Google has been discussing the development of a foldable device since 2019, and there have been rumors of specific models since 2021. However, the project has faced several delays and cancellations, causing skepticism about the very existence of the device. Recently, rumors have surfaced that the Pixel Fold will be announced at Google I/O in May. Furthermore, real-life images of the device have emerged for the first time, with Android researcher Kuba Wojciechowski posting a brief video on Twitter of the Pixel Fold opening and closing, providing the first evidence of the physical existence of the device for the first time ever.
The recent leaks of the Pixel Fold seem to confirm earlier renders from OnLeaks, showing the front and back of the device, as well as the inside of the screen. However, the design of the device reveals noticeable bezels on the inside of the phone, which is unlike the typical design from other companies such as Samsung and Oppo. The inner screen doesn’t have a hole in the display for the camera, instead of using an old-school layout that shrinks the screen to make room for a camera above the screen and extends the dead space across the top of the phone. This design seems like a step backward compared to the hole-punch displays that have become the norm.
— Kuba Wojciechowski :3 (@Za_Raczke) April 22, 2023
In regular smartphones, bezels may not serve many purposes, but in foldable phones, they are necessary for several reasons. Unlike regular phones, where the display is rigidly bonded to the glass and frame, foldable displays need to move and shift when opening and closing, which means that they require a different construction approach. Foldable displays are partially glued and left free-floating around the hinge area, which requires the use of raised plastic rims or bezels to keep the display sections attached to the phone body and prevent debris from getting underneath and damaging the screen. Bezels also prevent the two halves of the screen from grinding together when the phone is closed. While all foldable devices require bezels, none have required a bezel as wide as that of the Pixel Fold.
Meanwhile, coming to the price, earlier reports have suggested that the Pixel Fold will be priced at around $1,700. However, that is speculation at best and it is hoped that Google will provide more details about the device at the upcoming Google I/O event.