The Google Pixel Fold has been rumoured for the past few years, but it seems like the wait could soon be over, with many leakers pointing towards a reveal at Google I/O in May with release in June.
We also know quite a lot about Google’s long-rumoured foldable, from its general design to specifics about its chipset, cameras and even battery life. We also know how much it might cost, though it’ll be a shock to those hoping for a budget-friendly book-style foldable.
With all that said, here’s everything there is to know about the Google Pixel Fold right now, from release date and pricing rumours to the latest hardware leaks.
When will the Google Pixel Fold be announced and released?
When it comes to release, it’s safe to say that the Google Pixel Fold has been a little all over the place. The foldable was initially rumoured to make an appearance sometime in 2021 before a delay to 2022. Then, in 2022, we heard that it had been pushed back to 2023.
Thankfully, it seems that Google has finally ironed out the kinks with the big-screen foldable, with rumours now suggesting that we could be just weeks away from the big reveal.
Initial rumours fueled by WinFuture’s reliable Roland Quandt pointed towards a possible June 2023 launch alongside the new budget-friendly Google Pixel 7a. That was further backed up by a CNBC report, also claiming that the phone will be released in June 2023.
That’s pretty close, but newer rumours claim the initial reveal could even closer.
Google Pixel Fold Announcement: May 10Pre-order from Google Store: May 10Pre-order from partners / carriers: May 30Available: June 27 pic.twitter.com/11zMixDdYy— jon prosser (@jon_prosser) April 17, 2023
Per Jon Prosser, another notable leaker in the smartphone space, Google is set to reveal the Pixel Fold at Google I/O on 10 May 2023 alongside the Pixel 7a. But while Prosser claims that the Pixel 7a will be available to purchase right after the show, you’ll apparently only be able to pre-order the Pixel Fold, with an eventual release scheduled for 27 June 2023.
Of course, it’s worth taking with a pinch of salt, but with the multiple leakers aligning on a June 2023 release, it’s likely we’ll be seeing the Pixel Fold very soon.
How much will the Google Pixel Fold cost?
The attractive pricing of the budget-friendly Pixel 6a and even the flagship Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro might lead you to believe that Google wants to undercut the foldable competition with a flagship product that’s a little bit more wallet-friendly than other options available.
But, if current rumours are to be believed, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
In fact, the Google Pixel Fold could cost just as much as Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4 at $1,799 in the US at release in late June if recent rumblings from Jon Prosser are to be believed.
The leaker didn’t mention much in the way of UK pricing, but if Google wants to match Samsung’s big-screen tablet it’ll likely come in at around £1,649.
In a world where flip-style foldables are now available for less than £1000/$1000, it would’ve been nice for Google to follow suit with its big-screen foldable, but it obviously seems to think it can justify such a high price tag with the foldable experience on offer. It’ll be interesting to see how Google frames that at the launch event, whenever that might be.
What to expect from the Google Pixel Fold
Design leaks and renders
At this point, it’s safe to say that we’ve got a very good idea about what the Pixel Fold will look like – essentially a thicker Pixel 7 Pro. That’s because we’ve seen not only leaked renders but real-world images of the rumoured foldable, leaving very little unknown about its general design at this point.
In essence, it’ll look like a Pixel 7 Pro, though with a slight tweak to its camera bar design on the rear. The book-style foldable can then be opened to reveal a larger internal display akin to the Galaxy Z Fold 4, though with a shorter and wider external display than Samsung’s option. It looks more like the Oppo Find N2 or the Honor Magic Vs if renders are correct.
That’s backed up by renders created by the spookily-accurate OnLeaks in collaboration with Howtoisolve, giving us a good idea of what to expect.
Source: OnLeaks x Howtoisolve
Separately, a plastic dummy of the Pixel Fold was later revealed by YouTuber Dave2D, giving us an idea of how the phone will look in hand, albeit without working features.
If that’s not enough, a Reddit user claims to have seen someone using the Pixel Fold on the New York subway. While the images shared on the platform aren’t quite what we’d call conclusive, simply showing someone clasping a phone, though it does look like they’re purposely trying to hide the phone they’re using.
The user claims that the phone has a block-shaped camera module similar to that of the earlier renders and other phones in the Pixel collection.
More specifically, CNBC claims that the Pixel Fold will be rather weighty at an alleged 283g, making it chunkier than even the 263 Galaxy Z Fold 4. The main reason? It’s said to be down to a reinforced hinge mechanism, which should give prospective buyers added peace of mind. Let’s hope it also decreases the visibility of the inner display crease!
It’s also said to measure in at 158.7 x 139.7 x 5.7mm when unfolded or 8.3mm when folded if you include the protruding metal camera bar. It’s also said to be available in either black or silver.
Developer Kuba Wojciechowski claims that the inner display of the Pixel Fold will measure in at 7.6 inches and sport a decent 2208 x 1840 resolution. The leaker also suggests the possibility of a 120Hz refresh rate, but he isn’t certain about it right now.
Elsewhere, the leaker claims that the display will be able to hit 1200 nits of peak brightness with an average of 800 nits, which sounds a little low compared to 2023 flagships like the Xiaomi 13 Ultra’s peak brightness of 2600 nits, but it should still be usable in bright daylight – hopefully, anyway.
Interestingly, the Pixel Fold is said to make use of Samsung’s latest M13 foldable display despite Samsung keeping its own next-gen Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5 on the slightly older M12 display tech.
Tensor G2 chipset
For the past few years, Google has preferred to use its own in-house designed Tensor chipset not only for its flagship line, but the budget-friendly A-series too. With that in mind, it’s almost a certainty that the Pixel Fold will also sport a Tensor chip – likely the Tensor G2 used in the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro.
As we noted in our reviews of the phones, the performance isn’t quite enough to beat even the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, let alone the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 found in 2023 flagships, but it’s still plenty powerful, especially when it comes to AI processing.
That has seemingly been backed up by recent benchmark leaks, detailing the Pixel Fold running a chipset with eight cores and a clock speed ranging from 1.8GHz to 2.8GHz. If that sounds familiar, it should; it’s the same setup as the Tensor G2 chipset.
That’s allegedly paired with a Mali G78 GPU and a pretty decent 12GB of RAM. A score of 3257 in Geekbench 5’s multi-core benchmark is pretty decent if true, narrowly beating the 3203 of the Pixel 7 Pro, but it’s far behind the 4527 of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and 5136 of the Xiaomi 13 Pro.
If there’s one thing Pixel phones are known for, it’s the exceptional camera quality. There’s a reason why many call the Pixel 7 Pro the best phone for photography, and as such, expectations for the Pixel Fold are very high.
There are plenty of rumours about the camera offering of the upcoming foldable, but it seems leakers can’t quite agree with one another about how exactly it’ll be specced.
Take Jon Prosser’s Front Page Tech, for example. A report from the site claims that the Pixel Fold will sport the same 9.5MP cameras on both the outer and inner displays, while the rear camera offering could closely match that of the Pixel 7 Pro with a 50MP main lens, 12MP ultrawide and 48MP telephoto camera.
That sounds tantalising – especially for a foldable – but don’t get too excited just yet.
You see, a slightly older rumour claims that the foldable will sport slightly lower-res 8MP selfie cameras on the external and internal displays, with a single 12MP camera on the rear. Considering competing foldables like the Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Huawei Mate Xs 2 all sport a multi-camera setup, this seems like an odd move. That’s especially true when rumours suggest the foldable will be just as expensive as Samsung’s foldable, so there shouldn’t be any need to drop cameras to make the price more competitive.
A third source is a little more exciting. Developer and leaker Kua Wojciechowski tweeted about the hardware we’re likely going to see on the Pixel Fold, including a 50MP main camera, two unnamed 12MP sensors and an additional 8MP lens.
Lastly, “P7” – an unknown foldable, likely codename “Pipit” or “Passport”:While the exact positional setup is unknown, there is a list of sensors: Standard GN1 for main sensor, IMX363, IMX386 (Pixel 6’s UW) – listed as “FOLDED” and IMX355 (Pixel 6’s front).— Kuba Wojciechowski :3 (@Za_Raczke) July 25, 2022
That all said, Front Page Tech and Wojciechowski’s claims sound more likely than the use of a single 12MP lens, even if Google used to prefer fewer lenses on its phones pre-Pixel 6 Pro. It is very much a flagship device, after all.
Separately, a snippet of code from the Android 14 developer preview seems to point towards the addition of Face Unlock on the Pixel Fold – though only the external camera. It seems that the interior camera won’t have the dual pixel tech needed for secure facial recognition.
The newly released Developer Preview 2 of Android 14 seems to suggest an interesting thing: the upcoming Pixel foldable might support face unlock but only on the outside screen pic.twitter.com/4vIFyr8HpD— Kuba Wojciechowski :3 (@Za_Raczke) March 8, 2023
All-day battery life
While there’s not much in terms of specific numbers, CNBC has seen “internal documents and images” that suggest the Pixel Fold will have a larger battery than the 4,400mAh cell found within the competing Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4.
It could match the Oppo Find N2’s 4,520mAh cell or even 5,000mAh, further bringing the foldable closer to typical flagship smartphone specs.
That should hopefully translate to improved battery life, especially when using that large internal display, but it’ll also depend on elements like chipset power efficiency. Those leaked documents point towards 24 hours of use on a single charge or 72 hours in low-power mode, but we’ll see how that translates in real-world use.