I have used an iPhone for 14 years. The Pixel Fold made me want to stop | Digital Trends

Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

When Steve Jobs took the stage on January 9, 2007 to unveil the original iPhone, everyone was amazed at the little piece of technology he was holding in his hand. Then in June 2007 people were able to buy and get their hands on the very first iPhone and the scope of the cell phone industry changed forever.

I personally didn’t get the original iPhone on launch day, believe it or not. Instead, I got it as a birthday present in 2008 (my very first Apple product), but my clumsy self finally dropped it on concrete four months later and the screen shattered. But instead of fixing it, I figured I might as well get the iPhone 3G since it was only a few weeks away from release.

So I did. And then I got the iPhone 3GS the next year and the iPhone 4 after that. Always on launch day. It’s started a tradition for me and I just upgrade my iPhone every year. It hasn’t been a year since then that I haven’t bought a new iPhone.

Right now, I’m using an iPhone 14 Pro. I’m excited about the iPhone 15 in a few months. But since I started working at Digital Trends, I’ve checked out multiple Android phones, the latest being the Google Pixel Fold.

While the Google Pixel Fold certainly isn’t perfect, I actually liked it so much that I preferred it over my iPhone whenever possible. Here’s a closer look at why this is happening.

iPhone design is getting boring

Prakhar Khanna/Digital Trends

As I’ve explored more Android phones, one of the big things I’ve learned is that iPhone design is getting stale and boring. The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro look pretty much the same as their predecessors, which also resemble the models that came before them. The iPhone hasn’t undergone a major design change since the iPhone 12 three years ago, and the iPhone 15 doesn’t look much different.

Throughout its life, the iPhone underwent several design changes, and each major change lasted three to four years. For example, the iPhone 3G and 3GS were identical, from iPhone 4 to iPhone 5s, from iPhone 6 to iPhone 8, from iPhone X to 11 Pro and now from iPhone 12 to the era of iPhone 14 and probably also to the iPhone 15.

Yes, it’s normal for the design to not change for a few years, but I’m just getting bored of the same old plate glass at this point. Other than changing the edges and curvatures of the frame, the iPhone has been pretty much the same and honestly, since the iPhone 12, it’s been a recycled design that harkens back to the iPhone 4/5 days. Of course, don’t forget to remove the home button and then the notch, which eventually transitioned to the dynamic island.

The big change with the iPhone 15 Pro is looking to be the mute/action button, and while I can’t wait to check it out, I’m just getting a little bored with the overall design.

The leaflets are new and exciting

Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

While tinkering with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 a while back, the Google Pixel Fold is my first foldable phablet. In my review, I gave it an overall positive rating and enjoyed it very much. The only issue I’ve had so far is an occasional faint pop/click sound when I open it, but I seem to have more luck than some people.

Don’t get me wrong, leaflets aren’t entirely new. Samsung has been in the US foldable market for four years now, and in China there are options like the Honor Magic Vs and the Huawei Mate X2, but the foldable market is still in its infancy. The Google Pixel Fold is Google’s first entry into the foldable world, and it’s a promising start.

Again, this is my first experience with a foldable (non-folding) smartphone and I was pleasantly surprised. For me, the 5.8-inch cover display on the Pixel Fold makes it much more usable than the tall and narrow 6.2-inch cover display on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4. That’s because it looks and feels like a regular smartphone. , only more often. But I can still use it quite comfortably with one hand, apps feel normal, and the touch keyboard isn’t small and cramped. Oh, and I definitely like that the Pixel Fold closes flat with no gaps near the hinge, which is one of my dislikes about the Z Fold 4.

Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

And while I’m the kind of person who prefers smaller phones, I liked the ability to open up into a small tablet if I felt like it. It was nice to be able to view my email in an optimized view with an always accessible sidebar. Or, if I need to refer to something while writing an email or message, it’s great to have Chrome open alongside Outlook or Gmail, for example. And when I want to sit down with the news, I’ve enjoyed using the larger internal display to read, similar to opening a book.

Pixel Fold also has beautiful displays. Both the lid and internal displays are OLED with 120Hz refresh rates and are absolutely gorgeous to look at. I’ve hated how iPhones overprocess my photos to the point where they look ugly on me, and I’ve had much better luck with how photos turn out with the Pixel Fold. While Google also uses a lot of AI and computational photography tricks with the Tensor G2 chip, Google seems to be doing it better than Apple.

I never fancied myself liking a foldable phone, but the Pixel Fold changed my mind. I’ve learned that if a foldable phone is the right size, it’s actually quite pleasant to use.

Maybe someday Apple can make a foldable iPhone because having just a plate of glass forever is a pretty boring future.

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