Google LLC has finally confirmed long-running rumors that it will introduce its first foldable smartphone. Today, the company unveiled its upcoming Pixel Fold device, which will be launched at next week’s Google I/O 2023 event.
For now, the company is offering a brief teaser of what we can expect, posting a video that shows what looks to be a regular Pixel phone that suddenly opens up, in the same way as Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.’s Galaxy Z Fold devices do. The camera on the back of the device seems similar to what we have with other Pixel phones, but it doesn’t stick out quite so prominently.
Google didn’t announce any specifications for the device, but previous leaks have hinted at the Pixel Fold being a 5.8-inch smartphone that opens up into a 7.6-inch tablet. It’s said to be powered by the Google Tensor G2 processor, and boast what reports say is “the most durable hinge on a foldable.” Pricing is rumored to be around $1,700, in line with the price tag of Samsung’s Z Fold 4, which costs $1,799.
Reports that Google has been planning a foldable device have persisted for some time. The company has notably been working closely with Samsung to customize the Android operating system to fit foldable form factors better. At the same time, Google has spent a lot of effort on coaching Android developers to make their applications work as intended on foldable devices.
The upcoming Samsung Galaxy Fold 5 will no doubt be the Pixel Fold’s biggest competitor. According to various leaks, the Galaxy Fold 5 should fix a lot of the issues that continue to trouble Fold 4 users, with a gapless and creaseless fold design and a slimmer bezel to look forward to.
Although the Pixel Fold’s form factor is similar to the Galaxy Z Fold in that it opens up as a kind of book, its dimensions are not quite the same. The front cover display of the Galaxy Z Fold has been criticized for being too tall and slim by many users. The Pixel Fold will have more traditional smartphone dimensions when it’s folded up, akin to the display of something like the iPhone 13 mini. As to which design consumers prefer, that remains to be seen.
Google is not saying anything else for now. However, it has created an official Pixel Fold page on the Google Play Store that invites anyone who’s interested to sign up for more information once the Pixel Fold is officially launched on May 10.
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