Google "definitely looking at" producing a Pixel Flip

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Google "definitely looking at" producing a Pixel Flip
Now that the Pixel Fold is official, Google is considering the development of a clamshell foldable similar to the Galaxy Z Flip series or the Motorola Razr. Actually, several Chinese companies that have released a book-style foldable ended up adding a clamshell flip-style model as well. For example, earlier this year Oppo added the Find N2 Flip to its foldable lineup which includes the Find N2 Fold. Last month Vivo unveiled the X Fold 2 and added the X Flip. And Huawei not only has multiple book-style foldable models, it has a pair of clamshell flippers.

A clamshell foldable Pixel Flip could be on the table


According to Tom's Guide, Google Pixel product manager George Hwang said at Google I/O 2023, in an interview, that Google has an interest in designing and producing a clamshell foldable to go along with the Pixel Fold. Hwang was asked about a Pixel Flip and he said, "We're always looking at different types of devices, different types of technologies, and it's really interesting. We're definitely looking at it."


But the Google product manager made it clear that the Pixel Fold is what the company is focused on right now as far as foldables are concerned. "The thing for us is we do want to focus specifically on this [book] form factor because of everything we can bring to it and ensure that we can solve some key user issues, from the design to the apps as well as the cameras," said Hwang.

The Googler added that the team's main goal with the Pixel Fold was to produce a device that users would want to carry around every day. "I challenged the team when we started this to carry these devices and make sure this is a device you want to use every day, not just a luxury device," Hwang stated. "And so with that mindset, it actually changes how you think about it and the trade-offs that you make."

There is a major difference in how book-style and clamshell-style foldables are used. Book-style foldables open up to reveal a large internal tablet-sized display while thanks to an external display these devices can be used as a smartphone when closed. The clamshell foldables, when closed, easily fit in a pocket. When open, a smartphone display (6.2 inches to 6.8 inches) is accessible. The clamshells usually have small external displays that show the time, notifications, some apps, and the larger ones will double as a viewfinder for selfies.

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The external displays on clamshells are growing much larger this year as they have become a battleground for manufacturers of these devices. For example, Motorola is increasing the size of its Quick View external display on the Razr 40 Ultra to a huge 3.5 inches. After years of hearing complaints about the puny size of the cover screen on the Flip series, the upcoming Galaxy Z Flip 5 is rumored to sport a 3.4-inch external display. That's a huge hike from the 1.9-inch cover display on last year's model.

Google's Hwang says that the Pixel team is always exploring other types of devices


As excited as Google is about the Pixel Fold, Hwang makes it sound as though it won't be the only foldable device to carry the Pixel name. He said, "We're quite confident in what we're doing with [the Pixel Fold]. But we're always exploring other types of devices and other types of technologies."

Google is taking pre-orders for the Pixel Fold from the online Google Store. There are two configuration options. The model with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage is priced at $1,799 (or 24 monthly payments of $74.96) while the model with 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage will cost $1,919 or 24 monthly payments of $79.96). The device will be released on June 27th.

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