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Phones

Google Pixel Fold: everything you need to know

By Aryan Suren July 14, 2021, 4:00 am
pixel fold concept

Foldable smartphones are here to stay. Consistent advancements and iterations of devices from Samsung, Huawei, and Motorola have done nothing but prove that a demand for such devices exists and that they’re usable in the long run. With Xiaomi recently joining the fray with the Mi Mix Fold and a device from Google rumored to be in the works, have you found yourself wondering what the Pixel-maker will bring to the table? To help, in this article, we’ve compiled information floating around the internet to understand what the Google Pixel Fold will offer consumers when it comes to market.

As for when you should expect to see the device launch, an internal document reviewed and reported upon by 9to5Google places the device for an unveiling in Q4 2021, leading to a belief we may get our first glimpse at the planned hardware right alongside the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro at the fall event.

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Design

The number of leaks, rumors, and patent filings leading to the launch of a device can tend to create a jumbled perception of what the final product may end up being. As written before, we’ve seen reports on two display patents filed by Google for foldable technology. The first one (reported by Patently Mobile) merely showcased displays termed as designs that can be used by modern computing devices, whereas the second one (by Patently Apple) showed a profile with a book-like opening action, similar to current devices in the market.

Google Foldable Display Patent
Credit: USPTO

A recent report from a Korean news outletThe Elec, mentions that Google is sourcing 7.6-inch display panels from Samsung. Also adding more substance to the idea is a report from ETNews, which states that the Korean company will also provide UTG technology to Google, hinting that the Pixel Fold is more than likely to feature an inward folding design.

Pixel Fold Specifications

With Pixel devices, the hardware Google offers has always been a mixed bag. The step back from actual flagship devices that the Pixel 5 took showed that the company can still make a great phone. With the Pixel 6, Google seems to be taking matters into their own hands with a custom SoC called Whitechapel. We expect they will include the same chip in their foldable, as it would allow them to extract similar performance from the cameras and other components.

Speaking of cameras, while the hardware on Pixel phones has remained very similar over the last few years, it looks like things are about to change this year. The Pixel 6 series will feature a 50MP wide sensor, alongside a 12MP Ultra-wide and 48MP telephoto lens (Pro model only), as reported by Front Page Tech and leaked by Jon Prosser. As most foldable phones tend to be a culmination of some of the best features companies have to offer, it wouldn’t be hard to believe the Pixel Fold will share hardware with either of the two models.

I think the hardware from the Pixel 6 is likely to carry over to the Pixel Fold to save not only on space but also cost.

Software

Android 12 pocketnow

It’s no secret that Google has been working on software for foldable devices for a while now, and the fact they were testing hardware before 2019 means we may get to see use cases that other manufacturers haven’t explored yet. While Android 12 hasn’t introduced much for foldable devices yet, there may be a few surprise announcements as time passes.

Apart from this, we can expect to see more of Material You and Google’s computational photography algorithms at work with the new cameras when this device finally launches.

Availability of Pixel Fold

We now come to the availability of this rumored device. In recent years, we’ve seen Google reduce the number of markets it actively sells its devices in. So it wouldn’t be hard to believe the Pixel Fold will be a limited release in markets like the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom, all of which also featured the Pixel 5. The fact that the Pixel 5a is said to only be available in the US and Japan does give more ground to this supposed limited market strategy.

As for pricing, we believe anything less than $1,200 would be difficult, as Google will surely aim to maintain a high standard with its hardware.

Is there anything specific you would like to see Google do for foldable phones? Let us know with your comments below.

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