Google Pixel Fold: Where to pre-order Google’s first folding phone

Samsung finally has some competition, but the Pixel Fold’s price may make you crease

Steve Hogarty
Thursday 11 May 2023 09:33 BST
Available in porcelain and obsidian colourways, the foldable starts at £1,749
Available in porcelain and obsidian colourways, the foldable starts at £1,749 (The Independent)

After months of speculation, Google’s first foldable phone has finally been revealed. The Pixel Fold is a 5.8in Android phone that unfolds into a 7.6in landscape display.

We’ve yet to see the Pixel Fold in person, but Google is promising a thin and durable “ultra-premium” foldable with a familiar Pixel design. Thinner than any other foldable available – in the US and UK, at least – the phone measures 5.8mm thin when unfolded.

The ultra-premium promise comes with an ultra-premium price tag. The Pixel Fold will cost £1,749 and is available to pre-order now ahead of a launch date later this month. That’s £100 more than its closest competitor, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, and makes it one of the most expensive phones available today.

The phone will be available in 256GB and 512GB models and in two colours: porcelain and obsidian.

Read more: Google Pixel watch reviewed

The new foldable will be powered by Google’s latest Tensor G2 processor, and will run on the new Android 14 operating system. Among other updates, the upcoming version of the OS has been specifically optimised to look and perform better on folding phones.

Google Pixel Fold: From £1,749,

  • Screen size: 5.8in and 7.6in
  • Screen type: 120Hz OLED
  • Resolution: 2,092 x 1,080px and 2,208 x 1,840px
  • Dimensions (folded): 139.7mm x 79.5mm x 12.1mm
  • Dimensions (unfolded): 139.7mm x 158.7mm x 5.8mm
  • Weight: 283g
  • Camera (rear): 48MP main, 10.8MP telephoto, 10.8MP ultrawide
  • Camera (front): 9.5MP
  • Camera (inner): 8MP
  • Storage: 256GB, 512GB
  • RAM: 12GB

Google is aiming to tackle a few major bugbears with the foldable form factor – namely app optimisation, the user experience on the cover screen, and battery life.

App support is a weak point for folding phones, for the simple fact most users are still viewing content on traditional, vertical screens. On foldables, apps can often look stretched or distorted to fit the oddly shaped display.

Google says it’s working with a bunch of the Play Store’s biggest app developers to try to remedy this – a claim most folding phone makers have made before release. In the case of the Galaxy Z Fold 4 – the most popular foldable in Western markets – Samsung managed to adapt most of its own apps to work nicely with the folding display, but third-party app support still lagged behind.


Like Samsung, Google has ensured its own suite of apps has been updated to take advantage of the foldable display. You’ll be able to use a multitasking mode to display two or more apps at once, for example, allowing you to do things such as drag and drop files from Google Drive into Gmail or Messages, or view attachments and collaborate on documents during video calls.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 review

Google’s strength here is that it’s one of the main stakeholders in the Android operating system, which should help to focus app developers around platform-wide style and UX guidelines. Android 13 already offered this kind of support to folding phone makers such as Oppo, Honor and Samsung, but now that Google has skin in the game, we can expect to see more robust support across the board.

Google claims the Pixel Fold’s battery can last more than 24 hours on a single charge, or up to 72 hours on ‘extreme battery saver’ mode.


Also mentioned was the durability of the stainless steel hinge. Folding phones – in particular, the early Samsung models – have been notorious for their breakable hinges and the flexible screen’s tendency for allowing dust particles to become lodged beneath the glass, damaging the display.

Presumably in a bid to calm fears about build quality around its first foldable, Google claims the Pixel Fold has “the most durable hinge out there”. It’s a claim that will take months of real-world testing to verify, but it at least shows Google is serious about not repeating competitors’ mistakes.

Another focus was on the usability of the outer screen. Google says the Pixel Fold has “a familiar design when folded”, which we take to mean it has a wide enough screen to still feel like a regular Pixel phone when closed. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold series has a noticeably narrow and tall outer screen, and feels chunky in the pocket. Folding phones such as the Honor Magic Vs, and others, have moved towards using wider outer displays that look more like regular phones.


The Pixel Fold will have a different set of cameras to the Pixel 7 Pro, opting for a smaller sensor on the 5x telephoto lens, which will be augmented by the software-driven super res zoom to allow for 20x zoom. The 48MP main camera can now be used as a high-resolution selfie camera, which is something you could always do just by flipping your phone around – the difference here is that you’ll be able to frame yourself using the outer display.

Read more: The best Android phones in 2023

You can also prop the phone half-open on a desk, which Google is calling “tabletop mode”, for making video calls or watching TV shows and movies without having to use a stand or prop up your phone.

Close the phone a little further and you can angle the main camera towards the sky (“tent mode”), which will be useful for fans of the Pixel’s astrophotography function, which usually requires a tripod or some careful balancing.


Google also demonstrated Google Translate running in a new live interpreter mode, which allows people to have a conversation in two different languages and have their words effectively appear as subtitles simultaneously on the front and back screens.

We’ll know more about how the Google Pixel Fold performs as well as how it compares with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 once we’ve had some time with the device. The Pixel Fold is available to pre-order now from Google’s official store.

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