be slightly wider but shorter than Samsung’s 6.2-inch display on the Fold 4.
Any other information about Google’s design plans for the Pixel Fold comes primarily from the company’s multiple patent filings for foldable devices. One such patent depicts a device that opens on a hinge to reveal a larger screen. And with the option of sliding out an additional display for additional screen real estate. Another patent teases a foldable that can fold in three places.
We don’t know if these designs are even close to reality, which is one disadvantage of relying on patents, which may cover products that never see the light of day. However, based on the designs revealed in these filings, it appears that whatever Google is working on is more similar to the Galaxy Z Fold 3. And the way the smartphone-sized device unfolds to reveal a larger display.
A report that Google has struck a deal with Samsung to obtain foldable OLED panels adds fuel to the fire. (Samsung is a leading display manufacturer and actually supplies the screens found on many phones manufactured by its competitors, including Apple.) According to the original report, Google has ordered 7.6-inch panels, which are the same size as the internal screen of the Galaxy Z Fold 3. The screen size on the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is also the same.
The Pixel Fold and Galaxy Z Fold 4 share a 7.6-inch screen size, according to DSCC’s Ross Young. But Google’s foldable will have a different-sized external display. According to Young, the Pixel Fold will have a 5.8-inch cover display. It is larger than the 6.2-inch panel on the outside of Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold phones.
Another report from The Elec confirms the Google Pixel Fold will have a 7.6-inch display.
Furthermore, Samsung is will supply Google with its ultra-thin glass layer, which has been critical in making Samsung’s own foldable more durable. The display will allegedly also use LTPO technology, allowing it to scale up to 120Hz.
Designer Waqar Khan has floated several concept designs for the Pixel Fold. The most recent Pixel Fold design drew inspiration from both the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Pixel 6. Khan’s concept design includes an external display that, like the fold, opens to reveal the larger screen. Meanwhile, the camera array on the phone’s back stretches horizontally, as Google did with the Pixel 6.
Google Pixel Fold Specs and Cameras
Given that previous Pixel devices have been among the best camera phones, we’d expect any Pixel Fold to follow suit and place an emphasis on cameras.
This does not necessarily imply a large number of lenses on the Pixel Fold. Prior to the Pixel 6 Pro, Google had traditionally avoided including multiple cameras — the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G only had the main lens, an ultrawide shooter, and a front-facing camera.
Google could add more cameras to the Pixel Fold depending on its design. But the company appears to prefer a less-is-more approach, instead focusing on providing the best post-processing software for producing better photos.
According to a Front Page Tech leak, the front cameras on both the outer and inner screens will have the same 9.5MP camera. The cameras on the back will be arranged similarly to the Pixel 7 Pro. It could very well be the same — 50MP main lens, 12MP ultrawide camera, and 48MP telephoto camera.
According to data found in the Google Camera app, another rumor suggested that the Pixel Fold would have a single 12MP rear camera and two front-facing 8MP cameras. Given that the rival Galaxy Z Fold 3 has three rear cameras, the single 12MP sensor is disappointing.
However, Google’s software might be able to ensure that the Pixel Fold takes the best photos of any foldable.
Kuba Wojciechowski, a leaker, and developer, recently tweeted about the likely camera hardware on the Pixel Fold. This includes a 50MP main camera, two 12MP sensors, and an 8MP sensor.
Chinese informant According to Digital Chat Station on Weibo, the Pixel Fold’s internal screen will not have a notch. When it is translated into English, this rumor could mean one of two things: there will be no camera when the phone is opened, or there will be a tiny camera on the phone’s bezel. This rumor doesn’t mention the camera’s specifications.
It would seem logical for Google to use its own in-house designed Tensor chip to power the Pixel Fold.
The chipset used in the latest Pixel phones may not be as powerful as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or the upcoming Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, but it is still plenty powerful. It’s also smart and enables a lot of cool features in current Pixels. So including it in the Pixel Fold and potentially allowing the phone to adjust to a user’s needs makes sense.
Recent alleged benchmarks appear to show the Pixel Fold running a chipset with eight cores and a clock speed ranging from 1.8GHz to 2.8GHz, which is the same as the Tensor chip. This chip can also be combined with 12GB of RAM and a Mali-G78 GPU.
Google Pixel Fold software
Android 12 improved software support for folding phones running Google’s operating system. It will almost certainly be at the heart of the Pixel Fold; we doubt Google will create a custom folding phone OS. Google, after all, has collaborated closely with Samsung to optimize its own apps for foldable screens.
Google’s interest in developing a Pixel Fold is most likely explained by the ability to build more foldable-friendly features into Android and then optimize them on a Google-built phone.
This is where Android 12L comes into play. This update, a continuation of Android 12, added features aimed at foldable phones to Google’s software. Devices running Android 12L, in particular, provide an interface that makes better use of a large amount of screen real estate available. There is also support for additional multitasking options such as multi-window and a taskbar.
While the Google Pixel Fold’s current status is unknown, we believe the time has come for a Google-made folding phone.
Android’s evolution has demonstrated that Google can create a slick mobile operating system, especially when the Pixel Launcher is added on top. So we welcome the idea of that approach applied to foldable phones, as software is still the area that holds them back.
If Google can master that aspect, it may be able to create a foldable phone that serves as a model for others to emulate, possibly in terms of both hardware and software. Time will tell, as it always does, but we’re quietly optimistic about the potential of the so-called Google Pixel Fold.