I haven’t talked much about my tech on here lately, because most of it has been fairly unremarkable — I love the tools that I have, but not much has been all that much different from past tools. For example, I purchased a new laptop recently (an ASUS Zenbook 14), and it’s an excellent laptop but it’s essentially just a newer version of what all of us already use
However, I recently picked up the new Google Pixel Fold and it’s worth digging into a bit.
Love it or hate it, is something very different from any phone that I’ve used before and it’s been fun to play with. Samsung has been building folding phones like this for a few years, and now it’s Google’s turn. It seems likely that Apple will reveal one in the coming years as well, but we’ll see.
If you’re not familiar with the Pixel Fold, this quick review from Marques Brownlee gives a great overview:
His take lines up well with what I’m experiencing, and I agree that the quality of the cover screen matters a lot. While I’m opening it up quite a lot right now to play with the large internal screen, I’m still probably 80% on the outside screen to quickly check text messages, emails, etc, throughout the day. If the outside is too much of a pain to use, that kills the entire experience. Fortunately, the cover screen on the Pixel Fold is quite solid.
Because the inside of the phone is a weird aspect ratio, some apps work better than others. The native Google apps (Gmail, Messages, Maps, etc) are fantastic and make great use of the screen. Others, like Facebook and Twitter, don’t fill the space very well. They work fine, but it’s kind of ugly.
One app that really made me want to get this phone was Obsidian (my note-taking app of choice). While their normal mobile app is perfectly fine, they pack a lot in there and it was cumbersome to use. On the Fold, I’m able to see the sidebar while I’m working, which helps quite a lot. It’s still not nearly as useful as the full desktop app, but it’s far better.
Email is amazing
I spent much of yesterday with the family at the Georgia Aquarium and we had a great time. At one point, though, we were sitting in an auditorium for about 30 minutes waiting for the dolphin show to start, so I caught up on some emails. The Fold made that great!
As with Obsidian, it’s certainly no where near as useful as on a desktop, but having the split view made it much easier. Here’s an example of how Gmail looks on the bigger screen:
At the end of the day, this is the first foldable from Google and it’s far from perfect but it’s a fantastic phone. Given the fast processor, tons of memory, and awesome screens, it’s a great start. I expect far better foldables to come along in future years from Google, and hopefully with a push from Apple as well.
Have any of you used a foldable, whether this or Samsung or any others? I’m curious to hear your thoughts on them.