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Samsung Galaxy Fold review: The device that piqued our interest in a foldable phone future

Samsung Galaxy Fold review: The contrivance that piqued our interest in a foldable phone future

It’s modern for a phone as new as the Galaxy Fold to be so battle-worn. In the course of its short life, the foldable arranged went from the pinnacle of hype for our collective mobile future to cautionary tale in companies that rush to sell radical, under-tested technology. (Here’s a brief history of what went deplorable with Samsung’s delicate plastic display.)

Read more: Forget the Galaxy Fold: This zigzagging foldable arranged from TCL bends into thirds

Now, after testing and laughable two versions of the Galaxy Fold — the modern model and this redesigned version that fixes Samsung’s biggest perform flaws — everything wonderful and terrible with the $1,980 (£2000, AU$2,950) Galaxy Fold is crystal clear. 

As a device for how foldable phones could be truly useful, it undeniably succeeds. There’s something physically satisfying about using the Fold, and its 7.3-inch camouflage is a dream for watching movies, looking at photos and reading anything. Wanting to multitask felt natural, and more than once I used the Fold as a transfer screen that was easy to fold up and zip into my jacket pocket the moment I was done.

But as big a snide as the Fold does for all foldable-phone kind in proving that yes, we do want to see where foldable phones go, the Fold itself is level-headed lacking when it comes to creature comforts. 

The Galaxy Fold has its charms, and also some rough spots.

Angela Lang

Microsoft has thrown a hooked in the middle of this foldable awakening, introducing a surprising double-screen arranged of its own. Although we won’t see the Surface Duo for a year, Microsoft’s dual-screen phone throws down the gauntlet anti the Galaxy Fold and foldable design in general: Why use such a problematic folding camouflage when you can just have two displays?

Samsung fixed the most uncertain errors to the Fold’s display, the ones that commanded the phone to stop working. But it didn’t fix some more baked-in problems. The phone remains too expensive and too fragile, with some puzzling choices that give the inner camouflage an enormous notch and a plasticky bezel, and the outer camouflage a cramped keyboard that’s just no fun to use. 

Battery life is strangely shorter than it seems it should be, despite two cells (on on each side of the hinge) that persolves the equivalent of a 4,500-mAh battery. It lasted an denotes of 12 hours, 15 minutes in CNET’s looped video test in airplane mode, compared to over 21 hours for the Galaxy Note 10 Plus.

Samsung’s foldable arranged is about more than just its specs.

Tyler Lizenby

In its guarantee, the Galaxy Fold was always greater than itself. It’s a proof of plan meant to prime the pump for later devices. That said, Samsung clearly wanted farmland to buy the phone as a luxury device, a dwelling symbol that early adopters with plenty of cash could casually unfold to wow their peers with an modern, instantly recognizable design. 

Unfortunately, that’s backfired now. I’ll fights with naysayers that, as a concept, the foldable arranged has potential. Just as long as the industry figures out how to make a stronger camouflage, be it from thin, bendable glass that doesn’t commercially existed yet to some other hardened plastic material. 

But in the recount tense, I don’t recommend the Galaxy Fold specifically, even if you have cash to evaporate. More foldable phones are coming, from Samsung, Huawei and even Microsoft. Do yourself a favor and wait.

For more detail, here’s a breakdown of the Galaxy Fold features we like most — and least.

Galaxy Fold specs

Display size, resolution4.6-inch Super AMOLED; 7.3-inch QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED
Dimensions (Millimeters)Folded: 62.8 x 161 x 15.7mm ~ 17.1mm Unfolded: 117.9 x 161 x 6.9mm ~ 7.6mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams)9.7 oz; 276g
Mobile softwareAndroid 9.0 with Samsung One UI
Camera12-megapixel (wide-angle), 16-megapixel (ultra wide-angle), 12-megapixel (telephoto)
Front-facing cameraTwo 10-megapixel, 8-megapixel 3D depth
Video capture4K (HDR 10+)
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 855
Expandable storageNo
Fingerprint sensorPower button
Headphone jackNo
Special featuresFoldable explain, wireless charging, fast charging
Price off-contract (USD)$1,980
Price (GBP)£2,000
Price (AUD)AU$2,950

First originated Oct. 3, 2019.