Samsung has done well with foldable phones, but with the upcoming Google Pixel Fold it could have some serious competition, and a new video highlights the advantages Google’s debut foldable might offer.
YouTuber Dave2D (opens in new tab) has got hold of a blank reference model of the phone, which is supposedly dimensionally accurate. It’s the sort of thing case manufacturers might get access to so they can design accessories for a device, before it’s launched.
If this is accurate, it reveals a lot about the functionality and hardware layout of the Pixel Fold. For one thing, this Google Pixel Fold looks to have a shorter, wider screen than the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, which could make the 5.79-inch cover display easier to use with one hand. It also means that you get more a widescreen, landscape-style 7.67-inch foldable display.
This model is also very slim, coming in at just 5.7mm at the thinnest point, when open and 8.7mm including the camera block – which juts out a lot like on the Pixel 7 series.
The hinge sounds promising too, folding in such a way that there’s no real gap between the two screen sections, which is likely to also mean the crease in the screen is less visible than on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 – though it’s impossible to say for sure with a blank dummy unit.
Other notable details include the positioning of the dual speakers, with one on the top left and one on the bottom right (when held open in portrait), which means that whatever orientation you hold the Pixel Fold, you’ll get stereo sound.
As for the cameras, there’s apparently space for three lenses on the rear camera bar. There’s likely to be a punch-hole camera on the cover screen, and there’s a lens in the bezel at the top right above the foldable display.
Speaking of the bezel, that’s the one main weakness of the Pixel Fold as shown here, as there’s quite a large bezel both above and below the foldable display, which could leave the Pixel Fold looking less premium than most rival foldables.
Analysis: the big bezels could be a secret strength
We said above that the big bezels here could be seen as a weakness, but they could also end up being a strength because, as Dave2D points out, Google likely decided on this design in order to cut costs.
Foldable phones – particularly of this form factor – are notoriously expensive, with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, for example, starting at $1,799 / £1,649 / AU$2,499, and the price goes up if you want more storage.
So, if Google can knock some money off the price – with Dave2D predicting we could be talking a $200 to $300 difference – by including relatively large bezels, then that might well be worthwhile; as it could make this phone a lot more affordable – and therefore a lot more mainstream.
Couple that with the other advantages the Pixel Fold might have over Samsung’s top foldable – like an easier to use form factor and a less visible crease – and Google could have one of the best foldable phones on its hands.