Google Pixel Fold 2 renders say goodbye to a distinctive design

The foldable phone market is still very young, which means there’s plenty of room for design improvement across the board. We can expect manufacturers to experiment with different combinations that try to cram as much hardware as possible inside super-thin bodies. Change is inevitable but not every change will be welcomed with open arms. Some are bound to be controversial, especially when they involve removing something that people have grown fond of. That might be the case with Google’s second foldable phone, which will trade its somewhat iconic “visor” camera design for a rather unusual spin on the common camera bump that might prove to be quite unappealing if these unofficial renders are correct.

Designer: Google (via Smartprix, @OnLeaks)

Granted, the Google Pixel’s rear camera bar isn’t exactly loved by everyone, but it still gives the smartphones a distinctive appearance that can be considered Google’s signature design. That’s not exactly easy to pull off on a foldable phone like the Pixel Fold, so Google had to modify it to be less elegant but still shouted “Pixel” nonetheless. Whether you liked that design or not, it might not be sticking around on Google’s foldable for long, and maybe not even on its future smartphones.

Renders based on leaked information reveal the alleged Pixel Fold 2 design that is so different from the first-gen foldable. Gone is the horizontal bar, replaced by what almost looks like a more conventional rounded square in the corner. That illusion quickly breaks down, however, when you notice the two horizontal pill-shaped cutouts for the camera lenses. In addition to possibly being very thick, this could easily be one of the least attractive camera designs today.

The more subtle changes can be found in the sizes of the two screens. Not only are they larger, they also have different aspect ratios. The external Cover screen, for example, is a bit narrower and taller, resulting in an unfolded shape that is more square than the first Pixel Fold. The bezels around the internal display are also much thinner, which leaves no room for a camera. Apparently, this could also be Google’s first phone to use an under-display camera as well.

None of these details are guaranteed, of course, and Google might surprise us with a Pixel Fold 2 that looks almost exactly like the Pixel Fold 1, except more refined. It is definitely within Google’s right to change its designs as it sees fit, but there are also times when you’re just left scratching your head at the oddity of it all. Fortunately, the Pixel Fold is hardly the only foldable phone available, especially with OPPO confirming it’s still in the race.