Comparing the Google Pixel Fold and the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

Google took a page from Samsung’s book and turned it into a foldable phone. In fact, the recently announced Google Pixel Fold, shown at Google I/O 2023 alongside the Pixel 7A and Pixel Tablet, seems to have borrowed a few chapters from Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4. The foldables share a rather uncanny resemblance since Google went with the phone-fold-into-a-tablet method of design philosophy and an equally high concept. $1,799.99 starting price. However, when you look a little closer, you notice some stark differences.

Here, we’re pitting the two ultra-foldable flagships against each other to compare their specs and features on paper. While Samsung is on its fourth iteration of the Galaxy Fold, Google will be a first-time player in the world of foldable phones when the Pixel Fold launches at the end of June. But can Google really compete with a first-generation product?

Let’s see how they fare, at least on paper, until we get a chance to fully review the new Pixel Fold.

Google Pixel Fold vs. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4: A game of inches and aspect ratios

The space between a closed Pixel Fold is barely visible.
Photo by Dan Seifert/The Verge

It’s as if the Galaxy Z Fold 4 has the least desirable thigh space.
Photo by Allison Johnson/The Verge

Some of the biggest things that set these Android phones apart are their sizes and proportions. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 starts out quite tall and slim, unfolding into an almost boxy device. The Pixel Fold, on the other hand, has a smaller outer screen that’s wider, giving it a more standard phone feel before you unfold it. Once unfolded though, the Pixel has a wider, squat stance.

Its internal displays are actually 7.6-inch OLEDs, but the difference in feel and size comes down to those ratios. The Pixel Fold’s 6:5 aspect ratio gives it a wider 5.8-inch outer screen, while the Galaxy Z Fold 4’s 21.6:18 aspect ratio leads to a taller 20-inch cover screen. 6.2 inches. It’s almost half an inch bigger, but the Pixel Fold looks more useful on the outside, like a regular phone.

Bezels for days, yes, but other than those weird corners, the Pixel Fold’s outer display looks somewhat conventional.
Photo by Dan Seifert/The Verge

As our own David Pierce said in a recent episode of the Vergecast“When you close the Galaxy Fold, it basically becomes a TV remote — it’s like 11 feet long.”
Photo by Allison Johnson/The Verge

Staying in the size department for a moment, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is a bit slimmer, but not when folded. The Pixel Fold has a very narrow gap between its folded halves, which, in images at least, helps make it look quite attractive (for a Pixel device).

Now for other key specs, two of the biggest deciding factors for most people buying a new phone are the cameras and battery life. While camera performance goes well beyond the specs, there’s no denying that the Galaxy Z Fold 4 has a much larger main sensor, which generally means better low-light performance. But, in terms of battery life, the Pixel Fold has a larger capacity of 4,821 mAh. Of course, if the optimization of the software isn’t up to scratch, it may not be as big of an advantage as it sounds.

As for other features, the two phones differ a lot in the processor department; the Galaxy uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, while the Pixel Fold uses Google’s own Tensor G2 (the same chip as the Pixel 7 generation). Another stark contrast between the two is the Galaxy Z Fold 4’s stylus support, as it’s compatible with the Samsung S-Pen Fold Edition (an additional $50 purchase), while the Pixel Fold is just for your fingers. Differences aside, the phones have a lot of parity when it comes to ports, fingerprint sensor placement (both are on the power button), water resistance, RAM, and starting storage capacity.

Here’s a deeper look at all the specs for the two devices side by side:

What do you think? Does the Pixel Fold look like a promising first try from Google? Are you looking to drop $1,800 on it, or would you rather get a Galaxy Z Fold 4 on sale? Samsung’s flagship foldable phone has seen its share of discounts, though arguably there haven’t been more consistent and deeper deals than what we’ve seen on the Pixel 7 generation. Perhaps the Pixel Fold will follow suit. Let us know what you think in the comments.



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