Google explains how the Pixel Fold hinge that keeps the device slim came about

The Pixel Fold hinge can not only open and close easily, but it can also be propped into a clamshell position: Google explains how the Pixel Fold hinge that keeps the device slim came about

The Pixel Fold hinge is the reason why the upcoming foldable lies completely flat when open. It’s a custom built 180 degree fluid friction hinge that doesn’t get in the way of the internal screen when the device is open like Google mentions in a blog post published today about the Pixel Fold hinge. Because it is important? As Google explains, “With other foldable devices you have hinge components under the display, which increase the thickness. So with our hinge, we moved these hinge components entirely to the edges of the device, out from under the display, which makes it’s much thinner.”

Google had to create a Pixel Fold hinge that would not only keep the device slim, but could also stand up to constant use

This certainly makes sense and while Google had to design a hinge that kept the Pixel Fold’s slim measurements, it also had to create one that could withstand the constant use expected from a hinge found on a foldable phone. Googler George Hwang, product manager of Pixel Fold, revealed how difficult it was to design such a component. “We definitely had our work cut out for us,” George said. “To put it simply, this is the most complex product I’ve ever worked on.”

So how did Google come up with the design for the Pixel Fold hinge? First, they brought boxes of hinges to the workshop. They also looked at paper and books. Why? As Google industrial designer Sangsoo Park notes, “We wanted to recreate the way you can hold and close a book with one hand, and we wanted to replicate the way both sides blend seamlessly when closed.” Park said one book they were obsessed with was a passport.

When deciding which form factor to use for the Pixel Fold, Park looked at a passport in hand and had an epiphany. I noticed it had a nice proportion when closed and open. It seems a bit like a metaphor, even your passport holds your memories and this is where many of your stories begin. And it’s slim and pocket-sized enough to take wherever we go.”

Google has been working on the torque required to open and close the Pixel Fold in an effort to make this easier. Park says the established pair leaves the Pixel Fold user with a satisfying hollow effect. Not only does it look great, it also creates a pleasant sound when you close the device. Product Manager Hwang notes, “You get this satisfying round of applause when it closes, and we loved it.”

Now it’s time to grab the Google Pixel 7a

To make sure the Pixel Fold hinge could survive years of use, Google created a prototype that was manually opened and closed again and again and again and again and again… you get the idea. Eventually, Google built a machine to automatically open and close prototype models of the Fold. Park said, “We wanted it to close tightly, so we had to balance the magnets to find that happy place.”

In addition to getting feedback from the machine testing the zipper, Google has also been gathering feedback from users testing the crucial component. Product manager Hwang said: “We’ve heard from users that they were concerned about the tightness of the zipper, which is why we were obsessed with making the most durable zipper possible. The googler thought of people like him who are constantly clicking their pens during the meetings.

Google has decided to build the hinge out of heavy-duty stainless steel, which is stronger than aluminum. And as Park points out, it has a nice sheen too!

The Pixel Fold can be pre-ordered exclusively from the Google Play Store and will be released on June 27. It features a 5.8-inch OLED external display with a 1080 x 2092 FHD+ resolution with a 120Hz refresh rate. The internal display is a 7.6-inch OLED panel with a resolution of 1840 x 2208 and a refresh rate of 120Hz.

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