Google Pixel Fold Hands-On Review – We Unfold It and Learn a Few Things

It’s finally here. Google’s first foldable phone, the Pixel Fold, has been officially announced at Google I/O 2023. Starting with the build, the Pixel Fold has a more squared look than a tall, rectangular look. The external/front FHD+ OLED display is large at 5.8 inches with up to 120Hz rate and made with Gorilla Glass Victus. The internal OLED display is 7.6-inch with a 6:5 aspect ratio (not tall but more squared). The wide external display seems easier to use but might get heavy afterward.

I am excited to see a foldable phone with Pixel-quality cameras. The camera on the external display is 9.5 megapixels. The internal camera is 8-megapixel. As expected, the rear camera is powerful at 48 megapixels with OIS. There’s a 10.8-megapixel ultrawide camera alongside a 10.8-megapixel telephoto camera. I love the Pixel camera, so seeing it come to the Fold form factor is nice.

Pixel Fold Hands On

The things we want to know about a foldable phone can’t be figured out with just some hands-on time. We opened it and closed it a few times to get the feel of the hinge and how flat it opened. Coming in late to the foldable smartphone game, Google took some notes and made a solid build. It doesn’t feel too bulky for a foldable. It opens almost completely flat. You can flatten it out with a little push on the corners. When folded, it folds flat, no tear drop at the crease.

Using the cover display to type is comfortable since it’s so wide. Typing on a foldable device when it’s open is a bit awkward and not ideal when on the move. So that wide cover display works out pretty well.

You can do all the things you can expect on a foldable device. You can run side-by-side apps and use the screen as a viewfinder for the camera. The OLED screens are nice to watch content on, and it didn’t seem heavy for the short time we used the phones. After it learns my usage, I’d love to see how well the battery life runs on the Fold. Google says it can go up to 24 hours, and I feel I can push those limits with my daily use.

Google is working with developers to optimize the apps for Fold, when both open and in table-top mode. I don’t mind the large bezels since they will allow me to securely hold the phone without worrying about mistakenly pressing on the screen.

Google’s silicon case for the Pixel Fold seems nice, but I’m not sure how much shock protection it can provide. When using the case, it makes the camera bump disappear, which is nice.

The Pixel Fold is available in two colors; Obsidian and Porcelain. Pricing is confirmed at $1799. That’s a lot of trust for a first-gen foldable. But if you’re a fan of how the G2 Tensor suns on the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro and like how Google’s cameras work, this may be a great device if you don’t want to carry both a phone and a tablet.

We took a couple of pictures on the Pixel Fold with its rear cameras, and they turned out great. It gives instruction on using the viewfinder to help use the rear cameras as selfie cameras.It’s hard for the pics to come out badly since we were outdoors with plenty of light.