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If this Pixel Fold rumor is true, I might actually buy one

We are just a few weeks away from Google’s annual I/O event on May 10, where we expect to see a Google Pixel Fold announcement. And not only that, but it’s likely that preorders for Google’s long-awaited foldable may also begin that day.

Similar to other foldables, like Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4, the Google Pixel Fold won’t come cheap — with pricing rumored to be around $1,800. This is definitely not going to be a smartphone for everyone with that kind of price tag, but there is one thing would make me consider one: the overall compact size.

The return of the compact 5.8-inch display

Alleged dummy model of the Google Pixel Fold.

The problem with most smartphones these days is the fact that they’re too big. While a lot of people may like larger phones, they aren’t for everyone. I personally prefer smaller devices because they’re often more comfortable to hold for extended periods of time. Plus, I have smaller, petite hands, so one-handed use is almost impossible with most phones.

I previously wrote that even Apple made a mistake by ditching the 5.8-inch size of the iPhone X and iPhone XS and making 6.1-inch phones the new standard. As someone who has had one of every generation of iPhone, the 5.8-inch size was the last perfect middle-ground size for the iPhone. Though still a little big for my smaller hands, one-handed use was not impossible without insane hand-finger gymnastics, and it didn’t make my hands cramp up after a long period of use like the iPhone 14 Pro does now.

Oppo Find N2 and Galaxy Z Fold 4 with closed screens held in a person's hands.
Oppo Find N2 (left) and Galaxy Z Fold 4  Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The current mainstream foldable in the U.S. is, of course, Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4. Though I haven’t used this one yet myself, I know that it has an awkward size when it’s closed, due to being more narrow and taller than most other smartphones. As a female who already struggles with fitting phones into the sorry excuse they call “pockets” on most women’s clothing, I don’t think that a tall and narrow form factor is very compact. And for someone like me, one-handed use is pretty much impossible with such a lengthy device.

However, the rumors of the Google Pixel Fold have been quite appealing to me because of the size of the device. Supposedly, it will have something close to a 5.8-inch display on the outer cover, and it will be more like the Oppo Find N2 in terms of its form factor. Basically, think less narrow and tall, and more short and wide. Reports indicate that it will reveal a 7.69-inch inner display, which is almost like an iPad mini.

Of course, I know that even if the Pixel Fold has a 5.8-inch outer display, it would still be a thicker device because that’s the nature of foldables. But I think the thickness would still be easy to manage. I have a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 already, which is super-portable because of the flip style. I’d imagine a Pixel Fold would just be a little larger than that.

It’s not just about the size

Alleged dummy model of the Google Pixel Fold.

While the Google Pixel Fold sounds like it will be much more compact than the competition, that may not be enough to convince me to fork over $1,800. That’s a lot of money, so it’ll need to do more than just fit in the front pocket of my jeans to make me drop that kind of change.

One of the weak points of the Pixel devices has been battery life. Reports that have circulated seem to indicate promising battery life, with the possibility that the Pixel Fold could even “lead the way” for better battery life on foldables overall. Though no specifics have been mentioned, there have been hints that the Pixel Fold could surpass the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Oppo Find N2, coming in closer to, but still below 5,000mAh.

Leaked render of the Google Pixel Fold.

For $1,800, I also expect some very impressive camera tech. Rumors say that there may be a 64MP Sony IMX787 sensor for the main camera, a 10MP telephoto, and a 12MP ultrawide. The telephoto may be a downgrade from the 48MP telephoto on the Pixel 7 Pro, but this would be due to the foldable design — but maybe we’ll be surprised.

We’ll probably get Google’s Tensor G2 chip powering the Pixel Fold, and maybe 12GB RAM, with at least 256GB of storage. At this time, it could also be a toss-up between getting Android 13 or Android 14 when it launches. And whatever software version we end up getting, expect a few additional tweaks from Google to take as much advantage of the larger display as possible.

Like I said earlier, if the Google Pixel Fold is indeed going to have a shorter and wider form factor, then it’s already going to be better than the Galaxy Fold 4 for me. But having everything else would just be the icing on the cake.

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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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