One big issue with foldable phones is how vulnerable to damage and wear they are. All those moving parts leave them more exposed to dust than more conventional phones, as well as making them harder to protect against water damage; not to mention they have a hinge that will inevitably wear out. That’s a big problem, especially given how expensive they tend to be, but the Google Pixel Fold might have rivals beat in this regard.
According to CNBC, which claims to have seen internal communications, the Google Pixel Fold will have the “most durable hinge on a foldable” phone.
They don’t get into specifics, but we’d guess durability is being measured by how many times you can fold it open and closed (measure that Oppo refers to as a 'cycle'). On that front, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is rated to survive a minimum of 200,000 cycles, but the likes of the Honor Magic Vs and Oppo Find N2 are rated for 400,000 cycles.
As such, if Google is using this metric and this report holds true, then the Google Pixel Fold should be able to withstand over 400,000 folds. Perhaps 500,000, given that these ratings seem to all be in multiples of 100,000.
That could also keep the Pixel Fold ahead of upcoming competition, with a leak suggesting the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 will only be tested for up to 300,000 folds.
These numbers might sound pointlessly large, but if you’re a heavy phone user you could easily be glancing at your phone hundreds of times a day. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be unfolding it, since there’s also a cover screen, but you might, and the more folds it can withstand the more reassurance you have that it won’t wear out before you're ready to upgrade.
Durable in more than one way
The other big part of foldable phone durability is water resistance – something which recent offerings like Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 4, Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Huawei's Mate X3 all offer, but which most other foldables don’t. According to this report, the Google Pixel Fold will join this exclusive club.
The level of water resistance isn’t mentioned but with the majority of smartphones with certified water resistance topping out at an IP68 rating (or an IPX8 rating, in the case of foldables – as they don’t have the dust resistance part... yet), there’s a fair chance that the Pixel Fold will adopt this same level of protection against the wet stuff.
With as much water resistance as Samsung’s and Huawei's foldable phones, more than other rivals, and a more durable hinge than any other foldable out there, the Pixel Fold could have quite the set of selling points.
That’s especially good news, because this report also echoes another leak in saying that the Google Pixel Fold will likely start at upwards of $1,700 (around £1,365 / AU$2,535), so tell your bank account to steel itself.
The report also mentions a few other things that we’ve heard before, including that the Pixel Fold will apparently have a Tensor G2 chipset (like the Pixel 7 line), a 7.6-inch folding screen, and a 5.8-inch cover screen.
Other new information includes a claim that it will weigh around 283g, making it slightly heavier than the 263g Galaxy Z Fold 4. However, it might also pack in a bigger battery, as while we don’t know the exact capacity, this report claims that it will last for a respectable 24 hours, or up to 72 hours in low power mode.
We should find out all the official details soon, as multiple leaks – including this one – have said that the Google Pixel Fold will be announced at Google IO 2023 on May 10.