Google Pixel Fold: A $1800 flop?

Google Pixel Fold review

The Google Pixel Fold has finally arrived, marking Google’s entry into the foldable smartphone market. Aiming to compete with the likes of Samsung and other established players in the market and priced at a staggering $1800, the Pixel Fold raises eyebrows and begs the question: Is it worth the hefty investment? In this review, we will x-ray various aspects of the device, including its design, display, software, price, performance, cameras, connections, storage, and battery life.

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Pros

  • Solid performance
  • Strong build quality
  • Versatile folding form factor
  • Excellent cameras
  • Foldable software enhancements
  • Guaranteed updates

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Large bezels

Design

google pixel fold reviewThe Google Pixel Fold boasts a solid build quality and a great cover display size. When closed, there is barely any noticeable gap, providing a seamless appearance. One of the standout features of the Google Pixel Fold is its incredibly slim and lightweight design. With a book-style foldable form factor, the Pixel Fold is built to be slim and compact, making it a convenient device for users on the go.

google pixel fold review

This design element sets the Pixel Fold apart from its competitors and emphasizes Google’s commitment to delivering an exceptional user experience. However, one significant drawback is that the cover display tends to scratch easily. Despite this flaw, the overall design is comfortable and visually appealing.

Google Pixel Fold Key Specifications

Display: 7.6″ 2208×1840 120Hz OLED primary display, 5.8″ 2092×1080 120Hz OLED cover display
CPU: Google Tensor G2
OS: Android 13
RAM: 12GB
Storage: 256GB/512GB
Front Camera: 8MP f/2.0 (84° FOV, 1.12 μm pixels) inner selfie camera, 9.5MP f/2.2 (84° FOV, 1.22 μm pixels) outer selfie camera
Rear Cameras: 48MP f/1.7 (0.8 μm pixel size) main sensor, 10.8MP f/2.2 (1.25 0.8 μm pixels) 5x optical camera, 10.8MP f/3.05 (1.25 μm pixels) 121.1° FOV ultrawide
Size: 139.7 x 79.5 x 0.5 mm folded, 139.7 x 158.7 x 5.8 mm unfolded
Weight: 283g
Battery: 4821mAh

Display

google pixel fold review

The device features beautiful displays that offer an immersive viewing experience. The exterior screen, measuring 5.8 inches, with an FHD+ resolution of 2092 x 1080 pixels, provides a wider aspect ratio compared to similar foldable devices. This aspect ratio enhances content consumption and makes the Pixel Fold feel more like a regular smartphone. The outer display also supports Always-on display with At a Glance and Now Playing features.

Google pixel fold review

The inner folding display is a larger full-screen 7.6-inch OLED panel with a resolution of 2208 x 1840 pixels, delivering vibrant colors and crisp visuals. The use of an AMOLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate ensures smooth scrolling and responsive touch interactions. Both displays support Smooth Display and 120Hz refresh rate.

Software and OS

google pixel fold review

Google’s software expertise shines through on the Pixel Fold. The device comes with a range of useful features and specially designed foldable user interface (UI) additions to Android 13. These enhancements optimize the user experience and maximize the device’s potential. Additionally, the Pixel Fold benefits from Google’s commitment to providing years of guaranteed updates, ensuring users stay up-to-date with the latest features and security patches.

Performance

The Pixel Fold offers fast performance, thanks to its powerful hardware and optimized software. The device is equipped with the Tensor G2 chip, which provides smooth and seamless performance across various tasks. Whether it’s multitasking, gaming, or media consumption, the Pixel Fold handles it with ease.

Cameras

google pixel fold review

One area where the Pixel Fold excels is in its camera capabilities. The device features a fantastic camera system that produces high-quality images and videos. Google’s renowned computational photography algorithms enhance the camera’s performance, resulting in stunning photos even in challenging lighting conditions. The Pixel Fold’s cameras capture details accurately and offer a wide range of shooting modes and features to cater to different photography needs.

google pixel fold review

google pixel fold review

The Pixel Fold smartphone features several cameras for capturing photos and videos. The main camera has a 48MP resolution with pixel binning. It also includes optical image stabilization (OIS). This camera can record videos in 4K and 1080p at 30 FPS and 60 FPS. It is the only camera on the Pixel Fold capable of shooting 10-bit HDR video, which requires significant storage space. The Pixel Fold has a secondary camera with a 10.8 MP resolution, Dual Pixel autofocus. It is primarily used for selfies and front-facing photography.

The third camera on the back of the Pixel Fold is a 5x optical zoom telephoto lens with a resolution of 10.8MP. The telephoto lens supports 20x Super Res Zoom, including during video recording. However, video recording is limited to 1080p at 30 FPS when using the default camera app.

The Pixel Fold also has two selfie cameras. One is located on the cover screen, and the other is placed inside the unfolding display. The front selfie camera has a resolution of 9.5 MP. The selfie camera inside the foldable display has an 8MP resolution with fixed focus.

Connections

The Pixel Fold is likely to support various connectivity options, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC, allowing users to connect and interact with other devices seamlessly. It is also supports 5G connectivity, enabling faster download and upload speeds when connected to compatible networks.

Storage

The Google Pixel Fold offers ample storage space and a generous amount of RAM, allowing users to store a significant amount of data, including apps, photos, videos, and documents. The Pixel Fold is available in two storage variants: 256GB and 512GB, and both variants are equipped with 12GB of ARM. This storage and RAM combo contributes to smooth multitasking and efficient performance.

Water Resistance

google pixel fold review

The Pixel Fold is equipped with an IPX8 rating for water resistance, making it capable of withstanding submersion in water up to a certain depth. This feature adds an extra layer of durability and protection, ensuring that the device remains functional even in wet conditions. You can have peace of mind knowing that their Pixel Fold is built to withstand accidental splashes and spills.

Price and Availability

The Google Pixel Fold comes with a hefty price tag of $1,799. This places it in the high-end segment of the market, competing directly with other flagship foldable devices. However, considering the device’s performance and battery life, the price may be a deterrent for some potential buyers. Availability may vary depending on the region, but it is expected to be widely available through major retailers and carriers.

Battery Life

One area where the Pixel Fold falls short is in its 4821mAh battery life. The Pixel Fold lasts only for a single day on a full charge. Considering the device’s high price point, it is disappointing that it doesn’t offer better battery longevity. However, it is worth noting that foldable devices often have smaller battery capacities due to the design constraints. 

Competition

Google Pixel fold review
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

Samsung has been a key player in the foldable phone market, and its Galaxy Z Fold series has garnered significant attention. The Galaxy Z Fold 4, priced at $1,799, offers a 7.6-inch foldable Dynamic AMOLED display and boasts impressive features such as multitasking capabilities, a versatile camera setup, and the S Pen support. Samsung’s experience in the foldable phone space makes the Galaxy Z Fold 4, the Pixel Fold’s greatest competition. In fact, Samsung will roll out the Galaxy Z Fold 5, soon.

In addition to the Pixel Fold and Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Fold 5, there are other noteworthy foldable phone options including the Huawei Mate x3, and Oppo Find N2.

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While the Google Pixel Fold offers some notable features such as a comfortable design, beautiful displays, and fantastic cameras, it fails to live up to its full potential. Issues with the cover display’s durability, one-day battery life, and limited multitasking capabilities hinder the overall user experience. Furthermore, the device’s high price may discourage potential buyers, especially considering its performance and battery limitations. While the Pixel Fold marks Google’s entry into the foldable smartphone market, it falls short compared to competitors like Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold series.