As more and more Google Pixel Fold rumors float from the depths of leaker-dom, the more I start to believe it has a chance of topping our best foldable phones guide. Every new leak or claim makes the Pixel Fold sounds like a mix of other great foldable phones that American users have been unable to buy up until now.
I and the rest of Tom's Guide still think the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is an excellent device, but it's got a fair share of flaws, which is why it's a shame you can't really buy any competing device within the U.S. right now. The Pixel Fold is reportedly coming soon, though — one rumor claims it will arrive in June — and it should shake things up with a more appealing price, design and camera system than what we've seen so far.
To explain what I mean, below are three foldables that the Google Pixel Fold seems to have taken inspiration from. None of these devices are sold in the U.S., so if the Pixel Fold does bring all these features together, it could be a potent concoction indeed.
The Oppo Find N2's form factor
If you've tried out a Galaxy Z Fold, you'll know that the exterior cover display is very narrow compared to a normal phone, making key tasks like typing very tricky. But it sounds like the Pixel Fold won't fall into this trap because of its alleged wider design.
That wider design is similar to that we've already seen on the Oppo Find N2. While the outer display is quite short, the width is much more in line with that of a typical smartphone, meaning navigation and using the keyboard isn't tricky at all.
Arguably, you could avoid all of this with a flip-style foldable such as the Galaxy Z Flip 4 or Oppo Find N2 Flip, where the inner display is the only way to use the phone fully. But the Find N2's size feels like the optimum size for many potential foldable users, which is why I think the Pixel Fold's going to have a distinct advantage over the already established Galaxy Z Fold.
The Vivo X Fold's camera quality
As the latest Pixel Fold camera rumors have it, it'll feature most of, if not all of, the same cameras as the Pixel 7 Pro. That could help the Pixel Fold stand out, as best camera phone-grade hardware is something I've long thought foldables ought to feature.
Since you have to pay so much for the privilege of owning a foldable, why shouldn't you get top-class cameras too? It's something that Chinese phone maker Vivo seems to understand. While it's almost a year old now, the Vivo X Fold used exactly the same cameras as the Vivo X80 Pro that launched before it.
While the Galaxy Z Fold 4 does have flagship-grade cameras, they don't offer Samsung's best tech from the Galaxy S22 Ultra/Galaxy S23 Ultra, and it doesn't sound like the Galaxy Z Fold 5 will either. Having the same cameras as its sibling flagship Pixels could therefore greatly increase its appeal to customers.
The Honor Magic Vs's pricing
Folding phones are inarguably worth more than their non-folding equivalents, but how much more is debatable. Samsung seems to reckon a $500 surcharge on top of what you'd pay for a high-end Galaxy S phone is right for the Galaxy Z Fold series, but that feels a bit too much.
Google fortunately seems to be planning to charge less for its Pixel Fold, perhaps taking a cue from Honor and its Magic Vs. This foldable claims to have multiple advantages over rivals, but one you can't dispute is its cost. At €1,599, it's noticeably cheaper than the €1,799 base price of the Galaxy Z Fold 4.
The rumor mill currently thinks Google will charge as little as $1,300 for the Pixel Fold. That would fit with the cheaper-than-average prices it gives the flagship Pixels, and would be another good reason to pick a Pixel Fold over a competitor.
Pixel Fold outlook
There's still more time for rumors between now and the rumored May/June release of the Pixel Fold. But as things stand, this phone sounds like the foldable that American foldable buyers have needed for a while, offering a cheaper alternative to the Galaxy Z Fold series.
This could be complicated by other teased incoming foldables, such as the OnePlus V Fold, or the long-rumored iPhone Flip, as well as more rumors as the clock ticks down to the suggested Pixel Fold release window. As things stand now though, I'm optimistic about the Pixel Fold's chances of becoming a top foldable phone based on how well its rumored features have worked on other devices.
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Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.