Fold or Flop?

by George Lovell | | 0 comments

Google has just announced their first folding smartphone.

That edge-to-edge display looks impressive, and those shiny chrome edges exude premium to the extent that it almost feels pretentious. 

At £1749, it's the most expensive foldable handset on the market.

They will throw in a Pixel Watch as part of the deal though. Notice how every brand is making a concerted effort to pull you into their ecosystem exclusively?

The Pixel Fold will launch with Android 14 in June.

It will be very interesting to see how this all unfolds...

Google has stated that this will be the world's thinnest foldable, with the most durable hinge.

> The 5.8-inch screen opens up into a 7.6-inch phablet with 120hz display.

> 12GB of RAM and up to 512GB of storage.

> 48-megapixel camera plus 10.8MP ultrawide and 10.8MP telephoto lenses with 5x optical zoom. Similar camera setup to the Pixel 7, but with smaller, inferior sensors.

> Google Tensor G2 Processor (same as Pixel 7 series). 

> Fingerprint and face unlocking; and minimum 5 years of security updates.

Folding phones often fall down (figuratively) in how they (fail to) synchronise with the software. Google's phones work beautifully with Android, so we expect it to be fully optimised for Android 14 - which itself looks promising and has some neat tricks.

Would I get one? No. As a tech enthusiast, I enjoy playing with one, appreciate the engineering, and just love that it's a thing that exists. It's a classic "because we can" product that makes any techie a little giddy.

For me, a phone is about portability and practicality. Everything that I will use my phone for can be done as well - in most cases better - on a slab phone. If I want to play a game or watch a movie, I'll do it on my TV. If I want to get some work done, I'll do it on my laptop. If I didn't have access to these tools - then perhaps a fold would be a worthwhile investment. Having to open and close the thing for every 10-second task would get on my nerves. I also don't want to have to be conscious of carrying around a rather heavy, extremely expensive, tremendously fragile piece of kit 24/7. It's like a newborn baby without the poop.

I guess if I were a car guy, the folding phone would be the loud, flashy supercar that gets 12 miles to the gallon, can't go over speed bumps, and costs more than a house to repair if you hit a pothole or a pigeon. Sure, you'll feel cool for a moment, and it goes fast - but you'll rarely take it over 90, and a plane will always get you a lot further, a lot faster anyway.

But that's just me. There are plenty of people who adore their folding phones. Maybe one day I will join them.

Thanks for reading!

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