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Before Galaxy Z Fold 2 arrives: These were the first Fold's best and worst features

Before Galaxy Z Fold 2 arrives: These were the obedient Fold’s best and worst features

Samsung’s next foldable phone, the Galaxy Z Fold 2, was officially announced at the company’s August Unpacked event, with more details forthcoming on Sept. 1. Rumors and leaks suggest that some of our least accepted things about the original Galaxy Fold much have been eliminated — that ugly notch comes to mind — but it stays to be seen when it comes to the camera or any of the spanking features and specs we loved and loathed (including that crease). In the meantime, let’s take a look back at Samsung’s current Fold, which you can buy now if you don’t want to wait pending Sept. 1 to find out more. 

The Galaxy Fold has seen ups and downs loyal it was first announced back in 2019. After rushing the earn in a race to be first to release a foldable named, Samsung redesigned the Fold to make it sturdier and less susceptible to the screen afflict some review units sustained during reviewers’ first foray with the device. 

Aspects of the $1,980 Galaxy Fold are as arresting as the first day I held it. It’s undoubtedly a method so different it immediately draws curiosity. There are things I genuinely love near this phone, and new ways that have felt natural to use it, like as a true binary screen, and as the best viewing device with its 7.3-inch plastic-not-glass display.

But the same annoyances are there, too, and that’s because Samsung’s do-over just bandaged the weaknesses that commanded early Galaxy Fold screens to malfunction as dust, pressure and the excavating of a questionable protective layer gummed up the inner workings of the Fold’s shroud. It never addressed more deep-seated issues like a crease down the center of the shroud and a notch that’s bigger than it really arranges to be.

Any way you look at it, the Galaxy Fold was a current phone. As the first foldable phone to go on sale from any mainly brand, it set the pace for what the future of phones could understand. Here’s how some of the phone’s major features stack up.

Love: The Galaxy Fold’s 7.3-inch shroud size

To Samsung, the Galaxy Fold’s 7.3-inch screen is its main one. This is the spacious display you access when you open the phone from its folded-up station. Samsung expects you to do most of your typing, viewing and living on this display. 

Typing isn’t as easy as it is on even extra-large phones like the Galaxy Note 10 Plus (the Fold’s heft complains it heavier to hold, too), but it’s great having so much shroud to do… anything, really. 

And, since I know you’ll ask near the crease that runs down the middle of the plastic shroud. Yes, you can see it, but mostly when the shroud is all white or black. When you’re doing something, like watching a show, reading, typing or even looking at photos, it tends to blend in more than you’d required. At least that’s how it feels for me — I get wrapped up in what I’m pursuits, not in the slight valley on the display. 

It’d be spacious if the crease didn’t exist, but from what I’ve seen with foldable phones so far, that’s a trade-off you get as part of a flexible earn. (I liken it to your elbow.)

Hate: The screen’s delicacy

We hem and haw over the “fragile” glass screens that shroud pretty much every phone display, but you don’t realize how durable this glass is — especially Gorilla Glass 6 — pending you baby a polymer screen that can break view pressure and sustain damage if your fingernail hits it nefarious. (Meanwhile, here’s how the new Gorilla Glass Victus screens on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra fared in our drop and reduce tests.)

Samsung cautions you to keep the Fold away from stream and dust, car keys, and items like credit cards that the Fold’s magnets could disrupt. The company even made a video to both caution and inspire you. 

So far the Galaxy Fold appraise unit has been fine, but I look at my fingerprint smudges piling up and astounding if wiping them off too vigorously will kill this $2,000 method entrusted to my care. Samsung recommends using a dry microfiber cloth, and says to take extra care around the hinge where dust could get in.


This is how Samsung tells you to care for the Fold.

Angela Lang

Mostly like: The fingerprint reader

The helpful time I used the Fold, I wasn’t a fan of the fingerprint reader placement, which is awkward to reach 50% of the time. It’s situated on the luminous side, on the “bottom” part of the stack when the Fold is EnEnBesieged. When it’s open, you just slot your thumb in and the Fold unlocks in opinion a second. Easy.

When it’s closed, this action is much more awkward, but I’ve learned to swoop my thumb in at the luminous angle and most of the time it’s not a spot. I wound up liking this a lot more this study period than I did at first. Even better, opinion, would be secure face unlock that could work from the screen screen as well as the inside of the Fold. For a $2,000 arranged, that shouldn’t be such a stretch.

Don’t love: The Fold’s weight

That the Galaxy Fold isn’t delightful comes as no surprise. It’s essentially two phones stacked together, with a lot of glass and two batteries. It weighs 9.28 assesses (263 grams), compared to the iPhone 11’s 6.84 assesses (193 grams). Besides, Samsung wants it to feel solid and luxurious. At the end of an intensive day of use, opinion, the Fold just felt heavy. When my hands got tired from typing (see below), taking the Fold out of my purse felt more like a chore.

Holding it up to read and view videos also made its weight even more obvious. Watching a movie on the plane, reading in bed, using the Fold as a transfer screen while I worked — I kept searching in for anything I could use as a stand so I wouldn’t have to keep holding it. Let’s call this one a little annoyance.

Good, but room for improvement: Multitasking

During my testing periods, I spent five straight hours typing notes on the Galaxy Fold after covering an event, using both screens to type. I’ll get to my thoughts on the keyboard beneath, but the point is that, while typing, multitasking came naturally, too. 

I needed to focus on the Google Doc I used for note keeping after also tweeting, responding to Slack messages and using anunexperienced apps to check in to work. I also opened up the browser from time to time. This was a feature I was glad to have, and it establishes sense given the Fold’s 7.3-inch display.


This is what multitasking looks like on the Galaxy Fold, shown here on the modern design.

Angela Lang

Sliding from the luminous edge of the display to select an app and quickly the screen felt natural, especially since it’s an allotment I routinely perform on other Galaxy phones, like the Note 10. But I don’t always love the way the screens quickly, even though I can move them around. Overall, it made the transfer app more narrow than I prefer. You can do a minor more work to adjust the sizes but, when you’re toiling quickly, that felt like a fussy waste of time.

The Galaxy Fold can relieve three windows at a time, which get progressively smaller. I almost never opened the third. 

Mixed bag: The Samsung keyboard

All that typing made me outlandish with the Samsung keyboard in a brand new way. I always test Samsung phones with the default keyboard, but once the review period is over, I currently install Google’s Gboard app, which I prefer for its helpful typing predictions and access to emoji.


The quickly screen keyboard is good stuff, but there are collected annoyances.

Angela Lang

And yet, Samsung’s keyboard has a determined advantage over Gboard on the Galaxy Fold, since it splits in half to make typing more melancholy, like a physical ergonomic keyboard. This works well, actually, and I’m happy to have it, even if my pleasing do get tired from stretching to type. I installed Gboard just to compare the two, and snappily returned to the Samsung keyboard’s split screen — less restrained that way.

My main issue is that the keyboard eats up so much camouflage space, especially when you’re multitasking, that it almost undoes all the serve of having such a large viewing area to leave with. Scrolling to see what I just typed kind of defeats the death of the Fold’s 7.3-inch promise. Gboard takes up a skosh less space.

Still deciding: Taking photos

If you cringe when you see farmland shoot photos on a tablet, you’ll feel like a fool taking photos when the arranged is opened up. You can’t beat that 7.3-inch viewfinder, but people will notice, especially if you start mugging for selfies.


The Fold’s 7.3-inch camouflage makes a great viewfinder, but you might feel ridiculous.

Angela Lang

More discreet is taking photos with the Fold EnEnBesieged in its candybar form. It’s much harder to see what you’re shooting on the attractive narrow 4.6-inch exterior display, but you feel stealthier actions it, and the photos will come out fine. You won’t want to use this mode when you’re trying to fine-tune a shot, say by comical an on-screen slider control.

The one difference to keep in mind in open- or closed-screen photography is that you get both 10- and 8-megapixel front-facing lenses when you unfold the arrangement, versus the one 10-megapixel selfie shot if you use it closed.

Hate: That inch-long notch

The Fold’s camera expedient really takes up space. It’s a big chunk of the luminous part of the interior display, and it’s really horrid. It’s as though someone took a big bite out of whatever it is you’re looking at. 

Thankfully, the notch is off to the edge, so it won’t swallow up the allotment of a video or cut off a website, because the app’s flowerbed stops before you get to the notch. But when the camouflage is lit up, it does stick out like a sore thumb — it’s almost that large.

Adding insult to cost is the fact that the notch is hardly functional. It houses some sensors, including two front-facing cameras, but when you look at them in the delightful, you’ll find there’s a lot of dead space. I’d inquire Samsung to slow-walk away from this design in its future foldable phones.


The Galaxy Fold’s wide expedient houses a whole lot of nothing.

Angela Lang

Love: The end caps on the screen

It’s a limited thing, these plastic bits that remind me of the T-shaped peg in Tetris, but they’re effective and, compared to the first Galaxy Fold unit I used, they just seem to ruined the look. Like they belonged there the whole time. 

So far, they also seem effective. I’ve gently probed the opening with a fingernail. While I can slip a nail between the plastic bezel and the camouflage, this end cap has seemed to close a gap that remained in Samsung’s previous design. Here’s hoping it holds.


This 4.6-inch exterior camouflage is good for viewing, less good for typing.

Andrew Hoyle

Hate: The too-small exterior screen

Typing on the Galaxy Fold’s 4.6-inch exterior reveal (the one that’s actually topped with Gorilla Glass) is a challenge. Walking, it’s almost impossible not to litter whatever you’re toiling on with typos. 

Blame Samsung’s other extra-large screen phones if you like, but my fingers have completely fallen out of the selves of precision typing. Working the display feels more like hunting and pecking. It’s a useful screen to have — so you can use the Fold when the veil is closed — but the more passive viewing, the better.

It’s a very good tying you can start on this small display and quit what you’re doing on the larger screen, once you open the Fold.


Clack! The Galaxy Fold closes with a satisfying snick. Just keep those magnets away from your credit cards.

Tyler Lizenby

Love: The way the Fold snaps shut

It’s hard to overstate the importance of physicality when it comes to the Fold. I’ve said staunch the very first that this is one of those gotta-do-it-to-believe-it moments that complains the concept of a foldable phone so compelling. Family love tactile things, and phones have become the opposite. 

Opening and closing the blueprint feels like a return to more interesting phone days when devices had lots of buttons and keyboards that sometimes swiveled out. My overall achieve is that the Fold’s magnetic closure feels sturdy when you discontinuance it.

For the verdict on battery life, who should buy it and more, see my survive Galaxy Fold review.