Foldables make up just a small percentage of the overall smartphone market, but they are growing.

Recently, I’ve been testing out the Google Pixel Fold, which is Google’s first foldable and mixes aspects of both a phone and a tablet. While it’s not perfect, it’s a great start.

The size is unique – it’s like a passport, but heavier and thicker.

Google Pixel Fold (Rich DeMuro)
Google Pixel Fold (Rich DeMuro)

The outer screen is 5.8 inches, while the unfolded inside screen is 7.6 inches. The device doesn’t open flat, and the crease is more prominent than on Samsung’s foldables. You’ll notice it more when using the device day to day, but it’s not a dealbreaker.

Compared to Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 5, which has a narrow outside screen, I find the shorter, wider outside screen on the Pixel Fold much more useful.

I used the Pixel Fold almost exclusively on my recent trip to Berlin and found that it’s a versatile companion.

Photos are incredible thanks to Google’s unmatched AI processing, but ironically, I found myself using the outside screen a majority of the time, without too many reasons to unfold.

I do like the inside screen for watching videos and checking email.

“It’s really all about adaptability,” said Engadget reviewer Sam Rutherford on the Rich On Tech show. Rutherford has been using foldables as his primary phone for 3 years now.

“If I just want to do something quick, or, you know, check an app, or check a notification, respond to a text, whatever, you have that outside screen. But when you want to watch a movie… you open it up and suddenly you have a significantly bigger screen. It just makes everything better,” said Rutherford.

The biggest downsides to the Pixel Fold? The Google processor inside isn’t as powerful as other premium phones. It’s heavy and bulky with a case. It always seems warm to the touch. The outside screen isn’t as easy to see in bright outdoor sunlight as other premium phones.

But with all that said, it’s a great start.

I love the size and Google’s special blend of Android software is incredibly smart, intuitive, and genuinely useful.

Voice to text is nearly perfect, voice search is handy and so is visual search with Google Lens.

The always-on display shows a good mix of pertinent information.

Overall, Pixel Fold is a great start, and it will only get better as the form factor is refined and more apps are optimized for the inside screen.

The Pixel Fold is on sale now starting at $1800 dollars and if you’re trying to decide between Google and Samsung’s Fold 5, it might come down to that outer screen. I find Google’s much more usable on a daily basis.