We were a bit late in getting our Google Pixel Fold review unit, which happens, but this allows me to be able to actually talk about my experience while I’m working on reviewing it. Whereas those that got it earlier, were under embargo and could not.
As of writing this, I’ve had the Google Pixel Fold for about 24 hours (give or take a couple of hours) and I absolutely love this phone.
Pixel has always been my go-to phone, since basically the Pixel 2 XL. So it’s not a big surprise that I really like this phone, but foldables, have not been my cup of tea so far. However, the Pixel Fold might be the foldable to buy.
Pixel Fold fixes two of my biggest complaints with the Galaxy Z Fold 4
While the Motorola Razr+ fixed my complaints with the Galaxy Z Flip 4, the Pixel Fold fixes two of my biggest complaints with the Galaxy Z Fold 4. My two big problems were the displays. The external display is tall and skinny. It’s easy to type with one hand, but apps are so cramped in that space. On the main display, it’s almost a square. With a resolution ox 1812 x 2176, it’s not quite 1:1 but pretty close. Which means that if you use two apps side-by-side, they are going to be tall and skinny, like on the cover display. And then if you use a single app, most apps are going to be stretched out because it’s not a phone-sized display and more like a tablet display.
That’s why I never really used the Galaxy Z Fold for much longer than my review period. Now, the Pixel Fold does fix that. On the Pixel Fold, the front display is wider. We’re talking about a 17.4:9 aspect ratio display, which is actually pretty odd for a smartphone, to begin with. And I wasn’t sure how I’d like that wider display, but it’s actually really good.
The wider front display also means that the internal display is wider. And that fixes, for the most part, my other problem with the Galaxy Z Fold 4. You can use two apps side-by-side in split screen on the Pixel Fold, and have a similar experience to what you’d get on a regular candy-bar phone. Now, it is still fairly close to a square, coming in with a 6:5 aspect ratio. Which makes multiple apps great to use at the same time on the Pixel Fold.
I rarely open the Pixel Fold
Because the Pixel Fold’s main display is slightly wider than most smartphones at 17.4:9, I find myself rarely actually opening the phone to do anything. Basically, I use it closed most of the time, and then open it when I need more space. Say for instance, I’m searching for something on Google Maps, I’ll then open up the Pixel Fold and use that full 7.6-inch display for Google Maps. Or when I want to use two apps at the same time.
For the usual Twitter browsing, Instagram stalking, and watching TikTok’s, you really don’t need to use the main display. As the cover display works really well for all of that.
Now, that does mean that battery life isn’t going to be comparable to the Galaxy Z Fold 4 (and soon 5), since you need to open it to really use it for most things. The Pixel Fold, it’s the opposite. So it’s powering that front display more than the main display.
However, it’s still too early to talk about battery life, since I have had this for only 24 hours. And the Pixel Fold is still learning how I use the phone (and so am I!). But so far it actually looks pretty decent and similar to the Galaxy Z Fold 4 from last year.
Possibly the best camera on a foldable?
One of the areas that an OEM is able to stand out from the many competitors, is with the camera. Now while Google did follow every other OEM’s footsteps in putting lesser cameras in the Pixel Fold, it does still have the Pixel Computational Photography behind it. I’ve taken a few photos with the Pixel Fold so far, and well it’s basically what I expected from a Pixel phone. It’s not quite on the level of the Pixel 7 Pro, but a bit better than the Pixel 7a.
Of course, we’ll have way more in our full review in about a week or so. Make sure you stay tuned for that.
Lighter but also heavier
The Pixel Fold is technically heavier than the Galaxy Z Fold 4, but it feels lighter. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 weighs in at about 263g, while the Pixel Fold comes in at 283g. That’s roughly 8% heavier than Samsung’s competitor, but somehow the Pixel Fold feels lighter.
The only way I can explain this is because the Galaxy Z Fold 4 has that big and thick hinge. So the weight isn’t as spread out as the Pixel Fold’s weight is. The Pixel Fold is larger, so it makes sense that it is heavier. But the real thing here is that the Pixel Fold isn’t a nuissance to have in your pocket versus the Galaxy Z Fold 4.
I keep comparing to the Galaxy Z Fold 4, because that’s the only other book-style foldable that I’ve used. The options from OPPO, Huawei, Honor and others never came to the US, so I never spent time with them.
Full Review coming soon
It’s too soon to answer a lot of questions about the Pixel Fold, nor write a full review yet. That will come in due time. Likely end of next week. So if you’re interested in hearing more about the Pixel Fold, be sure to stay tuned.