Google Pixel Fold: Everything you need to know
Google has finally lifted the lid on its long-rumoured foldable, the Google Pixel Fold, at Google I/O 2023.
As confirmed by official teasers in the lead-up to the event, the Google Pixel Fold is a direct competitor to Samsung’s long-standing Galaxy Z Fold 4, representing true competition for the South Korean brand in the Western smartphone market for the first time.
However, those looking for a more affordable foldable might be disappointed, with Google’s big-screen foldable comfortably more expensive than the premium Z Fold 4 with a starting price of £1749/$1799.
You do get tempting specs for the cash though, including an external 5.8-inch 120Hz OLED display and a flexible 7.6-inch 120Hz OLED panel to match, IPX8 water resistance, Tensor G2 performance, AI smarts and a capable triple rear camera system on a par with the Google Pixel 7 Pro. Intrigued? You should be.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Google Pixel Fold, from release date and pricing to key features and specs.
As confirmed by Google, the Pixel Fold is available to pre-order now ahead of full release in June.
£30 per month for the Google Pixel 7 and 100GB of data
The Pixel 7 is one of the best phones we’ve reviewed this year, especially for the price. Now you can get it for an incredible price that includes 100GB of data on the Three network for just £30 per month, making it even more affordable. If you’re a keen mobile photographer, it’s an ideal handset for you.
- Affordable Mobiles
- 100GB, unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, and no upfront cost
- £30 per month
This one will no-doubt sting; the Google Pixel Fold is one of the most expensive foldables on the market in 2023 starting at £1749/$1799 for the 215GB model, though we’re still awaiting confirmed pricing for the top-end 512GB model.
That’s £100/$150 more than Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4 which, until now, was one of the priciest foldables around.
To try and sweeten the deal, those in the US, UK and Germany who pre-order the premium foldable from the Google Store will get a free Google Pixel Watch worth £339/$349.
Design and display
The Google Pixel Fold is a book-style foldable in a similar vein to the likes of the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Honor Magic Vs, with a smaller display on the outside and a larger display on the inside.
More specifically, the outer display is a pocket-friendly 5.8-inch panel with a 17.4:9 aspect ratio that’s both shorter and squatter than the overly-narrow outer panel from Samsung’s foldable, which should make it easier to quickly reply to messages and interact with notifications. It’s also smooth at 120Hz, with Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus protecting it from drops.
The inner display measures in at a larger 7.6 inches with a 120Hz refresh rate, peak brightness of 1450nits a rather boxy 6:5 aspect ratio. The boxy aspect ratio is one of the hurdles that book-style foldables have to overcome, but with Google promising easier ways for developers to adopt the form factor in Android 14, it could soon be an issue of the past.
Google says it has also put a lot of effort into the folding hinge mechanism, with the company describing it as “the most durable hinge out there”, though it’s yet to be seen whether this translates to real-world use. Samsung’s foldables are rated for 400,000 folds but you still see images appearing online of severely damaged panels, after all.
When it comes to colour options, Google is keeping it simple with the Pixel Fold. Rather than going for eye-catching finishes like the bright orange finish of the Honor Magic Vs, Google has opted for simple Porcelain (white) and Obsidian (black) finishes, complete with a mirror-finish silver steel band around the edges.
When it comes to cameras, the Google Pixel Fold can compete with other top-end foldables with a combination of a 48MP main, 10.8MP ultrawide and 10.8MP telephoto, complete with LDAF, OIS and EIS stabilisation.
More specifically, the main 48MP lens boasts key specs including OIS for smooth video and sharp photo capture, boosted by a large 1/2in sensor and a wide f/1.7 aperture that should not only further boost the phone’s AI-powered Night Mode capabilities, but offer a more natural bokeh in shots too.
That’s paired with a 10.9MP ultrawide camera with a wide 121.1-degree field of view and a decent 1/3in sensor powering the experience, while zoom lovers get a 10.8MP dual PD telephoto camera with 5x optical zoom and Google’s Super Res Zoom up to 20x.
The front-facing camera on the smaller 5.8-inch external panel comes in at a fairly decent 9.5MP, while the inner display’s selfie camera comes in at a slightly lower-res 8MP.
Of course, it’s not just camera hardware that you have to look forward to with Pixel devices, with a bevvy of AI-powered features like Magic Eraser, Photo Unblur, Real Tone, Face Unblur and Night Sight all present and accounted for on the Pixel Fold.
Tensor G2 performance and AI smarts
At the heart of the Pixel Fold you’ll find the same Tensor G2 chipset found in the flagship Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, as well as the new budget-focused Pixel 7a.
The chipset isn’t the most powerful around, especially when compared to the sheer power of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 or Apple’s A16 Bionic, but it does allow Google to do some pretty cool stuff with AI, particularly where the camera is concerned.
It also allows the Pixel Fold to double up as a real-time translation device, using both displays in tandem to show translations to both recipients in their local languages.
That’s paired with an ample 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and either 256GB or 512GB of UFS 3.1 (not the faster UFS 4.0) storage.
Elsewhere, Google claims that the power efficiency of the chipset, coupled with the 4821mAh battery, should provide “beyond 24 hours” of battery life with standard use, and up to 72 hours with Extreme Battery Saver mode. It’ll also charge fairly quickly with 30W wired charging support.
Google Pixel Fold specs
- 79.5 x 12.1 x 139.7mm (Folded)
- 158.7 x 5.8 x 139.7mm (Unfolded)
- IPX8 water resistance
- External 5.8-inch FHD+ 120Hz OLED display
- Internal 7.6-inch 120Hz foldable OLED display
- 48MP main camera with OIS, f/1.7 and 1/2in sensor
- 10.8MP ultrawide with 121.1-degree FOV, f/2.2 and 1/3in sensor
- 10.8MP dual PD telephoto camera with 5x optical zoom and 20x Super Res Zoom
- External 9.5MP Dual PD selfie camera
- Internal 8MP selfie camera
- 4K@60fps video
- Fingerprint Unlock
- Tensor G2
- 12GB LPDDR5 RAM
- 256/512GB UFS 3.1 storage
- 4821mAh battery
- 30W fast charging
- USB-C 3.2
- Wi-Fi 6E