Google Pixel Fold – Foldable Smartphone Full Spes & Review

After Google has already occupied the upper class with the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro and the middle class with the Pixel 7a, the US giant is venturing into a foldable smartphone for the first time: the Pixel Fold.

Google Pixel Fold
  • Announced Date: 2023, May 10
  • Weight: 283 g (9.98 oz)
  • OS: Android 13
  • Storage: 256GB 12GB RAM, 512GB 12GB RAM

Display Si & Re

7.6” 1840×2280 pixel

Camera & Video

548MP 1080p

RAM & Chip

12GB RAM Google Tensor G2 (5 nm)

Battery & Tech

4821mAh

Still, unlike Samsung, Huawei and Honor, the Pixel Fold differs in particular in the form factor, reminiscent of the Oppo Find N2.

Just in time for the market launch, Google has also better optimized Android for tablets and foldable, from which its own product benefits greatly. We took a closer look at the Pixel Fold.

Google Pixel Fold – Full Specifications

Network TechnologyGSM / CDMA / HSPA / EVDO / LTE / 5G
Announced Date2023, May 10
AvailabilityAvailable. Released 2023, June 27
Body
Dimension
Unfolded: 158.7 x 139.7 x 5.8 mm
Folded: 139.7 x 79.5 x 12.1 mm
Body Weight283 g (9.98 oz)
Body
Build
Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus) (folded), plastic front (unfolded), glass back (Gorilla Glass Victus), aluminum frame
Body
Sim Card
Nano-SIM and eSIM
IPX8 water resistant
Display TypeFoldable OLED, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1000 nits (HBM), 1450 nits (peak)
Display
Size
7.6 inches, 183.3 cm2 (~82.7% screen-to-body ratio)
Display Resolution1840 x 2208 pixels (~378 ppi density)
Cover display: OLED, 120Hz, HDR, 5.8 inches, 1080 x 2092 pixels, 17.4:9 ratio, 408 ppi, 1200 nits (HBM), 1550 nits (peak)
Display Protection Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
OSAndroid 13
Used ChipGoogle Tensor G2 (5 nm)
CPUOcta-core (2×2.85 GHz Cortex-X1 & 2×2.35 GHz Cortex-A78 & 4×1.80 GHz Cortex-A55)
GPUMali-G710 MP7
Memory
Card
Not Available
Internal
Storage
256GB 12GB RAM, 512GB 12GB RAM
UFS 3.1
Back
Camera
Triple
48 MP, f/1.7, 25mm (wide), 1/2″, 0.8µm,
10.8 MP, f/3.1, 112mm (telephoto), 1/3.1″, 1.22µm,
10.8 MP, f/2.2, 121˚, (ultrawide), 1/3″, 1.25µm
FeaturesDual-LED flash, HDR, panorama
Video Quality4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240fps, 10-bit HDR
Front
Camera
Single
8 MP, f/2.0, 24mm (wide), 1/4″, 1.12µm
Cover camera: 9.5 MP, f/2.2, 24mm (wide), 1.22µm, Dual Pixel PDAF
FeaturesHDR, panorama
Video Quality4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60fps
SoundLoudSpeaker with stereo speakers
JackNot Available
WIFIWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6e, tri-band, Wi-Fi Direct
Bluetooth5.2, A2DP, LE, aptX HD
PositioningGPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS
NFCYes Available
PortNot Available
RadioNot Available
USBUSB C-type 3.2, OTG
Features
Sensors
Fingerprint (side-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer | Ultra Wideband (UWB) support
BatteryLi-Po 4821 mAh
Battery removableNot removable
Battery ChargingWired, PD3.0
Wireless
Available ColorsPorcelain, Obsidian
Starting
Price
₹ 147,490.00
$ 1,799.00
£ 1,699.00

Google Pixel Fold – Distinctive fold and thick camera

Google Pixel Fold

In the comparison field, the Google Pixel Fold is about as thick as a Galaxy Z Fold5 or the Honor Magic Vs and has a height of 6.05 millimetres when opened, and it is 2.5 millimetres more with the camera. When folded, it is 12.1 or 13.6 millimetres thick. It is also quite heavy at 283 grams.

Form factor and workmanship, on the other hand, are convincing. The former in particular is a unique selling point on the European market. The Pixel Fold’s gaps are tight and fit perfectly, and it creaks and cracks audibly when you try to twist it carefully. The display-to-surface ratio could be better at 83 percent. The IPX8 certification identifies the Google foldable as a waterproof smartphone.

The stainless steel hinge leaves a very solid and high-quality impression, and the foldable display also appears stable, but its fold is very pronounced. This is also due to the fact that the Pixel Fold cannot be fully opened at a 180-degree angle, but ends at around 178 degrees.

Google Pixel Fold

The smartphone comes in two colors Obsidian and Porcelain.

Google Pixel Fold – Features

The Google Pixel Fold comes with USB 3.2 and UWB.

The Google Pixel Fold relies on a fast USB 3.2 port (Gen. 2), which does not support image output. The audio jack and an optional memory expansion via microSD.

In return, Google offers two storage variants: the smaller 256 GB model, which is also our test device, costs 1,899 euros (RRP) and the 512 GB variant costs 2,019 euros. The latter is also only available in black.

Google Pixel Fold

NFC, Bluetooth 5.2 and UWB are also on board.

Google Pixel Fold – Software-optimized apps for foldable

The Google Pixel Fold comes with Android 13 and should receive security updates for at least five years and three major upgrades, i.e. up to Android 16.

Apps and the system better optimized for use with large displays. In the settings, you can scroll through the menu on the left, while the respective content is displayed on the right. Some apps such as Weather or Gmail have also been optimized accordingly. It is also possible to run two apps side by side and move content between them using drag and drop. While this doesn’t apply to many apps, the number will increase in the future.

Software Google Pixel Fold

The security patches on the Pixel Fold are up to date at the time of testing and as of August 2023.

Google Pixel Fold – Communications and GNSS

The Google Pixel Fold masters all modern mobile phone standards with an exemplary frequency range. The smartphone even masters mmWave for 5G. Although this cannot yet be used within Europe, it is definitely future-proof. The reception performance is very good during the test in the big city and gives no cause for criticism. The transmission speeds are also on the expected level.

In the WLAN, the Pixel Fold supports the IEEE 802.11 standards a/b/g/n/ac/ax (Wi-Fi 6E) and can operate in the 2.4, 5.0 and 6.0 GHz frequency bands. This works perfectly in combination with our Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000 reference router because both the transfer rates and the transmission power are convincing.

Networking

Google Pixel Fold

Mali-G710 MP7, Tensor G2, 256GB UFS 3.1 Flash
iperf3 receive AXE11000920 (min: 888) Mbps ∼70%
iperf3 transmit AXE11000950 (min: 481) Mbps ∼65%
iperf3 transmit AXE11000 6GHz1714 (min: 856) Mbps ∼100%
iperf3 receive AXE11000 6GHz1684 (min: 1447) Mbps ∼100%

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5

Adreno 740, SD 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy, 256GB UFS 4.0 Flash
iperf3 receive AXE11000886 (min: 764) Mbps ∼67%
iperf3 transmit AXE11000924 (min: 456) Mbps ∼63%
iperf3 transmit AXE11000 6GHz1631 (min: 1075) Mbps ∼95%
iperf3 receive AXE11000 6GHz1601 (min: 1511) Mbps ∼95%

Huawei Mate X3

Adreno 730, SD 8+ Gen 1, 512GB UFS 3.1 Flash
iperf3 receive AXE11000928 (min: 851) Mbps ∼71%
iperf3 transmit AXE11000934 (min: 888) Mbps ∼64%

Honor Magic Vs

Adreno 730, SD 8+ Gen 1, 512GB UFS 3.1 Flash
iperf3 receive AXE110001315 (min: 1162) Mbps ∼100%
iperf3 transmit AXE110001467 (min: 1101) Mbps ∼100%

Xiaomi Mix Fold 2

Adreno 730, SD 8+ Gen 1, 256GB UFS 3.1 Flash
iperf3 receive AXE11000808 (min: 737) Mbps ∼61%
iperf3 transmit AXE11000915 (min: 858) Mbps ∼62%

Average of the smartphone class
iperf3 receive AXE11000631 (min: 34.8) Mbps ∼48%
iperf3 transmit AXE11000665 (min: 40.5) MBit/s ∼45%
iperf3 transmit AXE11000 6GHz1504 (min: 229) Mbps ∼88%
iperf3 receive AXE11000 6GHz1366 (min: 598) Mbps ∼81%

Google Pixel Fold – Telephone functions and voice quality

The Google Pixel Fold has a nano-SIM slot and can use an eSIM, which also enables dual-SIM operation. Anyone who uses this can individually assign a SIM to each stored phone number and can optionally be asked before each call which number should be used. A separate ringtone for the additional SIM cannot be defined. Likewise, the smartphone cannot automatically change the data connection. Dual SIM users will also miss the option of installing a messenger app in dual mode. Basic features like VoLTE and WiFi calling are supported.

The voice quality of the Pixel Fold is really good when held to the ear and reliably filters out most background noise. The foldable also delivers good acoustics in speaker mode and only echoes minimally.

Google Pixel Fold – Triple Cameras

The Pixel Fold has two front cameras. One is embedded in the front display, the other in the frame of the foldable panel. Both have a fixed focus. However, the one on the outside can record Ultra HD video at up to 60 FPS, while the one on the inside is limited to Full HD at 30 FPS. Selfies work quite well, especially with the look of the cover display. The bokeh produced in portrait mode is pleasing, but the transitions to the subject are a bit harsh. Better selfies can be taken with the main camera, using the front panel as a viewfinder.

The main sensor of the rear camera works with 48 MPix and uses pixel binning so that 12 MPix images are created. The pictures convince with a well-balanced color balance and a harmonious white balance. The sharpness is pleasantly pronounced in daylight, only the bokeh of the background looks a bit sticky and could be a bit softer. However, many things can still be adapted to your own wishes afterwards. When there is little light, the automatic mode quickly uses the night mode, which brightens up the subject, but also swallows a few details.

The ultra-wide angle only delivers average quality. The dynamics and the depth of field are good, but many details are lost and appear unclean. The periscope zoom provides 5x optical magnification and can digitally provide a maximum of 20x magnification. We like its performance quite well, as long as there is enough light. None of the lenses offers a special macro mode.

Videos can be recorded with all three lenses in Ultra HD at up to 60 fps. If you reduce the frame rate to 30 FPS, you can also record HDR videos with a color depth of 10 bits.

Google Pixel Fold – Accessories and Warranty

The Google Pixel Fold comes with a fairly slim scope of delivery: a USB-C cable, a SIM needle and an OTG adapter. That’s it already. A power adapter is not included, but it can be purchased from Google as an option. Alternatively, ones from third-party manufacturers can also be used.

Google also offers two protective cases as an option. One is made of transparent plastic, and the other is available in three colors. Special insurance cover cannot be purchased. The guarantee is 24 months.

Google Pixel Fold – Display OLEDs with up to 120 Hz

On the outside, Google uses a 5.8-inch OLED display with a resolution of 2092×1080 pixels and a refresh rate of up to 120 Hz. The smaller cover display can be much brighter than its foldable counterpart. It achieves 1,225 cd/m² in the centre of the image in a pure white display with an activated ambient light sensor; the panel achieves its peak brightness with an even distribution of bright and dark areas (APL18) with a very bright 1,559 cd/m². If you regulate the brightness manually, you have a maximum of 597 cd/m² available.

OLED Display

The main display inside measures 7.6 inches and has an aspect ratio of 6:5, has a higher resolution of 2,208 x 1,840 pixels and also works at up to 120 Hz. The brightness is lower and reaches an average of 997 cd/m² with the ambient light sensor activated. It climbs up to 1318 cd/m² in the APL18 measurement, and it still reaches 608 cd/m² in manual mode. Both displays support the HDR standards HLG, HDR10 and HDR10+.

However, when measuring the brightness, we noticed that the area around the ambient light sensor quickly overheats when there is a lot of light and the system then dims the panel significantly. In such a case, we could only measure up to 465 cd/m². This can certainly become a problem on already warm days. 

The typical OLED flickering can also be found on the Pixel Fold’s displays and works identically. We measured a fairly constant frequency of 120 Hz with the oscilloscope. Although this is not particularly high, very few people should have any complaints due to the very low degree of modulation and the even amplitude curve. However, this cannot be ruled out in the case of particularly sensitive people.

Google Pixel Fold – Performance (Tensor G2 with 12GB of memory)

Like the other current smartphones from Google, the Pixel Fold is powered by a Google Tensor G2 and can access 12 GB of LPDDR5 RAM in both storage variants.

Although the SoC is positioned in the upper class, it could not keep up with the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 last year. The gap to the current Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 has increased accordingly.

In the system benchmarks, however, it is noticeable that the Fold also lags behind its siblings with an identical SoC. On the one hand, this is due to the fact that the Pixel Fold has more pixels to process, but on the other hand, it is also due to the poorer cooling of the SoC, which we will examine in more detail in the temperature section.

Geekbench 6.1 | Antutu v9 | PCMark for Android | CrossMark | BaseMark OS II | UL Procyon AI Inference | AImark

Google Pixel Fold – Games (shakes and jerks)

Normal casual games are no problem for the Google Pixel Fold, but the situation is different with graphically demanding titles when they are played on a large display, which we took a closer look at with GameBench.

With PUGB Mobile, the gaming experience is really good thanks to the large panel. The HD setting runs very smoothly and there is an almost constant 40 FPS even in the highest detail level. However, fans of Genshin Impact, which is very demanding, will be disappointed because the game occasionally stutters even at the lowest detail level.

Google Pixel Fold – Battery Life (Wireless charging and PD3 support)

energy absorption

The power consumption of the Google Pixel Fold is inconspicuous and quite frugal for a foldable.

The charging speeds depend heavily on the power supply used and can therefore take a long time. Since the Google phone also supports PowerDelivery 3.0 (PD 3.0), we tried it with a suitable power adapter and it actually works quite quickly: A full charge then took 92 minutes. The battery was 25 percent charged after 14 minutes, 50 percent after 31 minutes, 80 percent after 56 minutes and 90 percent after 69 minutes.

Wireless charging is also supported, however, the Pixel Fold cannot wirelessly power other devices.

battery life

The battery life of the Google Pixel Fold is quite good in the test. It lasts for almost eleven hours even when constantly surfing the web with adjusted display brightness (150 cd/m²) on the large screen with activated smooth display and is therefore on a similar level as the Galaxy Z Fold4. Only the Magic Vs lasts noticeably longer in the comparison field.

Final Conclusion

The Google Pixel Fold stands out from the competition in particular due to its form factor, which is absolutely convincing in the test. The foldable smartphone is still not too thick and closes completely flush, but has to leave feathers in the B grade due to the mediocre display-to-surface ratio.

The Google smartphone doesn’t win any trophies in terms of performance either. There are only occasional stutters in normal system operation, but more often when playing games and even the competition from last year is much stronger.

With the Pixel Fold, Google succeeds in making a strong first foldable, which also reveals one or two weaknesses in the test.

The good camera is a positive and the Pixel Fold is also convincing in terms of battery life. The problem with the ambient light sensor is more serious: If we expose it to bright light in the test, it gets hot and dims the display. This can be a problem, especially in summer.

In terms of price, the Google foldable is on par with the Galaxy Z Fold5. If the form factor isn’t that important, then the Fold4 can also be an exciting alternative, as it’s already come down in price a lot. The Honor Magic Vs is also much cheaper.

Transparency

This test sample was loaned to the author by the manufacturer or a shop for test purposes. There was no influence of the lender on the test report, the manufacturer did not receive a version of the review before publication. There was no obligation to publish.

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