The rumored Pixel Fold will be Google’s first attempt at entering the foldable smartphone market, going head-to-head with well-established foldable giants like the Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold. While all eyes are on Google’s next flagship phone, the Pixel 6, a number of leaks indicate the first foldable Pixel will have plenty to show off, too.
Google’s main competition will no doubt be from Samsung with the Galaxy Fold 3’s expected launch date just over the horizon. Keep in mind, however, that we wouldn’t be getting a Pixel Fold (or any of its leaks) without Samsung Display developing a major component of the phone.
Foldable phones may be in a tragic state at the moment, but the Pixel Fold — along with all other upcoming foldables from Samsung — aims to shift the dynamic and bring about the era of foldable smartphones. Samsung may have laid the foundation in 2019, but Google could bring folding phones to the mainstream. The Pixel Fold, or whatever it may be called, has yet to be officially announced, but we already know a thing or two about its price, release date, design, and more.
Google Pixel Fold release date
With this being Google’s first Pixel phone with an entirely different form factor, it’s difficult to pinpoint when the Pixel Fold will be revealed. That said, a report from The Elec from earlier this year suggested the Fold will arrive by the end of 2021 or early 2022.
As we get closer to the end of the year, however, more recent reports are leaning away from a 2022 launch date. Samsung Display will reportedly start production of its foldable OLED panels this October, while display industry insider Ross Young leaked that the Pixel Fold will be among the 2021 foldable launches. This means the Fold could coincide with the launch of the Pixel 6.
Google’s next flagship is rumored to be launching sometime around October this year, seeing as the Pixel 4 was released on October 24, 2019, while the Pixel 5 was made available on October 15, 2020. This means the Pixel Fold may be introduced alongside the tech giant’s next mainline Pixel phone, or somewhere around that time.
Google Pixel Fold price
Not much is known about how much the Pixel Fold will set customers back, but if previous Pixel phones are anything to go by, Google may be offering a more affordable alternative to the $1,799 price point of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2.
After the success of the Pixel 4a and Pixel 4a 5G priced from just $499, along with the Pixel 5’s price drop to $699, Google hit the mark for mid-tier smartphones bringing flagship capabilities. What’s more, Google CEO Sundar Pichai stated that Google has “definitely shown that Pixel 4a, Pixel 5 are a clear value proposition. We’ll build on that.”
In order to beat any potential competition from other foldables hitting the market in 2021, Google will likely need to stick with its plan to keep costs down with its Pixel phone lineup. While it definitely won’t be as low as the Pixel 4a 5G, we could see the Fold being slightly pricier than the expected retail price for the Pixel 6: around $799 to $999 range. Could the Pixel Fold be a sub-$1,000 foldable smartphone? We’ll keep our fingers crossed.
Google Pixel Fold design
So far, the Pixel Fold has yet to reveal itself. While there have been no sneak peeks of its form factor or how it may look, designer Waqar Khan created design renders based on the leaks that have surfaced.
According to reports from The Elec, the Pixel Fold is expected to have a 7.6-inch in-folding display panel, with a form factor along the lines of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold. It is expected to boast a display on the front along with an inner folding display.
The renders show off a near-exact design to the Pixel 5, although with an extra foldable screen. We were fans of the look and feel of the Pixel 5, with its compact footprint and thin, curved edges. We’d be happy to see the Pixel Fold take some design cues, especially if the Fold doubles its width. This will be Google’s first whack at a foldable, so its design may come with a few issues — though we hope the tech giant took lessons from Samsung’s early attempts.
Google Pixel Fold display
The majority of Pixel Fold rumors had a focus on its display, and it’s looking to impress. According to display panel insider Ross Young, all foldables set to arrive in 2021 with panels from Samsung Display will be equipped with a 120Hz LTPO display — which is something we’re more than excited to hear. This includes the Pixel Fold, along with Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy Z Fold 3.
Thanks to Samsung Display, the Pixel Fold is expected to have a 7.6-inch in-folding display panel. This makes it smaller than other displays Samsung Display is apparently developing. Reports indicate Vivo’s model will have an 8-inch main screen and a 6.5-inch outer screen, while Xiaomi’s foldable may also be equipped with an 8-inch panel size, along with a 6.4-inch outer screen.
Google Pixel Fold performance
Foldables are known to be equipped with high-end specs. Seeing as Qualcomm unveiled its Snapdragon 888 Plus 5G for flagship smartphones launching toward the end of 2021, we have our suspicions Google will pack its Pixel Fold with the chip maker’s latest chip.
According to Qualcomm, the new smartphone chip’s 6th generation Qualcomm AI Engine will offer a 20% improvement over the last chip, with up to 32 trillion operations per second (TOPS) AI performance, and 5G download speeds up to 7.5 Gbps. This is quite the improvement from a flagship chip that came out in December. All that being said, Qualcomm didn’t mention Google being part of the brands that will use the upgraded chip.
There are another few rumors circulating about Google making its own chip for Pixel devices, codenamed “Whitechapel.” The rumored ARM-based chip is reportedly being designed in partnership with Samsung (just like Google is doing with its foldable display), and it will fall somewhere between the Snapdragon 888 and Snapdragon 865. What’s more, notable leaker Yogesh claims that Whitechapel is a 5-nanometer chip similar to the Snapdragon 870, but with enhanced machine learning and AI capabilities.
While the new chip is tipped to be used in the Pixel 6, if the Pixel Fold launches alongside Google’s next flagship smartphone, there’s reason to believe both phones will boast the same chip, or at least something similar.
There’s still a lot to learn about Google’s first foldable phone, but there’s more than enough reason to think a Pixel Fold is on its way, and soon. With a 7.6-inch 120Hz LTPO in-folding display panel apparently in the works, and the potential for Google to offer an affordable foldable opposed to Samsung’s pricey Galaxy Z Fold, the Pixel Fold could easily kick off the year of the foldables if it arrives later in 2021.
While we wait for the potential October release date, check out everything we know about Google’s other rumored smartphone, the Pixel 6. If you’re interested in what Samsung is bringing to the table, here’s what we know about the rumored Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3.