The Pixel Fold will arrive on doorsteps in only a few weeks, so to get you even more ready for that folding action, Google wants to talk about its hinge. As a foldable, the hinge is arguably the most important piece of engineering outside of the display being used and Google is quite proud of what they’ve built inside of the Fold.
According to Google, the Pixel Fold is their thinnest phone ever when unfolded. Thanks to its 180-degree “fluid friction” hinge, the Fold should lay completely flat once opened and that has to do with Google moving it “entirely out of the way” of the display. Other foldables apparently leave hinge components under their displays, thus the thickness of some of the most popular ones. For comparison, the Pixel Fold is 5.8mm thick unfolded, while the Galaxy Fold 4 is 6.3mm.
But thinness isn’t everything. This is the “most complex product” some Fold team members have ever worked on. Some of that complexity comes from the push to try and make the Fold feel like a passport in the hand, by choosing heavy-duty stainless steel to ensure long-term durability, and to make the open-close mechanic feel as good as it does.
For that open and close move, Google created a specially adjusted amount of torque needed to make it both smooth and reliable. They aimed for just the right amount of thunk or clap when shutting that’s satisfying. There are magnets involved in that too, which Google found a proper balance in. So what you should expect from the Fold is a “vacuum” suck to close that then returns a satisfying smoothness when opening. If you’ve ever used a foldable, you know how important this piece of the experience is.
As far as durability goes, Google says they not only manually opened and closed the Pixel Fold as many times as they could to see if it would last, they built a machine to replicate that movement as well. This isn’t new in the industry, but it certainly shows that Google took this process as serious as anyone. And we know that, after they openly confirmed that they passed on previous foldables because they weren’t quite up to their standards.
The Pixel Fold is going to be fun to test.