Google has entered the foldable phone segment of the market with the launch of its Pixel Fold. In this article, we’ll highlight some of its main features and our experience, which was elevated to even greater heights when we read Ajay Chowdhury’s new murder mystery eBook.
When a company such as Google, possibly the best-known technology company on the planet, decides to enter a new segment of the mobile phone market, you know they will be doing it in the most impressive way, and the Google Pixel Fold is a fantastic way to do this. The company has produced a product which to my ears and eyes is both beautiful and capable, so much so it could be argued that it’s best suited to being in a Design Museum, rather than ensconced in one’s pocket.
The mobile phone market is ever-evolving, and the Google Pixel Fold is a departure from the company’s tried and tested phone format. Google’s mobile phones have helped it to create a much-lauded foothold in the market, but given the growing consumer appetite for foldable phones, there is no chance Google was going to sit back and let its competitors fill their coffers while they stood idly by.
Typically, when one manufacturer comes out with something new, others quickly follow with what can best be described as poor facsimiles with the addition of some extra bells and whistles. Google hasn’t done this with its Pixel Fold and instead has created a phone that takes a different approach with its design and features, which sets it apart.
About the Google Pixel Fold
The Google Pixel Fold offers two ways to use it. When folded, it follows the traditional aspect mode seen on most mobile phones, with a traditionally shaped 5.8″ OLED screen. Unfolded, it evolves into a stunning 7.6″ square immersive OLED display.
One of the phone’s standout features is the hinge design, which allows the screen to fold flat, which makes it one of the thinnest foldable phones available.
Google’s Tensor G2 Chip powers the phone. According to Google, the chip boosts battery life as it has been specifically designed to run Google’s machine learning modes with less power and latency. The chip also boasts many other advantages, including improving photograph quality and increasing security with its built-in security core that works with the Titan M2 security chip to keep pins and passwords safe.
When in ‘unfolded’ mode, the Google Pixel Fold can operate as one or two screens. You can drag two different apps from the taskbar and display them side by side on one large screen, which is very helpful when multitasking.
The phone’s camera set-up comprises a 10.8 MP ultrawide rear lens, a 48MP primary rear lens and a 5x folded telephoto rear lens. The phone’s software, including the highly-regarded Real Tone, provides accurate representations of the subject matter and is also intelligent enough to unblur new and even old photographs, along with removing visual noise.
Other features of the Google Pixel Fold are 12GB of RAM, wireless charging, a 4,821 mAh battery, which provides 24+ hours of battery life, fingerprint and face unlock, and a VPN by Google One. For more information on all of the phone’s features, click here.
The Google Pixel Fold is my first foray into the world of foldable phones; I not only have never held one, but I also don’t know anyone with one (likely due to the age range of my friends), so my foldable phone experience would be a first.
I carefully unpacked the box, removed the phone and immediately started charging it. After an hour, I checked back, and it indicated 70 or so per cent, which was more than enough. On first inspection, I was impressed by the build quality and feel in my hand. Although the phone was a little heavier than what I now call my ‘Bog Standard’ Samsung Galaxy phone, it wasn’t overly so, to the point where it would impact my use and enjoyment.
I powered up the phone and was immediately smitten. The graphics and text were crystal clear, and it was clearly a powerful device, as swiping backwards and forwards between the icon screens was super fast, without any noticeable lagging.
While exploring, I noticed an icon with a horse’s head and the words “The Invitation“. I was curious and decided this would be my entry point into the world of foldable phones.
I opened both halves of the phone, which felt reassuringly solid, and clicked on the icon. This brought me inside a special edition interactive eBook by Ajay Chowdhury, titled “The Invitation”, the latest instalment of the Kamil Raham crime fiction series.
Holding the phone in both hands, I immediately understood the attraction of this type of design; it really does feel as if you are holding a small book. The eBook opened with a lovely illustration of the exterior of a property at night called Tandoori Knights; at this point, I noticed horses’ heads on the windows, which explains the image on the app icon.
Before getting stuck into the book, I paired my Shokz OpenFit earbuds and clicked on the audio icon, which brought forth a mood-enhancing backing track with the same crackles and hisses synonymous with vinyl records. I then clicked the red button and entered the establishment.
Traversing through each chapter was hugely enjoyable, and I soon became completely immersed in the interactive story. And when I use the word interactive, it really is, as you’ll need to open emails, type in locker combinations and much more.
Sadly, I reached a chapter where I needed to answer a ringing telephone, and I couldn’t. Whatever I tried, the phone kept ringing, and I could only tilt the traditional telephone’s handset. With so much more to explore with the phone, I decided to pause Ajay’s interactive adventure at that point and continue it on another day.
Although my initial foray into the world of interactive eBooks on the Pixel Fold was brought to a premature end, I was loving my foldable phone journey. I can imagine the joy and excitement this format and the phone would bring to commuters travelling to and from work.
Whilst on the subject of commuting, TV psychologist and crime expert Emma Kenny said, “Crime novels engage your analytical thinking and get you mentally stimulated for the day”, and “Unfolding or de-stressing during a commute can help support a better work-life balance, avoiding the cognitive strain that’s caused when we restrict our Liminal Space.” Therefore, one of Ajay Chowdhury‘s mystery eBooks sounds like an ideal way to start the working day.
Now suitably impressed, I set about trying out what I consider to be the ‘basics’. I headed to YouTube and popped a 12K HDR 120fps video titled ‘The Best of Dolby Vision’, and wow! The image quality was fantastic, and so was the sound quality. Thanks to the powerful built-in speaker, things seem even more impressive even without the earbuds.
One of the things that separates the Google Pixel Fold from others is its clever hinge design, which is entirely new in the market. Not only does it allow the phone to be used in open and closed modes in a very solid way, but it is also gapless once closed.
As mentioned, the phone feels lovely in hand, and when in closed mode, it seems hardly any different to the ‘Bog Standard’ conventional mobiles I am used to.
The next thing on my list of things to try was the photo and video capabilities, and again, I was more than impressed. The photographs were accurate and clear (even in poor light), and I felt confident that it would be nigh impossible for me not to get the type of shot I was after.
Although the rapid onset of the darkness brought an end to my initial outdoor photography foray, over the next few days, I was able to take many more photographs and videos along with exploring other features and was impressed every time. One of the major advantages of the dual screen can be found when using Google Maps; with the screen in unfolded 7.6″ mode, exploring local areas was a joy.
I could keep writing about how impressive this phone is, going into more detail about its excellent design, high-quality construction, speed, hardware, etc. But by now, I am quite sure that you’ve cottoned on that I love it. As a phone, it offers someone like me pretty much everything; I can see it being an invaluable companion when away from home for both business and pleasure, and it would garner significant attention when others see it being used.
I am not a dedicated phone expert or reviewer, so no doubt my expectations would differ from those who ply their trade doing that. As a businessman who has experienced many of the ‘finer things in life’, the Pixel Fold met and exceeded all of my expectations, and I believe that Google has ‘hit the bullseye’ with this model.
Google Pixel Fold – Where and how?
The Google Pixel Fold is priced from £1749. It is currently available in two colours, Obsidian (black) and Porcelain, with a choice of storage sizes: 256Gb and 512GB. Purchases can be made via https://store.google.com.
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