For quite some time, we’ve been following the somewhat-odd development of the Pixel Passport/Notepad/Fold as it has gone from distant rumor to a well-leaked phone at this point. I won’t mince words: I cannot wait to get my hands on the Pixel Fold. I’ve talked about it countless times here on the site and in The Chrome Cast Podcast, but it is worth noting once again just how useful a good folding phone can be.
In my previous attempts to adopt this form factor as a daily carry phone, the biggest problems I had were Samsung’s software and their choice to use a very narrow outer display. Both of these issues melt away with the upcoming Pixel Fold as the early renders show us clearly that the outer screen is far more like a standard smartphone in its aspect ratio and the software won’t be an issue as it is Google’s own take on Android. Win-win.
Combine those benefits with what looks like a beautiful, thin design and the Pixel Fold looks like it could be an absolutely fantastic device when it launches: supposedly in May of 2023 near Google I/O. But aside from the outer portions of the device, most of the info we have is still firmly a rumor. Today, however, we get a bit of solid info from a pretty common source: Geekbench.
Thanks to a discovery by MySmartPrice, we now have the first Geekbench results for ‘Felix’ – a.k.a. the Pixel Fold. From a quick glance at these results, we can easily see that the Fold will definitely be shipping with the Tensor G2 SoC from Google. When comparing the scores to the Pixel 7 Pro, things line up exactly as you’d expect and the core layout of the SoC is exactly the same. From the number of cores to the frequencies, ‘Felix’ is most definitely rocking the same chip as the Pixel 7 Pro.
This is the right play from Google
And I think this is the right move from Google. By the time the Pixel Fold is getting announced, any existing bugs with Pixel software and the Tensor G2 should be solved. There will be so many moving parts and new issues with the yet-untested foldable that Google will do well to keep the inner parts a bit more predictable. Tensor G3 is surely in the works, but won’t be ready until the fall of 2023, and they can’t wait for that window to launch this new form factor.
Instead, mid-year makes most sense and won’t draw attention away from the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro launch event in the fall of 2023. With only a small fraction of potential users even considering this rumored $1799 phone, Google is positioning the Pixel Fold for a softer landing than their flagship phones, and that’s a good move.
While I hope the screen, the hinge, and the build quality of the Pixel Fold are all stellar, we have to remember it is still a first-gen product and will come with some of those first-time issues. With Tensor G2 under the hood, at least, there’s a known entity for Google to lean on, and I can’t wait to see what it looks like in just a few months from now.