Google Pixel Fold is real — and could be coming sooner than you think

Google Pixel Fold could sport a design like this
We don’t know what the Google Pixel Fold will look like. But this foldable concept would be nice… (Image credit: Shutterstock)

The Google Pixel Fold is a real thing rather than just a concept — and it could even arrive this year.

That’s according to noted leaker Jon Prosser, at least, and it backs up a story earlier this week that Google has asked Samsung to develop a 7.6-inch OLED panel for use on a foldable device. 

Prosser’s tweet wasn’t exactly full of detail, but he was definitive that the Google Pixel Fold is a real thing. And in a reply to a follower’s question, he gave its launch window as either the end of this year or the start of 2022.

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We don’t doubt that Google is working on a foldable phone, as the rumors go back to the middle of last year. Smartphone display expert Ross Young, appearing in the replies to Prosser’s first tweet, mentioned that back in December, he himself predicted a single foldable from Google coming at the end of this year.

There’s not much detail about the Pixel Fold’s specs to go on. The only thing we know, thanks to a Korean news report, is that the phone could use a 7.6-inch flexible display.

Whether Google launches the Pixel Fold this fall/winter or next spring, its main rivals will likely be from Samsung. Currently, that’s the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, which balance clever design both inside and out. Of course by the time the Pixel Fold does appear, it’ll likely be up against the forthcoming Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3.

The rest of the current foldables market doesn’t quite match up to Samsung’s standard. There’s also the Motorola Razr, but that was let down by disappointing hardware — although the 5G version looks to be improved. The Huawei Mate X2 was announced earlier this week, and has some impressive specs. However since it’s made by Huawei, the phone’s not available in the U.S. and doesn’t offer the Google apps that Android users rely on.

It means that as 2021 becomes 2022, the likely top performers in the foldables category will remain those from Samsung. A new competitor without technical or software problems, such as this rumored Pixel Fold or the iPhone Flip, would be exactly the kind of competition needed to break Samsung’s dominance by default.

Google's software skills could mean the Pixel Fold becomes one of our best foldable phones when it finally arrives. In the meantime, we have the Google Pixel 6 and Google Pixel 5a to look forward to, both likely to take a spot among the best Android phones around right now.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

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.