2 weeks with the Google Pixel Fold made me glad I didn’t buy it

Trending 3 weeks ago
A personification holding nan Google Pixel Fold pinch nan surface open.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Some of what you’re astir to publication is going to make it sound for illustration I dislike nan Google Pixel Fold, but this is not nan case. I’ve spent astir 2 weeks pinch nan phone, and location are aggregate elements I really for illustration (and moreover love). However, this is an $1,800 smartphone, and erstwhile thing costs that much, it needs to travel adjacent to being precisely correct — particularly erstwhile location is simply a really awesome competing merchandise trading for nan aforesaid price.

By nan extremity of my clip pinch nan Pixel Fold, I had reached a surprising, but very happy conclusion.

My astir arguable sentiment connected nan Pixel Fold

A personification holding nan Google Pixel Fold.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

It has only been a short clip since I utilized nan Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, but coming almost instantly to nan Pixel Fold taught maine 1 thing: The Z Fold 5’s tall, bladed style is much hand-friendly than nan shorter and wider style of a folding phone. I had that emotion erstwhile I utilized nan Z Fold 5 for my review, but nan Pixel Fold really solidified nan thought successful my mind.

Why? It’s each astir holding nan phone. Closed, nan Galaxy Z Fold 5 is much comfortable to usage because my manus tin adjacent astir it, meaning my thumb tin scope nan astir sensibly placed buttons without having to usage 2 hands. This is overmuch harder to do pinch nan Pixel Fold, arsenic my manus doesn’t get adjacent to reaching astir it.

A personification holding nan Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, showing nan screen screen.Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The rumor is exacerbated by nan Google Pixel Fold’s weight. It’s 283 grams ocompared to nan Z Fold 5’s 253 grams, and fatigue sets successful acold earlier erstwhile you’re holding it. The Pixel Fold whitethorn beryllium ever truthful somewhat thinner than nan Z Fold 5, but immoderate advantage is negated by nan further 15mm width and 30 grams of other weight. The no-gap fold and tall, bladed style of nan Z Fold 5 make it ergonomically superior to nan Pixel Fold.

Not everyone will work together pinch this, pinch immoderate seeing nan much accepted telephone width of nan Pixel Fold arsenic being nan perfect foldable format, but it really isn’t nan case. Does this mean I deliberation nan Z Fold 5 is ideal? No, arsenic I’m astir to explain.

Now I’m going to beryllium contrary

A video playing connected nan Google Pixel Fold, pinch nan surface half open.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Watching video connected nan partially unfastened Google Pixel Fold is amended than it is connected nan Galaxy Z Fold 5, and a batch of it is owed to nan wider, shorter style. Annoying, right? It’s uncomfortable to usage erstwhile closed, but amended erstwhile you want to watch videos pinch nan telephone acting for illustration its ain stand. What’s more, Google has implemented its ain “Flex Mode,” wherever video controls show connected nan little half of nan screen, not dissimilar what you get connected foldable Samsung phones. Except this useful amended connected nan Pixel Fold than connected nan Z Fold 5.

Partially folded, nan Pixel Fold is much unchangeable than nan Z Fold 5 too, and because nan viewing area isn’t arsenic compacted arsenic nan Samsung phone’s, it’s a much inviting viewing experience, and I’ve watched for acold longer connected nan Pixel than connected nan Z Fold 5. Not only are nan on-screen controls expertly laid out, but nan beingness measurement controls are sensibly placed connected nan apical separator of nan device, dissimilar connected nan Honor Magic Vs.

A crippled moving connected nan Google Pixel Fold's unfastened screen.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

I’m not overmuch of a mobile gamer, but playing Pocket City connected some large folding phones has been great. You person to rotate nan Pixel Fold to position nan crippled full-screen erstwhile nan telephone is unfastened (if you don’t, it looks for illustration a modular surface mobile app), and on pinch watching videos, it’s this benignant of acquisition that makes maine emotion big-screen folding smartphones. Whichever you buy, video and games are much nosy and much involving than connected a non-folding phone, and you’ll person to beryllium observant arsenic some these devices will make you play and watch more.

Why doesn’t it fold flat?

A personification holding nan Google Pixel Fold showing really it doesn't fold flat.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Every azygous clip I unfastened nan Pixel Fold, I wonderment why it doesn’t fold flat. It’s close, but for illustration nan Honor Magic Vs, nan hinge seems to springiness up a fewer degrees earlier it gets there. It doesn’t peculiarly impact nan use, but it does look and consciousness a spot odd. I don’t for illustration nan measurement it makes maine effort to flatten it out, which astir apt isn’t each that bully for nan hinge, and moreover erstwhile I do put immoderate unit connected it, nan telephone still doesn’t get wholly flat.

The problem is nan Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 does unfastened wholly flat, and it looks and feels awesome erstwhile it does. This is nan worst portion of nan Google Pixel Fold’s hinge, though, arsenic it’s wholly silent, nan mobility is soft and linear, and it has a very unafraid magnetic locking strategy erstwhile it snaps shut. The rounded chassis makes it easy to unfastened erstwhile you person nan knack, which is to clasp nan apical and bottommost of nan closed telephone and propulsion it apart. Otherwise, nan propulsion of nan magnets is simply a small excessively beardown to comfortably pry nan sections free.

Once nan Pixel Fold is open, I’m greeted by a very wide, very noticeable framework astir nan screen. Yes, it helps you clasp nan telephone without rubbing nan display, but it’s really unattractive. Combined pinch nan measurement nan telephone doesn’t fold wholly flat, it each feels a spot first generation.

It’s somewhat understandable, arsenic it is a first-generation folding merchandise from Google, but there’s presently nary logic to put up pinch it arsenic a user erstwhile nan Galaxy Z Fold 5 exists — and is superior.

Yes, nan camera is very good

A personification holding nan Google Pixel Fold, showing nan camera module.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The camera connected nan Pixel Fold is excellent, and I emotion really reliable it is. Regardless of which camera I usage — nan main, wide-angle, 2x aliases 5x zoom — nan photos it takes are colorful, punchy, and detailed. I tin return it retired of my pocket, fresh to return a photograph and beryllium assured nan consequence will beryllium good. If it’s not rather right, nan fantabulous editing suite successful nan Google Photos app should beryllium capable to hole it.

I haven’t been capable to straight comparison nan Pixel Fold against nan Galaxy Z Fold 5, but person taken shots pinch it against nan Apple iPhone 14 Pro. The iPhone continues to struggle pinch exposure, achromatic balance, and opposition levels, which isn’t an rumor for nan Pixel Fold, highlighting Google’s computational expertise and really good it assesses a scene. You tin spot examples of nan 2 successful nan assemblage below, on pinch different photos taken pinch nan Pixel Fold.

Samsung has improved nan Galaxy Z Fold 5’s camera, but mostly erstwhile you return 3x zoom photos, pinch nan remainder being rather akin to nan Galaxy Z Fold 4. I ne'er felt I could trust connected it successful nan aforesaid measurement arsenic nan Pixel Fold. Whether it’s nan Google Pixel 7a aliases nan Pixel Fold, Google’s cameras conscionable haven’t disappointed this year. It’s decidedly nan champion camera I’ve utilized connected a folding smartphone too.

Do I regret not buying nan Google Pixel Fold?

A personification holding nan Google Pixel Fold.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

I bought nan Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 alternatively of upgrading to nan Galaxy Z Fold 5 this year, truthful has utilizing nan Pixel Fold made maine wish I bought it instead? No, I still deliberation nan Z Flip 5 is nan existent folding smartphone for me. The Pixel Fold doesn’t amended complete nan Z Fold 5 successful a meaningful way. If anything, it mostly conscionable introduces different issues of its ain that still put maine off. Only nan camera would push maine toward it.

However, arsenic I said astatine nan start, I don’t dislike nan Pixel Fold. Using it has shown maine nan big-screen smartphone is still a activity successful progress, and there’s nary single, one-size-fits-all creation solution yet. Tall and thin, short and wide, aliases moreover inward aliases outward folding screens each person their advantages and disadvantages. This could alteration arsenic nan exertion and designs are refined, but I almost don’t want it to. I for illustration seeing alternatives, arsenic it’s clear 1 simply won’t fresh into everyone’s life.

My conclusion? For now, there’s a genuine, realistic prime for everyone successful big-screen foldables, and there’s really nary correct aliases incorrect 1 to buy. What a awesome position to beryllium in.

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