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I’ve used an iPhone for 14 years. The Pixel Fold made me want to stop

Google Pixel Fold in Obsidian laying flat on a planter.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

When Steve Jobs took the stage on January 9, 2007, to unveil the original iPhone, everyone was amazed at the little piece of technology he held in his hand. Then in June 2007, people could buy and get their hands on the very first iPhone — and the scope of the cell phone industry changed forever.

I personally didn’t get the original iPhone on launch day, believe it or not. Instead, I received it as a birthday present in 2008 (my very first Apple product), but my clumsy self eventually dropped it on cement four months later, and the screen shattered. But instead of getting it fixed, I figured I might as well just get the iPhone 3G since it was just a few weeks away from release.

So I did that. And then I got the iPhone 3GS the next year … and the iPhone 4 after that. Always on launch day. It began a tradition for me, and I just upgraded my iPhone every year. Not one year has gone by since then that I didn’t purchase a new iPhone.

Right now, I’m using an iPhone 14 Pro. I’m excited about the iPhone 15 in a few months. But ever since I started at Digital Trends, I’ve been checking out more Android phones, with the latest being the Google Pixel Fold.

While the Google Pixel Fold certainly is not perfect, I’ve actually been enjoying it so much that I’ve been preferring it over my iPhone whenever possible. Here’s a closer look at why that’s happening.

The iPhone design is getting boring

iPhone 14 Pro Max surrounded by flagship phones.
Prakhar Khanna/Digital Trends

Since I’ve been exploring more Android phones, one of the big things I’ve learned is that the iPhone design is getting stale and boring. The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro look pretty much the same as their predecessors, which also look like the models that came before them. The iPhone hasn’t had a big design change since the iPhone 12 three years ago, and the iPhone 15 doesn’t look like it’ll be much different.

Throughout its lifetime, the iPhone has gone through several design changes, and each big change lasted around three to four years. For example, the iPhone 3G and 3GS were identical, the iPhone 4 through iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 to iPhone 8, the iPhone X through 11 Pro, and now the iPhone 12 to iPhone 14 era — and likely the iPhone 15 too.

Yes, it’s normal for the design not to change for a few years, but at this point, I’m just getting bored of the same old glass slab. Besides changing the edges and curvatures of the frame, the iPhone has been pretty much the same, and honestly, since the iPhone 12, it’s been a recycled design harkening back to the iPhone 4/5 days. Of course, don’t forget about removing the Home button and then the notch, which eventually transitioned over to the Dynamic Island.

The big change with the iPhone 15 Pro is looking to be the mute/action button, and while I’m eager to check that out, I’m just getting a little bored with the overall design.

Foldables are new and exciting

Google Pixel Fold in Obsidian open on a light wooden table.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

While I tinkered around with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 a while back, the Google Pixel Fold is my first phablet foldable. In my review, I gave it an overall positive rating, and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying my time with it. The only problem I’ve had so far is an occasional faint pop/click sound when I unfold it, but I seem to be having better luck than some other people.

Don’t get me wrong — foldables aren’t entirely new. Samsung has been in the U.S. foldable market for four years now, and in China, there are options like the Honor Magic Vs and Huawei Mate X2, but the foldable market is still very much in its infancy. The Google Pixel Fold is Google’s first entry in the foldable world, and it’s a good, promising start.

Again, this is my first experience with a foldable (not flip) smartphone, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised. For me, the 5.8-inch cover display on the Pixel Fold makes it much more usable than the 6.2-inch tall and narrow cover display on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4. That’s because it looks and feels like a regular smartphone, just thicker. But I can still use it comfortably enough with one hand, the apps look normal, and the touch keyboard isn’t small and cramped. Oh, and I definitely like the fact that the Pixel Fold closes flat with no gap near the hinge, which is one of the things I don’t like about the Z Fold 4.

Google Pixel Fold in Obsidian inner display home screen.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

And though I’m the kind of person who prefers smaller phones, I’ve been liking the option to unfold into a small tablet if I feel like it. It’s been nice to be able to view my email in an optimized view with an always-accessible sidebar. Or if I need to refer to something while writing an email or message, it’s great having Chrome open alongside Outlook or Gmail, for example. And when I want to sit down with the news, I’ve been enjoying using the larger inner display to read, similar to opening up a book.

The Pixel Fold has some beautiful displays, too. Both the cover and inner displays are OLED with 120Hz refresh rates, and they’re absolutely gorgeous to look at. I’ve been hating how iPhones over-process my photos to the point where they look bad to me, and I’ve been having a lot better luck with how photos come out with the Pixel Fold. Though Google also uses a lot of AI and computational photography tricks with the Tensor G2 chip, Google seems to do it better than Apple.

I never saw myself as liking a foldable phone, but the Pixel Fold has changed my mind. I’ve learned that if a foldable phone is the right size, it’s actually fairly enjoyable to use.

Maybe Apple can make a foldable iPhone one day because having only a glass slab forever is a pretty boring future.

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Christine Romero-Chan
Christine Romero-Chan has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade. She graduated from California…
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