It's here. After literally years of rumors, leaks, and reports, Samsung's foldable smartphone has arrived.
Samsung calls it the Galaxy Fold, and while it may not be the very first foldable phone to be created, it is the first to launch in the United States with a mass-market appeal.
Ready to learn more? Let's dive right in.
Check out our hands-on coverage
Talking about the Galaxy Fold is one thing, but actually using it as a daily driver is something else entirely.
We still need a bit more time to mess around with the Fold before we publish our full review, but in the meantime, we do have some initial impressions we'd like to share.
The Galaxy Fold is a device with enormous potential and is paving the way for an entirely new kind of smartphone. We have to give Samsung an enormous amount of props for trying something this ambitious, but as you might expect, there are a few quirks here and there that come with a first-gen smartphone.
What's the deal with the screen issues?
Chances are you've seen people on Twitter sharing pictures and videos of the Galaxy Fold's display being completely broken. We won't lie, the images are pretty gnarly.
Before you start petitioning for Samsung to recall the Galaxy Fold, let's take a step back and understand why this is happening.
There's a layer of protective plastic on top of the Galaxy Fold's display, and at first glance, it looks an awful lot like a screen protector. However, it's actually part of what keeps the Fold working and should not be removed under any circumstances. Some of the screen breakage we've seen has been a result of that layer being peeled of.
There have also been some instances where the Fold's display goes wack even without the plastic film being removed, and the fact of the matter is that flexible plastic is simply not as durable as Gorilla Glass like we're used to on phones. It's one of those first-gen problems that really can' be "fixed" right now.
Shortly after these reports started surfacing, a report came out claiming that Samsung was delaying the Galaxy Fold until ast least some time in May.
For a much deeper dive into what's going on, check out Andrew's excellent explainer of the whole situation 👇
The Galaxy Fold has two displays
The main highlight of the Galaxy Fold is that it has two displays — one on the outside and another that's revealed when you open the phone up.
The outer display is a 4.6-inch HD+ Super AMOLED panel with a 21:9 aspect ratio. The inner/main display of the Galaxy Fold is a large 7.3-inch QXGA+ Dyanic AMOLED canvas with a form factor of 4.2:3.
You can use the outer display for anything you'd regularly use your phone for, including texting, making calls, spending endless hours on Twitter, you name it. However, the big draw to the Galaxy Fold is that you can open it up and get a tablet-like experience in a device you can easily fit in your pocket.
A powerful hinge mechanism keeps everything secure
In order for the Galaxy Fold to be opened and closed, Samsung's using a powerful hinge mechanism. Here's how the company describes it:
Galaxy Fold opens smoothly and naturally, like a book, and closes flat and compact with a satisfying click. To achieve this, Samsung engineered a sophisticated hinge with multiple interlocking gears. This system is housed in a hidden enclosure for a seamless and elegant look.
Samsung's really put these hinges to the test to ensure they keep on working for a while to come. More specifically, the hinge has been tested to open and close 200,000 times. In real world use, that should translate to a five-year lifespan if you're opening and closing the Galaxy Fold 100 times in a single day.
You can do a lot with the two screens
The potential of a device like the Galaxy Fold is really exciting, and based on what we've seen so far, Samsung's doing everything it can to get the absolute most out of it.
For one thing, when you're using the Galaxy Fold with its main 7.3-inch display, you can get up to three apps simultaneously at once. Even more exciting, Samsung's using the Galaxy Fold to introduce a new feature called "App Continuity."
Let's say you're using the Galaxy Fold with its 4.6-inch display to browse Twitter and come across a video you want to watch. If you open the Galaxy Fold to access its larger screen, Twitter will automatically open up right where you left off to tie the whole experience together. That's pretty cool.
Samsung crammed in a total of 6 cameras
When it comes to cameras, Samsung's not cutting any corners with the Galaxy Fold.
On the phone, you'll find a total of 6 cameras. Here's what they're packing:
- Rear Camera 1 — 16MP Ultra Wide | f/2.2
- Rear Camera 2 — 12MP Wide-Angle | f/1.5 - f/2.4
- Rear Camera 3 — 12MP Telephoto | f/2.4
- Front Camera 1 — 10MP Selfie | f/2.2
- Front Camera 2 — 8MP Depth Sensor | f/1.9
- Cover Camera — 10MP Selfie | f/2.2
How does it compare to other folding phones?
Believe it or not, the Galaxy Fold isn't the only folding phone that's launching in 2019. So far, its biggest competitor is the Huawei Mate X.
The Mate X is a downright stunning device, and in some ways, is even more impressive than what Samsung created. It uses a slightly different folding design, allowing its front/phone display to be much larger than what you'll find on the Galaxy Fold. There's also no notch on the tablet screen and it has a higher screen resolution with a slighty beefier battery.
That said, there's one big reason why you'll probably still want to go for the Galaxy Fold instead of the Mate X.
Here are the specs
While some phones are exciting because of the specifications they bring to the table, the Galaxy Fold stands out because of its unique form factor and the overall experience of using it. Even so, Samsung still made sure that it packed the Fold with all of the latest tech that it could.
This means you'll find a 7nm processor, 12GB of RAM, and an impressive 512GB of base storage. Some legacy features had to be cut, such as a headphone jack and microSD card support, but we think the trade-offs Samsung decided to make were well worth it.
|Category||Samsung Galaxy Fold|
|Operating System||Android 9 Pie
Samsung One UI
2152 x 1536
720 x 1680
|Processor||7nm 64-bit octa-core
2.84GHz + 2.41GHz + 1.78GHz
|Security||Capacitive fingerprint sensor
|Battery||4,380 mAh (LTE model)
4,235 mAh (5G model)
|Charging||QuickCharge 2.0 wired charging
Fast Qi wireless charging
|Dimensions (Folded)||62.9 x 160.9 x 17.0mm|
|Dimensions (Unfolded)||117.9 x 160.9 x 7.5mm|
It costs nearly $2,000 😳
When Samsung launches the Galaxy Fold, it's going to cost you a whopping, heart-stopping, $1,980.
While that's undoubtedly a gob load of money, we should give credit where credit is due.
The Galaxy Fold is the first device of its kind to hit the market, and considering how much bleeding-edge technology it's using and that the Galaxy S10+ already has a starting price of $1000, it could certainly be worse.
Along with that, Samsung's also including premium packing with the Galaxy Fold and throwing in a free pair of its Galaxy Buds (a $130 value).
Samsung was supposed to launch the Galaxy Fold on April 26, but following multiple complaints about the inner display breaking incredibly easily, the phone is now being delayed until at least some point in May.
An entirely new kind of smartphone.
The Samsung Galaxy Fold is something special. It's the first foldable phone to launch in the United States and makes every other handset look like a piece of ancient history. There are still some quirks with folding phones as a whole, but if you want to buy one, this is probably the one to get.