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No Google Pixel Fold 2 news is actually good news

It seems like we won't get a Fold 2 with outdated specs right before the Pixel 9 launches.
By
January 28, 2024

We’re still in January and we’ve already seen leaked renders of the upcoming Google Pixel 9 and 9 Pro, which are very likely to launch in October, in nine months. We’ve also gotten several glimpses of the Pixel 8a, which should come around May-June. But nothing about the Pixel Fold 2. What gives?

Did Google suddenly figure out how to keep a phone under wraps for once? Or is Google not making a Pixel Fold 2 at all? I think it’s neither of these and, actually, I think the lack of Pixel Fold 2 news is actually good news. Hear me out.

Would you rather get a Pixel Fold 2 soon with older specs or wait for a better chip and camera?

1325 votes

Last year, the Google Pixel Fold had already been leaked a million times by January. We knew what it looked like, we knew many of its specs, and we were expecting it to launch around Google I/O 2023. Most of those details turned out to be true, with the only difference being that the phone was announced in May, but only became available at the end of June.

google pixel fold vs 8 pro
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

And therein lies the problem. The Pixel Fold, Google’s top-of-the-line $1,799 foldable phone launched only three months before the Pixel 8 series, but with cameras and specs similar to the Pixel 7 Pro — a nine-month-old phone. Notably, it had the Tensor G2 processor, which was already a middling chip nine months earlier.

You paid $1,799 for the Pixel Fold and got a chip and cameras that were outdated the moment the Pixel 8 launched, three months later.

So those who paid for this absurdly expensive Pixel in June had to contend with an average chip and watch as the much cheaper (in comparison) Pixel 8 series got the better Tensor G3 only three months later. Feels unfair, doesn’t it? And that particular misstep garnered the Pixel Fold a lot of criticism, too. Granted, a first-generation Pixel of any kind should be considered a proof of concept more than a product, really, and even Google implicitly admitted that by only launching it in three countries instead of the usual 17+ countries that Pixels are available in.

I think Google learned a lesson with its experiment there: a mid-cycle launch works for budget phones like the Pixel A-series, but it doesn’t work for the top-of-the-line Pixel.

google pixel fold camera bar 2
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

Which brings me back to the Pixel Fold 2. Here’s what we know for sure:

  1. Every Google product leaks many, many months ahead of its launch. This is a fact at this point.
  2. The only rumor we’ve heard about the Pixel Fold 2 is that it could be codenamed “comet” and no one is sure if it’s a book-style foldable like the original Fold or a flip-style foldable like the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Moto Razr (2023).

So, the fact that there is no proper Pixel Fold 2 leak so far would tell me that it’s highly unlikely to launch in May/June like its predecessor. We’re likely looking at a later date, either alongside the Pixel 9 series or possibly even after.

It is highly unlikely that the Pixel Fold 2 will launch before the Pixel 9 series. So it shouldn't get outdated specs.

And that is good news in my book because it means the Pixel Fold 2 — whenever it launches — won’t get outdated specs at an exorbitant price and won’t be considered uncompetitive the moment it hits shelves.

google pixel fold ports and crease
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Now, whether or not we get a Pixel Fold 2 this year or not remains to be seen. Even our leak of the Pixel roadmap for 2024-2025 (which has turned out to be pretty accurate so far) didn’t have much detail about the Pixel Fold 2. All it said was that Google would be evaluating a follow-up foldable on the basis of the original Pixel Fold. (And the market’s status, I suppose.)

As a fan of the original Pixel Fold, and of Android on larger screens in general, I really want to see a follow-up, perhaps with a form factor that resembles the OnePlus Fold more. That, plus a Tensor G4, a more powerful camera setup, and some extra dual-screen functionality would make it a compelling product. Just make it more durable, Google, please?