Google unveils its Pixel Fold. The brand’s first foldable smartphone is full of promise, but it already has some frustrations in its bag.
Forgive our anglicism, but we will allow ourselves to use the term hype to talk about the Google Pixel Fold. We use this word to evoke a wave of enthusiasm when approaching an exciting product.
So, in the microcosm of the tech community, in recent months, there was clearly a hype around the Pixel Fold. So much so that Google itself could not refrain from sharing a video unveiling its very first foldable smartphone when Google I/O 2023 had not yet taken place.
This time, the conference dedicated to developers was indeed held in Mountain View and the Pixel Fold is one of the official star products. The opportunity to review all the information you need to know.
The Google Pixel Fold is inspired by the competition
Google is entering the deep end of folding smartphones for the first time, but it is not reinventing the wheel. The Pixel Fold thus takes up the principle of a smartphone that can be opened like a book in order to be used as a tablet. Exactly like the Galaxy Z Fold 4, for example.
However, it is above all the Oppo Find N2 that comes to mind when discovering the visuals of the new smartphone. The Google Pixel Fold offers a very contained format when closed, while its tablet form has a very square 6:5 ratio. Two points in common with the Oppo model.
The two screens of the smartphone each offer an Oled display and a refresh rate of up to 120 Hz. The front one has a small diagonal of 5.8 inches. It is also protected by Gorilla Glass Victus. The slab inside, the one that folds, has a diagonal of 7.6 inches.
The Google Pixel Fold boasts a thickness of just 6mm when open, compared to 12mm when left closed.
On the back of the smartphone, we can see that the Pixel Fold tries to respect the visual identity of Google’s smartphones. However, the photo block does not span the full width.
The Google Pixel Fold thus promises to be very interesting to use. Alas, difficult to miss the imposing borders around the internal screen. We see in particular that the manufacturer has integrated a camera above the slab, when we could have hoped for a more discreet punch.
Here are also two important things to know:
- the fingerprint reader is positioned on the side (on the unlock button);
- the Google Pixel Fold is water resistant and IPX8 certified.
Google takes care of the software experience
Google is very attached to its Pixel interface on Android. However, on a foldable smartphone, you obviously have to think of a few functions to fully exploit the particular format.
With this in mind, Google says it has worked with a plethora of developers to ensure that the most popular applications are well optimized for this smartphone. This is reminiscent of similar work done by Samsung.
On the Pixel Fold, several features are highlighted. First of all, the mode called “table top“. It’s exactly the same principle as a Flex Mode: the smartphone can be used in a seated position. It thus splits the display of compatible apps into two parts. For example: content display on the top half, interaction buttons on the bottom.
Multitasking is also in the spotlight. Google invites you to take advantage of the square format of the internal screen to display two applications at the same time. You can manage this screen partition with a dedicated taskbar that allows you to drag and drop files from one app to another.
Any self-respecting foldable smartphone gives the possibility of taking a photo while displaying the image feedback on the external screen. This allows you to take a selfie with the best camera quality or, for the person you are photographing, to check their pose before the shot.
Let’s quickly reminisce about the original “Dual Screen interpreter mode“. This option allows you to chat with a person who does not speak your language. The large internal screen splits in two, you speak, your words are displayed on one half, are translated on the other half as well as on the external panel so that your interlocutor can read.
Some technical characteristics
The Google Pixel Fold has a total of five cameras. Three on the back: with a main camera of 48 Mpx accompanied by an ultra wide-angle and a telephoto lens. Then there are two sensors for selfies: one inside and one on the front.
Inside we find a Google Tensor G2 chip and a storage space of 256 or 512 GB depending on the version selected.
As for the battery, Google has not yet communicated the capacity at the time of writing these lines, but the brand promises more than 24 hours of autonomy on the Pixel Fold.
Availability and price of the Google Pixel Fold: the frustrations
Despite some uncertainties, there is reason to be enthusiastic about the announcement of this Google Pixel Fold. Even if its products are struggling to establish themselves on the market, the Mountain View company is a huge tech giant and develops Android. The release of the Google Pixel Fold therefore necessarily represents an important event for the future of foldable smartphones, which thus gains even more credibility. But there is a catch. Two hiccups even.
First of all, the Google Pixel Fold has a price starting at 1899 euros, almost 100 euros more than the Galaxy Z Fold 4. This bodes fairly anecdotal sales. Then, you should know that this phone will only be released in a few countries… of which France is not a part.
Where to buy The
Google Pixel Fold at the best price?
There are no offers at the moment
A first generation
Everything suggests that this is really a first generation aimed at testing the waters a bit and collecting feedback from a handful of users. This work should then enable future generations to be both more competitive and more available throughout the world. No specific release date has been given.
NB. Our journalist Omar participates in the Google I/O in Mountain View as part of a press trip organized by Google.
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