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Poll: Is $1,799 too much for the Google Pixel Fold?
When the Google Pixel Fold price started to leak, I admit I was dubious. This was Google, after all, and its Pixel phones are priced very competitively, so why would the Pixel Fold be any different? I was holding out hope that the rumors were wrong and we’d all be pleasantly surprised by a significantly cheaper retail price. Then the bombshell was dropped at I/O: $1,799. Dollar-to-pound/euro, it’s even more expensive in the UK at £1,749 and Germany at €1,899. Ouch.
Is $1799 too much for the Pixel Fold?
So what gives? We’ve been pondering this for a while here at Android Authority and we think there are a few explanations to this pricing strategy. First and foremost, foldable phones are still expensive to make, especially if you’re going to go out of your way to design the hinge and display a little differently, as we noted in our hands-on with the Pixel Fold.
The Pixel Fold also appears to be more of a “test” project for Google, an enthusiast product for enthusiast users at an enthusiast price. It will only be sold in four countries (US, UK, Germany, and Japan), a clear sign that Google is not aiming to dislodge Samsung from the foldable top spot. It certainly doesn’t have the supply chain in place to build, sell, or repair millions of these.
The Pixel Fold is an enthusiast product for enthusiast users at an enthusiast price.
I see the Pixel Fold as more of a complement to the Galaxy Fold 4 than a straight competitor; it’ll show developers and users that Google is serious about the form factor and that Android is embracing foldables. (It’s certainly running laps around Apple and iOS.) Plus, from the leaked Pixel roadmap, we know that Google will keep on expanding its foldable line-up so this is just a baby step in the grand scheme of things.
Still, this is clearly a departure in pricing strategy for Google compared to the Pixel 7a, 7, and 7 Pro. Instead of balancing between smart compromises and competitive pricing, it’s mostly an all-out phone with an all-out price that puts it straight in the line of sight of the upcoming Galaxy Fold 5. In a way, it reminds me of the Pixel Watch’s surprising premium price.
That’s why I wish Google had decided to eat its losses here and priced the Pixel Fold at a more competitive $1,499, or even $1,299. Forget the free Pixel Watch pre-order bonus and instead just discount those $350 from the Fold’s sale price. Yes, that’d be a significant loss, but it’d also get the phone into more hands.
I don't trust Google to build a perfect foldable from the first go, but I'd be more amenable to investing $1,299 to find out rather than $1,799.
A lower price would’ve also removed some of the question marks around first-generation Google products, durability, warranty and support, and the Pixel line-up’s infamous quality control. Do I trust Google to build a perfect foldable from the first go? No. But I’d be more amenable to investing $1,299 in that experiment than $1,799.
Which brings me back to Samsung, a company that’s already at its fourth (nearly fifth) foldable rodeo and knows what it’s doing. The Galaxy Fold design has been refined many times over, thousands of bugs have been squashed, One UI has received lots of unique feature additions to make use of the form factor, and it has all the logistics in place to test, build, sell, and repair foldables. With such a mammoth alternative on the market, you’d have to be quite fanatical about Google to drop $1,799 on a Pixel Fold when Samsung is right there, competing at the same price.
So do I think $1,799 is too much for the Pixel Fold? 100% yes. But there’s a poll at the top of the post so you can answer that question for yourself.