Does the Pixel Fold have a desktop mode?

Using the Backdrops app in conjunction with Google's Cinematic Wallpaper function on the Pixel Fold
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Does the Pixel Fold have a desktop mode?

Unfortunately, Google's Pixel Fold does not have a desktop experience, as the device does not support DisplayPort Alt Mode. In fact, the Pixel Fold doesn't even mirror your screen when plugged into an external monitor via the USB-C port.

Google needs a Samsung DeX competitor

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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 in DeX mode connected to ultrawide monitor

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

One of the best reasons to get a phone like the Galaxy Z Fold 5 or Galaxy S23 Ultra is that it can be transformed into a fully-fledged desktop computer. This is done via Samsung DeX, a desktop mode built into the software, while also supporting DisplayPort Alt Mode.

Many of the best foldable phones are already powerhouse devices, offering much more flexibility and functionality than traditional slab phones. However, being able to have a phone, tablet, and computer in your pocket is simply incredible, and Samsung absolutely nails it with DeX on the Galaxy Z Fold 5.

This is one area where we were hoping to see Google make some waves with the Pixel Fold, as Android 14 seems to implement a new API that "can report whether a connected USB-C cable supports DP Alt Mode." However, it wasn't meant to be, and it's likely due to a hardware limitation with the Google Tensor G2 chip powering the Pixel Fold.

There are rumors that the upcoming Pixel 8 will offer some type of Samsung DeX competitor, but we won't know for sure until Google's next phone is announced. While Google is well-known for its excellent cameras and Pixel-exclusive features, we're really hoping to see the Tensor G3 introduce the ability to plug your Pixel into an external display and use it as a phone or a computer.

Andrew Myrick
Senior Editor - Chromebooks, tablets, and wearables

Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.