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Please Google, do not identify your subsequent foldable the Pixel 9 Professional Fold

Please Google, do not identify your subsequent foldable the Pixel 9 Professional Fold


Google I/O is lower than a month away, and whereas we’re prone to hear all in regards to the Pixel 8a, this fall’s Pixel 9 trio is unlikely to make an look. Or, primarily based on this week’s stories in regards to the next-gen Pixel Fold successor, perhaps I ought to say quartet? The newest leaks on the Pixel Fold 2 have it pegged to be formally becoming a member of Google’s mainline collection because the “Pixel 9 Professional Fold,” and admittedly, I can not consider a worse technique to model your smartphones.



It is only a actually dangerous identify

And it does not make plenty of sense with this yr’s redesign

Supply: Google


There are a couple of completely different causes I feel this can be a dangerous concept, however let me begin with the obvious: it is clunky as hell. You might make the argument that one thing like “Pixel 9 Fold” may assist make it clear to customers that this foldable is precisely just like the Pixel 9; simply, you realize, with a hinge. Nevertheless, Google’s determination to create a trio of normal smartphones this yr — doubtless referred to as the Pixel 9, Pixel 9 Professional, and Pixel 9 Professional XL — complicates this matter immensely.

The Pixel Fold’s successor is prone to be extra according to the Professional-branded Pixel 9 fashions than the entry-level {hardware}, so, on some stage, it is sensible for Google to aim to shoehorn in a single further phrase. In observe, although, this is not going to let you know a lot about what to truly anticipate from the cellphone. Love them or hate them, foldables are a very completely different expertise to a normal smartphone, chasing after a extra prosperous demographic targeted fully on productiveness.


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That stated, discovering the identify awkward to each write and communicate is, little question, subjective. Even should you discover no fault with the branding, although, I nonetheless see some main points dealing with this new identify. For one, second-gen Pixel Fold leaks have proven us a tool that appears nothing just like the Pixel 9. Satirically, all the pieces we have seen relating to Google’s mainline cellphone trio this yr suggests it is adopting a Pixel Fold-esque digicam bar, but the Pixel Fold 2 appears set to drop it fully for a sq. digicam module that appears extra according to the Qualcomm-powered Pixels of yesteryear.

If Google needs to merge its foldable with the Pixel 9, why is it leaning on a design language that’s so drastically completely different? Will we see upgrades to the digicam {hardware} to deliver it according to the Pixel 9 Professional XL? What’s it about these telephones that implies they will be remotely related except for their software program expertise and the chipset below the hood? If the Pixel Fold 2 is now designed to be a part of the Pixel 9 lineup, it ought to share a few of its visible DNA to make its placement within the lineup clearer.


4 Pixel 9s are too many to recollect

Common consumers are going to lose observe

Google's Pixel Fold 2 renders showing the phone's front and back when open

This whole debacle appears destined to trigger shopper confusion, too. Google is already increasing the Pixel 9 lineup to incorporate three telephones, and by rebranding the Pixel Fold 2 to be part of this collection, it is so much for cellphone consumers to maintain observe of. Whereas I do not assume anybody’s going to confuse the foldable for one thing else, I do assume you are going to see lots of people calling this factor by random rearrangements of its phrase salad-esque branding. The phrases “Pixel 9 Professional Fold” are really easy to combine up, there isn’t any likelihood common customers ever name it by its precise identify — even as we speak, I commonly hear individuals say issues like “Pixel Professional 8.”


These rebrandings come at a time the place Google has an opportunity to make some main market share strikes. Apple is including RCS help this yr for improved messaging between iOS and Android, doubtless making it simpler for some iPhone customers to go away blue bubbles behind. Samsung’s smartphone design is caught in a rut, one it does not appear focused on leaving any time quickly. There’s a likelihood for Google to seize an viewers on the lookout for one thing new, each within the US and overseas. These new names aren’t serving to that purpose.

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Up till now, Google’s branding has been clear and exact — the Pixel 8 Professional is for energy customers, the Pixel 8 is for common customers, and the Pixel 8a will probably be a extra inexpensive technique to entry that very same lineup for much less upfront money. The Pixel 9’s naming scheme appears destined to confuse the very individuals Google is betting are keen to leap ship, irrespective of whether or not it is for the Pixel 9 or the Pixel 9 Professional Fold.

To place this one other means: Google is not Apple. If they cannot keep in mind the identify of the cellphone after they stroll into their provider retailer, they are not going to purchase it.


For those who’re trying to rebrand, attempt once more

Simply do not make it too complicated

Google's Pixel Fold 2 renders showing the phone unfolded in a stylish way.

Look, the reality is, I do not know why Google is considering this form of clunky rebrand for its foldable. It could possibly be to assist differentiate itself from Samsung, one thing we all know the corporate was involved with means again in 2022. But when that is the case, I am unsure tying the foldable to your mainline cellphone collection is the way in which to go. On the finish of the day, anybody focused on a folding cellphone goes to purchase a folding cellphone, whether or not it is straight linked to a mainline cellphone collection or not. All Google’s doing right here is risking an entire lot of shopper confusion with a clunky identify, and I am unsure what the upside is.

Angled Google Pixel Fold in Porcelain colorway

Google Pixel Fold

$1299 $1799 Save $500

Google’s first foldable improves on Samsung’s fashions in plenty of methods. As an example, the change to a wider cellphone means the entrance display feels far more comfy in each day use, plus the interior show opens up completely for video. It does have some first-gen points on the {hardware} and software program aspect of issues, however if you need a Pixel cellphone with the pliability of a pill, that is the one to get.



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