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Fast Charging: Pixel Fold Could Solve My Biggest Galaxy Fold Problem

OPINION: Fresh details about the legendary Google Pixel Fold smartphone have surfaced this week, and this time they paint a beautiful picture of the future of convertible smartphones.

In particular, display analyst Ross Young tweeted that the hotly anticipated Pixel Fold will have a smaller 5.8-inch front display and a wider aspect ratio when the inner screen is folded.

Even as a tech aficionado, I admit that aspect ratio is usually not the most exciting feature of any phone. But folding is a huge problem.

To catch up with people, aspect ratio is a measurement of the length and width of a screen. While they vary between devices, the most common aspect ratio on tablets and phones tends to be 16:9, though you will see other phones come in 18:9, 19:9 and 19.5:9 and 20 :nine.

As I noted in my review of the Galaxy Z Fold 3, one of the biggest issues with the device was that its primary front and secondary inner screens had weird, atypical aspect ratios – the front screen has a very tall and thin 25:9 aspect ratio, in while the tablet’s internal display has a distinctly square shape with an aspect ratio of 22.5:18.

This was a huge problem, as it meant that most apps didn’t display correctly on either screen, either looking stretched or having massive black bars around them.

This made taking full advantage of the tablet’s screen especially difficult, as streaming services like Netflix and games on GeForce Now didn’t take full advantage of the extra second screen. All you had was a slightly larger screen for videos or games than most big phones. You can see an example of why in the image below, which I took while testing the phone.

Video playback on Galaxy Z Fold 3
Image credit (reliable reviews)

So the report that the Pixel Fold will fix this and could have an additional internal screen with the more common 16:9 aspect ratio is very welcome news and means that the long-held dream of a phone that can double as a full-fledged tablet could be realised. . a step closer to becoming a reality.

Of course, this is far from official and the device will have many more hurdles to overcome to fully live up to that promise. Apart from the hardware, the biggest one will be the software of the device. As noted in the review of Xiaomi Pad 5 and Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, Android in its current state is not well optimized for large screens.

This is because Google stopped officially improving software for Android tablets a few years ago, causing most app developers to follow suit and only develop products for phone-sized screens. That’s why most editing apps are optimized for simple touch input, rather than precise stylus control or keyboard shortcuts like the Apple iPad OS.

The UI of even basic apps looks a little odd on Android tablets, and things like Facebook, Instagram, and even Chrome look like blasted mobile apps that haven’t been properly optimized for the big screen.

Google has promised to fix this with the release of Android 12L, a customized version of Android designed for tablets. While this OS is currently only in beta, so until we get a chance to try out the final version, we can’t reasonably comment on how successful it will be.

Regardless, despite the other hurdles the Pixel Fold had to overcome to earn the crown as the first true convertible phone/tablet, I can’t help but worry about it based on this week’s leak.

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