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For a while, the "Pixel foldable" existed in the same hypothetical vein as a "Pixel Ultra." Sure, the phone is a reality now, but dig back far enough, and you'll find early word of prototypes dating back to 2019. A couple of weeks ago, we learned exactly why these rumors have existed for so long. In promoting its upcoming release, Google admitted it had canned an earlier iteration after deeming it unsatisfactory. That's not the type of thing most companies will admit, and for a brand that often struggles with first-gen products, it doubles as a big promise.

The product we're left with today is the Pixel Fold, the first tablet-sized foldable taking on Samsung in the US. It's a lofty goal; even if you consider this device a second-gen product, Samsung is just weeks away from launching its fifth large folding phone, meaning it's no longer enough to start off half-baked. Unfortunately, I can't help but feel the Pixel Fold is fundamentally flawed at its core, and without some help from third-party app developers, might never reach its full potential.

Angled Google Pixel Fold in Porcelain colorway
Source: Google
Google Pixel Fold
6.5 / 10

The Google Pixel Fold attempts to adapt everything we love about the Pixel experience into a pocketable tablet. It's not entirely successful, but it's an interesting step towards something spectacular — and a decent, if flawed, rival to challenge Samsung's dominance in the foldable space.

Google Tensor G2
7.6" 2208x1840 120Hz OLED primary display, 5.8" 2092x1080 120Hz OLED cover display
256GB, 512GB
Operating System
Android 13
Front camera
8MP f/2.0 (84° FOV, 1.12 μm pixels) inner selfie camera, 9.5MP f/2.2 (84° FOV, 1.22 μm pixels) outer selfie camera
Rear cameras
48MP f/1.7 (0.8 μm pixel size) main sensor, 10.8MP f/2.2 (1.25 0.8 μm pixels) 5x optical camera, 10.8MP f/3.05 (1.25 μm pixels) 121.1° FOV ultrawide
5G (inc mmWave), Bluetooth 5.2, WI-Fi 6E, NFC, ultra-wideband
139.7 x 79.5 x 0.5 mm folded, 139.7 x 158.7 x 5.8 mm unfolded
Obsidian (black), Porcelain (white)
20W wirelsss, 30W wired
IP Rating
  • From the outside, this is Google's best hardware yet
  • Exterior screen is totally usable
  • Cameras are predictably good
  • Inner display quality isn't up to par with the competition
  • Third-party app support is dire
  • Some big software quirks
  • Durability is a big question mark

Availability and network

The Pixel Fold is one of Google's most limited releases to date, available in just four regions: the United States, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom (sorry, Canadians). In the US, it's sold unlocked through Google's own website for $1,800, and is available in Obsidian (black) and Porcelain (white). The latter is a Google Store exclusive, meaning the black version should eventually make its way to various retailers like Amazon and Best Buy.


You'll also find it in carrier stores, of course, including Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T. Verizon is offering big deals on the Pixel Fold at launch, though only when you switch to the carrier with a phone to trade in. AT&T will take $900 off the device, no trade-in required, while T-Mobile has yet to go live with its own pre-orders. The carriers aren't shipping the phone until later in July; likewise, Google's own dates have slipped backward in time, suggesting low inventory. If you want this phone, you might be waiting a while.

Design and display


Google's foldable is the first I've seen arrive folded in its box, and frankly, it makes for an incredible first impression. From the outside, this is my favorite Pixel hardware to date, bar none. It's the first handheld the company has shipped that feels on par with the refinement Samsung and Apple bring to their phones. This is no longer B-tier hardware — Google really nailed it.

The base design is immediately reminiscent of the Pixel 7 Pro, but with a few modifications that help improve the overall experience. The back glass is now matte, sporting a silky smooth finish similar to what's on Samsung's devices. It'll still show some smudges, particularly on the black model, but compared to the slimy feel of Google's glossy glass on the Pixel 7 series, it's a huge improvement. Google has also separated the camera bar from the surrounding frame, creating more of a camera island, or maybe a plateau, if you're feeling fancy.


That frame, by the way, is the same style of polished steel you'll find on last fall's flagships, though without a curved front display, I like the look of it much better here. It's still super susceptible to scratches though, so it's probably worth investing in a durable case. For a foldable, it feels really slim in your hand, though the protruding camera certainly adds some bulk. Compare it to the Galaxy Z Fold 4, though, and it feels positively svelte. Along the frame, you'll find the usual suspects: a USB-C port, dual speakers for stereo sound, the SIM tray, and a mmWave window along the top.

In your hand, the Google Pixel Fold feels almost like a tiny Moleskine notebook, and I doubt that's a coincidence. It's hefty, but in a way that feels both solid and premium. I'm kind of in love with the hinge off to the side of the screen for reasons I really can't explain. It's the perfect mixture of professionalism and fun. And compared to Samsung's tall-and-borderline-useless outer screen, you can't just help but feel like this is what foldables are supposed to look like.

That display, by the way, is a 5.8" 120Hz 1080p screen with a 17.4:9 aspect ratio, and it might be the best part of the phone. In a world filled with ultra-large, ultra-narrow slabs, this one feels like a breath of fresh air. It turns out I don't particularly miss the extra height offered by every smartphone, so long as the screen is wide enough to comfortably type on (more on that when I discuss software). This display has me begging for a return to the 18:9 displays once used by companies like LG, but unfortunately, I'm unlikely to get my wish outside of foldables.


As far as the panel itself goes, you'll hear no complaints from me. It's bright, it's vivid, it's fast, and it looks great outdoors. The rounded corners and camera cutout might bother some people, but I find both pretty inoffensive. Though, I do think it's time to consider whether front-facing cameras are completely unnecessary on this style of foldable. If I want to take a selfie or place a video call, I'm better off just opening the device and using the (much better) rear-facing cameras, or using the front-facing camera with the inner display. But I digress.

All told, a closed Pixel Fold is one of my favorite smartphone designs in years, and certainly a step above what Google's been doing with recent Pixels. Honestly, from the first time I held it in my hands, it seemed like it might be love at first sight, a perfect match between me and this brand-new foldable. But then you open it up.


"Cheap" is the first word that comes to mind when I see the Pixel Fold's inner display, and on an $1,800 foldable, that's a bad sign. I'm not talking about the bezels, either; although they generated some controversy on various subreddits when Google took the stage at I/O, I think they're fine. If anything, I wish the side bezels were larger, more in line with what runs along the top and bottom of the screen. If what we're looking at is a pocketable tablet, having a frame around the display for your thumbs to rest just makes sense.

No, my issue is with the screen itself. It's a 7.6" OLED panel with all the specs you could ask for: 120Hz, a 1840 x 2208 resolution, and 1,000 nits of brightness in High Brightness Mode with 1,450 nits while viewing HDR content. On paper, it's a good screen.

In practice, I hate almost everything about it. It all starts with the quality of the materials Google is using. Credit to Ben Schoon at 9to5Google for making this observation first, but it seems like Pixel Fold has fewer coatings than what's on modern Galaxy Z Fold models. Indeed, comparing it to the Z Fold 4, or to the recently released Motorola Razr+, it's impossible not to notice how much worse the panel feels under your fingers. It's also more reflective in direct sunlight, making it difficult to actually use outdoors, and although I haven't tested it, I wouldn't be surprised if it was more prone to scratches as a result.

Outdoor viewing is terrible. You will see every smudge, even if you've just used a microfiber cloth.

Between the pre-installed, non-removable screen protector and the surrounding bezel, you'll find a millimeter of unprotected space that draws in all sorts of dust and debris. I don't know what's up with this device, but it's like a panel for all sorts of material, and trying to get it out — even with a microfiber cloth meant to pick up minuscule particles — is a chore. And, as I'll talk about in a moment, the inability to remove dust from this space might just be a fatal flaw.

Then there's the crease. To my eyes, it's a pick-your-poison situation. It's not as deep as what's on the Galaxy Z Fold 4, but it's far wider, making it arguably more noticeable in daily use. It's not worse than what Samsung has on its last-gen phone, but it also fails to make any real improvements.

In certain conditions, this screen can look okay — catch me curled up on the couch at night binging through season two of The Bear. But if reflections make it difficult to view the display in bright environments, darker rooms aren't much better. Black levels look particularly washed out and grainy at lower brightness levels, especially on the left side of the hinge on my unit. This would be less of a problem if you weren't constantly in situations where large portions of the display are blacked out — more on that in the software section.


It's like a funhouse mirror.

I just can't get over how much I disliked looking at the Pixel Fold's interior display, which is, you know, a problem when it's the entire draw of this device. Your mileage may vary on some of my complaints — I have no doubt plenty of shoppers are less picky than I am when it comes to reflectiveness, or just how the screen feels underneath your finger. But for $1,800, I would at least expect Google to match what its rivals in this space are capable of, and I'm just not seeing that here.

Pixel Fold durability


Let's quickly talk about durability, because in the immediate days following launch, it's become clear Google is experiencing similar bumps in the road as Samsung did in 2019. While it doesn't seem like the company is going to have to recall its devices — at least as I publish this review — the first week of Pixel Fold availability was troubling, to say the least.

It all kicked off when Ron Amadeo at Ars Technica (and formerly of Android Police!) used the review embargo to reveal his unit hadn't survived more than a few days before the inner screen was toast. On Reddit — a place famous for its fair share of Pixel horror stories — several users noted that their devices showed up broken, suffering from pink lines and lifted screen protectors.

A quick search tells me I've used the word "problem" in this review eleven times (not counting that one), and I'm about to do it again. Durability concerns are a huge problem for Google. While the company is partnering with iFixit to make at-home repairs easier for customers competent enough to fix their phones, that's no excuse. And for anyone not comfortable with self-repair, Google's poor reputation when it comes to fixing broken Pixels might be a deal-breaker for anyone considering paying just shy of $2,000 for this device.

This could simply be a stumbling block for the company, but as always, we'll be keeping an eye on the next few days as devices continue to arrive on the doorsteps of early adopters.

Other hardware and what's in the box


This feels as good a place as any to focus on the hinge. During my initial hands-on at Google I/O, I wrote about the Pixel Fold's inability to lay flat when unfolded. Now that I have a production model in my hands as a daily driver, I'd like to walk back that sentiment — but only by about half a step.

When naturally unfolding this device, it stops about five degrees short of laying completely flat. That's in line with my I/O experience, and to be sure this wasn't a me issue, I've handed the phone to several friends and family members over the last week to see how they'd open it. It was a universal experience.

How the Fold opens naturally compared to how it looks after applying a surprising amount of pressure.

This is, I think, not great. It's very evident, even when just looking at the screen, that everything's a little off-axis. Laying it on a table only compounds the issue, thanks to the camera bar island, which raises the screen's right side even further off the surface. It looks bad, and I can't blame people for not wanting to add additional flex to their unit to try and get it open to a full 180 degrees.

That said, if you do provide that extra bit of pressure — and make no mistake, it does take a fair bit of pressure — the Google Pixel Fold can lay completely flat… for a while. Inevitably while using the phone, I'd notice it would return to its slightly-bent default. It's possible that, with enough time and use, the hinge would adapt to sticking to 180 degrees, but so far, that hasn't been my experience. And frankly, placing backwards pressure on the hinge doesn't feel great to begin with, especially considering those durability concerns.


Google is quick to promote all of the positions this hinge allows for, including a tent mode perfect for watching movies on a desk. I found the actual experience pretty finicky, but a lot of that comes down to the software experience. The hinge itself is tight enough to hold the Fold in pretty much any stance, even if you shake the device. A turbulent flight shouldn't get in the way of your next binge watch.

The fingerprint sensor has been relocated to the power button, a relief to current Pixel owners everywhere. It works about as well as you'd expect, on par with Samsung in terms of speed and accuracy. I would've preferred a retreat to the back of the phone, since finding the power button can be a bit awkward at times depending on its orientation. Largely speaking, though, I'm perfectly satisfied with the biometrics on the Fold.

Haptics don't feel quite up to par with the excellent experience I had with the Pixel 7 Pro last fall; they're a little softer, a little mushier. It's not a bad experience, just one that doesn't stand out among the crowd.


The speakers, on the other hand, are some of the best I've heard on a smartphone in quite some time. They get surprisingly loud without sounding tinny, perfect for podcasts, YouTube videos, or even listening to an album without headphones. As is now customary for Pixels, the box includes the phone, a USB-C cable with an adapter, the usual assortment of paperwork, and not much else.



Android is not a particularly friendly operating system on tablets. This has been a problem since the days of the Motorola Xoom, and it remains a problem on the Pixel Tablet even today. The vast majority of apps — even big-name apps — aren't properly formatted for large-screen devices. And despite its foldable status, the Pixel Fold is, at its absolute core, a small tablet, with all of the strengths and weaknesses that come with the territory.

I've approached the inner display experience in two different ways. First, as a large screen dedicated to a single application, then as a multitasking beast, effectively placing two regular-sized smartphones side by side. Neither tactic worked out exactly how I'd hoped, though it's clear one of those is the "proper" way to use the device.

Single-screen apps are the Pixel Fold's Achilles' heel. Google has spent the last couple of years redesigning its own first-party apps to actually support tablets and foldables, no matter which way you're holding the device. That work pays off here. Most Google apps look exceptional on this device. The company's new weather app, first seen here and on the Pixel Tablet, is a total winner. Calendar looks stunning. Finding files in Drive is a cinch.

Other apps don't fare so well, though. Gmail keeps your inbox on the left and any email you view on the right. It's fine, but sometimes, I actually want the email in fullscreen, and the only way to do that is to, well, rotate the screen. The same goes for Keep, which just splits all notes and single notes into two separate panels.


Other apps, like Fit or YouTube, just function as "the phone app you know, but stretched to fit." They're fine, but with bottom navigation tools meant to operate on taller phones, the actual content feels pretty compressed on that 7.6" screen.

All of these apps feel either overexpanded or waste massive amounts of screen space.

This experience of "it's everything, but bigger" even sinks through to the home screen. Rather than using two different launcher layouts as Samsung does, Google just pairs your first two panels as one main screen. This might work for some people, but in my case, it made the app layout look odd, and I'm unable to adjust it without also modifying my front screen. I'd like to see unpairing these interfaces available as an option in the future.

Meanwhile, one app — Apple Music — actually required a hard reset to swap between its tablet and phone layouts. Considering it stops whatever you're listening to, this is a pretty big problem.

Sure, this is technically Apple's fault, but most users won't think of it that way.

If everything feeling stretched was the only issue with the Pixel Fold, I'd have little to complain about. Unfortunately, most third-party apps actually hold the inverse true. The vast majority of mainstream and niche apps are not ready for a device primarily used in landscape mode. It was a problem on the Pixel Tablet, and it remains a problem here.

Open up Twitter, or Facebook Messenger, or Letterboxd on the Pixel Fold, and unless you turn it 90 degrees every single time, you'll find yourself faced with black borders on either side of the window. You can tap twice on either side to move the paneled app one way or another, but all it does is bring the UI closer to your finger. No matter where it's displayed, it still looks terrible.

I wish the list ended there, but in my experience, it's never-ending. Marvel Snap. Target. Yelp. Recipe apps, fitness apps, banking apps — the majority of software on my phone doesn't fill the screen unless I rotate the Fold every single time. Even apps that do "support" landscape tablets like Slack or Spotify feel like they're half-assing it, simply adapting their existing apps to stretch across the panel. Even Chrome nearly always defaults to displaying mobile-friendly layouts, leaving plenty of wasted space on pages across the web.


Instagram is particularly bad.

And I know that sounds like such a small thing, but it presents a fundamental flaw in Google's approach to hardware. Yes, this issue boils down to third- party app support. Technically, this problem lies with the Yelps and Twitters and Apple Musics of the world. But this is an $1,800 device, and if Google can't convince developers to make their software work on larger screens, this phone will always feel hamstrung. Sure, the outer screen is actually usable here, but if it comes at the cost of an enjoyable, reliable experience on that massive display, what's the point?

Well, the point is multitasking, which brings us to our other use case. It's easier to think of the Pixel Fold as a Surface Duo-like than a Galaxy Z Fold-like, effectively giving you two "normal" screens next to each other. Swipe up from the gesture bar to reveal your dock, drag and drop two apps to the left and right of the screen, and you're cooking with gas.


Two apps side-by-side feels a lot like holding two phones.

This does make a lot more sense than trying to use the large display for a single application, I'll admit. And at first, I was excited to see how this specific form factor could improve every day tasks. Keeping Slack and AirTable next to each other during the workday for tracking tasks and incoming messages. My workout tracker and my music player could live side-by-side for easy controls. Telegram and Maps could let me chat with my friends while I walk to meet them at our favorite restaurant.

And yes, these experiences are totally possible — good, even — with one teeny, tiny problem. If you close the Pixel Fold, even if you do not interact with the outer display before unfolding the device again, whichever app was inactive will disappear, leaving you with a single application when you reopen. I've confirmed with Google that this is expected behavior, and there is no way to change it. And I absolutely cannot understand why.


After closing and reopening the phone, the split-screen layout above turned into this. No, I don't know why it also opens Slack's menu, but it does.

I don't think this is a nitpick; this fundamentally changes how I interact with the Pixel Fold. The idea of leaving two windows open while slipping the device in my pocket is so obvious. What if I'm on public transit and I'm transferring to another train? What if I'm headed over to a friend's house but would like to keep the same apps open when I arrive? What if I just don't want to leave my $1,800 very fragile foldable with a display that fingernails can scratch and which gathers dust like a magnet laying out on my living room table when I could just close it until I need it again?

I digress. This won't be an issue for everyone, but it really frustrated me in regular use, and I'm really hoping Google decides to change this behavior in a future update. I asked the company if app pairs in Android 14 would improve the situation, but they didn't comment on that particular feature.

My frustrations aside, multitasking does work as you'd expect on the Pixel Fold. Having two apps open at once is, genuinely, a better experience than having a single app unable to fill the screen, and the work Google's put in to make multitasking easy is appreciated. I really like how drag-and-drop is enabled throughout the UI, both to bring a second app up from the dock and to share content between apps. It's fairly seamless.


It's worth noting the struggles of this big screen don't stop at single apps and multitasking. Typing remains an issue when the device is open. Gboard has a split mode, but it's just not particularly fun to type on, forcing me to nearly always close the phone to reply to messages even if I was actively using the larger screen.

Although I've run into a few bugs while using the Pixel Fold (a couple of which were squashed by a pre-launch patch), only one is particularly frustrating. Although it seems like closing the Fold is meant to lock it, occasionally, the device would stay unlocked and the active application would appear on the front screen a few moments later. Some apps, like YouTube, make it clear this is the desired behavior. But sometimes it would just… happen, without any reasoning behind why.

Once, I closed the phone several times in a row on the home screen only for it to appear on the outer screen. After doing it four or five times in a row over a period of about ten minutes, it stopped doing this and locked as expected. That is, except for the couple of times it's happened since, where I've found the phone unlocked (and very warm) in my pocket.


I should also mention that, although the company is promoting YouTube's tabletop mode at the moment, its main feature — moving the playback controls to the bottom screen — won't ship until August. As it stands, bending the display to prop the phone up (a difficult task, given the weight of the camera island) does shift the video downwards, but also seems to crop out a sliver along the bottom of the screen.

For what it's worth, using the Pixel Fold's front display felt like any other modern Pixel phone, just, you know… shorter and fatter. I'd recommend you check out my Pixel 7 Pro review, or Manuel Vonau's Pixel 7 review if you want context surrounding the standard Google software experiences. I've certainly spilled enough virtual ink here.



This phone is using Tensor G2, the same SoC found in the Pixel 7 series and on the Pixel Tablet. Like a few other reviewers I've spoken with, I've soured on it a bit since its debut. It's a chipset known to overheat, and in such a thin chassis, it's a real problem on the Pixel Fold.

I've felt this thing get warm to the touch nearly every time I pick it up. Looking up recipes in Chrome? Scrolling through Instagram? Texting? Nearly any action starts heating my hand, something compounded by the hotter summer weather. While lounging in a hammock, this device got so hot it was uncomfortable to touch. The inner display dropped to an unstable 60Hz — as in, things looked even choppier than that refresh rate implies — for over an hour after I went inside. I wasn't in the hammock for more than thirty minutes. This is a problem.

Heat aside, Tensor G2 is a fine chipset. When working properly, I haven't seen or felt any lag in apps, and games like Genshin Impact perform as you'd expect. If I sound a little bored, it's because we know what to expect out of Tensor G2 at this point, for better and for worse. Nothing has changed here; it's still a flagship-quality chip when it comes to performance.

I'm really hoping Google can get its thermal performance under control by the time Tensor G3 launches later this year, but for now, this experience is all I have to go by. And frankly, I'm tired of my phone feeling uncomfortable in my hand.


The Pixel Fold's camera bump in front of a green backdrop

Google claims it has the best camera on any foldable to date, and unsurprisingly, I believe that. It's also not a particularly difficult feat to lay claim to, considering nearly all folding phones have struggled to fit the camera hardware necessary to really impress us. Samsung, to its credit, has clearly placed emphasis on photography with its S-series phones, while the Z-series exists as futuristic experiences first and foremost.

At the risk of oversimplifying my early experiences with the camera, the Pixel Fold basically produces the kind of images you'd expect. If you're a fan of Google's post-processing, you will like what this phone is capable of capturing. Daytime images more or less look great, no matter the lighting conditions. Many of my samples also seem to have dialed down the oversaturation you'll sometimes spot in Pixel photos, making for a more neutral look without losing the company's signature style.

Photos can occasionally look a bit oversharpened to my eyes, especially when zooming in on elements like grass. However, unlike other cameras I've tested this year — even the Galaxy S23 Ultra — the Pixel Fold is excellent at handling motion. Other phones would struggle with snapping a photo of a rabbit mid-hop. This one, not so much.

If there's one space where the Pixel Fold might fall short of its fellow flagships, its low-light performance. Looking through these shots, it seems like this phone is struggling to expose scenes with both dark and bright elements, something I haven't noticed nearly as much on the Pixel 7 Pro. Google is usually pretty good at compositing various exposures together into a single shot for the best of both worlds, but it's not as successful on this particular phone.

That said, most of the night shots I took were more than satisfactory. But when the bar is set so high, you're bound to notice a slight downgrade compared to the usual look and feel of a Google smartphone.


A solid 5x zoom shot.

I'm happy to see Google's kept a 5x telephoto lens around on this device, as it was one of my favorite elements of shooting with the Pixel 7 Pro. I'm not seeing a big difference in quality between the two devices here, although Super Res Zoom is limited to just 20x and does seem to look lower quality. Anecdotally, it also seems as though the phone isn't as stable when zoomed in on a subject, which can result in some blurry shots.

Left to right: Outer front-facing camera, inner front-facing camera, selfie with rear cameras in flip mode.

Both front-facing cameras take aggressively fine shots, whether you're snapping a selfie or jumping into a video call. But if you're looking for the best quality possible, you're best off flipping the phone around to use the rear-facing lineup. In fact, I wouldn't mind future phones ditching one or both of the selfie cams. This could be a controversial take, but they're simply unnecessary.


We'll need some more time with the Pixel Fold to really cement our thoughts on its imaging chops (short review periods be damned; when am I supposed to actually go out and use this thing if I'm writing all weekend?), but these early impressions are mostly positive. As bulky as that camera island can feel, it's clear giving the sensors some extra space is paying off.

Battery life


After a week and a half with the phone, its battery life seems to be fairly steady, presumably with adaptive battery active working as expected. I'm seeing between five and six hours of screen-on time consistently with a mix of both displays, and I'm usually ending the day with between 20 and 30 percent left on a charge. Getting through a full day's worth of mixed use seems totally doable here, though I wouldn't expect to go multiple days without a charger.

If you want proof that Google feels confident in its battery here, consider that this phone's screens each run at 120Hz out of the box. The Pixel 7a — despite supporting 90Hz — arrives with Smooth Display disabled to help bolster its longevity.

I'll have more takeaways about the Pixel Fold's battery life in a future update to this review, but for now, my only real concerns surround charging. Rated at just 21W, charging the Pixel Fold can feel pretty slow, even compared to cheaper foldables like Motorola's Razr+. If the phone is reliably capable of getting through a full day without battery anxiety, it might not be too much of a concern, but it's something worth keeping in mind if you're headed out for the night.



If you're outside of the United States, you have a solid selection of Pixel Fold alternatives to choose from. But if you're outside the United States, you likely can't buy this phone to begin with, so let's focus on the only competition that really matters: Samsung.

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is nearing its first birthday, but there's still a lot to like about it. The inner display looks and feels better, folding open portrait-style means you can reliably expect apps to run in full-screen mode — even Instagram, as bad as it may look — and plenty of people prefer One UI over Google's Pixel experience.

But on the other hand, the exterior screen isn't nearly as comfortable to use as the one on the Pixel Fold, and its inability to close flat looks incredibly dated for a device that came out last August. There isn't an easy victor here; both phones have their fair share of pros and cons.

But really, the Pixel Fold also arrives just a month before the official unveiling of Samsung's next-gen Galaxy Z Fold 5. It won't fix everything about its predecessor, but an improved hinge should lead to a thinner, leaner chassis without an awkward gap. The ultra-tall screen lingers for at least one more generation, though, and the camera quality remains a question until the device is actually in our hands.

Should you buy it?


So that's the Pixel Fold. In my view, it's a complicated mess of a foldable, somehow sporting some of Google's best and worst hardware in a single package. It's completely weighed down by massive software issues, some of which Google is incapable of solving on their own. And it's all paired with everything else that makes the Pixel lineup unique, from its chipset to high-quality cameras to its super-popular Recorder app.

I have no doubt that the Pixel Fold will find a rabid fan base, just as most of Google's past products. I'm also all but sure the issues I've brought up here are internally known at the company. The limited lineup of launch regions for the Fold seemed to spell an experimental status from the jump, as if to advertise it as unready for a broader debut. Maybe next year, the world echoed back.

But even if this is simply the first step into a future product line for Google, this is still an $1,800 smartphone, and I find myself simply incapable of suggesting anyone drop that kind of cash. There's plenty of work to be done on both the hardware and software before the Pixel Fold is ready for a real recommendation. As it stands right now, this one really exists for early adopters and the most die-hard Pixel fans among us.

Angled Google Pixel Fold in Porcelain colorway
Source: Google
Google Pixel Fold

Google's first foldable sports two large displays on the outside and inside for getting work done on the go. It's powered by Tensor G2, the same chipset found in the Pixel 7 Pro, and sports one of the best cameras we've seen on a foldable to date.