Google Pixel Fold launch now looks imminent — here’s why

Google Pixel Fold front and back
(Image credit: Evan Blass / Twitter))

Any lingering doubt you have about the Pixel Fold appearing this month should be squelched. A new report claims Google's first foldable device has shown up with U.S. regulators, setting the stage for the Pixel Fold's debut at Google I/O 2023 next week on May 10.

The Fold seemed like it was in line for a potential appearance at Google's annual developer conference, which has occasionally served as a showcase for new hardware announcements. The latest Pixel Fold release rumors claim that Google will show off its foldable phone at the May 10 Google I/O opening keynote, before releasing that device later in June.

The latest evidence that the Pixel Fold is moving toward a release at some point in the next month or so comes from 9to5Google. The site claims that the Pixel Fold has passed through the certification process with the Federal Communications Commission, a regulatory step that typically happens just before a phone's debut.

This is a big moment for some of us who've been following the Pixel Fold saga for a while and can remember back to the time when all evidence pointed to Google having scrapped plans for releasing a foldable phone. 

News of the Pixel Fold landing at the FCC comes right after some weekend leaks posted by Evan Blass, another reliable source for information on upcoming phone releases. Blass mainly shared official-looking renders of the upcoming phone but also tweeted out some rumored specs for the Pixel Fold. The details largely mirror what we've heard so far.

Pixel Fold: Get ready for a different foldable

The Pixel Fold in its unfolded state

(Image credit: Evan Blass / Twitter)

According to the tweets from Blass, the 5.5 x 3.1 x 0.5-inch Pixel Fold features a 5.8-inch exterior display with a 120Hz refresh rate. The aspect ration of the external display looks like it will be wider and therefore comfier to use than the narrow Galaxy Z Fold 4's 6.2-inch cover screen. 

Open the phone up, and you'll get a 7.6-inch screen that also has a 120Hz refresh rate. (The external display has a higher peak brightness, apparently.) Once you open the Pixel Fold, it's now 6.2 inches wide but just 0.2 inches thick. To put that size in context, the Pixel Fold's rumored specs make it sound slightly thinner than the Galaxy Z Fold 4 when opened up.

Blass says exterior cameras include three lenses — a 48MP main camera, augmented by 10.8MP ultrawide shooter and a 10.8MP telephoto lens capable of a 5x optical zoom. The Z Fold 4 has only a 3x optical zoom. A 9.5MP front camera can take pictures when the phone is closed, and there's an 8MP selfie cam inside the phone, presumably to enable video conferencing on the Pixel Fold's extended display.

As for other specs, Blass expects the Pixel Fold to feature the same Tensor G2 chipset that powers the Pixel 7 family and is rumored to be coming to the Pixel 7a that Google could also show off at I/O this month. Expect a 4,821 mAh battery, 12GB of memory and a choice between 256GB and 512GB of storage.

Anticipation is especially high for the Pixel Fold, not just because it's been rumored for a while but also because the best foldable phones are currently dominated by Samsung. The upcoming release of the Pixel Fold likely sets up a showdown with the Galaxy Z Fold 5, expected to come out later this year. And based on the latest news, we're one stop closer to that happening.

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Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.

  • jiminhno
    I am looking forward to this, to be honest, as a long time Pixel smartphone user, i love the clean software, the Pixel features, i had a Galaxy Fold 4, for a few months, the build quality is superb, and the software is greatly improved, however i absolutely hate the duplicate applications, some of Samsungs you cannot delete, and to be honest I'll never end up using any of them, you can hide them though, and at the time i just tried turning the Fold 4 into a Pixel fold, changing all the things i could to make it look and feel like a Pixel, making all Googles as default, but there is only so much you can do!, I like the form factor, of the Pixel Fold if its correct, more like a Surface Duo, which I like,{and i use as a book reader} not as tall as the fold, so I'll be getting a Pixel Fold on launch day, and can go back to using one device instead of carrying a Pixel 7 pro and a Surface Duo every day!