At its recent developer's conference Google released the Pixel 7a, a tablet, and a folding phone. Both the tablet and foldable aren't headed for Indian market for now. Google is avoiding spreading products that are in their first generation all over the world where it can neither recall or help if anything unexpected crops up with them. Once tried and tested and iterated, you may see these products hitting the Indian market, though they may be in another generation by then.
The Pixel Fold is still interesting to talk about. In so many ways it steals a march on Samsung, the current king of foldables and of course, the company that brought them to market in the first place. Since they showed the way, others have taken the concept a little further and it would be exciting to see what Google does with its foldable.
Very few in the tech media have managed to look at the Pixel Fold in New York for the present. Going by reports, one exciting highlight is somewhat better ergonomics and form factor. The front or cover 5.8-inch screen is wider and much more usable as a regular phone. Without some width it's not easy to use as everything is a little squeezed and narrow, especially the keyboard.
At the same time, the Pixel Fold is more compact while being extra thin when the 7.6-inch screen is unfolded. The screen is wide and has a 120Hz refresh rate but is bordered by bezels that are thicker than we're accustomed to now, which can be a bit of a drawback. The bezels do have their uses as they allow for components to be housed.
The hinge with the Pixel Fold is very firm allowing the phone to open and stop at any point. It's not clear how much the crease in the middle behaves compared with the other foldables around, but this much is for sure, the hinge allows the phone to be thinner. Tent and table top modes are said to work well with the Fold. One problem, according to reports, is that the phone doesn't lie completely flat when fully open.
The other aspects of the hardware that are likely to cause some angst are thicker bezels, as mentioned earlier, a battery that could have been bigger, faster charging and overall specs (including camera) that are somewhat less than one would get with flagships, specially considering it's an expensive phone at close to an estimated price of ₹1,50,000.
The Pixel Fold has all the special software features that set a Pixel apart. That includes the Google Assistant being front and centre, call related features, live transcribe, and of course, computational photography. What will be specially interesting to see is how Google has customised Android to work both with the cover screen and the inner one. Android apps have been notoriously clunky on tablets, not scaling to fit the screen elegantly. Samsung, working with Google, has managed to do a rather good job of it for the Z Fold especially with a new taskbar in the newest Z Fold 4. Will Google take this further and make multi-tasking more possible on its Pixel Fold, taking the device into being more useful and not just enjoyable?
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