The software experience almost feels like a miniaturized version of the Pixel tablet that I recently tested. There’s a taskbar at the bottom of the screen that you can drag into any app. Tap on an app and drag it to one side of the screen and you’ll launch it in split-screen mode, that’s about it. There are no other unfamiliar gestures or commands you need to learn.
Split screen is fantastic when you have apps that don’t look wrinkled. I used Chrome with Telegram to send my partner suggestions on where to order dinner without having to juggle apps. I looked at my calendar and responded to people via email and Slack to let them know when I’m free. I had a phone call with my local utility company as I was looking for my account number on the right screen. None of this was impossible on a normal phone, and having these capabilities makes the little things so much easier.
Google says it’s updated more than 50 of its apps to use larger screens on tablets and foldable phones, and the results are excellent. Gmail’s two-pane view lets you see your email list on the left and the content opens on the right screen. Google Maps gives you a desktop-like experience where you can see the location on the right and a place’s details on the left. Chrome doesn’t offer desktop mode by default, but you TO DO get tabs at the top to quickly switch between them.
There are a few apps I like to open the Fold for, like Reddit Syncmy favorite third-party Reddit app (it’s about die in a few days). It displays Reddit posts on the left screen and opens the thread on the right, so you can scroll through comments and easily tap the next post to move on. This rings true even in messaging apps like Telegram, Google Messages, and WhatsApp. Airtable and Google Calendar are also fantastic.
But naturally, not all apps are created equal. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are some of the many apps that aren’t optimized for widescreen Android and open with black areas on the side of the screen. You can expect this to improve as foldable devices gain popularity, but it may take some time.
As for the cameras, there is nothing to worry about. The material is not as good as what you will find on the Pixel 7 Pro, but it comes close and you still end up with the same Pixel camera experience. There’s a 48MP main camera joined by a 10.8MP ultra-wide telephoto lens and a 10.8MP telephoto lens with 5X optical zoom. The outer selfie camera is 9.5 MP and the inner selfie camera is 8 MP. You might think the innermost camera is pretty mediocre, but it’s not. It easily scores a victory over the Samsung Fold4’s internal camera with well-exposed selfies.