Alongside the new budget-friendly Pixel 7a, Google’s first folding handset is finally here. The highly-anticipated Pixel Fold will compete for your attention in a quickly crowding foldable phones market of which Samsung is currently king. Here’s everything you need to know about the Google Pixel Fold.
Google Pixel Fold
Two bright and beautiful screens • Pixel camera smarts on a foldable • Tensor G2 performance
Google enters the fold
Google is hitting the foldables market in style with the Google Pixel Fold. The pricey book-style phone brings Google’s elite photography smarts to the folding form factor, plus the Tensor G2 chip, an IPX8 rating for water resistance, and a huge 7.6-inch AMOLED 120Hz internal display.
Google Pixel Fold: Release date, price, and availability
Table of Contents
- Pixel Fold (256GB storage): $1,799 / £1,749 / €1,899
- Pixel Fold (512GB storage): $1,919
Google officially unveiled the Pixel Fold at Google I/O on March 10, 2023. It comes in two colors — Obsidian and Porcelain. You can also choose between three official cases that come in Hazel, Porcelain, and Bay colors (pictured above).
Google is charging a similar price to the rival Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4. The 256GB variant of the Pixel Fold will cost you a whopping $1,799. The 512GB version is even more expensive at $1,919, which seems costly for Google’s first attempt at a foldable phone.
The Pixel Fold is costly for Google’s first attempt at a foldable phone.
Google hopes you buy the foldable Pixel for its thin form factor, “true pocket size,” loaded camera features, “all-day battery,” multi-tasking skills, and long-lasting software support. However, we’ll only know if it justifies that price when we review the device.
As for availability, Google is not casting a very wide net for the Pixel Fold. The handset will only sell in the US, UK, Germany, and Japan, at least to start with. The Pixel Fold is available for pre-order from today (May 10) with general sales in June.
Google is also tossing in a free Pixel Watch if you pre-order the Pixel Fold, although this promotion is limited to Germany, the UK, and the US (leaving Japan in the lurch). Otherwise, everyone also gets a 2TB Google One plan for six months as well as a three-month subscription to YouTube Premium.
Pixel Fold: Hot or Not?
Google Pixel Fold features
As Google’s first foldable, the Pixel Fold aims to provide a different experience to the Pixel 7 series. For starters, the company has optimized over 50 Google apps for the larger screen. Some of these apps will be Pixel-first and won’t be available on foldables from other brands.
Google has also worked with some major apps like Spotify, Disney Plus, TikTok, eBay, Canva, and more to optimize them for the inner folding display. Streaming apps like Netflix, YouTube, and even Peloton support the Pixel Fold’s Tabletop mode (pictured above) for hands-free viewing.
Google promises three years of Android updates and five years of security patches.
Besides app optimizations, which Google says is a continuous effort, the Pixel Fold also has some cool multitasking tricks up its sleeve. You can drag and drop images, videos, links, and more between apps on the two sides of the display. A split screen view also lets you open two apps side-by-side.
Perhaps one of the most interesting features of the Pixel Fold is the Live Translate Interpreter Mode. It allows users to utilize both the inner and outer screens simultaneously for easier face-to-face conversations in different languages. This feature might not be available at launch, though. Google says support will roll out in the fall. Also, it won’t be available in all languages and countries.
As for software updates, Google promises its standard three years of Android updates and five years of security patches for the phone. It’s still not as good as Samsung’s four-year-update guarantee, but it’s still one of the best update pledges on in the market.
Are you buying the Pixel Fold?
Displays and design
Unlike some tall foldable designs currently on the market, Google insists that the Pixel Fold will easily fit into your hands. The company chose to go with a wider outer display that measures 5.8 inches and comes clad in Corning Gorilla Glass Victus for protection. When folded, the phone has a 3.1-inch width. Add on an official case and it becomes 3.2 inches. In contrast, the Galaxy Z Fold 4’s outer screen is 2.64 inches wide, so you’re getting wider real estate on the Pixel Fold on the outside. According to Google, current foldable phones in the market don’t have a very usable front display. Hence, it went with a wider screen.
The inner display of the Pixel Fold measures 7.6 inches and is protected by ultra-thin glass (UTG), just like the Galaxy foldables. You get a 120Hz refresh rate both inside and outside.
The 180-degree Fluid Friction hinge that takes the phone from its folded to unfolded state and opens at any angle is made of stainless steel. Google calls it the “most durable hinge of any foldable phone.” This claim is based on the company’s own durability testing, which included 200,000 folds and tumble drop tests of one meter. Despite the testing, Google clarifies that the Pixel Fold is not drop-proof.
The good news is that the Pixel Fold is one of the few foldable phones on the market with an official IP rating. It’s IPX8 rated just like the Galaxy Z Fold 4, which means it can be submerged in up to 1.5 meters of freshwater for up to 30 minutes. The back of the phone is also covered in Gorilla Glass Victus, and the frame of the phone is made of aluminum.
The Pixel Fold has five cameras in total. Three are on the rear, one on the outer display, and one on the inner folding screen. The main camera array leads with a 48MP wide shooter. That means you can expect pixel-binned shots of 12MP from it. Then comes a 10.8MP ultrawide lens with a 121-degree field of view. Another 10.8MP telephoto camera completes the primary setup. It can take 5x optically zoomed shots and also supports Google’s 20x Super Res Zoom.
Almost every Pixel camera feature you’ve ever heard of is present on the foldable handset.
Up front, you get a 9.5MP wide-angle lens, and the folding screen features an 8MP shooter for when you want your video calls on the big screen.
The photography story of the Pixel Fold doesn’t end here. Almost every Pixel camera feature you’ve heard of is present on the foldable handset and then some. Here’s a full list:
- Rear Camera Selfie
- Magic Eraser
- Photo Unblur
- Long Exposure
- Real Tone
- Face Unblur
- Manual white balancing
- Locked Folder
- Night Sight
- Top Shot
- Portrait Mode
- Portrait Light
- Super Res Zoom
- Motion autofocus
- Frequent Faces
- Dual exposure controls
- Live HDR+
Google is sticking to the tried and tested Tensor G2 chip for the Pixel Fold and is the muscle behind the aforementioned camera system. That means we can expect the same impressive AI-backed processing that we saw on the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. You also receive 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM on the Pixel Fold alongside options for 256GB and 512GB internal storage.
For a quick reference, the graph below shows where Google’s Tensor G2 processor has stacked up against the competition in the past. It’s not the most powerful chipset on the market, but it handles everyday tasks more than well enough. We’re expecting performance in the Pixel Fold to land somewhere in the same ballpark as the Pixel 7 series. However, the current chip already runs hot, so we’ll watch how the chip fairs in the more constraining foldable form factor.
Battery and charging
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
The entire package is powered by a 4,821mAh battery, which Google claims will easily last you over 24 hours. The company has opted for a dual battery architecture inside the Pixel Fold.
Google says you can stretch the Pixel Fold’s battery life to 72 hours.
You can apparently stretch the battery life to 72 hours, provided you use your Pixel Fold in the Extreme Battery Saver mode. But we doubt many folks would like to do that since the mode turns off many features, pauses most apps, and slows down processing for even more time between charges. Nevertheless, even 24 hours of screen-on time should be great. Google says it came up with the figure after observing a median user using the phone across a mix of talk, data, standby, and other features.
Google Pixel Fold specs
|Google Pixel Fold
– 5.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED
– 120Hz refresh rate
– 2,092 x 1,080
– 17.4:9 aspect ratio
– Gorilla Glass Victus cover
– Up to 1550 nits brightness
– HDR support
12GB LPDDR5 RAM
US, UK, DE:
256GB or 512GB UFS 3.1 storage
No microSD card support
21W wired charging
– 48MP wide main sensor (ƒ/1.7, 1/2-inch sensor, 0.8μm, 82° FoV, OIS, CLAF)
– 10.8MP ultrawide (ƒ/2.2, 1/3-inch sensor, 1.25μm, 121.1° FoV, Lens correction)
– 10.8MP telephoto (ƒ/3.05, 1/3.1-inch sensor, 1.22μm, 21.9° FoV, 5x optical zoom)
– 4K (30/60fps), 1080p (30/60fps)
– 10-bit HDR
Spatial audio support
Power button fingerprint scanner
USB-C 3.2 Gen 2
US, UK, and DE only:
US, UK, and DE only:
– GSM/EDGE: Quad-band (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
– UMTS/HSPA+/HSDPA: Bands 1,2,4,5,6,8,19
– LTE: Bands B1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/14/17/18/19/20/21/25/26/28/29/30/32/38/39/40/41/42/46/48/66/71
– 5G Sub6: Bands n1/2/3/5/7/8/12/14/20/25/28/30/38/40/41/48/66/71/75/76/77/78/79
– 5G mmWave: Bands n257/n258/n260/n261
– 139.7 x 79.5 x 12.1mm
Gorilla Glass Victus (external display)
Ultra Thin Glass with protective plastic layer
Color availability varies by region and channel.
USB-C to USB-C cable (USB 2.0, 1m)
No. Furthermore, the Google Pixel does not support pen/stylus input.
The Pixel Fold’s inner display is protected by Ultra Thin Glass, complete with a protective plastic layer applied. The external display is protected by Gorilla Glass Victus.
Yes. The Google Pixel Fold has an IPX8 certification, which means it can be submerged in up to 1.5 meters of freshwater for up to 30 minutes.
No, Google no longer includes chargers with its smartphones. You’ll have to buy a compatible charger that supports USB Power Delivery PPS.
The Google Pixel Fold supports dual SIMs. One is a nano-SIM slot, and the second is via eSIM.