Google has finally unveiled its long-awaited foldable phone, the Pixel Fold, at its I/O 2023 event. The device is Google’s answer to Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold series, offering a large screen that can fold in half to fit in your pocket. The Pixel Fold also promises to deliver the best of Google’s software and hardware innovations, including the Tensor chip, the Pixel camera system, and the Android 13 operating system. Here are some of the key features and specs of the Pixel Fold, as well as its release date, price, and availability.
Release date and price
The Pixel Fold was announced on May 10, 2023, at Google I/O 2023, along with the Pixel Tablet and other products. The device is available for pre-order now on the Google Store and select carriers, but it won’t ship until June. According to a leak from Jon Prosser at FrontPageTech, the Pixel Fold won’t officially arrive in homes until June 27, but this could change depending on Google’s plans.
The Pixel Fold is not a cheap device. It costs $1,799 for the 256GB model and $1,919 for the 512GB model in the US. That’s more expensive than the Galaxy Z Fold 4, which starts at $1,599. However, Google may offer some trade-in deals or discounts to make the Pixel Fold more affordable.
The Pixel Fold will also be available in the UK, Germany, and Japan, but not in other countries where Pixels typically sell, such as Australia, Canada, India, and France. This may limit the appeal of the device for some potential buyers who will have to import it from other regions.
The Pixel Fold comes in two colors: Obsidian and Porcelain. However, not all colors may be available in all regions or storage sizes.
Design and display
The Pixel Fold has a sleek and thin design that Google claims is “the thinnest foldable phone” and has “the most durable hinge” on the market. The device measures 6.2 x 5.5 x 0.2 inches when open (158.7 x 139.7 x 5.8 mm) and 5.5 x 3.1 x 0.5 inches when closed (139.7 x 78.9 x 12 mm). It weighs 9.6 ounces (272 grams), which is slightly lighter than the Z Fold 4’s 9.9 ounces (282 grams).
The Pixel Fold has two displays: a 7.6-inch OLED foldable display with a resolution of 1840 x 2208 pixels and a refresh rate of 120Hz, and a 5.8-inch OLED cover display with a resolution of 1080 x 2092 pixels and a refresh rate of 120Hz. The foldable display has a crease in the middle where it bends, but Google says it has minimized its visibility and impact on the user experience.
The foldable display supports multitasking with up to three apps at once, as well as a split-screen mode that lets you use different apps on each half of the screen. The cover display can be used for quick tasks like checking notifications or taking selfies.
The Pixel Fold has a metal frame with a matte finish and a glass back with a glossy finish. It has a fingerprint sensor on the power button on the right side of the device when closed, as well as volume buttons below it. It also has stereo speakers on the top and bottom edges of the device when open.
The Pixel Fold does not have a headphone jack or a microSD card slot. It uses a USB-C port for charging and data transfer.
Specs and performance
The Pixel Fold is powered by Google’s own Tensor chip, which is also found in other Pixel devices like the Pixel Tablet and the Pixel 7 series. The Tensor chip is designed to optimize Google’s artificial intelligence and machine learning features, such as speech recognition, image processing, and natural language understanding.
The Pixel Fold has 12GB of RAM and either 256GB or 512GB of internal storage. It does not support expandable storage via microSD cards.
The Pixel Fold runs on Android 13, which is Google’s latest version of its mobile operating system. Android 13 introduces new features such as Material You design language, improved privacy controls, adaptive notifications, scrolling screenshots, and more.
The Pixel Fold also supports some exclusive features that take advantage of its foldable form factor, such as Adaptive UI that adjusts the layout and content of apps depending on how you use the device; Flex Mode that lets you use different apps on each half of the screen when partially folded; Continuity that lets you seamlessly switch between the cover display and the foldable display without losing your progress; and App Pairs that lets you create shortcuts for your favorite app combinations.
Camera and battery
The Pixel Fold has a triple camera system on the back that consists of a 50MP main camera with optical image stabilization (OIS), a 12MP ultra-wide-angle camera with a 120-degree field of view (FOV), and a 48MP telephoto camera with OIS and up to 10x optical zoom.
The main camera uses Google’s computational photography features such as HDR+, Night Sight, Portrait Mode, Super Res Zoom, Top Shot, Motion Mode, Astrophotography Mode, Cinematic Panorama Mode, Long Exposure Mode, Action Pan Mode, Dual Exposure Controls, Frequent Faces Mode, and more.
The ultra-wide-angle camera can capture more of your surroundings in one shot or create dramatic effects with distortion correction.
The telephoto camera can zoom in on distant subjects without losing quality or detail.
The Pixel Fold also has two selfie cameras: one on the cover display that is an 8MP wide-angle camera with an FOV of 84 degrees; and one on the foldable display that is hidden under the screen (UDC) and is also an 8MP wide-angle camera with an FOV of 84 degrees.
The UDC camera uses Google’s software algorithms to minimize any interference from the pixels on top of it.
The selfie cameras can use features such as Portrait Mode, Night Sight, Group Selfie Mode, Face Retouching Mode, and more.
The Pixel Fold can record videos up to 4K resolution at 60 frames per second (fps) with the rear cameras or 1080p resolution at 30 fps with the selfie cameras. It can also record slow-motion videos up to 240 fps at 1080p resolution or 120 fps at 4K resolution. It can also record time-lapse videos up to 30x speed at 4K resolution or 60x speed at 1080p resolution. It can also record cinematic videos with stabilization, tracking, and panning effects.
The Pixel Fold has a battery capacity of 4,500 mAh, which Google claims can last up to a full day of mixed usage. It supports wireless charging up to 15W with a compatible Qi charger or Google’s own Pixel Stand. It also supports reverse wireless charging up to 5W, which lets you charge other devices like earbuds or smartwatches by placing them on top of the Pixel Fold. It also supports fast wired charging up to 30W with the included USB-C power adapter or a compatible PD charger.
The Pixel Fold is Google’s first attempt at making a foldable phone that can compete with Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold series. It offers a large screen that can fold in half to fit in your pocket, a powerful Tensor chip that can handle Google’s AI features, a versatile camera system that can capture stunning photos and videos, and an Android 13 operating system that adapts to your usage patterns. However, it also comes with a high price tag that may deter some buyers, a limited availability that may exclude some markets, and some unknowns about its durability and reliability over time. If you are looking for a foldable phone that can offer you both power and innovation, the Pixel Fold may be worth considering. But if you are looking for something more affordable or widely available, you may want to look elsewhere.