The Google Pixel Fold is now official, though you won’t be able to buy it until next month, and it sounds as though the company is open to the idea of developing foldables in other form factors in the future as well.
This comes from Google Pixel product manager George Hwang speaking to Tom’s Guide at Google I/O 2023: in response to a question about flip foldables, Hwang said that the Pixel team is “definitely looking” at “different types of devices, different types of technologies”.
This is by no means a confirmation that Google is bringing out a Pixel Flip in the near future, something like the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 or the Motorola Razr 2022 – but Google certainly seems open to bringing out other foldables in the future.
Focus on the Fold
In the same interview, Hwang said that the team at Google was currently very much focused on making sure that the Pixel Fold is the best it can be – “from the design to the apps as well as the cameras” in his words.
That suggests that the classic foldable form factor is going to be the one that keeps Google busy for the foreseeable future. It’s by no means easy to get right, and it makes sense to try and perfect the Google Fold before moving on to the Google Flip.
Several manufacturers in our list of the best foldable phones make foldables in two different form factors – Samsung being the perfect example – and it means that those in the market for a new foldable have more than one type to choose from.
Analysis: setting foldable standards
Tom’s Guide previously published another article off the back of its interview with Google Pixel product manager George Hwang, and it gives us more context to the development and the launch of the Google Pixel Fold, unveiled on May 10.
“Our focus was on ensuring that we brought the best device all around,” says Hwang, producing a handset that would deliver the “greatest experience for a foldable phone to our users” – and that meant reworking the architecture of the device from scratch, redesigning components such as the cameras to suit.
Google is claiming that the Pixel Fold has the most durable hinge on a foldable yet, based on an extensive testing process. The outer display was designed to give the most phone-like experience possible too, so that users only have to open up the foldable when they need the full 7.6-inch display.
As for why Google is so far behind Samsung on foldables – with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 imminent – Hwang says it was a question of getting the right hardware, software, and apps in place and working together. From our first impressions, we’d say Google got the combination just about right.