The first Pixel Fold 2 specs and design leaks have dropped, teasing massive changes compared to last year. As always with rumors, there are no guarantees the information in these leaks is accurate. But remember that most Pixel leaks turn out to be accurate, as Google can’t, or won’t, keep any Pixel secrets.
I’m getting this disclaimer out of the way early because I’m surprised to see the massive changes that Google might give the second Pixel Fold generation. Then I realized my expectations had been modeled by Samsung’s foldables evolution in the past few years.
Samsung was the only foldable game in town internationally, so Samsung never took big risks with its new foldables. Each year would deliver minor changes to the Fold and Flip design.
Then, the foldable game changed completely last year. It wasn’t just Google that launched a Galaxy Z Fold rival. Chinese smartphone vendors brought their foldables to international markets, complete with innovations more exciting than Samsung ever dared to put out.
Interestingly, Google is taking a similar approach with the Pixel Fold 2. The next phone will not be identical to the first-gen model. And it might rock better specs than you’d expect from Google.
A pair of reports from Android Authority says that a source has provided the first heavily censored image of the next-gen foldable and its high-end specs.
The photo below reportedly shows the Pixel Fold 2, and the first change is obvious. The iconic camera bar found on Pixel phones in recent years has been replaced with a camera island that looks more in line with other camera modules. Still, Google is looking to preserve that pill-shaped structure that houses camera sensors.
The Pixel Fold 2 might feature two such camera “pills” inside the larger camera module. Each pill will pack two sensors, although it’s unclear what the fourth one is. We’re certain to get wide, ultrawide, and telephoto lenses from the phone.
There’s another big change coming to the Pixel Fold 2, and this one concerns the aspect ratio of the foldable screen. The new handset will be narrower than its predecessor. But it still looks like it’s wider than the Galaxy Z Fold designs.
The Pixel Fold 2 might look more like a square than a rectangle. Therefore, apps would make better use of the screen, and Google would not have to adapt the UI for a more tablet-like experience.
The leak also teases other Pixel Fold 2 design changes compared to the first-gen model. The displays might be rounder. Also, the source claims the Pixel Fold 2 featurs a more premium aluminum frame. The overall feel and material are more similar to the first-gen Pixel device.
Furthermore, the leaker claims the Pixel Fold 2 is fairly thin, but the foldable screen’s crease is still visible.
Finally, the inner screen will have a display cutout in the top right corner for the internal selfie camera. The first model had larger bezels, which housed the front-facing camera. It’s unclear how big the bezels on the Pixel Fold 2 will be. This was a design choice that saw some criticism last year.
The second Pixel Fold 2 report details the big specs upgrades for the foldable. Google is supposedly going for 16GB of RAM, compared to just 12GB for the first-gen model. The significant memory upgrade would turn the Pixel Fold 2 into Google’s first Pixel to get 16GB of RAM. Google might need that much memory to power on-device AI features like the rumored Pixie AI assistant.
Storage will get a bump from UFS 3.1 on the Pixel Fold to UFS 4.0 on the Pixel Fold 2. The latter is faster and should improve the overall speed of the Fold 2. I think that the faster storage might also be related to on-device AI features.
The most important Pixel Fold 2 specs upgrade concerns the processor. The report claims that Google will skip the Tensor G3 chip and go for the Tensor G4 version. That would be the same chip expected to power the Pixel 9 series.
Back to the prototype in the photo, the leak says is part of Google’s Engineering Validation Test (EVT) stage of the product cycle. Combined with the report about the chip choice, this indicates the Pixel Fold 2 might not launch this summer. If Google doesn’t announce it at I/O 2024, we might see it bundled with the Pixel 9 phones this fall.