Samsung Galaxy Fold is the first foldable smartphone and it’ll cost $1,980
The new Samsung Galaxy S10 isn’t the only smartphone we were expecting at today’s Samsung Unpacked event. We’ve also been looking forward to the world’s first relevant foldable smartphone: the Samsung Galaxy Fold. Samsung isn’t cutting any corners whatsoever with this device, packing in hardware that isn’t even available on the highest-end Galaxy S10+. With a total of 6 cameras, super fast UFS 3.0 storage, up to 12GB RAM, and an astounding $1,980 price tag, the Samsung Galaxy Fold has a lot to live up to. Let’s take a look at what Samsung unveiled today.
Design and Cameras
A smartphone or tablet—you no longer have to decide between the two. The Galaxy Fold is both. When unfolded, you’ll be viewing content on the 7.3-inch Infinity Flex Dynamic AMOLED display. When folded, you’ll be viewing content on the 4.6-inch cover Super AMOLED display. Although Samsung hasn’t disclosed the dimensions of the device, it looks surprisingly thin considering there are two displays. Samsung says the Galaxy Fold’s display is 50% thinner than your typical smartphone display. When unfolded, the USB Type-C port can be found on the center-right bottom while the speaker is on the center-left bottom. The volume rocker and power button with an embedded fingerprint-scanner are on the right side of the device, ensuring that you’ll be able to easily unlock the Galaxy Fold no matter which way you’re holding it.
The hinge mechanism lets you unfold the device like a book. Folding the device will result in a satisfying click, according to Samsung. I can imagine playing around with a way too often like the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3‘s slider mechanism. To balance the weight of the device, Samsung distributed the components evenly across both sides, including the two batteries.
Samsung wants you to use the Galaxy Fold in all orientations, so they packed a total of 6 cameras on the device: 1 on the cover, 3 on the rear, and 2 on the front. The cover camera is a lone 10MP f/2.2 shooter. The triple rear camera setup includes an ultra wide-angle lens, a wide-angle lens with dual apertures, and a telephoto lens for portrait shots. The dual front camera setup includes a 10MP f/2.2 selfie camera and a 8MP f/1.9 depth camera.
Android Optimized for Foldables
The Galaxy Fold introduces an entirely new form factor to the Android ecosystem: foldables. At Samsung’s 2018 Developer Conference, the company unveiled how foldables would handle Android content. With Multi-Active Window support, users can open up to 3 apps at the same time on the main display. With App Continuity, the app shown on the cover display can seamlessly transition to its tablet-optimized state when the Galaxy Fold is unfolded.
App Continuity on the Samsung Galaxy Fold
Here are some images we took of Samsung showing off the UI on the new foldable smartphone. The first image shows the presenter playing a fullscreen YouTube video while the device is unfolded and held like a tablet in landscape mode. The second image shows the device unfolded in portrait mode while on the app drawer. There’s a notably large corner notch which eats up a large portion of the status bar area, but it shouldn’t be too much of a problem since the viewable area is much larger than most smartphones anyway. The third image shows Multi-Active Window support in action with YouTube, WhatsApp, and Samsung Internet being used simultaneously. The last image shows what it’s like browsing Google Maps on an unfolded Galaxy Fold in portrait mode.
Samsung Galaxy Fold Specifications
Looking over the specifications, the Galaxy Fold offers up to 12GB RAM (like the highest-end Samsung Galaxy S10+), reverse wireless power charging (like all Galaxy S10 models), Samsung DeX support, Samsung Pay support, stereo speakers tuned by AKG, a 4380mAh battery, and One UI with Android Pie. Sadly, Samsung’s fast charging (Adaptive Fast Charging, compatible with Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0) falls way behind fast charging solutions from competitors, like the recently announced Xiaomi Mi 9.
|Display||Main display: 7.3″ QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED (4.2:3)|
Cover display: 4.6″ HD+ Super AMOLED (21:9)
|Cameras||Cover camera: 10MP Selfie Camera, f/2.2|
Rear triple cameras: 16MP Ultra Wide Camera, f/2.2
12MP Wide-angle Camera, Dual Pixel Autofocus, OIS, f/1.5/f/2.4
12MP Telephoto Camera, PDAF, OIS, f/2.4, 2X optical zoom
Front dual cameras: 10MP Selfie Camera, f/2.2
8MP RGB Depth Camera, f/1.9
|SoC||Qualcomm Snapdragon 855|
|RAM||12GB RAM (LPDDR4x)|
|Storage||512GB UFS 3.0 (no microSD card slot)|
|Charging||USB Type-C port: Samsung Adaptive Fast Charging compatible with Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0.|
WPC and PMA wireless charging. (Reverse wireless charging via Wireless PowerShare.)
|Software||Android 9 Pie-based One UI. Samsung DeX, Bixby Routines, Samsung Knox, Samsung Pay.|
|Biometrics||Side-mounted fingerprint scanner|
|Audio||Stereo speakers by AKG|
The Galaxy Fold is also the first device with UFS 3.0 storage. We’ll have to do storage benchmarks to tell you exactly how much faster it’ll be over the UFS 2.1 storage chips found on most smartphones today, but theoretically, the new standard allows for over double the maximum total bandwidth.
Samsung Galaxy Fold Pricing and Availability
The Samsung Galaxy Fold will be available in 4 colors: Space Silver, Cosmos Black, Martian Green, and Astro Blue. The hinge has Samsung’s logo engraved on it, and its color can be customized. It’ll cost an astounding $1,980 when it goes on sale on April 26th, 2019 in the U.S. through AT&T and T-Mobile. Samsung will bundle a free Galaxy Buds wireless earphones with a purchase of this device. The device will come in a 4G LTE and a 5G model, though it’s unclear which 5G modem it’ll pack.
We’ll try our best to gets hands-on coverage of this device, but given its high price, we doubt most of you will be willing to fork over hundreds of dollars for the first relevant foldable smartphone. Still, I’m intrigued by the possibilities this new form factor opens up, and am looking forward to seeing reviews of the Samsung Galaxy Fold.