Pixel Fold
A black foldable smartphone running Wikipedia and another app
An Obsidian Pixel Fold, unfolded,
running two apps
CodenameFelix
BrandGoogle
SeriesPixel
Compatible networks
First releasedJune 28, 2023; 7 months ago (2023-06-28)
Availability by region
June 2023
  • Germany
  • Japan
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
Related
TypeFoldable
Form factorSlate
Dimensions
  • Folded:
    • H: 5.5 in (139.7 mm)
    • W: 3.1 in (79.5 mm)
    • D: 0.5 in (12.1 mm)
  • Unfolded:
    • H: 5.5 in (139.7 mm)
    • W: 6.2 in (158.7 mm)
    • D: 0.2 in (5.8 mm)
Mass10.0 oz (283 g)
Operating systemAndroid 13
System-on-chipGoogle Tensor G2
Memory12 GB LPDDR5
Storage256 or 512 GB UFS 3.1
SIMNano SIM and eSIM
Battery4821 mAh
Charging
  • 30 W fast charging
  • Qi wireless charging
Display
Sound
Rear camera
  • 48 MP, f/1.7, 82˚ field of view (wide), 0.8µm
  • 10.8 MP, f/2.2, 121.1˚ field of view (ultrawide), 1.25µm
  • 10.8 MP, f/3.05, 21.9˚ field of view (telephoto), 1.22µm
  • 4K video at 30 or 60 FPS
  • 1080p video at 30 or 60 FPS
Front camera
  • Folded:
  • 9.5 MP, f/2.2, 84˚ field of view (wide), 1.22µm
  • 4K video at 30 or 60 FSP
  • 1080p video at 30 or 60 FPS
  • Unfolded:
  • 8 MP, f/2.0, 84˚ field of view (wide), 1.12µm
  • 1080p video at 30 FPS
Connectivity
Data inputs
Water resistanceIPX8
Other
Hearing aid compatibilityM3, T4
WebsitePixel Fold
References[1]

The Pixel Fold is an Android-powered foldable smartphone designed, developed, and marketed by Google as part of the Google Pixel product line. It was officially announced on May 10, 2023, at the annual Google I/O keynote, and was released in the United States on June 28. Reception was mixed, with many critics praising the phone's cameras and overall design but criticizing the price, durability, weight, and inner display.

History

In May 2019, then-Pixel product lead Mario Queiroz revealed that a foldable smartphone was in early development at Google's hardware division. However, the company had no immediate plans to bring said phone to the market.[2] The company had previously filed a patent for an unknown foldable display in March.[3] By August 2020, an Android-powered Pixel foldable was in active development, with the codename "Passport" and a planned launch date of late 2021.[4] This had been delayed to 2022 by November 2021, with the device now codenamed "Pipit".[5] Shortly thereafter, Google abandoned its plans for a Pixel foldable due to increased competition from other smartphone manufacturers,[6] before restarting production by January 2022.[7] 9to5Google reported "Pixel Notepad" as a potential name for the device, with "Pixel Logbook" previously being considered.[8] In September 2022, The New York Times reported that Google was "exploring" a foldable phone with a targeted release date of 2023;[9] by then, Google was working on the third iteration of the Pixel foldable, now codenamed "Felix".[10] Google designer Ivy Ross later explained that Google had held off releasing the foldable for so long because they felt prototype models had not been "good enough yet".[11]

CNBC reported the device's name to be the "Pixel Fold" in April 2023, asserting that it would be similar to Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold series in terms of specifications and pricing. The phone was reported to be powered by the second-generation Tensor system-on-a-chip and be the most expensive entry in Google's Pixel lineup yet.[12] The device was approved by the Federal Communications Commission in May, ahead of its imminent launch.[13] On May 4, Google confirmed the device's existence on social media, revealing its full design and teasing an announcement at the forthcoming Google I/O keynote.[14] The company unveiled the Pixel Fold at I/O on May 10 accordingly,[15] with pre-orders available immediately at the online Google Store.[16] With the Fold's launch, Apple became the only major smartphone brand without a foldable offering.[17] Other wireless carriers began pre-orders in late June.[18] it became available in four countries on June 28.[19][20] Days after receiving their devices, many buyers reported that their screens had broken.[21][22]

Specifications

Design

The Pixel Fold is available in two colors:[23]

Color options for the Pixel Fold
Porcelain   Obsidian
Diagram of the front of a Pixel Fold smartphone in white. Diagram of the interior of a Pixel Fold smartphone in white. Diagram of the back of a Pixel Fold smartphone in white. Diagram of the front of a Pixel Fold smartphone in black. Diagram of the interior of a Pixel Fold smartphone in black. Diagram of the back of a Pixel Fold smartphone in black.
Front Unfolded Back Front Unfolded Back

Hardware

The Pixel Fold has a 5.8 in (146.7 mm) display, which opens vertically to reveal a 7.6 in (192.3 mm) display. At launch, it was the shortest and widest Pixel phone, and the thinnest foldable smartphone on the market.[19] The exterior screen is edge-to-edge, akin to regular smartphones, while the interior screen has slim black bezels.[14] Both displays have a 120 Hz variable refresh rate, while the phone's battery size of 4821 mAh is the largest amongst foldables in the U.S. It is available in 256 or 512 GB of storage and 12 GB of RAM.[19] Google markets the phone as having the "most durable hinge on a foldable".[12] It is equipped with a total of five cameras, with three on the back, one on the front, and one on the inside. The three rear cameras include a 48 megapixel wide lens, a 10.8 megapixel ultrawide lens, and a 10.8 megapixel telephoto lens; the front camera has a 9.5 megapixel sensor, while the inner camera has an 8 megapixel sensor.[19]

Software

The Pixel Fold shipped with Android 13.[23]

Marketing

Ahead of its launch at I/O in May 2023, the Pixel Fold was included in a commercial starring NBA and WNBA athletes.[24] In June, the Pixel Fold and Pixel 7 Pro were featured in a series of comparative advertisements targeting the iPhone.[25]

Reception

Critical reception to the Pixel Fold was decidedly mixed. Ron Amadeo of Ars Technica gave the phone high praise, deeming it vastly superior to the competition.[26] Chris Wedel of XDA Developers called it a respectable first attempt from Google, praising the Fold's compact design, cameras, and software.[27] Engadget's Sam Rutherford agreed, also highlighting the phone's design, cameras, and software, while expressing ambivalence over its price and durability.[28][29] Brian Heater of TechCrunch called it a "well-rounded take on the foldable form factor", but was disappointed that the high price meant it was unlikely to become a "mainstream device".[30]

Writing for Android Police, Will Sattelber lamented that the Pixel Fold "fails to live up to its full potential", specifically criticizing the quality of the inner display and the phone's durability, or lack thereof.[31] The Washington Post's Chris Velazco found it to be a mixed bag, praising its design and cameras but feeling that its shortcomings and lack of uniqueness made the high price "harder to swallow".[32] Samuel Gibbs of The Guardian appreciated the Fold's wider and shorter screen and lauded its cameras, but was less enthusiastic about the software, price, and heaviness.[33] Allison Johnson of The Verge also criticized its price, durability, and heaviness, while finding the camera system versatile and praising the design.[34] Her colleague Dan Seifert opined that the Fold was inferior to Samsung's foldables in various aspects.[35]

Analyst Anshel Sag of Moor Insights & Strategy believed that the Pixel Fold's high price signaled that Google was not seeking to achieve high sales numbers, but rather use the device as a "vessel on which [it] can perfect its foldable software future".[36]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Pixel Fold Tech Specs & Screen Size". Google Store. Archived from the original on May 11, 2023. Retrieved June 22, 2023.
  2. ^ Nieva, Richard (May 7, 2019). "Google is already working on a foldable Pixel phone". CNET. Archived from the original on September 22, 2021. Retrieved August 7, 2022.
  3. ^ Porter, Jon (March 14, 2019). "Looks like Google's thinking about a folding screen of its own". The Verge. Archived from the original on March 15, 2019. Retrieved March 21, 2023.
  4. ^ Schoon, Ben (August 5, 2020). "Leaked Android document points to Google Pixel 5a, foldable Pixel, and more in the pipeline". 9to5Google. Archived from the original on August 6, 2020. Retrieved August 7, 2022.
  5. ^ Bradshaw, Kyle (November 4, 2021). "Google's Pixel foldable coming in 2022, cameras will be a step down from Pixel 6". 9to5Google. Archived from the original on November 4, 2021. Retrieved August 7, 2022.
  6. ^ Michaels, Philip (November 15, 2021). "Google Pixel Fold reportedly cancelled — here's why". Tom's Guide. Archived from the original on November 15, 2021. Retrieved August 7, 2022.
  7. ^ Lambrechts, Stephen (January 12, 2022). "Google Pixel Fold still on the way according to hints in latest Android beta". TechRadar. Archived from the original on January 13, 2022. Retrieved August 7, 2022.
  8. ^ Li, Abner (January 14, 2022). "Rumor: Google's foldable might be called 'Pixel Notepad' and may cost less than the Galaxy Fold". 9to5Google. Archived from the original on January 14, 2022. Retrieved March 21, 2023.
  9. ^ Wakabayashi, Daisuke; Mickle, Tripp (September 1, 2022). "Tech Companies Slowly Shift Production Away From China". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on September 1, 2022. Retrieved September 22, 2022.
  10. ^ Bradshaw, Kyle (November 16, 2022). "Third time's the charm: Everything we know about the Google Pixel Fold". 9to5Google. Archived from the original on November 16, 2022. Retrieved March 21, 2023.
  11. ^ Kundu, Kishalaya (May 30, 2023). "Google confirms it canceled its first foldable phone because it wasn't 'good enough'". XDA Developers. Archived from the original on May 30, 2023. Retrieved June 22, 2023.
  12. ^ a b Elias, Jennifer (April 18, 2023). "Google to launch its first foldable phone, the 'Pixel Fold,' in June". CNBC. Archived from the original on April 18, 2023. Retrieved April 21, 2023.
  13. ^ Li, Abner (May 1, 2023). "Google Pixel Fold with UWB arrives at FCC". 9to5Google. Archived from the original on May 1, 2023. Retrieved May 6, 2023.
  14. ^ a b Calore, Michael (May 4, 2023). "Google Is Making a Folding Phone". Wired. Archived from the original on May 4, 2023. Retrieved May 6, 2023.
  15. ^ Gurman, Mark (May 10, 2023). "Google Enters Foldable Market With $1,799 Pixel Phone to Rival Samsung". Bloomberg News. Archived from the original on May 10, 2023. Retrieved May 10, 2023.
  16. ^ Skorheim, Amy (May 10, 2023). "How to pre-order the Google Pixel Fold". Engadget. Archived from the original on May 10, 2023. Retrieved June 22, 2023.
  17. ^ Savov, Vlad (May 10, 2023). "Apple Is Now the Only Major Phone Brand Without a Foldable". Bloomberg News. Archived from the original on May 11, 2023. Retrieved June 22, 2023.
  18. ^ Whitelock, Alex (June 20, 2023). "Google Pixel Fold preorders now live at AT&T and Verizon: get up to $900 off". TechRadar. Archived from the original on June 21, 2023. Retrieved June 22, 2023.
  19. ^ a b c d Amadeo, Ron (May 10, 2023). "Google Pixel Fold: The thinnest foldable (with the biggest battery) in the US". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on May 10, 2023. Retrieved June 22, 2023.
  20. ^ Li, Abner (June 15, 2023). "Pixel Fold ship dates are getting delayed and slipping into July". 9to5Google. Archived from the original on June 15, 2023. Retrieved June 22, 2023.
  21. ^ Wan, June (June 29, 2023). "Pixel Fold screens are breaking a day after launch. Here's Google's response". ZDNET. Archived from the original on June 29, 2023. Retrieved July 10, 2023.
  22. ^ Johnson, Allison (June 29, 2023). "It's taken one day for customers to report broken Pixel Fold screens". The Verge. Archived from the original on June 28, 2023. Retrieved July 10, 2023.
  23. ^ a b Di Benedetto, Antonio G. (May 10, 2023). "Here's how the new Google Pixel Fold stacks up to Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 4". The Verge. Archived from the original on May 10, 2023. Retrieved June 22, 2023.
  24. ^ Weatherbed, Jess (May 10, 2023). "Google leaked its own Pixel Fold ad with Giannis Antetokounmpo a little early". The Verge. Archived from the original on May 10, 2023. Retrieved June 22, 2023.
  25. ^ Weatherbed, Jess (June 22, 2023). "iPhone is dumb and besotted with Pixel in Google's latest ad campaign". The Verge. Archived from the original on June 22, 2023. Retrieved June 22, 2023.
  26. ^ Amadeo, Ron (July 13, 2023). "Pixel Fold review: The first foldable that actually feels like a tablet". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on July 17, 2023. Retrieved July 17, 2023.
  27. ^ Wedel, Chris (June 26, 2023). "Google Pixel Fold review: An impressive first attempt". XDA Developers. Archived from the original on June 26, 2023. Retrieved July 17, 2023.
  28. ^ Rutherford, Sam (May 10, 2023). "Google Pixel Fold hands-on: Finally, a real rival for Samsung's foldables". Engadget. Archived from the original on May 10, 2023. Retrieved July 17, 2023.
  29. ^ Rutherford, Sam (June 26, 2023). "Google Pixel Fold review: The challenger that Samsung needs". Engadget. Archived from the original on June 26, 2023. Retrieved July 17, 2023.
  30. ^ Heater, Brian (June 27, 2023). "Google's Pixel Fold is a well-rounded take on the foldable form factor". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on June 27, 2023. Retrieved July 17, 2023.
  31. ^ Sattelberg, Will (June 30, 2023). "Google Pixel Fold review: An $1,800 rough draft". Android Police. Archived from the original on June 26, 2023. Retrieved July 17, 2023.
  32. ^ Velazco, Chris (June 26, 2023). "Google Pixel Fold review: Competent, not captivating". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Archived from the original on June 26, 2023. Retrieved July 17, 2023.
  33. ^ Gibbs, Samuel (July 5, 2023). "Google Pixel Fold review: the slick phone-tablet hybrid with killer camera". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on July 5, 2023. Retrieved July 17, 2023.
  34. ^ Johnson, Allison (June 26, 2023). "Google Pixel Fold review: closing the gap". The Verge. Archived from the original on June 26, 2023. Retrieved July 17, 2023.
  35. ^ Seifert, Dan (June 26, 2023). "The Pixel Fold shows how far ahead Samsung's folding phones are". The Verge. Archived from the original on June 26, 2023. Retrieved July 17, 2023.
  36. ^ Ashworth, Boone (May 11, 2023). "Google Doesn't Need You to Buy Its Folding Phone". Wired. Archived from the original on May 11, 2023. Retrieved July 17, 2023.