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Review of the Google Pixel Fold: Google masters the folding interface in every way

(AFFORDABILITY AND PRICE AND DESIGN) part1

By Osama mustafa Published 12 months ago 7 min read

two-minute sneak peek

The Google Pixel Fold joins the folding phone party a little bit later than expected, but after using it for a while, I can say that it's a smartphone/tablet combination that largely impresses and will undoubtedly make our list of the top folding Phones.

The Pixel Fold is a well-designed Android phone with a precise hinge and high-resolution displays that can be used both as a small-screen, but hefty, 5.8-inch phone and, when unfolded, as a 7.6-inch tiny tablet.

A snappy, vivid, and multitasking-friendly screen rapidly makes the huge bezel surrounding the primary screen, which some people may find unsettling, disappear.Even the inevitable centre wrinkle is a little less obvious than those on rival folding phones. And there is no discernible separation between the two sides when you fold the Pixel Fold.

The array of cameras on board does not let you down. While there isn't a specific macro mode, they can take beautiful landscapes, portraits, macro-like images, astrophotography, and stunning long exposures that employ picture segmentation to blur motion while keeping other elements of the scene in focus.

I'm really happy that Google equipped this phone with a 5x optical zoom. Although it only offers half of what the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra does, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is still the closest competitor in the foldable smartphone market.

The same Tensor G2 chip from Google's Pixel 7 series, which powers the Pixel Fold, is a somewhat outdated component of silicon that doesn't outperform the competition but was more than capable of handling every work I gave it. The Pixel Fold is as at home perusing the web as it is playing intense video games. Additionally, the panels' varied refresh rates maintain everything's fluid appearance. The absence of nits can be a minor quibble. The Galaxy Z Fold 4's primary screen is much brighter than the Pixel Fold's, boasting more nits. While I didn't see any problems on overcast days, it could have some trouble in glaring sunshine.

All the Google applications that Google has tailored for the new platform are completely at home on the Pixel Fold, much like Android 13 (with the five years of guaranteed security upgrades). It's a tremendous pleasure to be able to drag and drop a photo from another app into an email, and Mail, Photos, and other apps perform well on the large screen.

It's arguable that Google makes a few mistakes with the price. Given that other newcomers, like the more compact but still impressive Motorola Razr Plus, cost less than $1,000, $1,799 or £1,749 seems like a lot to pay for a single device. Google hasn't indicated any plans to release the phone in Australia, but we'll let you know if and when we receive official confirmation. But in my opinion, Google is charging you since you're really getting two premium gadgets in one.

I had a great time using Google's first folding gadget overall. The Google Pixel Fold makes a solid and confident entry into the foldable world; it is not a hesitant or subpar first attempt at the form factor.

AFFORDABILITY AND PRICE OF THE GOOGLE PIXEL FOLD

$1,799 / £1,749 for 12GB RAM / 256GB

$1,919 / £1,869 for 12GB RAM / 512GB (Obsidian, alone)

During its keynote address at the Google I/0 2023 developer conference on May 10, Google also debuted the mid-range Google Pixel 7a phone, the Google Pixel Tablet, a charging speaker dock, and a ton of new AI technologies. The Pixel Fold was also announced at this time.

The Google Pixel Fold is currently available for preorder. Shipping is scheduled to start on June 27, however the precise day that you'll be able to pick up the phone will depend on where you live. The Fold is available in two hues: Obsidian (black) and Porcelain (off-white). Obsidian is the color of my review device, and I believe I prefer it to white.

If you haven't already, you should get rid of the idea that purchasing a foldable entails purchasing only one gadget and paying for it. Like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, the Google Pixel Fold is two whole gadgets in one, making it almost worth the $1,799 / £1,749 asking price.

How can I calculate this? Google's first foldable has two displays, one measuring 5.8 inches and the other 7.6 inches, both of which are sizable enough to function as independent platforms for communication, information, entertainment, and gaming.

The Pixel Fold has four cameras instead of the typical two: three on the back, one on the external screen, and one more just above the primary display.

The price of an iPhone 14 Pro ($999/£1,099/AU$1,749) and an iPad mini ($499/£479/$749), for example, would be around $1,500 in the UK and Australia. More cameras and that wonderful flexible and challenging to create folding display come at a cost, of course.

My point is that, before you discount the Pixel Fold due to its high price, I advise you to think about what you truly receive for your money and the capabilities of this outstanding Android 13 smartphone and tablet.

Even yet, considering the price, the Pixel Fold is more than a considered purchase at this point. This is especially true if you're considering the 512GB, over $2,000 ($1,919 / £1,869) variant.

The good news is that there are currently trade-in offers for the Google Pixel Fold that effectively reduce the cost of the phone in half. Basically, there should be practically no justification for paying the full list price for a product that is this excellent.

PIXEL FOLD DESIGN BY GOOGLE

The ideal design for a folding phone and small tablet

sturdy, though a little hefty.

fully flattens when folded

Operation that is very silent

Big bezel will cause some distress

It turns out that Google made the right choice to wait out Samsung through four incarnations of its foldable devices (and nearly five, given that the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is expected to be unveiled in the next weeks at the time of writing). In many respects, the Pixel Fold is what I want all foldables to be.

Its folded frame, which measures 139.7 mm tall by 79.5 mm broad by 12.1 mm thick, is comparable to a 5.8 mm thick smartphone. As long as you overlook the flat hinge side, which does not match the curved corners on the opposite side, the Pixel Fold and its front screen could almost pass for a standard smartphone, in contrast to the tall and narrow Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, whose dimensions, when folded, stretch the definition of a traditional smartphone display.

Plus, the Pixel Fold is a tiny bit smaller than the 6.3mm Galaxy Z Fold if you don't consider the pretty noticeable camera hump (actually a band that spans practically the whole width of the rear of the phone).

The Pixel Fold is a little hefty even by folding standards. It weights 283 grams, which is 40 grams more than Apple's latest largest phone, the iPhone 14 Pro Max, and 20 grams more than the Galaxy Z Fold 4.

Again, you're barking up the wrong, eh, gadget tree if you don't understand that multi-purpose devices like this will inevitably be larger and heavier than conventional smartphones.

This is a high-end phone featuring Corning Gorilla Glass Victus on the front and rear screens as well as a polished metal frame. It can withstand everything from a hurricane to a slip-and-fall in the bathtub thanks to the stainless steel hinge and IPX8-rated body.

By the way, the hinges operate quite well. It opens to a full 180 degrees or almost anywhere in between, is smooth, and whisper-quiet (quieter even than the Z Fold 4, which produces a little crinkling sound when you open and close it). This allows both tabletop and tent usage.

Throughout my testing period, I often opened and closed the phone, and I left with the clear feeling that it would be durable over time.

There aren't many distinguishing characteristics on the exterior of the Pixel Fold, other from the somewhat wide and tall camera hump. Below that bulge on the rear is a refined rendition of Google's recognizable "G." The hinge is completely unmarked. The phone's two buttons are located on the right edge, opposite the hinge, of the unfolded device. The volume rocker sits underneath the fingerprint reader for power and sleep, which is an efficient reader.

Along the top and bottom borders of the phone, grilles for the microphone and speakers are located. The foldable comes with a cable and even a USB-3-USB-C adaptor, but no charging adapter—at this price, it seems like something that should be included. Along the bottom is the USB-C charging connector. Although the Pixel Fold supports dual SIM and eSIM, it also has a conventional SIM slot.

When I unfold the Google Pixel Fold, a few things immediately leap out. One is that the phone does not immediately unfold entirely flat unless you give it a second press down on either side. However, this is not a significant concern because you can easily push the phone to an almost flat surface. The amount of space between the flexible primary screen of the Fold and the bezel continues to astonish me. It's much larger than the Galaxy Z Fold 4's bezel, but once you start using the display, it rapidly disappears into the background.

The large bezel's purpose is to accommodate the main screen's 9MP camera. Samsung decided to add a punch hole to the screen of the Galaxy Z Fold 4.

As I already noted, the power button functions as a reliable fingerprint scanner, and the Cover screen's camera offers a second biometric security option that lets you register and unlock the device using your face. Strangely, though, you cannot unfold the Pixel Fold and utilize the screen's camera to unlock with your face; this is a minor but annoying oversight on the part of Google.

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    OMWritten by Osama mustafa

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