Last November, Samsung teased a foldable phone, details were scarce but at their recent Unpacked event in San Francisco, Samsung finally properly introduced a better picture of their first foldable phone, the Galaxy Fold, which releases in late April 2019 and will cost you US$1,980.
Samsung is not have been the first company to release a foldable phone – many companies have experimented with hinges before and Royole, a Chinese company, released its rather underwhelming take on a foldable phone called the Royole FlexPai at CES 2019. However, Samsung is the first company with real and proper technological know-how and the means to properly develop and introduce a foldable phone into the mainstream market.
With regards to its design, the Fold is able to turn from a 4.6-inch HD+ Super AMOLED screen when in smartphone mode to a much bigger 7.3-inch QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED which is not made of glass as it will not be able to withstand the strain of the phone constantly opening and closing. Instead, it is made with a plastic polymer that Samsung has previously stated is able to take thousands of opening and closing. How long it will take till a physical crease appears on your screen remains to be seen.
The Galaxy Fold comes with two batteries, one in each screen. It is also fast charging and compatible with both wired and wireless charging. For those who wish to charge a second device with your Fold, you’ll be pleased to know that the Fold is capable of that too.
For its internals, while it is not as powerful as the S10 that was also announced at the Unpacked event, it is still fast enough for most other users. The Fold runs on Android Pie, and is powered by a Qualcomm 7nm64-bit octa-core processor. It also comes with 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. Also, much like the S10e, the Fold can be unlocked using fingerprint sensors found on the side of the device.
In terms of camera, Samsung has taken advantage of the Fold’s design to put six cameras on it. You heard us right, six cameras. One 10MP (F2.2) selfie camera on the front, three on the back consisting of a 16MP ultra-wide camera (F2.2), a 12MP wide-angle camera with dual pixel autofocus and optical image stabilization (F1.5/F2.4), and a 12MP telephoto lens (F2.4) with 2X optical zoom. Then on the tablet display, there are two more cameras, a 10MP selfie lens (F2.2) and an 8MP RGB depth camera (F1.9). Samsung states that they did this to ensure that “no matter which way you hold or fold the device, a camera will be ready to capture the scene”.
When in smartphone mode, the Fold behaves much like any other smartphone that is already out in markets with a touchscreen in the front. However, the 4.6-inch screen has a 21:9 ratio which does not take up the whole screen, which can feel a tad bit off after years of full-screen phones being released.
Samsung has also worked with Google and the Android developer community to try and make sure that apps and services will be available for the Galaxy Fold when it releases. As an example, Samsung showed off the Fold’s “App Continuity” feature, which basically means that you should be able to switch seamlessly between smartphone and tablet mode with your apps still up and running.
In the demo, Samsung showed off the feature by opening and closing the Fold, and true enough apps such as Netflix and Google Maps continued to run regardless of which screen was being used.
Another feature Samsung is introducing with the Galaxy Fold is the “Multi-Active Windows” which simply means that you will be able to have three apps open at once on the Fold, beating the iPad which only allows two apps to be open simultaneously at present. So you can be watching a video on YouTube, whilst chatting with your friend on Whatsapp, and be scrolling around on Google Chrome, all at the same time.
Finally, the Galaxy Fold is available in LTE and 5G version and is compatible with Samsung’s DeX setup. It also comes in four colours: Space Silver, Cosmos Black, Martian Green, and Astro Blue, and as if to further illustrate how much of luxury the phone is, Samsung is also throwing in their new dynamic earbuds into the box.
— Bob O'Donnell (@bobodtech) February 20, 2019
The jury is still out as to how well the Galaxy Fold will be received once it is released but it is obvious that Samsung has done their homework and is clearly trying.
Samsung has bravely taken the first step the first mainstream foldable phone. We eagerly await the other foldable phones that companies like Huawei and Xiaomi have teased.
Geek Culture also understands that the Galaxy Fold will be available in the second quarter of 2019, but in limited quantities.
Germaine is a fun-sized introvert who loves nothing better than sleeping in on rainy days. She can be found reading fanfiction and manga while still waiting for her Hogwarts acceptance letter. It’ll come eventually.