Last year’s Pixel Fold was one of Google’s standout releases. How is it planning to improve its first foldable and support its Android partners?
While the Pixel Fold was not a commercial success, it clearly illustrated Google’s commitment to foldable devices with Android (just as the Pixel Tablet has done the same for the large-screen devices market).
Neither was the Pixel Fold a hit out of the park with the critics, while the design was well-received around the heavy weight of the device, as well as the display and overall durability. And even with the expensive expectations around foldable, the Pixel Fold’s $1800 was seen as a steep ticket price.
For many, the first generation of the Pixel Fold was a well-deserved yet cautious thumbs up while waiting to see what the second iteration of the book-like foldable would deliver.
We’re starting to get some signs of the next Fold thanks to leaked images of the Pixel Fold 2 during its design process.
The leak shows an Engineering Validation Test unit—put together by a potential production line in very limited numbers to work through any design or manufacturing issues. As such, it’s not necessarily close to the final product, but it does offer the broad strokes of the Pixel Fold 2 role… that of supporting actor to the latest crop of foldable devices.
One of the EVT unit’s standout features is the outside display change. Rather than the almost square 17.4:9 ratio on the original Fold, the Pixel Fold 2 is expected to use a narrower aspect ratio. This will make it closer to a regular phone screen and allow end users a more natural Android experience.
It’s an approach that other foldable manufacturers are taking, albeit in the opposite direction, thanks to the first few foldable devices sporting incredibly tall and narrow outside cover screens that were, in their own way, just as awkward with the Android UI as the Pixel Fold.
The report also notes a change to the Pixel Fold’s camera bar. Google has worked to make the camera island an iconic design feature on its smartphones and brought it to the first Fold. The Fold 2 EVT is moving towards an isolated camera island, although a change to the shell would be easier to implement than replacing the display… although as an EVT model, all of these are possible if the desire is there.
What is clear is that Google is continuing its support of foldable hardware both within the Android software stack, and visibly with the support of Pixel hardware.
Now read my intial review of the Pixel Fold from the summer of 2023…