Pixel Fold Hands-On: A First Look at Google's First Foldable
Speaker 1: It's finally here after tons of rumors and leaks. Google has finally announced the pixel fold, but you'll have to pay a pretty penny if you're interested in buying it. It starts at $1,800, which is actually the same price that Samsung charges for the Galaxy Z fold for without a trade-in discount. I've only had a few minutes with [00:00:30] the pixel fold, but so far it seems like Google is off to a really promising start when it comes to foldable phones. Now let's take a look.
Speaker 1: The pixel fold has a 5.8 inch cover screen and a 7.6 inch interior screen. It runs on Google's tensor G2 processor, just like the Pixel seven and Pixel seven Pro. There are also three cameras on the back, ultra wide camera, a wide camera, and a telephoto [00:01:00] lens. But what really stood out to me so far in the first few minutes with the phone was its design. It has a much wider cover screen compared to the Galaxy Z fold four, which in my opinion will probably make it easier to use as a regular phone when it's closed. It feels much more natural to use the cover screen to interact with apps, browse websites, and do all sorts of things that we normally use our phones for. And again, I'll have to spend more time with it before I really know for sure. But so far, I really like [00:01:30] this wider design compared to the Galaxy Z fold.
Speaker 1: Fours more slim cover screen. And then when you open up the phone, you get this nice big tablet size screen on the inside. It actually reminds me more of using a tablet in landscape mode, and the aspect ratio is a little bit different than what you can expect to get on the Galaxy Z fold. My only complaint so far with the inner screen is that the bezzles are fairly noticeable. Samsung does a better job of kind of blending them into the background, but again, I'll have [00:02:00] to spend more time with it before I really know how big of a deal this is. And yes, you can see the crease. It's not super noticeable, but you can definitely tell that it's there when the phone is closed. What I really like about it is that there's no gap. The phone closes completely with no space, which really is another way that Google is distinguishing its phone from Samsung's foldable phone.
Speaker 1: As you can see, the Galaxy Z fold four does have a little bit of a gap. It doesn't quite close completely like the pixel folds does [00:02:30] all that aside, software is one of the most important things when it comes to foldable phones. After all, what use is that giant screen If you don't have good software, that really takes advantage of it. So far, what we've seen with the pixel fold is some fairly basic multitasking features that we've seen on other foldables, such as the ability to view apps and split screen mode. And yes, Google has its own version of Samsung's flex mode, which it calls tabletop mode. So this essentially you [00:03:00] split apps between the top and bottom portions of the screen when it's folded halfway. Again, all of these things are pretty useful and I think they'll make the pixel fold a pretty useful productivity device, but there's nothing really here that sets it apart just yet.
Speaker 1: However, there is one unique thing so far that Google is doing with Foldables that I think could set it apart from Samsung and some other competitors. It seems like Google is coming up with interesting ways to have the outer screen and the inner screen [00:03:30] work together. For example, when you're in the camera app, you can actually switch the screens so that when you're taking a selfie, you can use the cover screen as a view finder while you use the rear cameras as your camera when you're taking a selfie. And this is interesting because the rear cameras have a higher resolution than the selfie cameras. So if you're trying to get a good photo, you'll more often than not want to use the rear cameras. But again, that can be challenging because you can't see yourself usually when you're using the rear cameras. [00:04:00] So having that extra screen that can act as a view finder could be really useful.
Speaker 1: Another thing that I really loved, and unfortunately we didn't get to film this, but I did get to see it in a demo, is the way Google is thinking about this when it comes to translation. So in one demo that I saw, hold up the phone and have the cover screen face outwards to someone who was speaking a different language so that that person could see one side of the conversation while you were seeing the other. And I thought that was really interesting because again, it [00:04:30] kind of shows how Google is thinking differently about how to put those two different screens to use. Overall, I'm really impressed with the pixel fold so far, but of course, I'll have to spend a lot more time with it before I truly know how good it is and how well it stacks up to Samsung's Galaxy Z fold for. But most importantly, I'm curious to see whether it's worth that $1,800. [00:05:00] Stay tuned for a full review and don't forget to follow CNET for more coverage of Google and foldable phones. Thanks for watching and I'll see you next time.