Google Pixel Fold
- Solid body quality
- Great awning affectation size
- Barely any gap back closed
- Beautiful displays
- Fantastic cameras
- Fast performance
- Cover affectation scratches easily
- One-day array life
- Poor wireless charging options
After a few years of speculation, the Google Pixel Fold is here. It’s addition one of those firsts for Google, as this is the company’s actual aboriginal foldable Android smartphone.
Foldables accept been about for absolutely some time now, but in the U.S., it’s appealing abundant aloof Samsung in the bazaar with the Galaxy Z Fold series. Across the pond, there are a few added foldable options with the Honor Magic Vs and Huawei Mate X2, but those are a bit disappointing, and overall, there are still not a lot of options.
But Google is now entering the foldable bazaar with the Pixel Fold, and it’s decidedly acceptable — but not after flaws.
Google Pixel Fold: about this review
The Google Pixel Fold launched on June 27, 2023. Christine Romero-Chan originally appear this analysis on June 26, 2023. We’ve back adapted the analysis with letters of backbone apropos on July 10, and we accept additionally added a six-month after amend in November 2023.
We additionally afflicted the aboriginal analysis account of 8/10 to 7/10 on anniversary of how the Pixel Fold has age-old and its added competition.
Google Pixel Fold: six months later
Since the Google Pixel Fold came out, Samsung has appear the Galaxy Z Fold 5, and OnePlus additionally came out with its aboriginal foldable, the OnePlus Open. With added antagonism now available, the Google Pixel Fold is a little beneath impressive.
While both the Pixel Fold and OnePlus Open accept a apparent awning affectation compared to the Z Fold series, the OnePlus Open edges out the Pixel Fold with the close display. The better blemish with the Pixel Fold’s close awning is that it’s way too reflective, which makes it difficult to use outdoors — abnormally if it’s ablaze out back it alone alcove 1,450 nits aiguille brightness. However, the OnePlus Open fares abundant bigger with an anti-reflective blanket on the close screen, and both the awning and close awning can get up to 2,800 nits aiguille brightness, authoritative it abundant easier to use in absolute sunlight.
And admitting the Pixel Fold has a firmer articulation that allows you to use it in a clamshell approach after any issues, it needs a bit of force to accessible absolutely flat. The OnePlus Open’s Flexion Hinge snaps into a absolutely collapsed position accomplished a assertive angle, which makes it effortless to accessible flat. But this additionally agency it can’t absolutely break propped accessible in clamshell approach accomplished about 135 degrees, as it will animation absolutely open. So for this, it’s a case of which you appetite added — clamshell approach at any angle or accessible absolutely flat. OnePlus additionally has the benefit of a abundant beneath apparent bulge with its hinge, while the Pixel Fold bulge is about consistently noticeable.
Lastly, the Pixel Fold is the heaviest foldable out of the three, belief 283 grams. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 is alone 253 grams, and the OnePlus Open is the lightest of them all at aloof 239 grams. The ample weight of the Pixel Fold may not consistently be noticeable, but it can accomplish demography one-handed photos a little harder compared to added phones.
The Pixel Fold is still a acceptable foldable in backward 2023, and it charcoal a able aboriginal attack from Google. But compared with the added antagonism that’s back emerged, it’s not absolutely as amazing as it already was.
Google Pixel Fold: design
The architecture of the Google Pixel Fold is one of the best things about it, abnormally back compared to the accepted competition.
The Pixel Fold anatomy is a alloy of glass, plastic, and aluminum. The bankrupt advanced and aback affection Gorilla Glass Victus, while the abundant advanced is plastic. The anatomy itself is fabricated of aluminum, and the accessory has an IPX8 water-resistance rating.
When closed, instead of actuality cool attenuated and alpine like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold, the Pixel Fold is beneath and added with a 5.8-inch awning affectation — authoritative it attending and feel like a regular-sized buzz (by comparison, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 awning affectation is 6.2-inches).
The Pixel Fold feels acceptable to open, as there’s not too abundant abrasion back affairs the behindhand apart, but it’s not activity to accessible up accidentally either. When unfolded, it’s abundant added and added squat-looking than the Z Fold 4, which unfolds into added of a square. Despite the differences in sizes and looks, the Pixel Fold additionally has a 7.6-inch close screen, aloof like the Galaxy Z Fold 4. It is important to agenda that while both foldables accept the aforementioned close dimensions, the Pixel Fold opens up in landscape/horizontal acclimatization by default, admitting the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 opens up in portrait/vertical orientation, which affects how assertive apps open.
I had hopes that the bulge would aloof abandon with the Pixel Fold, but that’s not absolutely the case. You absolutely apperceive that it’s there.
The admeasurement of the Pixel Fold is one of my admired things about it.
The beneath and added admeasurement of the Pixel Fold, back closed, is one of my admired things about the device. I admired the 5.8-inch admeasurement of the iPhone X, and the Google Pixel Fold replicates that with the awning display, authoritative it appealing adequate to use (even one-handed — and I accept abate easily than best people) admitting actuality thicker than a accustomed phone.
Of course, back I say thicker than best phones, that’s to be accepted because it’s a foldable; it’s added affiliated to two phones ample on top of anniversary other, really. Google additionally advised the articulation of the Pixel Fold so that it looks like both behindhand are collapsed with no gap amid them, but aloft added inspection, there is still a tiny gap — you aloof don’t apprehension it until you attending really carefully for it. It’s still abundant bigger than the Z Fold 4, which has a actual aboveboard wedge-shaped gap that dust and bits could get into easily.
Aside from actuality a foldable, the architecture of the Pixel Fold isn’t acutely altered than the blow of the Pixel 7 lineup, which includes the affordable Pixel 7a and the able Pixel 7 Pro. The aback of the Pixel Fold has the archetypal camera bar, admitting it doesn’t appear in from the aluminum frame’s edges like on the accepted Pixels. Instead, it’s a ellipsoidal bore that houses the triple-lens camera array. It does stick out a tiny bit like best camera bumps these days, but it’s not as bad as it could be.
Along the appropriate ancillary of the frame, you’ll acquisition the aggregate button and ability button, which additionally houses the fingerprint sensor, which has been fast and acknowledging in my testing. The basal bend is area the USB-C charging anchorage is located, as able-bodied as bisected of the stereo apostle bureaucracy (the added bisected is on the top).
The all-embracing ambit of the Pixel Fold are 158.7mm by 139.7mm by 5.8mm back unfolded, and it’s 139.7mm by 79.5mm by 12.1mm folded. The absolute weight is a ample 283 grams, which is about 10 ounces. The depression of the Pixel Fold is not cool appealing, but it’s to be accepted for a foldable, abnormally back it’s fabricated of exceptional abstracts like bottle and aluminum. Despite this, I still begin the Pixel Fold to be adequate to use, alike one-handed, for the best part. The bottle aback does accomplish it a tad slippery, though, so I’d acclaim application a acceptable Pixel Fold case.
Google Pixel Fold: screens
The awning affectation on the Google Pixel Fold is a 5.8-inch OLED console with 1080 x 2092 resolution at 408 pixels per inch (ppi), a 17:4:9 aspect ratio, and a 120Hz brace rate. It alcove 1200 nits accuracy in archetypal use, and aiguille accuracy goes up to 1550 nits. It’s adequate with Gorilla Glass Victus, not Victus 2, so it’s a bit anachronous in agreement of durability. I noticed some tiny micro scratches on the awning affectation already, so I’d acclaim a awning protector.
With the close display, we accept a 7.6-inch artificial foldable OLED console with an 1840 x 2208 resolution at 378 ppi, HDR10+, and archetypal accuracy that goes up to 1000 nits (or 1450 nits at aiguille brightness). Again, the close affectation opens up to landscape/horizontal orientation, which affects how assertive apps affectation themselves on the close screen.
So far, in my testing, I’ve been actual afflicted with the all-embracing affection of the displays on the Pixel Fold. Everything looks brittle and aciculate on both the awning affectation and the close screen, and the colors are ablaze and vivid. Though the aiguille accuracy isn’t absolutely the aforementioned as the iPhone 14 Pro levels that I’m acclimated to, it’s still accessible outdoors in absolute sunlight. However, the close awning is actual reflective, which can accomplish it a little adamantine to use if it’s decidedly ablaze outside.
The 120Hz brace amount on both the awning affectation and the close awning additionally makes for a affable experience. Scrolling is abundantly smooth, animations are fluid, alike back transitioning amid apps, and aggregate feels cool responsive. I played some Diablo Immortal on the close affectation back it’s optimized for it, and aggregate ran accurately after any hiccups or choppiness — alike back I angry up the cartoon a bit from the absence settings.
On the awning display, the selfie camera is amid in a hole-punch cutout, agnate to the added Pixel 7 devices. The awning affectation camera additionally doubles for Face Unlock. The close affectation has a hardly thicker bezel surrounding it, so the front-facing camera sits hidden in the bezel on the appropriate half. Unfortunately, Face Unlock does not assignment on the close camera.
So far, I’ve been adequate the screens on the Google Pixel Fold absolutely a bit. My alone complaint absolutely is that the bulge can still be noticeable, but mostly back it’s a aphotic accomplishments on the display. When it’s lighter web pages and apps, the bulge isn’t too bothersome. Honestly, the added you use it, the added you aloof get acclimated to it, agnate to how I acquainted about the iPhone notch.
Google Pixel Fold: backbone concerns
Now that the Google Pixel Fold is accessible to the public, there accept been reports apropos the backbone of the foldable. Quite a few of the issues assume to be with the close display, with a user claiming that the close awning protector is already case on their Pixel Fold unit. Others accept gotten access pixels on the awning that assume to anatomy a band above the close display, and others affirmation that there baby dents and apparent imperfections amid the bezels and the awning protector.
And affliction of all is Ron Amadeo at Ars Technica, who accomplished bisected a asleep affectation on the central because bits got bent appropriate in amid area the bezel meets the awning protector. This concluded up biting the affectation and causing bisected of it to die.
While I alone accept not accomplished these affectation issues, I accept been experiencing an odd pop/click complete back aperture up the Google Pixel Fold to use the close display. The complete has been persistent, admitting it seems to abandon afterwards I’ve opened up the Pixel Fold in quick succession. Regardless, I’ve beatific that assemblage aback to Google for them to investigate, and I’m now application a backup Pixel Fold in its place. Should the bustling appear afresh — or if any new issues appear up — I’ll be abiding to amend the analysis and let you apperceive what’s activity on.
Google Pixel Fold: achievement and software
Inside the Google Pixel Fold, you’ll acquisition the Google Tensor G2 chipset, 12GB RAM, and either 256GB or 512GB UFS 3.1 storage. For what it’s worth, the analysis assemblage I was beatific is the 256GB variant. Unfortunately, the Pixel Fold does not accept a microSD agenda slot, so whichever accumulator you aces is what you’re ashore with.
On the software front, you get Android 13 out of the box (now upgraded to Android 14). While Google has not defined absolutely how abounding software upgrades the Pixel Fold will be getting, we accept it will be the aforementioned three software adaptation upgrades and bristles years of aegis updates as the blow of the accepted Pixel lineup.
It is important to agenda that some of the key appearance of the Pixel Fold that Google showed off during the Google I/O 2023 keynote will not absolutely be accessible until you get Android 14. This primarily involves the dual-screen analyst mode, which lets bodies use both the close and alien screens to construe a alive conversation.
In my testing, the Pixel Fold performs actual well. Apps accessible up quickly, switching amid apps is fast, and aggregate is abrupt and responsive. I accomplished no lag or choppiness back it came to accomplishing what I bare to do, and no crashes back application apps. The fingerprint sensor absolutely works well, as it’s been actual accurate 99% of the time (I did not accept absolutely the aforementioned acquaintance with the Pixel 7).
I accept acclimated the Pixel Fold circadian for all of my approved tasks, which includes blockage Microsoft Outlook and Teams for assignment and Gmail and Spark for my claimed emails, application Instagram and Facebook, alive music on Apple Music and video on Disney+, demography a ton of photos of my very active toddler and added escapade and again uploading them to Family Album app, and more. I acquisition myself acrimonious up the Pixel Fold a lot throughout the day to use, and it has no agitation with the tasks I charge to use it for.
Since the Pixel Fold is added like a book back unfolded, Google has optimized best of its first-party apps to booty advantage of the beyond awning absolute acreage on the close display. There are a lot of third-party apps that are additionally optimized, such as Diablo Immortal, which I tested, and others like Dropbox, Evernote, Microsoft Outlook and Teams, and more.
But back an app doesn’t abutment the beyond display, it can attending appealing bad — it’s either demography up bisected of the close affectation or has two atramentous bedfast surrounding it. However, sometimes you can get an app to attending bigger by alternating the accessory around, as it will ample up the awning if you circle it 90 degrees instead for the vertical orientation. This is apparently due to the developers of the apps not accepting them optimized yet, so hopefully, that changes in the future. For now, if an app doesn’t attending acceptable in the close display, I artlessly use it on the awning display.
The Google Pixel Fold is additionally appropriate at multitasking acknowledgment to the taskbar and split-screen appearance on the close screen. In fact, it feels appealing accustomed and intuitive, like on Apple’s iPadOS. Bringing up the taskbar is done by accomplishing a apathetic bash from the basal of the awning while you’re in an app, and you can additionally acceptance all of your apps from actuality too. In adjustment to activate split-screen, aloof annoyance and bead an app figure into the across of the awning that you appetite to appearance it in.
The Pixel Fold’s software feels accustomed and intuitive.
Once you’re in split-screen mode, you can resize the windows by boring the average vertical bar, brace specific apps calm (Chrome and Gmail, for example), and about-face the abandon for anniversary app by double-tapping that divider. As addition who has acclimated iPads before, this all feels automatic and accustomed for a foldable. However, you’re bound to alone two apps active in split-screen on the Pixel Fold. On the Galaxy Z Fold, you can accept added than two apps active at once, so if you charge that functionality, the Pixel Fold may not be for you.
One of my admired affidavit to use the Pixel Fold is because it has Tabletop mode. This lets you accessible up the Pixel Fold at a 90-degree angle and use it analogously to a laptop on a collapsed surface. This is abundant for watching videos (you can additionally use prop it up like a covering with Tent approach to appearance on the awning display), demography selfies, authoritative video calls, and more. It adds a akin of versatility with a lot of possibilities.
I do appetite to point out that during my testing, I did apprehension the Pixel Fold accepting a bit balmy with continued use. Whether that was demography a lot of photos and videos outside, alive music or video, or arena amateur — the buzz does get warm. This additionally has occurred on added Pixel 7 phones, so it’s not aloof the Fold. It’s accompanying to the Tensor G-series cavity itself. Hopefully, one day, Google can accomplish it able abundant so that the accessories don’t accumulate overheating like this.
Despite that, the all-embracing achievement of the Google Pixel Fold is appealing impressive. It’s fast, snappy, and responsive. Having the optimized apps for the close affectation is great, and multitasking is decidedly automatic — as if Google took a folio beeline from Apple’s book.
Google Pixel Fold: cameras
In my experience, there isn’t a Pixel buzz that doesn’t booty acceptable photos, and the Pixel Fold continues that trend.
The Google Pixel Fold comes able with a abundant triple-lens camera arrangement on the rear. You get a 48-megapixel capital camera with dual-pixel appearance apprehension autofocus (PDAF), laser autofocus (AF), and optical angel stabilization (OIS). There’s additionally a 10.8MP telephoto lens with dual-pixel PDAF, OIS, and 5x optical zoom, as able-bodied as a 10.8MP ultrawide lens with a 121-degree acreage of appearance (FOV).
There are two selfie cameras — one for the awning affectation and addition on the close display. The awning affectation selfie camera is 9.5MP, while the close camera is 8MP. You are added acceptable to use the awning affectation for selfies, which is why the college megapixel calculation on it makes sense. Another advantage is to use Rear Camera Selfie mode, which lets you use the awning affectation and rear camera (unfolded) for higher-resolution selfies.
If you shoot video, the Pixel Fold is able of recording 4K at 30 or 60 frames per additional (fps), and 1080p at 30, 60, 120, or 240 fps with the rear camera. The selfie cameras are able to almanac 4K at 30 or 60 fps, or 1080p at 30 or 60 fps only.
I’ve been thoroughly adequate application the Google Pixel Fold’s cameras overall. I’ve approved out all of the lenses so far, and the after-effects are acceptable all around. As I said earlier, I’ve had annihilation but abundant adventures with Pixel cameras, as they tend to be actual reliable. Photos appear out acceptable with active colors that aren’t too acute (unless it’s a super-bright and brilliant day, accost summer), and for the best part, bark tones assume accurate to activity — depending on the lighting, of course. The images I’ve managed to abduction still accept a lot of detail and texture, alike with the selfies from the awning display, as able-bodied as ultrawide and telephoto shots.
I like to booty photos in Portrait approach a lot, but I did apprehension that this can be accidental with the Pixel Fold. If the accomplishments isn’t too busy, again the bend apprehension works well. But if you accept a lot activity on in the background, again the software-based bend apprehension ability attempt a bit, as I noticed a lot of asperous edges about my beard back continuing in advanced of the rose garden arches. But added account selfies I took assume to do better, accouterment a accustomed bokeh aftereffect in the background, alternating with smoother edges about my hair.
Again, the Google Pixel Fold takes some accomplished photos after abundant accomplishment needed, agnate to the added Pixel devices. And with the accession of rear camera selfies and Tabletop mode, photo demography with the Pixel Fold is fabricated alike better.
And if you’re apprehensive how the Pixel Fold holds up adjoin Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4 cameras, it does appealing able-bodied in my tests.
Google Pixel Fold: array and charging
The Google Pixel Fold has a 4,821mAh array inside, which is hardly beneath able than the 5,000mAh array begin central the Pixel 7 Pro. In our aboriginal Pixel 7 Pro review, it was still aloof a one-day smartphone admitting accepting such a ample array — and the aforementioned can be said for the Google Pixel Fold.
The Google Pixel Fold will aftermost about the aforementioned as my iPhone 14 Pro.
I’ve been testing the Pixel Fold for the accomplished week, and with abundant use, the buzz will end up with about 20% to 30% array by the end of the day (after starting at 100%). I’ve acclimated it frequently to analysis my assignment email and messages, for amusing media, alive movies and music, web browsing, arena Diablo Immortal, and a lot of photo and video taking.
I’ve been acrimonious up the Pixel Fold over my primary iPhone 14 Pro whenever I can, abnormally for photos. It’s a little black that, admitting accepting a beyond battery, the Google Pixel Fold will aftermost about the aforementioned as my iPhone 14 Pro.
According to Google’s documentation, the Pixel Fold is absolutely a 24-hour phone, but you can extend that to 72 hours with Extreme Battery Saver. You alone get a USB-C cable in the box with the Pixel Fold (you’ll accept to buy a ability adapter separately), and it is able of up to 30-watt fast-charging speeds. From my experience, I usually bung in about 20%, and it will booty a little 90 account to get to 100%.
The Pixel Fold does abutment wireless charging with Qi-compatible charging pads, but alone up to 7.5W, which is appealing slow. I about don’t use wireless charging because of the slower speeds, so this won’t be changing.
It is black that the Pixel Fold has apathetic wireless charging, because that this is a accessory that starts at $1,799, afterwards all. And to rub alkali in the wound, clashing the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, there is no about-face wireless Battery Share charging either.
Google Pixel Fold: amount and availability
If you’re because the Google Pixel Fold, bethink that it doesn’t appear cheap. You can acquirement one directly from Google, or you can acquisition it at your adopted carrier stores.
It comes in two colors: Obsidian or the Google Store-exclusive Porcelain, which looks like an off-white/beige hue with gold accents. The Pixel Fold starts at $1,799 for the 256GB version, and the 512GB alternative is $1,919.
Google Pixel Fold: verdict
Despite some quirks with apps on the close display, I’ve been thoroughly adequate the Google Pixel Fold. In fact, if I was planning to canal my iPhone and the Apple ecosystem completely, I anticipate I’d aces the Google Pixel Fold as the buzz to about-face over to.
The 5.8-inch admeasurement of the awning affectation is, for me, perfect, as it feels like addition approved phone, and I can alike use it one-handed. It additionally fits in my pants pockets and purses with ease. And if I charge added screen, I aloof accessible it up to acknowledge the accurately sized 7.6-inch close screen, which about feels like an iPad mini. It’s basically a perfect-sized mini book back I charge a little added amplitude for account or watching things or alike actuality added advantageous on the go. I additionally like that it’s not too adamantine to disentangle the device; it’s not a one-handed operation like a cast phone, but it’s still accessible and enjoyable. And almost accepting a gap amid the two behindhand back bankrupt is additionally a plus, as that’s beneath dust and bits to accord with.
The displays are additionally aloof absolute beautiful, with ablaze colors that pop after actuality oversaturated. The 120Hz brace amount agency aggregate is bland and aqueous on both screens, and there’s no lag. Google’s Tensor G2 cavity that admiral aggregate is fast and snappy, admitting I do ambition Google would break the overheating affair and accomplish the array activity aftermost added than one day.
Multitasking on the Google Pixel Fold is additionally a breeze. The split-screen approach looks and feels agnate to iPadOS for me, so it’s accustomed and intuitive. Tabletop approach and about-face camera selfies are additionally acceptable additions to my toolkit for ball and photography.
However, this is Google’s aboriginal attack at a foldable, and while it’s a acceptable start, it’s absolutely not perfect. I ambition that the advanced awning affectation acclimated article stronger, like Gorilla Glass Victus 2. I noticed a few micro scratches already on the awning affectation afterwards aloof a few canicule of use, which isn’t abundant for a $1,799 device. I additionally appetite to see bigger ability ability from the Tensor G2 cavity because the buzz does alpha to get balmy if you’re accomplishing a lot of things at already or for an continued aeon of time. Battery activity should additionally be added than one abounding day, accustomed the about 5,000mAh battery.
And again there’s the aberration with assertive apps on the close display. It takes some tinkering about with alternating the accessory to get some to work, but otherwise, I’ll aloof accept to use them on the awning affectation only. Maybe this isn’t absolutely Google’s fault, but it still brings bottomward the user experience. It would additionally be acceptable if Google could amount out how to accomplish the close affectation added reliable and abiding than its accepted state, which seems decumbent to issues, admitting that’s additionally the accident you booty with a foldable.
There’s additionally a growing bazaar for foldables that Google has to attempt with. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is currently out, which additionally starts at $1,799. Both are actual similar, with a 7.6-inch close display, but the Galaxy Z Fold 5 has a abundant taller and narrower 6.2-inch awning affectation that can be awkward to use — abnormally one-handed.
The Fold 5’s triple-lens camera arrangement has a 50MP capital shooter, 10MP telephoto with 3x optical zoom, and 12MP ultrawide, so it’s hardly bigger on that front. But the close camera is alone 4MP, with the awning affectation accepting a 10MP camera. Its ability is additionally hardly worse with a 4,400mAh battery. It does multitasking bigger by absolution you accept added than two apps activity at once, so that’s a additional for those who appetite to be added productive.
OnePlus additionally appear its aboriginal foldable buzz with the OnePlus Open. It has a hardly beyond 6.3-inch awning affectation and opens up to acknowledge a 7.8-inch close display. The Open additionally has an anti-reflective blanket on the close display, and both screens can ability up to 2,800 nits aiguille brightness, authoritative it one of the added accessible foldables no amount what bearings you’re in. It has a triple-lens Hasselblad camera arrangement with 48MP main, 64MP telephoto, and 48MP ultrawide, alternating with a 20MP close selfie camera and 32MP awning affectation selfie camera — all of which are abundantly absorbing for a foldable. The array is agnate at 4,805mAh but can allegation up to 67W speeds. It’s additionally hardly cheaper, with a starting amount of $1,700.
The Pixel Fold could accept calmly been a hot mess, but it absolutely isn’t. Increased antagonism makes it a harder advertise than it was at launch, but if you appetite the Pixel acquaintance in a foldable anatomy factor, the Pixel Fold charcoal your alone option. While not perfect, it’s a able aboriginal footfall for Google’s foldable journey.
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