Fast Charge: The latest Google Pixel Fold leak paints a disappointing picture

OPINION: This week notorious leaker Jon Prosser dumped a bunch of information about the hotly-anticipated Google Pixel Fold on Twitter including not only renders but key details about its announcement, release and most importantly, pricing. And reader, it’s not good news. 

I’m not talking about the hardware though. In fact, if renders and leaks are true, we could be seeing a genuine competitor to Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4

No, instead, I’m talking about the rumoured pricing, which is said to match that of Samsung’s book-style foldable at an eye-watering $1799. UK pricing wasn’t mentioned, but if Google is matching Samsung’s option, that could be around £1649 or even £1799 in Blighty. In my mind, that’s just too expensive.

Granted, foldables have been ultra-premium up until this point as companies plunge millions into research and development into the foldable form factor, and companies will no doubt want to recoup some of their losses. They also cost a lot to manufacture, with a much more intricate process than candy bar phones. 

Image credit: OnLeaks x Howtoisolve

However, we’ve now started to see the price of foldables slowly come down to something more akin to a (still premium) flagship smartphone. The Galaxy Z Flip 4, for example, comes in at £999/$999, a reduction of £400/$450 compared to the £1,399/$1,449 first-gen flip. That’s not even the cheapest foldable available in the UK market either; you can also get the £949 Motorola Razr and the £849 Oppo Find N2 Flip.

With prices of flip-style foldables coming down fast, it’s about time that the larger book-style foldables did too. I’m not talking about sub-£1000/$1000 – those inner displays are pretty big after all – but something similar to the top-end Galaxy S23 Ultra or iPhone 14 Pro Max would make it a slightly easier pill to swallow.

That’s especially true of Google, a company whose smartphones offer a premium experience at a more affordable price point than the competition. That’s just as true of the flagship £599/$599 Pixel 7 and £849/$899 Pixel 7 Pro as it is the £399/$399 Pixel 6a, which many regard as the phone to buy at that price point with solid camera performance and a flagship-tier chipset. 

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Why wouldn’t that ethos extend to the Google Pixel Fold? That’s arguably the phone that would need it most, with most of the competition including the aforementioned £1,649/$1,799 Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and £1799 Huawei Mate Xs 2 still comfortably out of range of the everyday consumer. 

Image credit: OnLeaks x Howtoisolve

That said, aside from the price, the Google Pixel Fold could be the book-style foldable to buy in 2023 if the onslaught of leaks and rumours are true. Key specs include a shorter, squatter outer display than the Z Fold 4, a 7.6-inch internal display with 120Hz refresh rate and improved display tech compared to the Z Fold 4 (and rumoured Z Fold 5), 24 hours of battery life and the possibility of a quad-camera setup too.

The best part? We might not have to wait that long until we see it unveiled, with Prosser pointing towards an announcement at Google I/O alongside the Google Pixel 7a, with release set for late June – a date also backed up by separate online sources. 

Would you buy the Pixel Fold at $1,799, or will you wait for the price of book-style foldables to come down a bit? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter

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