Google Pixel Fold in the first international reviews: there is still room for improvement

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google pixel fold in the first international reviews: there is
google pixel fold in the first international reviews: there is

 

History has taught us that in many areas, especially in technology, the advances made by the “pioneers” have usually had a significant impact on subsequent generations. Practically, those who arrived “later” were often able to benefit from all the work done by those who preceded themtaking only the best, thus avoiding the repetition of mistakes.

FOLDABLE: INCREASINGLY MORE COMPETITION

Samsung is definitely among the “pioneers” of foldable smartphones. It was in fact one of the first companies to believe in this sector in which it has been continuing to invest many resources for years, thanks also to its ability to produce flexible OLED panels internally which it has also been supplying to other manufacturers for some time.

Being pioneers, as mentioned, while on the one hand it also provides for the possibility of error, which happened especially with the first devices, on the other it has certainly also brought many benefits. Indeed, today Samsung is the leader in this market segment which reached, according to the research company Canalys, 14.2 million units shipped last year. Of these, slightly less than 12 million are from Samsung.

But the competition is still intensifying. In fact, many other manufacturers, especially the Chinese ones, are bringing increasingly interesting foldables to the market, improved generation after generation. Google has also recently joined these, which has evidently identified leaflets as a sector in which to invest.

THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL REVIEWS

The Pixel Fold was announced last May 10, during the Google I / O and is currently only available in the USA, Japan, the United Kingdom and Germany. Those who pre-ordered it immediately after the event are starting to receive it in these days (although it seems that there are some problems and the times would be getting longer) and in these days the first international reviews are also starting to arrive which would not seem to be of the all positive.

THE VERGE

Allison Johnson of “The Verge” gets straight to the point:

“The Pixel Fold looks like it’s still at least a generation away from realizing its potential. It’s a delightfully gadgety gadget, and is probably best suited to someone who wouldn’t mind the weight and who would frequently use the big screen for multimedia on the go.” But if that sounds like something more pleasant to have – as it did to me – then I think you’d better wait to see what the next generation has to offer.”

 

In short, if on the one hand Allison Johnson has boulder among the “Pros” the really usable external displaythe ideal form factor for the use of video and photographic quality, something in which Google excels, on the other pointed the finger at heaviness (283 grams), the price, the limited multitasking capabilities (in this Samsung is definitely having) and on “questionable durability”. In short, the display tends to scratch easily:

“After only a few days of using the Fold as a daily driver, I discovered a small scratch on the factory-installed internal screen protector. Not exactly a source of confidence. One of my colleagues also found a scratch in the plastic frame of his test unit. Obviously, nothing catastrophic but the Galaxy Z Fold 4 that I’ve been using for almost a year doesn’t show scratches as noticeable as the one on the Pixel Fold. I understand now why Google hasn’t made the Pixel Fold compatible with a stylus”

 

In addition to the review, The Verge still wanted to carry out an in-depth analysis in which, in the light of what emerged using the Pixel Fold, he underlined the technological advantage that Samsung still has:

Pixel Fold is good and brings real progress when it comes to foldable phones. But, of course, there are many areas where it lags behind Samsung. In this sense, having started four years in advance really makes the difference.

Furthermore, there is also one important difference between the Pixel Fold and the Galaxy Z Fold 4:

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 has a portrait approach: when you open the phone, the default screen mode is in portrait orientation. The Pixel Fold is rotated 90 degrees: when you open it, the internal screen is in landscape orientation. This difference has a major impact on the experience each device provides.

The Pixel Fold, in practice, is better used when closed, worse when open. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 in reverse:

For me, the whole point of buying a phone like this is to have that internal screen, not spend most of your time using the external display.

Google Pixel Fold 158.7 x 139.7 x 6.05mm
7.6 inches – 2208×1840 px
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 130.1 x 155.1 x 6.3 mm
7.6 inches – 2176×1812 px

Click here for the full comparison »

ARS TECHNICA

Much worse went to Ron Amedeo, of Ars Technica, which has seen his Pixel Fold “die” after just four days:

“The flexible OLED screen died after four days. Initially 10 pixels on the bottom went out, forming a white line at 100% brightness. At the same time, the entire left half of the foldable display also stopped responding to touch and an hour later, a white cast started forming at the top of the display.”

According to Amedeo, the damage was caused by a speck of dust that settled in a corner of the display. By closing, the other side of the display would have pressed on the grain which, in turn, would have caused a small hole. All this, despite a protective film which, unlike the most recent leaflets, it doesn’t cover the whole panel perfectly.

Indeed, as shown in the photo, the protective film leaves about a millimeter of the display uncovered which, remember, is made of plastic, not glass. Precisely in this peripheral groove, when you clean the display, a lot of impunity is deposited. A sort of “gutter” that should still be cleaned quite frequently. Furthermore, Pixel Fold’s bezels are almost flush with the screen protector:

“When you close your phone, the two halves of the display almost touch. If you stick a wet piece of paper into the Pixel Fold and close it, both sides of the display will get wet.”

Finally, Amedeo of Ars Technica also has pointed the finger at after-sales assistance from Google:

“Having a broken Pixel Fold means dealing with the company’s notoriously useless support team. Horror stories are rife on Reddit where users have called Google’s support ‘incompetent’ and” a nightmare” to face, begging the company to improve”

ANDROID POLICE

Android Police’s Will Sattelberg isn’t entirely satisfied either:

“Pixel Fold, in my view, is a “complex mess” of foldable that somehow sports some of Google’s best and worst hardware in one package. It’s completely saddled with massive software glitches, some of which Google isn’t capable of solving itself.And it’s all coupled with everything that makes the Pixel range unique, from its chipset to high-quality cameras to its hugely popular Recorder app.The limited amount of countries chosen for the Fold’s initial lanium seemed to indicate as far from the beginning an experimental state, almost as if to advertise it as “not ready” for a large-scale debut.”

WIRED.COM

Things went a little better for Giuliano Chokkattu of Wired.com. Of the Pixel Fold, in this case, the form factor, multitasking, the quality of the AMOLOED displays, the good battery life, the performance, the photographic quality and the software support in the long term were appreciated. Among the cons, the price and “camera preview on the front screen disables the internal screen” were put.

MARQUES BROWNLEE

The title of the video made by Marques Brownlee is definitely exhaustive: “Google Pixel Fold Review: Maybe Next Year!”

Brownlee praises the pleasantness of use when closed made possible by the form factor and the decidedly reduced thickness. On the other hand, he underlined the “problems” that arise once you start using it from the open position: you are unable to open it with just one hand, the crease is quite evidentthe frames are very noticeable, the apps aren’t optimized (even some from Google) and the battery doesn’t last long. Brownlee also didn’t like the fact that the internal and external homescreens have to be the same. The layout chosen for one must necessarily be the same as for the other.

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Abraham
Expert tech and gaming writer, blending computer science expertise