September 30, 2023

I knew my Pixel Fold evaluate would come right down to the wire, given Google’s delivery delays and availability points, and my coming journey to Mexico Metropolis. And so it’s time to wrap this one up. However even with only a week of utilization underneath my belt, I really feel like I’ve a superb understanding of this essential folding smartphone.

And with the very clear caveat that I, once more, have solely spent every week with the Pixel Fold, this one looks as if a winner. That is uncommon, for me, as I like the thought of Pixel, however most Pixel telephones and different {hardware} miss the mark in some essential means, blurring the worth proposition. However with Pixel Fold, I can solely increase one main concern, and it’s notable: with a beginning value of $1799, this factor is simply too damned costly. Past that, I simply have a number of minor issues. After which a complete lot of affection.


The Pixel Fold carries ahead with the design language from the Pixel 7 sequence, and it most carefully resembles the Pixel 7 Professional because of its double-pill rear digicam format. On this folding smartphone, the digicam bump is probably much less useful than it’s with earlier Pixels as a result of it causes a little bit of wobble when the gadget is folded open. But it surely appears and feels good-looking and premium.

Thus far, folding smartphones have suffered from a number of widespread design points. The outer shows have been, at first, too small, and didn’t fill the accessible house. And each shows have been tall and skinny, making them considerably awkward to make use of. Additionally, current folding smartphones don’t shut absolutely, leaving an air hole that would let in particles that would hurt the delicate internal show. However being considerably late to this recreation, Google has benefitted from these miscues and the suggestions they generated. And because of this, the Pixel Fold is shorter and squatter, with a extra usually proportioned outdoors show and a virtually sq. inside folding show.

There’s nonetheless room for enchancment right here—maybe a future Pixel Fold Professional will supply a much bigger measurement, as the present unit’s exterior show is a bit small—and there’s a minimum of one report of a Pixel Fold show succumbing to a speck of particles. However I believe Google nailed the design general. The outside show is nice for these day-to-day “glanceable” smartphone duties all of us have interaction in, and the inside show is there for these instances once you want extra onscreen actual property, like studying, watching movies, taking part in video games, and so forth.

Like different Pixel flagships, the Pixel Fold presents a elegant aluminum body throughout, and its stainless-steel hinge has (in my restricted utilization) labored fairly effectively. It’s a bit chunky when closed, after all it’s, however its skinny 0.2-inch body (doubled when closed) is extremely skinny and stylish. And nobody may have any bother pocketing this gadget or stowing it in a really small bag.

It is available in two colours, the Obsidian (black) that I bought and what seems to be a reasonably Porcelain (gentle beige-ish). That stated, I might at all times cowl a tool this costly with a case, and I perceive that Google’s Pixel Fold Case might be the suitable place to start out.


The Pixel Fold gives two shows, a small exterior show that’s solely 5.8 inches on the diagonal, and a bigger 7.6-inch inside folding show. Each are excessive refresh-rate OLED panels that help HDR and 24-bit shade (16 million colours), and each supply a 1,000,000:1 distinction ratio. Past that, they couldn’t be extra totally different.

The outside show is usable however, to my eyes, a bit too small. To place this in perspective, the Pixel 7a, which has the identical sized show because the Pixel 6a I reviewed final yr, has a smallish (and thinner) 6.1-inch show, and that show is a full half-inch taller than that on the Pixel Fold.

Pixel Fold external display compared to Pixel 6a

But it surely’s not a deal-breaker. Thanks maybe to its squatter facet ratio—17.4:9 vs. 20:9 for the Pixel 6a/7a—the outside show feels pure sufficient and labored effectively with the various apps I attempted. It presents a decision of 2092 x 1080, so it’s technically solely 1080p, with 408 PPI of pixel density. It’s protected by trendy Corning Gorilla Glass Victus and helps the acquainted Pixel always-on capabilities. And it could possibly emit a really brilliant 1200 nits when displaying HDR content material and as much as 1550 nits of peak brightness.

Issues are clearly much more attention-grabbing once you open up the Pixel Fold. The expansive 7.6-inch inside folding show presents a virtually sq. and tablet-like 6:5 facet ratio that’s in panorama orientation by default and in portrait mode when rotated. The decision is 2208 x 1840, with simply 380 PPI of pixel density, however it’s nonetheless a stunner, with sharp element, vibrant colours, and deep blacks. This show additionally helps always-on capabilities, apparently, and it’s additionally fairly brilliant, with as much as 1000 nits of brightness when displaying HDR content material and as much as 1450 nits of peak brightness.

There are a number of notable issues to know in regards to the inside show. First, it’s not protected with any type of Gorilla Glass, which I assume can’t fold; as a substitute, we get what Google calls “ultra-thin glass with A protecting plastic layer.” And it doesn’t fairly lay flat when absolutely, a minimum of not and not using a little bit of stress on both facet of the show, an motion I’m reluctant to take. I think it will get a bit much less taut over time.

There’s a seen crease within the heart of the interior show. Nonetheless, this crease visually disappears absolutely in use nearly the entire time, and I hardly ever see it now until the gadget is laying open on a desk or different floor. Clearly, reliability is a priority with any folding show, with the crease and hinge being the prime suspects. And I hope it’s as apparent that I can not probably opine on how this factor will fare in the long run. I had no points.

The crease

And sure, the bezels are on the chunky facet. I’m positive it’s apparent that this helps with holding the gadget.

I wrote extensively in Google Pixel Fold: The Morning After final week about my experiences experimenting with telephone apps in each panorama and portrait modes, and the way curious it was that totally different apps behaved in a different way. To develop on that dialogue briefly, I want I may write one thing definitive about which orientation works greatest. However the fact is, it is determined by the app. For instance, with The New York Occasions, I favor panorama orientation as a result of the app gives a tablet-like format, whereas in portrait mode it simply shows a easy, single-column view as on a standard smartphone. However different apps, like Kindle, Fb, and Instagram, work (or a minimum of look) higher in portrait, both as a result of they fill the complete display screen or as a result of it’s simply simpler on the eyes. So there’s a little bit of complexity there, I assume.

{Hardware} and specs

From an inside element perspective, the Pixel Fold is trendy, assuming you take into account final yr trendy, that’s, because it ships with final yr’s Google Tensor G2 chipset and Titan M2 safety processor, together with a flagship-level 12 GB of quick LPDDR5 RAM and 256 GB or 512 GB of UFS 3.1 storage. In apply, it’s high-quality, and the Pixel Fold performs about in addition to my Pixel 7 Professional. However that signifies that it experiences the identical warmth points and app slowdowns every now and then. For instance, the Instagram downside I mentioned in my Google Pixel 7 Professional Overview and Revisiting the Google Pixel 7 Professional is current within the Fold as effectively.


Connectivity is trendy, with Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, Extremely-Wideband, NFC, and 5G (each Sub-6GHz and mmWave).


The audio/video expertise is attention-grabbing. The Pixel Fold gives stereo audio system, with one above the highest left of the interior show and one beneath the underside proper. Because of this the audio system are positioned as they’re on different smartphones when the Fold is used whereas closed, which makes some sense. But it surely creates a considerably curious sound area when listening to music when the Fold is opened, because the stereo sides vary from the far high left to the far backside proper (somewhat than left to proper). Truthfully, it sounds nice, as does film audio, and I think that the Fold’s help for spatial audio may play a job there.

That stated, I might be a bit nervous utilizing the Pixel Fold to observe movies on the elliptical on the gymnasium. Closed, the gadget is a bit thick, and I’d be nervous about my movement dislodging it. And open, it could really feel precarious, with the identical concern. I by no means did check this, nonetheless.


Given my affinity for Pixel images, chances are you’ll be shocked to find that I didn’t take all that many images with the Pixel Fold. However that is explainable. First, the Pixel 6a jogged my memory final yr that Google can work wonders even with a tool that makes use of years-old digicam lenses and never its most up-to-date elements. And second, I used to be (I hope understandably) nervous about taking the Fold out into the actual world, lest I someway harm a very costly gadget that had no case and that I knew I’d be returning.

However right here’s the factor. The Pixel Fold doesn’t ship with the traditional digicam elements discovered within the Pixel 6a, it ships with a contemporary triple-lens system that, whereas not fairly on par with what I’ve within the Pixel 7 Professional, remains to be an enchancment over what Google ships within the Pixel 7 and 7a. All that, mixed with the few photographs I did take, leaves me with no worries. (Once more, my temporary time with the Pixel Fold prevented the quantity of expertise I favor to have earlier than writing a evaluate.)

Extra particularly, the Pixel Fold gives a 48 MP Octa PD (photodiode) Quad Bayer extensive (foremost) lens with an ƒ/1.7 aperture and an 82-degree area of view, a ten.8 MP ultra-wide lens with an ƒ/2.2 aperture and a 121.1-degree area of view, and a ten.8 MP twin PD telephoto lens with 5x optical zoom (and hybrid zoom to 20x), an ƒ/3.05 aperture, and a 21.9-degree area of view. None of these lenses matches up precisely with these within the Pixel 7 Professional, however they’re all fairly shut. The telephoto lens on the Pixel 7 Professional, for instance, additionally gives 5x optical zoom, and its hybrid zoom helps as much as 30x, although I discovered that 20x is the restrict for hand-held photographs.

So yeah, I type of mailed that one in a bit. But it surely’s a Pixel, and one of many few certainties with these telephones is that the cameras are at all times wonderful. Plus, it says quite a bit about this gadget that I targeted extra on its distinctive folding telephone options.


Along with the safety core performance within the Tensor G2 and the Titan M2 chipset, the Pixel Fold gives a quick and correct fingerprint reader built-in into its energy button and Face Unlock facial recognition, and Google guarantees 5 years of safety updates. Right here, I used to be shocked. The in-display fingerprint reader on the Pixel Professional 6 was dodgy, whereas the model on the Pixel 7 Professional is a bit higher, although I augmented it with Face Unlock. However I’ve solely used the fingerprint reader on the Pixel Fold, and it’s at all times labored instantly and with out fail. Nearly as good, the Fold doesn’t immediate me to make use of my PIN the primary time I take advantage of it each day as my Pixel 7 Professional does. I very a lot favor how authentication works on the Pixel Fold.


Talking of Pixel 7 Professional weaknesses, I used to be curious how the Pixel Fold may probably ship first rate battery life provided that its battery is a bit smaller than that within the Pixel 7 Professional, which may barely final a full day, however has to energy a a lot larger show a lot of the time. Too, the Pixel 7 Professional has the slowest wired and wi-fi charging speeds conceivable. This could have been a catastrophe.

It has not been a catastrophe. And with the caveat, once more, of only one week of utilization, I’ve skilled one thing I’ve not skilled with a Pixel, like, ever. The Pixel Fold constantly lasted 2 days in (semi) regular utilization. And even the wired charging appears quicker. (I didn’t check wi-fi charging as a result of the Pixel 7 Professional is so unhealthy I don’t actually have a suitable charger now.) OK, one other caveat: I by no means put this factor on a mobile community, nor did I expertise any actually heavy-use days. However critically, I’m delicate to this due to my agonizing earlier Pixel experiences. There’s something occurring right here.

Software program

From a software program perspective, the Pixel Fold delivers precisely what any Pixel fan needs and expects, and as I wrote in Google Pixel Fold First Impressions and Google Pixel Fold: The Morning After, I actually get pleasure from how rotating the show reorients the Android house display screen appropriately, simply because it does on the Pixel Pill. Between this built-in performance, its up to date in-house apps, and a out of the blue extra mature market of third-party apps, larger-screen gadgets just like the Pixel Fold supply way more seamless experiences than they’d have only a yr or two in the past. Sure, there may be nonetheless work to be achieved. However there was an enormous gulf between iPad apps and Android apps on tablets. It’s smaller now.

Pricing and availability

As I famous up entrance, the Pixel Fold has one apparent Achilles Heel, and that’s the value. A base unit mannequin with 256 GB of storage will set you again $1799, whereas one with 512 GB of storage is a brutal $1919. And that assumes you may get one: on the Google Retailer, the Fold remains to be described as being on preorder, and sure shade and storage mixtures are quickly unavailable. As unhealthy, trade-in values have plummeted from their launch-time heights. My Apple iPhone 13 Professional and my spouse’s Samsung Galaxy S22 Extremely are each price a bit greater than one-third of what they have been again in Might. (You may nonetheless get a free Pixel Watch with any Fold preorder, a $350 worth, however Pixel Watch 2 arrives in a number of months. And I think most would somewhat simply see a $350 value reduce.)

This can be a downside, and it stands opposite to Google’s pricing technique for the reason that Pixel 6 lineup, the place it undercuts its competitors considerably and infrequently has massive gross sales that make these merchandise even more durable to withstand. However the Pixel Fold is priced at precisely the identical degree because the market chief, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold. And whereas we are able to debate which presents the higher worth, the Samsung is the extra mature product and is probably going a safer guess.

Suggestions and conclusions

I didn’t spend sufficient time with the Pixel Fold to really feel comfy recommending it in any credible means, however I made my emotions clear about this product in Hybrid (Premium). That’s, I really feel that foldable smartphones are the way forward for the premium smartphone market and that the Fold has the correct mix of capabilities and design to be thought-about the best choice. On a extra emotional degree, I’ve fallen in love with this type issue and with the Pixel Fold particularly, and the explanation I do know a lot about trade-in values is that I used to be simply taking a look at what it could appear to be to purchase one in order that it might be right here after we get again from Mexico.

However and not using a foolish trade-in worth, I can’t justify the value and neither can my spouse, and she or he most likely needs one in every of these much more than I do. We’ll take note of future gross sales and await Google to see the sunshine on pricing. However possibly that’s the strongest suggestion I can provide, with the caveat that that is very a lot not a suggestion. I intend to purchase a Pixel Fold, and so does my spouse. And I wouldn’t be shocked that, as soon as that occurs, every time that occurs, we’ll by no means personal a single-screen smartphone once more.