Flip phones are making a comeback in the foldable era, and I can’t help but think that Google’s Pixel experience would be the perfect fit for the form factor.
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Over the past couple of weeks, using the new Motorola Razr+, I’ve been able to get a taste of what a clean version of Android feels like on a foldable flip phone. Don’t get me wrong, Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Oppos’ Find N2 Flip are absolutely stellar devices, but their respective One UI and ColorOS skins often look a little too cluttered for a device that really shines when it fades into the background.
In Motorola’s case, the Razr+ performs well in its software. The whole experience feels clean and easy to navigate. Despite some bugs and stutters, it’s a real pleasure. But what I really want to see is a Pixel Flip in a similar form factor.
Google’s Pixel experience thus far has been built around the idea of ambient computing and, to a lesser extent, digital wellbeing. And that experience feels like the perfect fit for a foldable clamshell phone. Where Google adds layers of separation from distracting apps through features like Pausing Apps, Flip to Shhh, and Bedtime Mode, a flip phone would give the company the ability to add a literal physical layer of separation. Close your phone and your apps vanish or, at least, take on a new form.
And Google has shown that it could be Truly good at designing use cases for an external display. Whether intentional or not, the Google Home app is a real treat on the Razr+’s external screen, and it stands to reason that many of these principles could be applied elsewhere. Additionally, Google is said to be working with Samsung to optimize apps for the Galaxy Z Flip 5’s external display. shell is tempting.
Google could also potentially fix the biggest problem we’ve seen with flip phones so far: the camera.
Of course, I’d worry about a Pixel Flip running the current iteration of Tensor with its heat and battery issues, but between the software’s expertise and Google’s camera prowess, this is a device I want to see. And they say we could.
This week’s top stories
Pixel tablet review
This week has seen the Pixel Tablets start arriving at the doors for the first buyers and our full review of the tablet as well. You can read the full Abner Lis review here and also watch our video review of Jordan Floyds.
Pixel Tablet is the best way to experience the advances of Android on large screens, from the main UI to first-party and third-party apps. The $499, 128GB device feels better than it looks, and my bottom line is that you won’t regret getting it instead of a Galaxy Tab or even an iPad. Pixel teams take on a large-screen OS is more thoughtful than Samsung and begins to approach Apple’s ecosystem cohesion. The extra kick to both is the Smart Display level, Hub mode. You’ll get significantly more utility as it turns a big screen into a key part of your smart home thanks to the included dock.
Chromebook X is coming
As exclusively reported this week, Google is working on a new initiative with Chromebooks called Chromebook X. The special branding will apply to high-end machines and unlock special features. The first Chromebook X products could also arrive very soon.
Other main stories
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