Wednesday (21st February) saw the launch of Samsung’s foldable smartphone. Prior to the firm’s Galaxy Unpacked Event, there was much speculation surrounding the Galaxy Fold and the next phones in the Galaxy line. Samsung actually unveiled four phones last night, but it is the Fold that really caught our eye.
The Fold marks 10 years of the Galaxy line and Samsung claims that this handset will change the future of smartphones. A bold move with a brave price tag but will it be enough to convince people to let go of their old devices and upgrade?
When the revolutionary device hits the market on 3rd May, there will be two versions available: a 5G model and an LTE model, both available in a range of colours.
As expected in the run up to Samsung announcing the much anticipated foldable phone, the device features two screens. One, a 4.6-inch, HD+ Super AMOLED display on the outside, and a 21:9 aspect ratio 7.3-inch, QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED Infinity Flex display on the inside. Continuing in true Galaxy fashion, both screens feature rounded corners. Samsung is yet to reveal the dimensions of the phone but given the fold, we imagine it would be thick, and likely heavy – especially given that it sports two battery cells.
Samsung “invented a sophisticated hinge system that lets you fold and unfold the Fold naturally using interlocking gears hidden under the screen.” App Continuity allows you to use apps with the outer display and then pick up where you left off on the inner display as soon as you open the Fold.
At the Unpacked event on Wednesday evening, Samsung SVP, Justin Denison, described the Galaxy Fold as a luxury device, and the spec of the smartphone, and its hefty price tag of circa £1,500 (£1,800 including VAT) supports this claim.
Powered by an impressive 7nm 64-bit octa-core processor, the device comes loaded with 12GB of RAM, 512GB of internal storage and as already mentioned, two batteries (totalling 4380mAh of power).
The phone also comes packed with AKG tuned speakers, a side-mounted fingerprint sensor, six cameras, the ability to wirelessly charge other compatible accessories, and runs on Android Pie.
On the rear of the device you’ll find the Fold’s three cameras. A 16-megapixel f2.2 ultra-wide camera, a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera and a 12-megapixel telephoto sensor. Turning to the inside, there’s a 10-megapixel f2.2 camera and an 8-megapixel f1.9 RGB depth camera. On the front of the device you’ll find a 10-megapixel f2.2 sensor.
It is very apparent that the Fold is Samsung’s attempt at shaking up the future of smartphones and encouraging people to upgrade their old devices. This is the most major visual smartphone advancement we have seen in recent years and comes at a time when the market was becoming stagnant – but is it what we need? Smartphones and, even more so, tablet sales have been declining in recent years. This has been due to iterative technology updates, increasing price points and, in the case of tablets, larger smartphone screens causing many of us to move to just one device. What we have here is the first true hybrid, but only time will tell if it resonates with buyers. One thing is certain – it will definitely be an expensive screen to replace.