Google has created a limited edition Pixel Fold to honor the 50th anniversary of hip-hop. But as is often the case with limited edition gadgets, this one can’t be purchased and only appears to have been gifted to distinguished personalities in the music industry. The core design remains the same, save for a slightly different shade of bronze metal accents and a “HIP HOP 50” branding on the camera island.
— Courtney Hill (@filmedbyfresh) June 27, 2023
But more than fine-tuning already sleek hardware, Google went out of its way with the whole bundle to really honor the hip-hop heritage. The suitcase package features the Pixel Buds TWS earbuds, a piece of custom bling designed by Simone I. Smith, and a portable record player with beautiful red discs to go with it. Google is giving away this limited edition Pixel Edition as part of the #GiftFromGoogle program, and it has already started making waves on social media courtesy of posts from the lucky recipients.
Notably, Google only made 400 units of this limited edition Pixel Fold but hasn’t revealed the names of all the music fraternity personalities that are gettings its jazzy foldable phone. The Pixel Fold itself starts at $1,800, making it one of the most expensive phones out there. But Google’s efforts appeared to have paid off. Our review of the Pixel Fold details its premium hardware, software refinements, and of course, the impressive camera output.
The Pixel Fold is off to a rocky start
But this is a Pixel phone at the end of the day, specifically the first-gen Google phone of its kind, which means there’s always a hardware catch. In the Pixel Fold’s case, multiple buyers have already had a bad quality experience with the pricey phone, with the issues mostly plaguing the inner foldable screen. One frustrated buyer claimed on Reddit that the inner foldable screen broke after just one day of usage. Another unlucky individual complained about a pink line appearing across the screen after merely using the device for a few hours. A separate Reddit post mentioned how the Pixel Fold’s protective cover over the inner foldable screen started peeling out after about five hours of usage.
Not sure if I got a lemon review unit, but the hinge is making a cracking/clicking sound every time I unfold the Pixel Fold.
Google is replacing it, but I really hope it’s not widespread on devices shipping to consumers pic.twitter.com/iXwCdlnoC9
— Ray Wong (@raywongy) June 26, 2023
ArsTechnica‘s Ron Amadeo also had his review unit’s screen malfunction within a few days of usage, while Inverse’s Raymond Wong tweeted about the hinge parts making a crackling sound. To top it all off, there are multiple complaints on Reddit where users are vexed about erratic or delayed shipments for their Pixel Fold orders. Google is yet to officially release a statement about the malfunctioning Pixel Fold units, but if you are eyeing the phone, it’s worth waiting a few weeks to gauge the broad audience experience before you give Google $1,800.