I recently had the opportunity to review the new Google Pixel Fold smartphone, and I must say, it’s an intriguing piece of technology. This is the first foldable device I’ve tested and I really like what Google has put together here. The downside is that it costs a ridiculous $1799. See my full review here and you can find the phone for sale at Best Buy here (compensated affiliate link).
The Pixel Fold is powered by Google’s tensor G2 processor, the same chip that can be found in their more traditional phones like the entry-level Pixel 7A. It boasts 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage. There is no SD card slot for storage expansion unfortunately.
The displays are impressive. The front display is a 5.8-inch OLED, while the inside reveals a 7.6-inch OLED. Both displays offer a 120 hertz refresh rate, ensuring a smooth user experience.
One thing that stood out to me was the phone’s compactness. I am a “small phone” guy and prefer a more compact device that’s easily pocketable to a larger one. The Fold fits comfortably in my pocket, and when unfolded, it offers a larger display, which is great for browsing and multitasking. It’s close in size to an iPad mini or other 8 inch tablet. Unfortunately, there’s a visible crease down the middle of the screen, which some might find distracting. I noticed it, and while many say you get used to it, I found it constantly catching my eye.
The Pixel Fold’s dual-display design offers a unique opportunity for app developers to enhance the user experience. Some apps have been optimized to recognize the device’s foldable nature and adjust their interface accordingly. For instance, the YouTube app adjusts the video playback area when the phone is partially folded, nudging the content to fit perfectly above the fold, essentially turning the bottom half into a stand. Similarly, productivity apps like Google Docs and Photos can run side by side, allowing users to drag and drop content between them.
However, not all apps have been optimized for this dual-display setup, and some might require manual adjustments to fully utilize the available screen real estate.Like other Android tablets and phones, most apps can run split screen even if they’re not optimized for larger screens.
The camera system is versatile. The back of the phone houses three cameras: an ultra-wide, a telephoto, and a standard 48-megapixel lens. The photos I took were sharp, detailed, and the colors were vibrant. There are two front facing cameras, one for when the phone is folded and another when unfolded. The folded selfie cam is the better of the two. Google also has a neat mode that turns the rear camera system into a selfie cam.
Gaming on the Pixel Fold was fun. From Android games to retro gaming, the experience was smooth. The larger screen real estate made gameplay more immersive. However, when compared to devices like the iPhone, the Pixel Fold’s gaming performance could be better.
In conclusion, the Pixel Fold is a promising device. Its foldable design offers a unique user experience, and while there are some areas of improvement, it’s a solid first-generation attempt by Google. The price might be a deterrent for some, but if you’re looking for innovation and a fresh take on smartphones, the Pixel Fold is worth considering.
I hope the industry finds some ways to bring the price point on these foldables down to make the technology more accessible. Smartphones have become quite stale these last few years so anything new and exciting would be a welcome boost to the industry.
Disclosure: Google provided the phone free of charge for my review. However they did not review or approve the content before it was uploaded nor did they offer any additional compensation.