Pixel 9 Pro Fold vs Pixel Fold: Rapid evolution?

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Intro

Google joined the foldable game with the original Pixel Fold, launched in June 2023, and now we have a successor coming our way – the Google Pixel Fold 2. Actually, this phone is rumored to bear the Pixel 9 Pro Fold moniker, and there are certain hints pointing toward such a change in the naming scheme.The Pixel Fold 2, also known as the Pixel 9 Pro Fold, hasn’t been officially announced yet, but there are rumors about its potential upgrades compared to the original Pixel Fold. Today, we’re going to try and compare these two devices, even though one of them is still hypothetical.

Pixel 9 Pro Fold vs Pixel Fold expected differences:

Table of Contents:

Design and Display Quality

Slimming things down
According to the latest information, the Pixel 9 Pro Fold will come with a slightly altered design, compared to the original Pixel Fold. The main change concerns the display size and aspect ratio, and there’s also a different camera arrangement on the back.

The new Pixel 9 Pro Fold is expected to have a narrower cover screen, which would result in a different size when unfolded. We loved the wide and quite usable cover screen of the original Pixel Fold, so we’ll have to test this in order to say if it’s an improvement or not.

Another thing that’s buzzing in the industry is the thickness of the recent foldables. Many of the companies out there are trying to get to under 10 mm thickness for the new foldables (when folded), and the Pixel 9 Pro Fold is no exception.

At the moment, our information comes from a leaked, hands-on image, so things might change, but overall, many sources corroborate the expected changes. The camera system on the back is expected to be squarish and have two rows of cameras, in contrast to the camera bar on the original Pixel Fold.

As we mentioned above, we expect a change in display sizes, both for the cover screen and the main display of the new Pixel 9 Pro Fold. The original Pixel Fold sports a 7.6-inch flexible inner panel with an aspect ratio of 6:5 and a 5.8-inch cover screen with an aspect ratio of 17.4:9.

The screens of the Pixel 9 Pro Fold are expected to grow in diagonal but shrink in width. We expect an 8-inch panel on the inside and a 6.29-inch cover panel. The exact aspect ratios of those panels aren’t clear, but they will be closer to what the Galaxy Z Fold 5 sports.

In terms of brightness, we expect an improvement, and the refresh rate will most likely stay the same, offering dynamic 120Hz on both the inner and cover screens. Of course, when the Pixel 9 Pro Fold lands on our test bench, we’ll add some hard numbers to this section.

Performance and Software

Tensor evolution
The original Pixel Fold launched at an odd time compared to the other Pixel releases, and consequently, it sports the Tensor G2 chipset. Now, the new naming scheme and the possible inclusion of the Pixel 9 Pro Fold in the regular flagship series mean that the new phone will come with the latest Tensor G4 chipset. And that’s a two-generation leap in terms of hardware between the Pixel Fold and the Pixel 9 Pro Fold.

Another improvement concerns the available RAM and the type of storage. The original Pixel Fold sports 12GB of RAM and comes equipped with UFS 3.1 storage, while the new Pixel 9 Pro Fold is expected to have 16GB of RAM and faster UFS 4.0 storage. The reason behind the bump in RAM is probably due to AI requirements.

Speaking of AI, we expect a lot of new tricks to land on the Pixel 9 Pro Fold, and we’re not sure if all of them will drip down to the original Pixel Fold, given the two-generation gap in hardware. Google boasts that most of the AI features will be on-device, so we’re probably looking at an advantage for the Pixel 9 Pro Fold in that area as well.

Oh, one more thing! The Pixel 9 Pro Fold will launch with Android 15 and offer seven years of major OS updates, so it will go longer than the original Fold, and by a lot. If you target longevity, the new model is your best bet.

Camera

Software magic
The camera situation is unclear at the moment. There are no leaks on the subject, and we might assume the Pixel 9 Pro Fold will feature a very similar camera setup as its predecessor. Here’s what the original Pixel has in terms of cameras:

  • Main camera — 48MP
  • Ultra-wide camera — 10.8MP
  • 5x telephoto camera — 10.8MP
  • Cover-display selfie camera — 9.5MP
  • Inner display selfie camera — 8MP

That being said, the leaked images show a different arrangement for the cameras on the back of the Pixel 9 Pro Fold, with a fourth camera, but as the resolution of the photo isn’t great, that might be a ToF sensor of sorts or a depth camera.
We expect the main improvements to come from the algorithms behind the hardware. Check out the Pixel 9 AI features article to get a glimpse at what you can expect from Google’s new foldable. As always, when we get the phone, we’re going to include side-by-side samples so you can judge the improvements yourselves.

Battery Life and Charging

SUBHEADING
Details on battery capacity, charging speed, audio quality, fingerprint sensor, and water resistance are yet to be confirmed for the Pixel 9 Pro Fold. Google has succeeded in keeping this part of the specs sheet under wraps. The original Pixel Fold sports a 4,821mAh battery, which is a decent capacity for a foldable. We can expect similar capacity for the new model, probably around the 5,000 mAh mark.When it comes to charging, the original Pixel Fold supports only 21W of wired charging, which we won’t dare to even call “fast charging,” so there’s room for improvement. The Pixel 9 Pro Fold could bring a slight upgrade to the table, something in the vicinity of 30W wired. Both phones support wireless charging.

Specs Comparison

Which one should you buy?

We’re still some time away from the official unveiling of the Pixel 9 Pro Fold, so we can’t give you a clear answer. However, there are hints, and knowing some of the leaked information, we can offer some insight.

The new Pixel 9 Pro Fold could be changing things around in terms of design, so if you loved the old Pixel Fold form factor, you might want to look elsewhere. The OnePlus Fold comes to mind.

On the other hand, the Google’s new foldable will come with upgraded hardware and longer support, not to mention new AI tricks onboard. If you’re into these kinds of things, and if you plan to hold on to your new foldable for the years to come, the Pixel 9 Pro Fold might be a better option. Stay tuned for the final verdict after we carry on all tests and benchmarks.


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