Google Pixel Fold launch date just tipped — watch out, Galaxy Z Fold 5

An render of the Google Pixel Fold, based on currently known rumors
(Image credit: OnLeaks/Howtoisolve)

The Google Pixel Fold is finally scheduled for mass production according to Korean news site The Elec (opens in new tab), with the first Pixel Folds set to roll off the production line in the third quarter, covering July to September, of this year.

More specifically, the Pixel Fold's parts, including the all-important folding display, are due to begin production in Q3 2023. That still indicates a late summer or early fall release, which is likely to clash (possibly on purpose) with the arrival of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5.

We got the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 in August of last year, so we expect the sequel to arrive at the same time this year. While Google could easily bundle the Pixel Fold in with its announcements at Google I/O in May or its usual Made by Google event in October, it stands to reason that Google would want to make a big fuss of its first folding phone, and give it its own dedicated launch event in or around August to steal the thunder of its biggest rival and the current top of the best foldable phones heap.

Amusingly, Samsung is claimed by The Elec to be providing Google's displays since Samsung Display is one of the only companies capable of making flexible display panels, and the only one producing them at volume. That said, it seems as if Samsung will keep its best display tech, like stylus compatibility and the latest OLED technology, for its own foldables. That could prove unfortunate for users who enjoy the additional practicality of using a stylus on their foldable or want the brightest, most colorful display, as it seems the best option will remain a Z Fold.

Google's kept us waiting for a long time for the Pixel Fold, but it's sounding like it'll be worth the wait. The phone's tipped to use a 7.6-inch inner display with a compact 5.6-inch outer display, and the Tensor G2 chipset, but the best feature could be the cameras. With a 50MP main camera, plus two more 12MP sensors on the back, the Pixel Fold could become the best foldable for photography, even with the Galaxy Z Fold 4 taking significant strides in image quality last year.

Foldable phones in 2023 are looking to be a particularly exciting crop, with Samsung's and Google's foldables expected to make a big splash, along with devices from other companies like the Oppo Find N2 — if you live in the right country. It's also likely to be a big 2023 for Google too, with the Google Pixel Tablet also rumored to be arriving alongside the Pixel Fold, and the expected Pixel 7a and Pixel 8 handsets.

Richard Priday
Senior Writer

Richard is a Tom's Guide senior writer 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.