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After years of rumors, Google has finally confirmed the Pixel Fold is in the works. Although we'll have to wait until Google I/O on May 10th for specific details, the company has finally teased its existence on social media. It's a device that's been in the works for a long time, as Google first confirmed to CNET that it was experimenting with the form factor in 2019, while Android 12L's launch in late 2021 cemented its focus on big-screen experiences.

Of course, thanks to the usual deluge of leaks and rumors surrounding Pixel hardware, you don't need to wait until the I/O keynote to learn plenty about this foldable. From its design language to its specs sheet, the software experience to that all important price point, here's everything we know about the Pixel Fold so far.

Google Pixel Fold: Look and feel

Move over, unofficial renders — we've got actual images from Google. The company's first tease of its hardware doesn't give us unlimited glances at the device, but it does show it from most of the angles you'd be curious about.

Screenshot 2023-05-04 134726-1
Source: Google Store

The main takeaway here, frankly, is one of little surprise. If you had to imagine what a Pixel Fold would look like — specifically in a post-Pixel 7 world — this would be it. With a glossy glass back panel, a shiny camera bar, and a centered hole punch camera on the front display. Really, the only obvious change between the Pixel 7 Pro and these images of the Pixel Fold is the lack of an edge-to-edge camera bar. Instead, this version looks more like a large camera bump, running along the back of the phone but not connecting to the edges of the phone.

Screenshot 2023-05-04 134818-1
Source: Google Store

Open it up, and you have that expansive screen you'd expect on a foldable. Anyone who's tried out the Galaxy Z Fold 4 might be disappointed though — these bezels are noticeably larger than what Samsung uses on its folding phones. On one hand, this design removes the need to keep space for a hole punch camera, or to turn to under-display cameras that create permanent screen distortion. On the other hand, keeping bezels makes the Pixel Fold look far less futuristic, and much more like a first-gen device. Samsung is on track to release its fifth-gen foldable in just a few months; at this point, we expect more from our folding phones.

A graphic showing three illustrations of Samsung, Pixel, and Oppo foldable hinges.
Source: Dave2D

Okay, but what about the hinge? The thing that makes a foldable, you know, a foldable? Thanks to a leak from YouTube Dave2D, we know Google plans to use a teardrop hinge, similar to the engineering used by Oppo on its Find N series. It's a different style than what Samsung has used throughout all four generations of the Z Fold, though the company is rumored to adopt this technology on the upcoming Galaxy Z Fold 5. This provides users with a completely flat device when folded, avoiding any gaps that can attract dirt and debris, and it's visible in the company's initial tease on Twitter.

Screenshot 2023-05-04 134832-1
Source: Google Store

But okay, I hear you. In addition to these product images from Google, we've seen some leaked product shots that the company is likely waiting for its official debut to show off. These come from famed leaker Evan Blass and match up perfectly with what Google showed off on Twitter.

As for the quality of the screen, rest assured we're expecting something good. Recent reports suggest Google is sourcing its panel from — you guessed it — Samsung. In fact, the Pixel Fold might use Samsung Display's next-gen M13 material, beating its parent company to the bunch. While you might expect to see it on the upcoming Galaxy Z Fold 5, that device is rumored to be relying on previous-gen M12 technology, the same used in the Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4 last year. Granted, we don't actually know what benefits the M13 brings over its predecessor, but hey — newer is always better, right?

Finally, it's possible we see a side-mounted fingerprint sensor built into the power button, rather than an optical sensor build into the front screen. The issue with relying on a sensor embedded in a single display on foldables is obvious — what if you already have the device open? While this change wouldn't bring back the rear-mounted sensor that plenty of Pixel fans miss, it might be a step in the right direction.

To date, there have only been two potential sightings of Google's upcoming device, and one seems a little more concrete than the other. Let's start with the leak we're less certain about. An anonymous Redditor posted blurry images of what they claimed was a Google employee using the device on the A Train in New York. The photos are lacking in detail, and without a clearer image, it's difficult to make out too much of what's seen in these photos.

If that's not enough for you, don't worry — we have another sighting, and this one wasn't shot with a potato. Leaker Kuba Wojciechowski — whose name you'll find associated with all sorts of Fold leaks, including in the specs section below — posted a short clip of the device on his Twitter account.

That sure looks like the Pixel Fold, right down to the camera bar on the back of the phone. It also confirms the horizontal aspect ratio for the crease originally rumored months ago, setting it apart in a major way from Samsung's current Z Fold design trends.

Google Pixel Fold: Specs and Camera

More than a year after we first started hearing about the Pixel Fold, early spec leaks have started bubbling up online. Developer and leaker Kuba Wojciechowski was able to pinpoint the exact measurements of the Fold's display, spanning 123 × 148mm with a resolution of 1840 × 2208, specs confirmed by Jon Prosser just a few weeks before Google I/O. That's a 7.6" panel — impressive stuff, and thanks to recent leaks, we also know it sports a 120Hz refresh rate. Expect an average brightness rating of 800 nits and a peak rating of 1,200 nits.

Source: @OnLeaks

On the outside, we're looking at a smaller 5.8": 120Hz FHD+ OLED panel with a 17.4:9 aspect ratio, a far cry from the Galaxy Z Fold 4's 23.1:9 ratio. Like the interior screen, this panel is 120Hz. Prosser's leak also contained dimensions in inches: 5.5" x 3.1" x 0.5". That's on the thick side, and the weight isn't much better — multiple rumors suggest 283g, nearly 30g heavier than the rumored Galaxy Z Fold 5.

It shouldn't come as too much of a shock to learn Google is positioning the Fold as a flagship device, and that also includes its internal specs. A Tensor G2 chipset — of course — alongside 12GB of RAM and either 256GB of 512GB of storage. As you'd probably expect, you won't find a microSD card slot or headphone jack here, though expect the usual assortment of modern wireless capabilities like Wi-Fi 6e and Bluetooth LE to help with the latter problem.

Source: Front Page Tech

As for the camera, expect hardware similar — though not identical — to the Pixel 6. In one of Google's QPR betas, we learned all about the phone's sensors, including a Sony IMX787 primary lens, a Samsung S5K3J1 telephoto lens for those far away subjects, and a IMX386 ultra-wide sensor is still here, along with a Sony IMX355 front-facing camera.

That said, the resolutions assorted with those cameras seem to be slightly inaccurate, possibly raising doubts over the specific hardware in the fold. According to Jon Prosser, the Pixel Fold uses an f/1.7 48MP main lens, paired with a 10.8MP f/2.2 ultrawide lens, a 10.8MP f/3.05 telephoto lens capable of 5x optical zoom and 20x Super Res Zoom, and a 9.5MP selfie cam.

Google Pixel Fold: Software

We long thought that Google would use the Pixel Fold to showcase the tablet-focused Android 12L to its fullest, but that hasn't panned out. Instead, the Pixel Fold will assuredly use Android 13, as it's Google's latest OS upgrade.

Android 13 builds on Android 12L, which took everything from Android 12 and added APIs and other improvements that allow apps to work better with big screens. In particular, 12L makes it easier for apps to adjust dynamically to different screen sizes on the fly. This way, the phone delivers better multitasking and split-screen experiences. A foldable device like the Pixel Fold would benefit greatly from these improvements.

Android 12L window size classes

Something interesting was spotted in the Pixel Launcher that's related to this split-screen, dual-pane experience. When you set the screen density of your regular Pixel phone really low (below 230, to be specific), you can unlock a dual-pane view for your homescreen. This looks pretty broken on a regular smartphone. Still, since the Pixel Launcher is only available on Pixel phones, we see this as evidence that Google is working on a foldable phone of its own, and meant to run its software.

Android 12L also added a taskbar to the operating system for foldables and tablets, which owners of these form factors can utilize for multitasking and easier access to often-used applications when using a big screen, visible in the screenshots above and below. The system has been refined further in Android 13.

Android 12L multitasking anim

All of this said, we have our first glimpse of Android 14 with its initial developer preview, and depending on when Google decides to launch the Pixel Fold, it could have a big impact on this device. Google is once again focusing in on big screens with this release, pushing developers to optimize their apps for tablets and foldables with a new quality checklist. It's complete with some new example layouts, all of which are meant to help devs build software fit for various screen sizes.

With Android 14 Beta 1 now available, we'll likely see Google announce the Pixel Fold alongside Beta 2 in May, giving us more insight into the next version of software to arrive for the phone.

Google Pixel Fold: Launch dates and pricing

With an I/O announcement confirmed, we're left to speculate on exactly when the Fold might hit store shelves. The folks at WinFuture got their hands on retail information suggesting a June launch for the Pixel Fold and the Pixel 7a. That would place a release date about a month out from its announcement, and a couple of months before Samsung returns with its fifth-gen full-size foldable.

Source: Front Page Tech

Leaker Yogesh Brar followed up these retail reports with his own launch information, stating we'd see a reveal for the Pixel Fold at I/O ahead of a launch in select markets. He had great news on pricing, too. Although earlier rumors pointed to prices ranging between $1,700 and $1,800, Brar expects the Fold to arrive somewhere between $1,300 and $1,500. That manages to undercut Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 4 — not to mention its successor that we expect to see later this summer — by several hundred dollars. More on this in a moment.

Jon Prosser returned in April — just a few weeks before I/O is set to kick off — with specific dates for the Pixel Fold. While he disagrees with WinFuture on the launch date for the Pixel 7a, June 27th is reportedly the date the Fold will hit store shelves, lining up with that original retail leak. Expect preorders to hit Google's storefront after the main keynote, while third-party retailers and carriers will follow at the end of May.

Okay, back to those pricing rumors. While we'd love Brar to be correct, Prosser also detailed his own cost reports in April, and it's bad news. According to the YouTuber, the Pixel Fold will start at $1,800 for the 256GB model, while the 512GB model will cost an eye-popping $1,919. At the very least, it sounds like you might get a free Pixel Watch with your purchase. Considering Prosser was correct about a potential Fold tease on Twitter —​​​​​​​ albeit off by over a week in his assumed date — he's got some credibility behind him on this info.

A foldable future

All that said, the Pixel Fold is finally starting to take shape, just a couple of weeks out from its reveal. We'll have to keep waiting for more leaks, but as with any Google device, expect plenty of information in the run-up to Google I/O in May.