It’s official — the Pixel Fold has something we’ve never seen

Google Pixel Fold in Obsidian in hand.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Google is doing what no other foldable smartphone maker has done before. The company has tapped iFixit to sell genuine repair parts for the Google Pixel Fold, with all the official repair guides in tow. It’s a great move, but the situation with foldables makes it a risky ambition, too.

From an average foldable phone enthusiast’s perspective, it is an unprecedented strategy. It suggests that Google has enough confidence in the simplicity and robustness of its Pixel Fold engineering that it would let an average customer repair it at their home.

Google will sell replacement parts to replace the batteries, charging parts, and — most importantly — the screen on its first foldable phone. Google says it will sell display assembly for both the outer cover screen as well as the inner foldable panel.

But if you’re not feeling adventurous about a DIY repair on a fragile foldable phone, you can take the Pixel Fold to a store or send it over via the mail-in option so that experts can fix it.

Digital Trends has reached out to Google for more details about its Pixel Fold DIY repair program in partnership with iFixit. This story will be updated as soon as we hear back.

A good step forward, but there’s a catch

Google Pixel Fold in Obsidian open slightly sitting on park bench.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Foldable phones are notoriously fragile. Even after making foldable phones for four generations, Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip and Z Fold series devices are still nowhere near as sturdy as a regular glass slab device — even the latest Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Fold 4. Motorola hasn’t achieved anything better with the Motorola Razr Plus, and neither have any rival brands from China.

I have personally broken two foldable phones — the foldable screen in one case and the hinge on the other unit — within just a year’s worth of usage. Both the phones were kept in a protective TPU case from day one, and I didn’t flip them open or shut them like any cool dude.

In the case of the Pixel Fold, there’s a lot going on. iFixit bestowed a repairability score of 5/10 to the Pixel 6 Pro, and given the situation with the innards of the Pixel 7 series, not much has changed. With the Pixel Fold, the stakes are even higher, thanks to the sophisticated engineering underneath.

In a nutshell, if you have never popped open a regular phone for a DIY project, I would strictly advise against doing the same with a malfunctioning Pixel Fold. You could end up doing more damage than good for your $1,800 phone, even with an encyclopedic product guide and official repair kit at your disposal.

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