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Google Pixel Fold vs Pixel 7 Pro: Which one should you buy?

The Pixel Fold costs a hefty premium, but is it worth buying over Google's non-folding flagship?
By

Published onMarch 8, 2024

Google Pixel Fold
MSRP: $1,799.00
Check price
Positives
Excellent cameras
Polished design
Comfortable displays
Smooth, well-supported software
Pixel-exclusive features
Solid RAM and storage options
Negatives
Lack of optimized apps
Mediocre battery life
Tensor G2 continues to run hot
Quite heavy
Expensive
Google Pixel 7 Pro
MSRP: $899.00
Check price
Positives
Unique design
Flexible, high-class camera setup
Upgraded fingerprint scanner and modem
Clean Pixel UI software and exclusive features
Long-term software support
Incredible value
Negatives
Tensor G2 still runs hot at times
Slow charging

With the release of the Pixel Fold, Google has officially made its debut in the foldable smartphone market. At $1,799, though, the Pixel Fold is a premium device with plenty of cutting-edge features. But at the same time, it retains many of the signature Pixel-exclusive AI and camera features we’ve come to expect from Google over the years. So given this shared heritage, you might be wondering: how does the Pixel Fold stack up vs the Pixel 7 Pro and which one should you buy?

Google Pixel Fold vs Pixel 7 Pro: At a glance

In a hurry? Here’s a quick summary of the differences between the Pixel Fold and the Pixel 7 Pro.

  • When unfolded, the Pixel Fold's inner screen gives you 66% more display area than the Pixel 7 Pro.
  • The Pixel 7 Pro features larger camera sensors on the rear, which should help it gather more light. However, both smartphones share Google’s computational photography software strengths.
  • The front-facing cameras on the Pixel Fold have a narrower field of view. That said, you can simply use the rear cameras when the phone is in its unfolded state.
  • Both phones offer the same biometric unlocking options. However, the fingerprint sensor on the Pixel Fold is side-mounted instead of under the display.
  • The Pixel Fold relies on a smaller battery than the Pixel 7 Pro and does not offer reverse wireless charging.
  • Google's Pixel 7 Pro features a water and dust protection rating. However, the Pixel Fold lacks official dust resistance due to its hinge mechanism.
  • The Pixel 7 Pro retails at a considerably lower price than the Pixel Fold, but has been discontinued in favor of Google's 2023 flagship phones.

Keep reading to know more about how Google’s premier smartphones differ from each other.

Google Pixel Fold vs Pixel 7 Pro: Specs

Google Pixel FoldGoogle Pixel 7 Pro
Display
Google Pixel Fold
Exterior:
- 5.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED
- 120Hz refresh rate
- 2,092 x 1,080
- 17.4:9 aspect ratio
- Gorilla Glass Victus cover
- Up to 1550 nits brightness

Interior:
- 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED
- 120Hz refresh rate
- 2,208 x 1,840
- Ultra-thin glass cover with plastic protection
- Up to 1450 nits brightness
Google Pixel 7 Pro
- 6.7-inch LTPO pOLED
- 120Hz refresh rate
- 3,120 x 1,440
- 19.5:9 aspect ratio
- Gorilla Glass Victus
- Up to 1550 nits brightness
Processor
Google Pixel Fold
Tensor G2
Titan M2 security coprocessor
Google Pixel 7 Pro
Tensor G2
Titan M2 security coprocessor
RAM
Google Pixel Fold
12GB LPDDR5
Google Pixel 7 Pro
8GB / 12GB LPDDR5
Storage
Google Pixel Fold
256GB / 512GB
UFS 3.1
Google Pixel 7 Pro
128GB / 256GB / 512GB
UFS 3.1
Power
Google Pixel Fold
4,821mAh (typical)

21W wired charging
7.5W Qi wireless charging
Google Pixel 7 Pro
5,000mAh (typical)

23W wired charging
23W wireless charging (w/ Pixel Stand), 12W Qi wireless, Battery Share
Cameras
Google Pixel Fold
Rear:
- 48MP wide main sensor (ƒ/1.7, 1/2-inch sensor, 82° FoV, OIS, CLAF)
- 10.8MP ultrawide (ƒ/2.2, 1/3-inch sensor, 121.1° FoV)
- 10.8MP telephoto (ƒ/3.05, 1/3.1-inch sensor, 5x optical zoom)

Front:
- 9.5MP wide (ƒ/2.2, 1.22μm, 84° FoV, Fixed focus)

Internal:
- 8MP wide (ƒ/2.0, 1.12μm, 84° FoV, Fixed focus)
Google Pixel 7 Pro
Rear:
- 50MP main sensor (f/1.85, 1/1.3-inch, OIS, 82° FoV)
- 12MP ultrawide (f/2.2, 1/2.9-inch, auto-focus, 125° FoV)
- 48MP telephoto lens (f/3.5, 1/2.55-inch, 5x optical zoom)

Front:
- 10.8MP wide (f/2.2, 93°, 1/3.1")
Video
Google Pixel Fold
Rear:
- 4K at 30/60FPS
- 1080p at 30/60FPS
- 10-bit HDR

Front:
- 4K at 30/60FPS
- 1080p at 30/60FPS

Inner screen camera:
- 1080p at 30fps
Google Pixel 7 Pro
Rear:
- 4K at 30/60FPS
- 1080p at 30/60FPS

Front:
- 4K at 30/60FPS
- 1080p at 30/60FPS
Software
Google Pixel Fold
Pixel UI
Android 13
3 Android updates
5 years of security updates
Google Pixel 7 Pro
Pixel UI
Android 13
3 Android updates
5 years of security updates
IP rating
Google Pixel Fold
IPX8 certification
Google Pixel 7 Pro
IP68 certification
Biometrics
Google Pixel Fold
Power button fingerprint scanner
Face unlock
Google Pixel 7 Pro
In-display fingerprint scanner
Face unlock
Dimensions
Google Pixel Fold
Folded:
- 139.7 x 79.5 x 12.1mm

Unfolded:
- 139.7 x 158.7 x 5.8mm
Google Pixel 7 Pro
162.9 x 76.55 x 8.9mm
Weight
Google Pixel Fold
283g
Google Pixel 7 Pro
212g
Display protection
Google Pixel Fold
Gorilla Glass Victus (external display)

Ultra Thin Glass with protective plastic layer (Internal folding display)
Google Pixel 7 Pro
Gorilla Glass Victus
Colors
Google Pixel Fold
Obsidian, Porcelain
Google Pixel 7 Pro
Snow, Obsidian, Hazel

Even though it’s technically a first-generation product, the Pixel Fold shares many of the same underpinnings as other Google smartphones. Most notably, the AI-focused Tensor G2 SoC is present on both the Pixel Fold and Pixel 7 Pro. It’s undoubtedly a flagship-tier chip, even if it lags behind some of the latest competition, like Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.

The Pixel Fold features the same chipset and design language as the Pixel 7 Pro.

The two phones also share a similar design language, which Google first introduced with the Pixel 6 series. The metal frame and camera visor have now become distinct elements of the Pixel lineup.

Look just a little closer, though, and the similarities quickly vanish. Of course, the main difference is that the Pixel Fold houses twice as many displays as the Pixel 7 Pro. At 5.8 inches, Google’s foldable features a smaller cover display than the Pixel 7 Pro’s 6.7-inch panel. However, unfolding the former reveals a 7.6-inch display that’s nearly as large as some tablets. In fact, the foldable grants you 66% more display area compared to the Pixel 7 Pro.

For both of the phones, Google has packed bright and vibrant OLED displays with 120Hz refresh rates. They also get similarly bright, with a peak brightness of around 1,500 nits. However, keep in mind that Google has only used a 5% window to measure peak brightness. Compared to smartphones from other brands, these figures may actually be significantly lower or higher.

You’ll find similarities between the two Pixel phones on the software side too, with Google’s three-year feature update commitment in tow. On top of that, you get two years of Android security updates. With that in mind, you’ll get approximately half a year’s worth of additional updates if you buy the Pixel Fold since it was released later. Unfortunately, neither phone benefits from Google’s new seven-year update pledge that you get with the Pixel 8 series.

The Pixel Fold isn't dust resistant like the Pixel 7 Pro, but it's well protected against water.

One clear advantage of Google’s foldable smartphone is that the base model includes 256GB of storage and 12GB of RAM. That’s double the storage and 50% more memory than the Pixel 7 Pro. Having said that, you can pay to upgrade both on the latter.

Moving on to durability, Google joins Samsung as one of the only foldable smartphone brands to offer water resistance. The IPX8 rating means you won’t have to worry about accidental splashes, but you’ll need to keep the phone away from dust. The Pixel 7 Pro, with its IP68 rating, is much more well-protected in this regard. The Pixel Fold’s cover display is protected with Gorilla Glass Victus, which matches the Pixel 7 Pro. On the inside, meanwhile, it gets the same ultra-thin glass that Samsung uses on the Galaxy Z Fold 5.

Google Pixel Fold vs Pixel 7 Pro: Size comparison

You do pay a small price for the Pixel Fold’s flexibility in the form of extra weight (71g difference), which translates to an extra 33% vs the Pixel 7 Pro. Not to mention, the added thickness when folded will result in a tighter fit in your pockets. Having said that, Google has done a decent job of minimizing the Pixel Fold’s footprint. The phone features a waterdrop-style hinge mechanism, which allows it to fold flat without any gaps. It also means that the Pixel Fold’s crease doesn’t look as obvious as many rival foldables.

The Pixel Fold is wider than the Pixel 7 Pro when folded, which may be just too wide for one-handed use. Google’s non-folding flagship boasts a slightly curved display, making it feel narrower in the hand. Finally, it goes without saying that you’ll need to use two hands whenever you use the Pixel Fold in its unfolded state.

We’ve noted on several occasions that the Pixel 7 Pro is already quite a substantial phone. Google’s foldable takes that up a notch, so I’d recommend trying out both devices before pulling the trigger.

Google Pixel Fold vs Pixel 7 Pro: Cameras

Taking a selfie with a Google Pixel Fold 3
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Any comparison involving Google’s smartphones would be incomplete without a camera comparison. Let’s start with the good news. You get a triple camera array on the back of both, the Pixel Fold and Pixel 7 Pro. However, the image sensors aren’t the same on both devices.

The Pixel Fold features a 48MP primary, 10.8MP ultrawide, and 10.8 5x telephoto lens. Meanwhile, the Pixel 7 Pro offers a 50MP main shooter alongside 12MP ultrawide and 48MP 5x telephoto cameras. Right off the bat, it’s clear that the Pixel Fold loses out in terms of resolution. But there’s also another aspect that you may notice unless you look closely at the spec sheet. All three sensors on the Pixel Fold are slightly smaller vs the ones you’ll find on the Pixel 7 Pro.

The Pixel Fold packs slightly smaller camera sensors compared to the Pixel 7 Pro.

We’ve spoken at length about the importance of camera sensor sizes in the past. So it goes without saying that the Pixel 7 Pro has the advantage on paper. Simultaneously, however, Google’s smartphones are known to have some of the best post-processing on the market. We’ve seen the company use its computational photography tech to deliver some impressive results in recent times. In fact, even the affordable Google Pixel 7a manages to beat some high-end smartphones with better on-paper camera hardware.

All of that is to say the Pixel Fold will still deliver excellent results in most shooting conditions. In our testing, Google’s foldable performs nearly as well as the Pixel 7 Pro. It’s only once you start pixel peeping that you may notice a slight softness to the foldable’s images and a marginal difference in white balance.

For a glimpse of Google’s photography prowess, here’s a quick look at some sample photos from the Pixel 7 Pro and Pixel Fold’s cameras.

The Pixel Fold also features two front-facing cameras, one for each display. Once again, though, they’re technically not quite as good as the single one present on the Pixel 7 Pro. The latter also features a wider field of view, letting you fit large groups in your shots comfortably. Alternatively, unfolding the Pixel Fold lets you use all three rear cameras — simply frame your shot on the cover display.

Google Pixel Fold vs Pixel 7 Pro: Battery life

Google Pixel 7 Pro battery usage with Pixel Buds Pro and Pixel Watch in the background
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

The Pixel Fold and Pixel 7 Pro share identical processing hardware, so we can expect similar battery life from a chipset standpoint. In our testing, we’ve found that the Pixel 7 Pro’s battery lasts a full day and then some. That’s thanks to the large 5,000mAh battery, which is larger than the one Google has included in the Pixel Fold.

Going by that spec alone, we can tell that the foldable won’t last as long. Moreover, battery drain will accelerate quickly when you use the larger inner display on the Pixel Fold. Remember, the Pixel Fold sports a 66% larger display vs the Pixel 7 Pro when unfolded. Of course, that also means you can earn back a lot of endurance if you use the smaller cover screen for most tasks. In our review of the Pixel Fold, we lamented its lackluster battery life even if it did last through the end of most days.

The Pixel Fold's smaller battery requires more frequent top-ups.

It’s more of the same when it comes to fast charging. The Pixel 7 Pro can take nearly two full hours to charge from 0-100 as it only supports 23W of fast charging. The Pixel Fold is slightly slower at 21W but takes the same time to charge, depending on how well the device manages heat. Both phones ship without an adapter in the box, but you can use any USB Power Delivery PPS charger.

While both smartphones support Qi wireless charging, the Pixel Fold tops out at 7.5W vs the Pixel 7 Pro’s 12W. Furthermore, the Pixel 7 Pro supports faster 23W wireless charging on the Pixel Stand (2nd gen) as well as reverse wireless charging. Also known as Battery Share, this handy feature lets you top up accessories like Bluetooth earbuds by letting your phone act as a wireless charger.

Google Pixel Fold vs Pixel 7 Pro: Price

Google IO 2023 pixel fold watch preorder
Google
  • Pixel Fold: Starts at $1,799
  • Pixel 7 Pro: Starts at $899

Unlike some other smartphone brands, Google doesn’t charge as much for the Pixel 7 Pro relative to its premium internals. At a starting price of $899, it undercuts competition like the Galaxy S23 Ultra and iPhone 14 Pro. Simultaneously, it delivers impressive build quality and camera performance on par with or even beyond those phones. Moreover, the Pixel 8 Pro released in late 2024 and you may find the phone on a deep discount or for a good price used.

Google hasn’t followed the same aggressive pricing strategy with its debutant foldable. The Pixel Fold launched at a whopping $1,799. That’s the same as Samsung charges for its premier folding smartphone, the Galaxy Z Fold 5. Having said that, the base variant of the Pixel 7 Pro only ships with 128GB of storage and 8GB of RAM. If you need 256GB instead, you’ll have to pay $100 more, which brings the total to $999. That narrows the gap between the two Google flagship smartphones a little, but there’s no doubt that the Fold is much more expensive.

The Pixel Fold has a lot going for it, except for its sky-high price tag.

We’ve seen deals that knock a few hundred dollars off both phones, but that still doesn’t make the Pixel Fold excellent value. The newer OnePlus Open arguably delivers better specs than the Pixel Fold at a much lower price point. It even has excellent imaging performance for a foldable.

Google Pixel Fold vs. Pixel 7 Pro: Which one should you buy?

Does the Pixel Fold offer $800+ worth of value over the Pixel 7 Pro? It depends on your intended use cases for either phone. If you see yourself being more productive with a larger display, the foldable is certainly worth considering. Likewise, if you already carry a tablet everywhere you go, the Pixel Fold can combine two devices into one. However, if you were hoping for even better camera performance from a Google smartphone, the extra cash won’t get you anywhere.

Would you rather buy the Pixel Fold or the Pixel 7 Pro?

156 votes

From a pure numbers perspective, it makes sense for the average buyer to go for the Pixel 7 Pro. It features a premium build, excellent image quality, and solid battery life. But all of those will also likely be nearly true of the Pixel Fold with the added utility of a larger canvas. Not to mention, there’s also something to be said about how cool and novel folding phones still are. Which one would you pick?

See price at Amazon
Google Pixel 7 Pro
41%off
Google Pixel 7 Pro
Best Google camera
High-quality display
Big battery
See price at Amazon
Google Pixel Fold
Google Pixel Fold
Excellent cameras
Comfortable displays
Pixel-exclusive features