Google’s Pixel lineup is now a staple in the Android smartphone space, and as we head into 2023, one of next year’s most anticipated releases is the Google Pixel Fold.
What is the Pixel Fold, you ask? It’s the long-rumored foldable Pixel phone from Google, and the tech world has been buzzing about it since the first folding phones started to hit the market. For all the latest on the Pixel Fold — including its potential specs, design, price, and more — here are all the rumors and details you need to know.
Our first real glimpse at the Pixel Fold arrived on November 14, when FrontPageTech published numerous renders of what the phone’s final design may look like. At first glance, it looks just like the Galaxy Z Fold 4 —featuring a cover display on the outside and a larger, tablet-like display when folded open. But there are a few key design differences to note.
For starters, the outer screen on the Pixel Fold looks considerably wider than the very narrow one on the Fold 4 and appears to be much more similar to the aspect ratio of a “normal” phone. When the Pixel Fold is opened, you see a much bigger screen on the inside that’s set to a horizontal landscape orientation. It’s a pretty different setup compared to the Z Fold 4 and, if anything, should be very close to the Oppo Find N in terms of its form factor.
There are a few other important design details to highlight. FrontPageTech’s source for the Pixel Fold claims that the phone is “really fucking heavy,” suggesting the phone is made out of glass and metal for a premium feel.
What else do we have? There are speaker grilles on the top and bottom frames, a Pixel 7 Pro-like camera bar on the back, two color options (chalk and obsidian), and a power button that reportedly doubles as an in-screen fingerprint sensor.
Shifting gears to the Pixel Fold’s spec sheet, things become a bit murkier. Powering the phone will most likely be one of Google’s in-house Tensor chips — presumably the Tensor G2 chipset found in the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. A Geekbench test from January suggested the Pixel Fold could have 12GB of RAM, and it’s safe to assume we can expect (at least) 128GB of storage.
Z Fold 4 and Google foldable will have similar sized foldable displays, but the Google cover display will be quite a bit smaller at 5.8". This should mean it will have a wider aspect ratio than the Samsung 6.19" Fold 4. Hear more at our conference next week.
— Ross Young (@DSCCRoss) May 2, 2022
In May, display analyst Ross Young reported that the Pixel Fold will have a 5.8-inch cover screen and that it “will have a wider aspect ratio than the Samsung 6.19-inch Fold 4 ” — something that’s clearly visible in FrontPageTech’s renders. As for the inner screen, Ross Tweeted in November that the Pixel Fold will have a 7.57-inch display on the inside. That inner screen is also expected to be an OLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate.
One Pixel Fold spec that remains very uncertain is its battery capacity. Battery life has never been a strong suit for Pixels, nor are many foldables known for good endurance. It’s certainly possible Google will find a way to build the Pixel Fold with excellent battery life, but from the outside looking in, the odds aren’t in its favor.
While Pixels may not be known for good battery life, they are synonymous with outstanding cameras — and the Google Pixel Fold shouldn’t be any different. FrontPageTech’s source says the Pixel Fold will have a “Pixel flagship camera” system, and other leaks back that up.
According to the code, the camera setup is as follows: back of the phone: IMX787 main, S5K3J1 tele, IMX386 ultrawide. Inner camera is a IMX355 from the Pixel 6 and the outer sensor on the front is another S5K3J1. This is a fairly comprehensive setup, fitting for a premium device.
— Kuba Wojciechowski⚡ (@Za_Raczke) September 8, 2022
Android researcher Kuba Wojciechowski found code in an Android 13 beta suggesting the Pixel Fold will have a 64MP Sony IMX787 sensor for the primary camera on the back, a 10MP telephoto camera, and a 12MP ultrawide camera. The zoom capabilities will likely be a step down from the 48MP telephoto camera on the Pixel 7 Pro, but that’s to be expected with the foldable design.
Along with the three cameras on the back, FrontPageTech reports the Google Pixel Fold will have two additional 9.5MP cameras — one in the hole-punch cutout on the outer screen and another in the top bezel above the inner display.
The Pixel Fold will most likely ship with Android 13 out of the box with the same Google customizations seen on other Pixels. This means Material You theme support, the usual slate of Tensor-powered AI tricks (such as Magic Eraser), and at least three years of future updates.
Given the larger size of the Pixel Fold’s inner screen, we can also expect some foldable-specific software tweaks. Google added numerous tablet/foldable optimizations with Android 12L and Android 13, such as improved multitasking, an app dock at the bottom of the screen, and redesigned apps that take advantage of the extra screen real estate.
Foldable phones have never been known for their affordable prices, and this should also be true of the Pixel Fold. According to FrontPageTech, the Google Pixel Fold will be available for $1,799 — the exact same price as the Galaxy Z Fold 4.
It’s reassuring to hear that the Pixel Fold won’t be more expensive than Samsung’s handset, but it doesn’t look like it’ll have the same competitive pricing as its Pixel 7 and 7 Pro siblings.
What about the release date? It was initially believed that the Pixel Fold could launch in the fourth quarter of 2022, but that no longer appears to be the case. Now, the phone is expected to hit store shelves in May 2023. Assuming that the May time frame is accurate, we can expect Google to unveil the Pixel Fold during its annual I/O conference that same month.