Look, I’m not going to sit here and pretend that the entire world didn’t know this was happening next week, but is a bit of theatrics too much to ask? Google learned a few years back that the best way to juice a product hype cycle is to “leak” the thing yourself, and here we are, facing down a tweet that leaves very little to the imagination. The short video shows the company’s upcoming Pixel Fold unfolding slowly from every conceivable angle.
Google’s using Star Wars Day as an excuse to fire up the old hype train, but the truth is it’s priming up the pump with less than a week before it returns to Shoreline for an in-person I/O. There were already a LOT of leaks and rumors floating around, so the company just went ahead and took matters into its own hands. There’s also an official Pixel Fold page where you can sign up for news and the like. There’s still some information that hasn’t been made official, including pricing and release date.
As seen above, all previous leaks appear to have more or less been on the money. As the name implies, the form factor is more Samsung Galaxy Z Fold than Samsung Galaxy Z Flip — that is, more book than clamshell. The dimensions, on the other hand, appear a bit closer to Oppo’s recent foldable, or even Microsoft’s bygone Surface Duo.
Google has, of course, been laying the groundwork for its entry into space for a few years now. The company has been working closely with Samsung to create a version of Android that scales well to a foldable form factor. As evidenced by this year’s Mobile World Congress, the age of the foldable as a fringe device appears to be over. The list of big device makers that don’t have a foldable is growing shorter by the month — and even they are most likely working on their own version as we speak.
The design language is in line with the rest of the Pixel device line, including the familiar camera bar, which houses multiple rear-facing lenses. There’s no visible internal camera, which means the company is either doing one under display (unlikely), or it’s using that fairly sizable bezel real estate to hide it.
The front-facing screen looks larger as well, though it’s difficult to determine how close it gets to edge-to-edge, given that the video shows a dark clock face — perhaps by design. There does appear to be a visible crease on the inside screen, which showcases Android’s familiar Material UI design language. We can see power and volume buttons on the metal edge and speaker grilles up top. We don’t get a good view of the bottom, but it’s pretty safe to say we’re working with USB-C here. Overall, the device looks quite thin — which is especially important for a foldable.
Google India also recently confirmed the budget 7A’s May 11 release date. And we’re expecting a lot more info on the Pixel Tablet, which was officially announced at last year’s event. So, will there be surprises at I/O? Maybe. Though that’s seeming less likely for the Pixel line by the day. We’ll know for sure when the event kicks off May 10 at 10 a.m. PDT.