April 13, 2024


Google’s first-generation folding device was fine for the most part. The Pixel Fold had the Pixel’s fabled camera algorithms and Google smarts. For fans of digital books and magazines, its passport-like ratio worked better for the split-screen experience than Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4/5 since it offered more space on both sides.

But then the OnePlus Open hit the scene, and that upped the competition enough that Android users were no longer clamoring for the Pixel Fold. The OnePlus Open was better at multitasking on the two screens than the Pixel Fold, with virtually no crease. And even though it didn’t have the same camera smarts, it did offer a compelling up to 6x optical zoom.

Word is getting louder about what’s next for the Pixel Fold, just as the smartphone season is ramping up for the spring and summer releases. However, Google will not likely debut the Pixel Fold 2 at its developer conference this year since it might launch it later in the summer to better compete with Samsung’s offerings.

What will the Pixel Fold 2 look like?

A screenshot of the Onleaks render video

There has only been a smattering of rumors surrounding the Pixel Fold 2. Most agree that it will probably offer larger screens than its predecessor. The latest gossip comes from SmartPrix, which publishes convincing renders of upcoming devices. The renders themselves come via OnLeaks, a noted leaker in the zeitgeist.

The most recent renders suggest that the Pixel Fold 2 will come with two slightly extensive displays. The inner display could measure 7.9 inches compared to 7.6 inches on the first-gen Pixel Fold. The cover screen might also get a bump up to 6.4 inches, an increase from 5.8 inches. At the very least, the chassis is expected to be slimmer by about .4 millimeters.

If you look closely, you’ll also see a hole-punch camera on the inside display, unlike the Galaxy Z Fold it will compete with. The power and volume buttons will remain on the right side of the device.

The camera’s got back

The other curious part of these particular renders and earlier ones that surfaced suggests the backside of the Pixel Fold 2 might not resemble the rest of the Pixel family. Rumblings of an updated camera array coming to the foldable will stack the four lenses on top of one another, two by two. Two of those lenses include the primary camera and the ultra-wide camera. At the same time, the bottom two are a periscopic telephoto lens and perhaps an additional sensor for depth sensing and things of the sort. It’s unlikely Google would go “ultra” on the Pixel Fold 2 by bundling four cameras in one as Samsung does with its respective lineup. If any phone of Google’s offers that to compete, it would be the Pro variant of the latest Pixel release.

What’s inside the Pixel Fold 2?

We are still determining the exact specifications of the Pixel Fold 2. But we can surmise that because of the news that Google might skip a generation of its Tensor CPU, the Fold 2 is likely to launch later in the year to be at parity with the upcoming Pixel 9 series, which is expected to run the Tensor G4. The Pixel Fold 2 is also purported to have 16GB of RAM—matching it with the OnePlus Open—and up to 256GB of storage.

Expect the Pixel Fold 2 to arrive later this year

Last year’s Pixel Fold launch came at a relatively weird time: two months before Samsung updated to the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and three months before OnePlus followed up with the compelling OnePlus Open. This year, Google has to be more strategic about its release of the Pixel Fold 2 to maintain its influence among the Android masses, which is why there’s so much chatter about its late arrival. Either way, the year ahead looks interesting for fans of foldables. It will be the first year we can expect at least three significant competitors in the ring, represented by their respective foldable book phones.

A version of this article was originally published on Gizmodo.





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