Folding smartphones are a staple of the Android smartphone world in 2023. And this year, we expect Google to join the foldable ranks with the long-awaited Google Pixel Fold.
Rumors of the Pixel Fold have existed for a long time, but all signs are pointing to 2023 finally being the year it makes its grand debut. And what a debut it’s shaping up to be. From all of the latest renders, hands-on images, specs, and more, here’s everything you need to know about the Google Pixel Fold.
Google Pixel Fold: design
Our first real glimpse at the Pixel Fold arrived on November 14, when FrontPageTech published numerous renders of what the phone’s final design may look like. At first glance, it looks just like the Galaxy Z Fold 4 —featuring a cover display on the outside and a larger, tablet-like display when folded open. But there are a few key design differences to note.
For starters, the outer screen on the Pixel Fold looks considerably wider than the very narrow one on the Fold 4 and appears to be much more similar to the aspect ratio of a “normal” phone. When the Pixel Fold is opened, you see a much bigger screen on the inside that’s set to a horizontal landscape orientation. It’s a pretty different setup compared to the Z Fold 4 and, if anything, should be very close to the Oppo Find N and Oppo Find N2 in terms of its form factor.
In fact, YouTuber Dave2D was given a “dummy” version of the Pixel Fold (a plastic replica used to help accessory manufacturers understand the general design and dimensions of the device) and did a hands-on comparison. In the comparison, the Pixel Fold looks a lot like the Find N in terms of its scale and overall design. However, it boasts a much wider screen when opened. It seems to share some hinge technology with the Find N as well since it uses a multi-access hinge to allow both screens to rest completely flush with one another — notably different from the gap near the hinge on Galaxy foldables.
One of the areas where the Pixel Fold seemingly differs from both the Find N and the Z Fold 4 is in its bezel. Dave2D’s dummy model has bezels on the top and bottom of the opened screen measuring 5.5-6mm, making it one of the thicker bezels on a current premium foldable. Dave2D comments to say that, overall, it’s not too much of a dealbreaker since the Pixel Fold is wider than other foldables, allowing it to make up for lost space on the sides.
Dave2D’s dummy model seems to be in line with images that have been posted by leaker OnLeaks to the site HowToISolve. According to them, the foldable will have a 5.79-inch front display and a 7.69-inch inner display. All in all, the dimensions of the Pixel Fold, when unfolded, measure 6.2 by 5.5 by 0.22 inches, according to the leak. In addition to the dimensions given by OnLeaks and Dave2D, 9to5Google reports that the Fold will have a width of 3.14 inches when folded.
A Pixel Fold has supposedly been seen out in the wild, giving us even more of a look into what the foldable will look like when in use. In a post on Reddit, one user snapped four pictures of someone using what looks to be a Pixel Fold on a subway.
The pictures are blurry so it’s tough to say for sure if the device in question is a Pixel Fold or another, similarly designed foldable; but based on the discreet way the person was holding it, it seems as if they were trying not to draw attention to their device since it might be an unreleased product. If it is a Pixel Fold, then it seems to be a pretty comfortable size when folded, making it a solid option for those looking to use a wide screen to watch streaming content while on the go.
There are a few other important design details to highlight. FrontPageTech’s source for the Pixel Fold claims that the phone is “really heavy,” suggesting the phone is made out of glass and metal for a premium feel. While we don’t have a specific number for how heavy the Fold is, 9to5Google reports that it’s heavier than the Galaxy Z Fold 4, which weighs in at 263g.
What else do we have? There are speaker grilles on the top and bottom frames, a power button that reportedly doubles as an in-screen fingerprint sensor, and a Pixel 7 Pro-like camera island on the back big enough to house three different lenses. So far, we’ve only seen two color options (chalk and obsidian), but Google often throws in an additional pastel color with its releases, so there’s a chance that we’ll see a three-toned release.
Google Pixel Fold: specs
Shifting gears to the Pixel Fold’s spec sheet, things become a bit murkier. According to information from OnLeaks, Google’s Tensor G2 chipset will be powering the foldable — the same processor found in the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. A Geekbench test from January suggested the Pixel Fold could have 12GB of RAM, and it’s safe to assume we can expect (at least) 128GB of storage.
In May 2022, display analyst Ross Young reported that the Pixel Fold will have a 5.8-inch cover screen and that it “will have a wider aspect ratio than the Samsung 6.19-inch Fold 4 ” — something that’s clearly visible in FrontPageTech’s renders. As for the inner screen, Ross Tweeted in November that the Pixel Fold will have a 7.57-inch display on the inside. That inner screen is also expected to be an OLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate.
One important spec for the Pixel Fold that seems to be promising is its battery capacity. Battery life has never been a strong suit for Pixels, nor are many foldables known for good endurance; however, new reports seem to suggest that the Pixel Fold could be leading the way for improving battery life among foldables.
The report doesn’t give a specific number but says that the Pixel Fold will have a battery capacity higher than the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and the Oppo Find N2. According to the report, the battery will be “closer to, but still well below, 5,000 mAh.” It’s certainly frustrating that there isn’t a concrete number to go off of, but it’s equally as exciting that the Pixel Fold might be the first device to break the streak of foldables with poor battery life.
Google Pixel Fold: camera
While Pixels may not be known for good battery life, they are synonymous with outstanding cameras — and the Google Pixel Fold shouldn’t be any different. FrontPageTech’s source says the Pixel Fold will have a “Pixel flagship camera” system and other leaks back that up.
Android researcher Kuba Wojciechowski found code in an Android 13 beta suggesting the Pixel Fold will have a 64MP Sony IMX787 sensor for the primary camera on the back, a 10MP telephoto camera, and a 12MP ultrawide camera. The zoom capabilities will likely be a step down from the 48MP telephoto camera on the Pixel 7 Pro, but that’s to be expected with the foldable design.
Along with the three cameras on the back, FrontPageTech reports the Google Pixel Fold will have two additional 9.5MP cameras — one in the hole-punch cutout on the outer screen and another in the top bezel above the inner display.
Google Pixel Fold: software
Depending on when it launches, the Pixel Fold could ship with Android 13 or Android 14, with the same Google customizations seen on other Pixels. This means Material You theme support, the usual slate of Tensor-powered AI tricks (such as Magic Eraser), and at least three years of future updates.
Given the larger size of the Pixel Fold’s inner screen, we can also expect some foldable-specific software tweaks. Google added numerous tablet/foldable optimizations with Android 12L and Android 13, such as improved multitasking, an app dock at the bottom of the screen, and redesigned apps that take advantage of the extra screen real estate. Google also looks to be expanding that large screen focus with Android 14.
Google Pixel Fold: price
Foldable phones have never been known for their affordable prices, and this should also be true of the Pixel Fold. According to FrontPageTech, the Google Pixel Fold will be available for $1,799 — the exact same price as the Galaxy Z Fold 4.
It’s reassuring to hear that the Pixel Fold won’t be more expensive than Samsung’s handset, but it doesn’t look like it’ll have the same competitive pricing as its Pixel 7 and 7 Pro siblings.
Google Pixel Fold: release date
What about the release date? It was initially believed that the Pixel Fold could launch in the fourth quarter of 2022, but at this point, it’s completely missed that date. There were rumors suggesting that we should expect to see the foldable in the summer at Google’s yearly I/O conference scheduled for May 10; however, it may be missing that window as well. We could still get a preview of the Pixel Fold at I/O, but a full release seems highly unlikely.
Now, it seems like we can expect a Pixel Fold launch in the second half of 2023, thanks to some production delays, according to The Elec. Given just how many delays the device has reportedly received, however, it’s safe to assume that we won’t be seeing it for quite some time still.