Google's next big foldable could get a new name to better align with the non-foldable Pixel 9 family

Google's next big foldable could get a new name to better align with the non-foldable Pixel 9 family
As first-generation products go, the Pixel Fold was certainly not bad, shining in our in-depth review last year with its exceptionally handy cover screen, Google-caliber camera system, smart design, and solid battery life. Of course, it wasn't perfect, but that's where this year's sequel is expected to come in soon, striving for higher marks in key departments like overall performance, screen durability, long-term device durability, and software support.

Proving how seriously it takes the development of the Pixel Fold 2, Google is reportedly considering going with a different name for its sophomore foldable effort. That's right, the handset thoroughly leaked as the Pixel Fold 2 a couple of months ago is now rumored to eventually go official under the Pixel 9 Pro Fold moniker.

Good or bad new name?

That's... quite a mouthful, but while branding may seem like it rarely makes a difference for a product's quality, this particular name suggests Big G is envisioning its second-gen foldable as a far more mature and polished device than its predecessor.

Naturally, if that's the intention of this last-minute change, the move could backfire on the search giant if the Pixel 9 Pro Fold fails to actually live up to its name in real-life use. Interestingly, Android Authority claims that the Pixel Fold 2 label was on the table until recently, which means a final branding decision might not have been made just yet.

If the Pixel Fold's successor does end up joining the Pixel 9 family, said family will likely grow from the Pixel 8/8 Pro duo to a full quartet. That's because Google is expected to release a Pixel 9 Pro XL model alongside predictable Pixel 9 and 9 Pro variants in the fall. 

Another intriguing detail that's not etched in stone right now is the launch schedule of the Pixel 9 Pro Fold. This could (more or less) align with last year's May announcement and late June release of the Pixel Fold or, more likely now, fit with the probable October timeline of the rest of the Pixel 9 roster.

New design, key upgrades, and plenty of unanswered questions

In terms of specifications and features, we already have a pretty good idea of what to expect courtesy of a few different reports from the last few months. That includes a massive 8-inch or so primary panel and a similarly expansive 6.29-inch secondary display, as well as a hugely improved Tensor G4 processor, up to 16GB RAM paired with 512GB storage, and a totally redesigned camera arrangement composed of currently unknown sensors.

Other key puzzle pieces are also missing, like battery capacity, charging speeds, and the number of major OS updates guaranteed at launch, so it's probably wise to reserve judgment on this bad boy's chances of success until more details arise and those that have prematurely surfaced are confirmed.

If the Pixel 9 Pro Fold comes out in the fall rather than this summer, it's obviously far too early to make an educated pricing prediction. What we can do is express our hope that Google will pursue sales volumes instead of profit margins this time around, undercutting Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Z Fold 6... or at least the Z Fold 6 Ultra.

Still not a major player in the global smartphone market (in terms of volume), Big G could definitely join the likes of Huawei, Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo, and OnePlus in eating away at Samsung's early supremacy in the still-fledgling foldable segment. In order for that to happen, the Pixel Fold 2 9 Pro Fold will also need to get a wider push in a larger number of markets than its forerunner, which unfortunately feels unlikely to happen at this time.

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