Google’s Pixel Fold is just around the corner and we’re expecting the company to unveil it at this year’s Google I/O. It will pack the Google Tensor G2 chipset that powered the Google Pixel 7 series, 12GB of RAM, up to 512GB of storage, and 120Hz displays both outside and inside. In other words, it will be a premium foldable. But hardware is only half the battle.
While companies like Samsung are at the top of the foldable pack, devices from Oppo and Honor are also competitive in the space. The reason Samsung comes out on top is because of its availability, but more importantly, its software, and that’s something Google will really have to nail down to not screw up the Pixel Fold. Hardware is one thing, but software can make or break a phone.
Given Google’s proficiency in software, we’re optimistic about the company’s ability to succeed. It frequently introduces new software features that put its devices above the rest, even though it doesn’t have a lot of unique features. But there’s so much to do to give the Pixel Fold the best chance of succeeding.
Bring Flagship Cameras
If there’s one major criticism of foldable smartphones right now, it’s the lack of flagship cameras. Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4 has a pretty good camera, but the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s cameras are just… better, and the same is obviously true of the S23 Ultra. In foldables, it always seems like the camera takes a back seat to the rest of the phone’s development.
So it seems imperative that the Pixel Fold have good cameras. It would be an easy way to increase a lot of the competition, and good cameras and camera software are synonymous with the Pixel brand at this point. In fact, they’re so prominent that even the mid-range A-series can take good photos, so that would be really weird for the Fold. not to get good cameras anyway. Google has the software part mostly down; it just needs the hardware to back it up.
Introduce collapsible software features
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but the Google Pixel Fold actually has to use the unique hardware it has. Not all phones fold, which means the experience will be different from a conventional Android smartphone. Features like the bottom dock will have to be used and improving the multitasking experience is imperative.
Arguably, Google will also have to do what Samsung did and introduce features that work in certain apps depending on the folded state of the device. For example, folding your Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 halfway with the YouTube app open will adjust the UI to fit the screen perfectly with the hinge as the inflection point. If Google has a similar type of Flex mode, the features that use it will be important to make the whole thing feel cohesive.
Actually good battery life
Google’s battery life has been a bit hit and miss with the Pixel line for the past few years, and foldables can be quite power hungry. The Tensor G2 may not necessarily be up to scratch, and I admit that seeing it on the technical sheet worries me a little. A foldable needs all the utility of a smartphone while being a tablet, and that includes the ability to stay powered on without running out of power in the middle of the day.
Without this guarantee, the Pixel Fold will be a non-starter for many people, including myself. I struggled with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4’s mediocre battery, and I don’t see that changing in a larger form factor.
Little or no crease
Something that many companies have figured out, but apparently not Samsung, is how to hide the crease. Samsung’s foldables suffer quite significantly from this, unlike other devices that use a so-called “teardrop” hinge. These don’t completely fold the screen, but roll it into a teardrop shape when the phone is folded. It protects the screen and means the crease isn’t as noticeable when unfolded.
If Google implemented something similar, it would give it an edge over Samsung in the design department. From what we’ve seen so far, the Pixel Fold has pretty big bezels, so it won’t win in all departments, but the inside screen is going to be one of the most important parts of the whole thing. ‘experience.
Like most products, the Google Pixel Fold has to have a good competitive price to stand a chance, and thankfully, that seems to be the case. According to the leaks, it will start at $1,799, which is a steep price for a smartphone. But it’s not just any other smartphone; this price puts it perfectly in line with the starting price of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4.
That’s only half the picture, though. It can start at $1,799, but that doesn’t include pre-order deals or other carrier offers that might be available. Leaks and rumors currently suggest that the phone will come with a Google Pixel Watch for free if you pre-order it, which is a bargain for a watch that starts at $350. In fact, I still use mine, and it’s a nice addition to a Pixel phone.
The Google Pixel Fold is expected to be announced at this year’s Google I/O and is expected to cost around $1,799, according to current leaks and rumors. It should be available for pre-order soon after, and the device will ship later in June. We’re excited to play with one and think Google has the ability to pull off a great foldable, especially given the company’s software prowess. The hardware is a bit more of a question mark, but hopefully the company nailed it like it did with the Google Pixel 7 Pro.
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