Google could announce a foldable Pixel phone at its I/O event next month
A 7.6-inch unfolded screen running on Tensor G2 for over $1,700By Daniel Sims
Rumor mill: Google has yet to follow Android phone makers like Samsung, Motorola, Xiaomi, and Oppo into the foldable space. However, a leaked render and spec sheet suggest this could change very soon. A foldable would make an interesting centerpiece announcement for Google's I/O event in May.
Trusted leaker Onleaks, working with HowToiSolve, recently detailed the appearance and specs of a rumored foldable Google Pixel phone, lending further credence to Google's leaked roadmap from last year. The company could reveal and launch the phone at its May 10 I/O event. CNBC acquired documents indicating Google will instead reveal the foldable at I/O but launch it in June.
CNBC and HowToiSolve agree that the new model – codenamed "Felix" and possibly called the Pixel Fold – features a 5.8-inch outer screen, opens to display a 7.6-inch screen, and runs on the Pixel 7's Tensor G2 chip. CNBC claims the unit weighs 10oz, offering 24 hours of battery life in standard power mode and 72 hours in power-saving mode.
Furthermore, according to HowToiSolve, the Pixel Fold includes three rear cameras and 12GB of RAM but no 3.5mm audio jack. The foldable is rumored to carry a flagship price of $1,700, directly competing with Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 4. However, earlier rumored prices would have significantly undercut that model.
Revealing a new product tier could raise the level of excitement at this year's I/O compared to Apple's WWDC 2023 in June, which could be one of Cupertino's biggest in a while. The latest rumors indicate we could see iOS 17 set the stage for sideloading on iPhones there. A major watchOS update and some new Macs could also appear.
Apple has long been rumored to be working on a foldable. A recent patent describes a device that automatically folds shut when dropped to protect the screen. The latest information suggests Apple could release the model in 2025, with a foldable MacBook arriving in the following years.
Microsoft could also be preparing a device with a traditional foldable interface after the tepid market performance of the split-screen Surface Duo 2 in 2021. The follow-up, which might not be called the Surface Duo 3, could release in late 2023 or slip further out.