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Exclusive: This could be the Google Pixel Fold 2

Here’s a very early look at what could be Google’s second-generation foldable phone.
By
February 7, 2024
TL;DR
  • We have obtained a photo of what appears to be an early version of the expected Google Pixel Fold 2.
  • The photo suggests Google’s second-generation foldable might have a narrower form factor and redesigned camera module.
  • The phone is still in an early stage of development, though, so it’s unclear if this is the final design.

Google’s launch of the Pixel Fold last year was a watershed moment for foldable phones, as it showed the company was serious about making Android work better on foldables. Google’s decision to use a wider form factor than other foldables was widely praised because it improved multitasking and made the cover screen more useful.

At this point, a second-generation model is inevitable. But there’s a question of whether or not Google will stick with the same form factor in 2024. To answer this question for our readers, Android Authority was sent a leaked photo of the Google Pixel Fold 2 that reveals some surprising design changes that could be on the horizon.

Google Pixel Fold 2 design leaks

Google Pixel Fold 2 Leak Hero
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

Yesterday, we reported that a source had contacted us with information on the hardware specs of the Pixel Fold 2. Today, our source — who still wishes to remain anonymous — was able to share a photo of the actual device, as shown above and below.

Although we were only sent a single blurry, heavily censored photo of the Pixel Fold 2, we can tell right away that Google’s next foldable phone has a narrower cover screen. We don’t have the exact dimensions, but comparing this photo with a photo we took of the first-gen Pixel Fold at a similar angle makes the difference quite clear. Check it out for yourself below:

Our source told us that the cover screen is narrower, but more importantly, the inner screen’s aspect ratio is closer to a square. That suggests the Fold 2’s overall form factor might be similar to the OnePlus Open, which has screens that are in between the Pixel Fold and the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 in terms of size.

The narrower form factor of the Pixel Fold 2 may come as a surprise to some, but there’s a reason why most other foldable phones aren’t as wide as Google’s first-gen foldable: a lot of Android apps still aren’t optimized for tablets. By making the first-gen Pixel Fold as wide as it is, Google had to employ software workarounds to deal with apps that refuse to run in landscape mode. The company even developed an entirely new OS feature in Android 14 QPR1 that lets users force apps like Instagram to go full screen. Had Google chosen to make the first-gen Pixel Fold narrower, then it wouldn’t need to resort to such tricks, as a slimmer form factor would cause most apps to show their regular phone-optimized UI instead of their tablet-optimized UI (if one even exists).

Goodbye to the camera bar?

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

The new form factor isn’t the only change visible in this leaked image. The photo also reveals that the camera bump on the rear could be getting a redesign. The Pixel Fold 2 appears to have an isolated camera island on the top left, consisting of four sensors that likely include a main wide-angle lens, a secondary ultra wide-angle lens, a tertiary periscopic telephoto lens, and an unknown quaternary lens. It’s unclear from this photo if the fourth sensor is a far infrared (FIR) sensor capable of measuring the temperature of your skin or an object, like on the Pixel 8 Pro, or if it’s a different sensor entirely, like a spectral/flicker or ToF sensor. Apart from the four camera sensors, there’s also an LED flash and microphone on the island.

Could Google be drastically changing the camera design for the Pixel Fold 2?

The apparent design of the camera island on the Pixel Fold 2 is a significant departure from previous Tensor-powered Pixel phones, each featuring an iconic visor-like camera bar. It is somewhat in line with the rumored design of the Google Pixel 9, however, which no longer has a camera bar that extends entirely from edge to edge.

Other noticed changes and a note on staying realistic

Google Pixel Fold opened up in garden
Kris Carlon / Android Authority
Pixel Fold

The Pixel Fold 2 also shares some other design similarities with the upcoming Pixel 9 series, such as a more rounded inner and outer display and a more premium, seemingly aluminum frame, according to our source. Our source described the phone as being like the first-generation Pixel in terms of feel and material.

While we don’t have any photos showing the inner screen, our source told us that the Pixel Fold 2 now has a display cutout in the top right corner for the internal screen camera. This contrasts the first-gen Pixel Fold, which hid its inner screen camera in the top bezel. Our source also told us that the Pixel Fold 2 is still fairly thin but that the crease is still pretty noticeable.

For all of this information, it’s worth noting that the device we see here is still at the beginning of the Engineering Validation Test (EVT) stage of the product cycle. That means the design could still change since we’re several months from the device entering mass production. As such, we strongly advise waiting for more leaks of this phone before drawing any conclusions, as what we see here could change significantly over the next few months.

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