The market for foldable in North America is, to put it mildly, not very big. Microsoft’s Surface Duo 2 is pretty much out of stock everywhere, so your only real choices are the Galaxy Z Fold 4 or the Galaxy Z Flip 5. Even so, the Duo 2 is a different kind of foldable phone, while the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is what Google’s rumored Pixel Fold is trying to fight with.
Some pretty amazing leaks keep giving us more information about what might be announced at Google I/O 2023. The most recent one pretty much told us everything there is to know about what the Pixel Fold will offer. For now, I’m going to pay more attention to the core specs than to how the form factor might work well for Google.
Tensor G2 Performance Is Good Enough
From the Most Recent Leaks, It Looks Like Google Is Happy to Keep Using Its Tensor G2 Processor Instead of Making a Whole New Chipset. Keep in mind that This Is the Same so C that Powers the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, and It’s Likely that It Will Also Power the Reported Pixel 7a.
If these reports are true, should Google have shown off its next-generation Tensor chip with the Pixel Fold? The answer to the question is not as simple as it might seem at first.
Since the first Tensor SoC came out with the Pixel 6 line, it’s been clear that Google isn’t trying to compete with Qualcomm or Apple. Instead, this is meant to use the power of AI and Machine Learning (ML) while still giving a “good enough” experience in terms of power.
When compared to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, which is used in many of the best Android phones, the Tensor G2 didn’t have many improvements. Again, Google worked on improving AI and ML in cameras, an area where the “Pixel” brand makes a lot of sense.
One of the things Google does best uses machine learning and artificial intelligence on the device to improve the photos. It’s part of the reason why the company used the same 12MP camera on various devices because many people cared more about how the photos looked after they were taken.
This trend has only grown since the Pixel 6 and now the Pixel 7 both came with a 50MP main camera. Google didn’t change the sensor, but instead made the software for the camera better. This means adding features such as Magic Eraser, Real Tone, Photo Unblur, and more. Not to mention that Night Mode keeps getting better so you can take better pictures of the stars in the sky.
If these reports are true, the Pixel Fold will have a main camera with a 48MP wide-angle lens, an ultrawide lens with 10.8MP, and a telephoto sensor with 10.8MP. This is almost the same setup as on the Pixel 7 Pro. Users can choose between three different sensors, and the software has been improved in many ways.
Where the concerns are
That doesn’t mean that some people won’t think Google is making the wrong choice here. For one, the Pixel Fold would be the best time to launch and introduce the Tensor G3, as long as it’s ready for prime time. Some people might also be upset that the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro will cost hundreds of dollars less than the Fold but will have a newer CPU.
People will also notice that the Pixel 7, which costs $599, has the same engine as the rumored Pixel Fold, which is said to cost $1799. Even if Google gives you a Pixel Watch for free, the Pixel 7 Pro costs $900 less than what it is said the Fold will cost when it comes out.
Another thing that could be a problem with the Tensor G2 is that users have been having problems with it getting too hot. It was an issue with the first Tensor chip, and it’s still an issue with the Tensor G2.
The Tensor G3 would probably make progress in this area, which could make you less worried about your folding phone getting too hot. Both the Tensor and the Tensor G2 are made using the 5nm process, while the newest chips from the competition use the 4nm process. By doing this, we’re getting better performance and huge changes in how well things work.
There is no doubt that the Tensor G2 in a Pixel Fold won’t get too hot. This is because the much bigger chassis will give it more room, which Google can use to improve the general thermals.
But, as Michael Hicks pointed out, there is still a chance that the Tensor G2 won’t be able to handle the dual display setup. Not to mention trying to play games or do more than one thing at once while using the bigger inner display.
It’s a Foldable Phone With Pixel Cameras
As a person who loves competition, I couldn’t be happier that another folding phone is coming to the U.S. I also won’t be surprised if people stop getting excited about the Galaxy Z Fold 5 as soon as it comes out later this year.
Google probably won’t market the Pixel Fold as a straight rival to Samsung. One UI offers a much more polished software experience, with different tweaks to improve how apps look and work on a foldable phone. Not to mention Samsung DeX, which doesn’t look like the Pixel Fold will have a desktop-like layout like Samsung DeX.
Instead, Google is going to put a lot of weight on the camera experience, putting a lot of attention on the fact that there are a total of five cameras built in. There’s a good chance that the Pixel Fold will be better than the Galaxy Z Fold 4, and if Samsung doesn’t do anything crazy, it might even be better than the Fold 5.