Google Pixel Fold 2 leak hints at worrying changes, questionable design

Just like with the Apple Vision Pro, Google’s entry into the foldable smartphone market has been a long time coming. Given how the Android maker itself has been rather slow on jumping on trends, there might have even been a chance that it would snub the form factor completely. After all, it showed tablets no true love, even if big Android slates have been around for years. For better or worse, Google did decide to join that bandwagon, which isn’t always an assurance that it will work on a second-gen device. Now it seems that a Pixel Fold 2 is indeed in the works, at least based on a blurry leak, but that small glimpse might be dashing some hopes, as word of Google’s big changes also comes with questions about its design goals.

Designer: Google (via Android Authority)

There are two distinctive elements of the Google Pixel Fold’s design. The most prominent is its camera bar, an approximation of the “visor” design that it uses on its Pixel phones. The other is the external or second screen’s wider aspect ratio, which meant that the unfolded device would also be wider and take on a horizontal or landscape form factor. It’s a design that was more conducive for wider content like videos as well as splitting the screen between two panels or two apps. More importantly, however, it meant that the folded phone was more comfortable to use and hold, almost like a regular phone.

A single leaked photo of the Pixel Fold 2 might be leaving some fans scratching their heads. The external display is noted to be narrower, as per the source, which inches it a bit closer to the awkwardness of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold, though thankfully not yet on that level. This also means that, when unfolding the phone, you will be greeted with an internal screen that is more square than rectangular.

The biggest change, however, seems to be the camera, which moves away from the bar design to a bump that sits in a corner of the Pixel Fold 2’s back. It’s not the same square design as older Pixel phones, nor is it even similar to rectangular camera islands that run vertically down. Instead, it seems that this box will march across the width of the phone, taking up almost two-thirds of the space.

Granted, the photo is an alleged prototype only, so there is no guarantee that the final Pixel Fold 2 will take this form. If it does, however, Google might be facing a bit of a backlash for changing the design so drastically and in such an unappealing manner. It will be interesting to see how the Pixel Fold 2 will actually look like in the end, and we might not even see a shadow of it until Google I/O 2024, which should happen sometime in May or June.