The Samsung Galaxy Fold goes on sale
in seven days, April 26. It carries a premium price tag. But this is the cost of innovation.
While it’s been more than 50 days since the phone from-the-future was announced, it is still hard to believe that the phone-tablet hybrid now exists! It’s like a device coming to life straight out of a sci-fi movie.
When Samsung said that they would launch a folding phone this year, the big question was whether it was something people wanted or not. It was a prototype which was kept within the glass windows. They didn’t let anyone touch the actual device.
But it is finally here. And this means reviewers from all around the globe have had enough time with the device to let us summarize the 15 vital details you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy Fold.
#1: The Front Display Is Tiny
The Samsung Galaxy Fold features a 4.6-inch display at the front. While it might not sound as small, but it is super tiny. The display length is measured diagonally. Hence, it doesn’t explain the narrow, tall screen, which is, in fact, much smaller than your typical 4.6-inch phone screen.
The design of Galaxy Fold is like that of a candy bar. It is narrow, tall, and thick. The narrowness of the screen makes it difficult for a user to type on.
Yes, you can unfold the display anytime and start typing on the bigger screen, but it makes the whole experience a little unsatisfactory.
Still, you are not limited in any way. You can do everything from calculating your expenses to stalking your crush on Instagram on the front screen. Though the pictures will look more impressive on the inner, bigger, 7.3″ main screen.
#2: The Main Screen Is Plastic
The Samsung Galaxy Fold sports a huge 7.3-inch screen. It is a Samsung display and you get what you expect. The main display is Super AMOLED which means its impressive with deep blacks and vibrant colours and gorgeous to look at.
However, the amazing display does not have the protection of Gorilla Glass. Well, a Gorilla Glass cannot fold, so Samsung had to use plastic instead, which means it would scratch easier.
Nevertheless, that should (hopefully) not be an issue since you don’t have the main screen exposed all the time. It folds inside which should protect it from getting exposed to the elements when you are carrying the phone around.
#3: The Plastic Screen Has A Crease
The main display, when unfolded, gives birth to a crease. There is a very noticeable gutter right in the middle of the phone.
You might not notice it in the first glance. It might not even bother you while consuming media. But it exists. You can literally touch it and feel it.
Since the Galaxy Fold is a big phone, the crease doesn’t get in the way when you are typing too. We assume it is something you’ll get used to after a while.
#4: Unfolding The Galaxy Fold Is A Two-Hand Experience
The Samsung Galaxy Fold is definitely not a one-hand device when trying to unfold it. Thanks to the strong magnets, the two inner sides snap tightly (with a satisfactory snap sound) when you close it.
The mechanism which makes all the complexity possible, the hinge is built incredibly well. It snaps the screen tightly when you close it (though, not like a perfect book fold) and opens at a perfectly flat angle with a satisfying click. It feels super sturdy and reliable.
Having said that, it also means that the Galaxy Fold is very hard to unfold with one hand. You cannot unfold the device with your thumb while holding it in the same hand.
It should not be a deal breaker for sure. But still, it was worth a mention.
#5: It Has Two Batteries, But..
The Samsung Galaxy Fold includes a battery set up like no other. It comes equipped with two batteries, one on each side of the folding phone. On paper, when you combine to two cells, you get a 4380mAh of total battery capacity.
The battery capacity invites a LOT of questions. The huge screen is guaranteed to use a lot off the two cells. Since there are normal phones now which sport 5000mAh battery capacity, we are sceptical about the actual battery life here.
Also not to forget, the two cells are connected to each other via the hinge. It means that a battery replacement on this $2000 folding phone will be extremely hard.
#6: The Power Button Is Not The FingerPrint Sensor
Samsung has a very unfamiliar take on the fingerprint sensor in the Galaxy Fold. Generally, the power button doubles as a fingerprint sensor, but not on the Fold.
The Samsung Galaxy Fold features two separate buttons for power on/off and fingerprint sensor. Both are positioned on the right side of the device below the volume rockers.
Surprisingly, the fingerprint sensor doubles as a Bixby button! Is Samsung forcing us to use Bixby? Maybe. Since it takes two hands to unfold the Galaxy Fold, you are very likely to trigger Bixby in the process.
Luckily, One UI lets you remap the button and set it to only trigger Bixby with a double click.
#7: Not One, Two, Three, Or Even Four, But Six Cameras!
If you count on fingers, you need two hands to count the number of cameras on the Samsung Galaxy Fold. This folding phone features a total of six cameras!
P.S. Not all of them work together to give you an out-of-the-world shot.
The rear triple camera set up is basically the same as that of the Galaxy S10+ with one regular, one wide, and one telephoto lens on the inside. There’s a regular camera lens on the front (above the 4.6″ display). Whereas there are two on the front in the notch above the main screen. The two lenses are regular and depth sensing one respectively.
They are all good and you can expect to click crispy photos with this device.
#8: The Notch On The Main Screen Is BIG
You might have gotten used to notches by now. But the one on the Galaxy Fold is gigantic. It is probably one of the most annoying things about Samsung’s folding phone. But it is a technical necessity.
The notch resides on the top right corner of the main display and holds a couple of sensors and the dual front camera setup.
The most annoying part of the notch is that it comes in the way of watching videos. A significant portion of videos and pictures get cut off and it is hard to ignore.
However, you have the option to hide the notch in the settings menu. But it just doesn’t do justice to the available screen real-estate.
#9: It Is One Of The Heaviest Phones We Have Seen In Recent Times
The candy bar design does not only make it hard to carry the Galaxy Fold in your jeans pocket but it adds to the bulkiness of the device.
This folding phone weighs 272 grams, which makes it heavier than most of the big smartphones out there. The weight is okay for a tablet, but not really for a phone.
For a quick comparison, the iPhone XS Max is the phone which comes next at 208 grams.
#10: App Continuity Is For Real!
One of my favourite features on the software front is app continuity. In theory, app continuity is when you start doing something on the small front screen and then unfold the phone, it continues on the big screen from where you left off.
In practical, it works excellent! It is quick, quicker than what everyone was expecting it to be.
But, (yes, there’s a big “but” here as well) app continuity works only on Samsung and Google apps. This means when you are scrolling through Instagram, and open the main display, you will be greeted with the same screen with two broad bars on either side.
To use other apps from the small screen to the main screen, you will have to relaunch the app after unfolding the phone.
Hopefully, the feature will come to other apps later on.
#11: It Comes With A Free Pair Of Galaxy Buds
Do you remember the time when smartphone manufacturers used to compensate with wireless earphones for the absence of a headphone jack in the box? Yeah, neither can I.
Since the Galaxy Fold doesn’t have a headphone jack and since it costs nearly $2000, Samsung has included a free pair of truly wireless Galaxy Buds in the box.
There is also a free case included in the box to give extra protection to your premium folding phone.
#12: It Is Available In Four Colours
The Samsung Galaxy Fold comes in four gorgeous colours, namely:
- Space Silver
- Cosmos Black
- Martian Green
- Astro Blue
The latter two come with an option to customize the hinge colour and also change their colour when light hits the surface!
#13: Samsung Galaxy Fold Specifications In A Nutshell
- 7.3-inch QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED 4.2:3 aspect ratio main display, 4.6-inch HD+ Super AMOLED 21:9 aspect ratio cover display
- Octa-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 7nm Mobile Platform with Adreno 640 GPU
- 12GB LPDDR4x RAM, 512GB storage (UFS 2.1)
- Android 9.0 (Pie)
- 12MP Dual Pixel rear camera with LED Flash, f/2.4-f/1.5 variable aperture, OIS, a 12MP Telephoto lens with 45° FoV, f/2.4 aperture, 16MP 123° Ultra Wide sensor with f/2.2 aperture with 0.5X/2X optical zoom, up to 10X digital zoom
- 10MP Dual Pixel front-facing camera with 80° wide-angle lens, f/1.9 aperture, secondary 8MP depth sensor with f/2.2 aperture, 90° FoV
- 10MP cover camera with f/2.2 aperture
- Stereo speakers tuned by AKG, Dolby Atmos
- Side-mounted Fingerprint Sensor
- 5G Sub6 / mmWave (28G, 39G), 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ax (2.4/5GHz), VHT80 4×4 MIMO, Bluetooth 5, GPS with GLONASS, USB 3.1, NFC, MST
- 4,380mAh battery with fast Charging both on wired and wireless (WPC and PMA) charging
#14: Samsung Galaxy Fold Release Date, Price In India
Samsung’s innovative folding phone is expected to cost as much as the 512GB iPhone Xs Max, Rs. 1,40,790 in India.
The expected launch date of the Galaxy Fold in India is May 7th.
#15: Is This The Future Of Smartphones?
Do we really need a folding phone? Will the Samsung Galaxy Fold change the way we use our smartphones? Will it be a “breakthrough” in smartphone design? Time will tell. But as of now, all we can say with certainty is that the Galaxy Fold is making the smartphone designs exciting again.
It is too early to tell if you should buy a device this expensive or not. It is a first generation device which has its pros and cons.
#+1: Is The Main Screen Of Samsung Galaxy Fold Too Fragile?
Within a day of use, reviewers have reported broken Galaxy Fold screens. From tech youtuber MKBHD to The Verge, several reports of broken Fold screens started making rounds on Twitter. We’d suggest you read The Verge’s “Diving into the broken Samsung Galaxy Fold phone fiasco” post to look into the matter.
Nevertheless, we are very excited to see how the future of folding phones unfold.
Let us know what you think of the Samsung Galaxy Fold in the comments below. Do you think that five years from now, folding phones will be the norm?