Foldable cases have improved drastically since the first couple of generations, and you’ll find more and more brands making them too. But it’s still very much worth looking at how those cases work in actual use. Over the past couple of days, I’ve been using Bellroy’s case for the Google Pixel Fold; I’m blown away at how very extremely not good this case is.
Bellroy is a premium accessory maker that’s been partnered up with Google for the past several Pixel products. Everything from smartphone cases to laptop sleeves and more, Bellroy has been on board, and the quality has been excellent. While I wish the company’s leather cases offered more patina over time, they’ve also been my go-to option on Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 for their tight fit and soft feel in the hand. They’re just delightful cases and even worth their somewhat tall price tags.
That’s why I was so excited to hear that Bellroy would be making a case for the Google Pixel Fold. A tightfitting, soft leather case for my new foldable? Sign me up right away.
But, on unboxing and putting that case on this week, I’ve come away incredibly disappointed.
That starts with the leather finish itself. As mentioned, Bellroy’s leather has never really been my favorite, but it’s always been comfortable in the hand by striking a good balance on the thickness of the leather layer. On Pixel Fold, the leather layer is effectively a sticker – I’m quite sure that dbrand’s leather skin is thicker – on a cheap plastic case. Rough edges are found throughout the case here, and just days in, I found a portion of the leather peeling in the corner. I’m not alone in that, either.
Things only get worse from there, though.
My main issue with this case is the fit. On the back half, the case snaps into place with relative snugness, but it’s a bit loose where it meets the hinge area. I can live with that, but it’s the front that really seals the deal here.
The front half of Bellroy’s Pixel Fold case borders on unusable.
The left side that meets the hinge pops out of place every single time I use the phone with my left hand. I constantly find myself nearly pushing the case off every time I open the foldable. And the fit as a whole is so loose that I have zero confidence this front half wouldn’t fly off at the first drop. And the plastic used here feels so brittle that I would fully expect it to crack within a few months of use, assuming the case is taken off from time to time.
Much of this could be solved by the use of a light adhesive, a method many cases employ, but there’s none of that to be found here. Even then, I’m not sure it would do enough, given the extremely loose fit.
We asked Bellroy for comment regarding these issues, and a spokesperson told us that the case is “as intended.” That’s backed up by messaging within the packaging that tells users to “avoid pushing on the inner edge” as it can “cause the case to loosen.”
Bellroy’s Pixel Fold case has all of the hallmarks of a bad foldable case, and that’s just something I cannot even slightly recommend for the $75 price the company is asking for. There are good ideas here, and I adore the blue leather color Bellroy uses, but this needs serious improvements and should be pulled from sale until it’s been completely redesigned.
Google’s official silicone case is a far, far better option at $60. I truly do hope someone can make a good leather case for Pixel Fold, but Bellroy has absolutely failed in its attempt.
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