We have had Samsung's delayed future phone for testing. The foldable Galaxy Fold has convinced us that the foldable phone has come to stay.
Samsung Galaxy Fold.
Finally! Finally, I was allowed to unpack Samsung's futuristic foldable cell phone and throw in my own SIM card. Year after year, the cell phone basically had the same shape, but last December something new happened: the foldable phones were on the way ! On February 20, the Galaxy Fold finally became a reality, but unfortunately it took some time before it was fully ready for the stores.
Samsung was challenged by problems with Galaxy Fold devices which they had sent for testing on international media. Next, Samsung withdrew all the devices and returned to the drawing board. Folds had to be better protected against dust, the hinges improved and the protective layer of the screen had to be redesigned.
Here, almost 9 months later, I finally have the Galaxy Fold in our hands. Exactly where have I waited for this long.
Samsung Galaxy Fold is far from the typical mobile phone and really a device that catches people's attention – even those who are not usually interested in mobile phones. We have had Fold for testing for a week and feel we have got a good impression of the exciting mobile. It is not the perfect mobile phone, far from it. In fact, at some points it is a step back. Still, it's hard not to get your hands down the Samsung Galaxy Fold.
Galaxy Fold: Pros and Cons
- The large foldable screen is great
- Good battery life
- Nice performance and plenty of space
- Productivity: you have a mini tablet in your pocket
- Galaxy Buds included
- The screen on the outside is too small
- Big and heavy
- Too big screen notch
- It's fragile
- No IP protection
- An extreme price
Samsung Galaxy Fold seen from above.
Anything but traditional
There is not much traditional smartphone over Samsung Galaxy Fold, for good and evil. The Galaxy Fold is equipped with two screens: a smaller 4.6 inches on the outside and a foldable 7.3 inches inside, both AMOLED. With 263 grams and a thickness of 15.5 millimeters, folded, it feels far more clumsy than a normal mobile phone. On the other hand, having such an easy access to a large screen is both a great feeling and incredibly practical.
When you get Fold in your hands you have no doubt about its exclusivity. It feels well built and delicious. Although it can be unfolded, the construction feels surprisingly solid. Still, Galaxy Fold is a vulnerable device. Here is no IP certification and so is the foldable screen in plastic – not the typical chemically reinforced glass Samsung's expensive phones are usually equipped with. When you first turn on Galaxy Fold you are greeted by a message about the device's vulnerability, and then it comes with included Samsung Care + – so you know that you have to take good care of it. It's been a long time since I've had to unpack my mobile when it drips from the sky.
Galaxy Fold folded
In a way, it feels and looks like Fold is two mobile phones that have been put together and equipped with a foldable screen inside. Galaxy Fold can still be used even if it is not folded out. The small screen on the outside gives full smartphone functionality. Folded, it may still be in a pants pocket, but its thickness and weight make it quite uncomfortable.
The 4.6 inch screen feels smaller than it should. In fact, it is almost the same size as the screen of an iPhone 8, but much narrower. Unfortunately, it is bordered by giant black edges that are neither pretty nor modern. The small screen can used for basic tasks like calling, checking notifications, etc., but it feels weird when you know the big screen is waiting on the other side.
Often, you end up folding it because the small screen is simply too small and inadequate for many tasks. At the same time, it can quickly become annoying to have to fold it out all the time, which is why I have often had it lying unfolded. But with Galaxy Fold in unfolded form, concerns ensue.
Galaxy Fold folded out
The 7.3 inch foldable screen is a fragile case. The plastic scratches even easier, even though it has a protective layer, and you must not press too hard on it. BUT the feeling of unfolding and having the big screen available is nothing short of amazing. Everything just gets fatter on the big screen. When surfing the web, writing messages, doing work, watching Youtube or taking pictures, it's just more fun and better on the bigger screen.
It's a shame that the big screen is interrupted by a big notch and the edge around the screen is so high, but the foldable screen makes me happy every single time I use it.
I'm not a fan of its small physical buttons and the fingerprint reader on the side of the device. We have seen Samsung do much better in previous top models, but it is to live with. I don't think Galaxy Fold is a design gem, but it offers something no other mobile phone can – yet.
Click to open the photo gallery:
Specifications on Samsung Galaxy Fold
|Weights and Measures||folded: 160.9 x 62.9 x 15.5 mm
unfolded: 160.9 x 117.9 x 6.9 mm
|Screen||Ceiling: 4.7 "AMOLED
21: 9 format
Inside: 7.3 "Dynamic AMOLED
15W quick charge
|Camera||12MP f / 1.5-f / 2.4, OIS
12MP telephoto f / 2.4, OIS
16MP Ultra wide angle f / 2.2
|software||Android 9 Pie|
|Other things||stereo Speakers
It's all about the foldable screen
With a suggested retail price of £ 15,899, one expects the Samsung Galaxy Fold to be equipped with the best of the best, even when it comes to hardware. And yes, with the Snapdragon 855, 12GB, 512GB storage, 4380 mAh fast-charging battery, that requirement is well met. Of course, it manages everything you throw at it, without the slightest cough.
Everything is fluid and delicious to look at. Samsung One UI works really well on Galaxy Fold and multitasking has never been easier on an Android mobile. You can have three apps side by side on the big screen and they can also be dragged around as open windows. It doesn't feel as intuitive as in Apple's iPadOS, but it works quite well. There are an incredible number of features and settings that you can throw yourself into.
But the most important thing about Fold is the hidden screen – the large 7.3 inch foldable screen that hides inside. The device is held closed by magnets and it feels quite nice to unfold, which can be easily handled with a single hand. The display is Samsung's Dynamic AMOLED, introduced with the Galaxy S10. Behind the 7.3 inches hides 1536 x 2152 pixels and a really good image. Here's lots of light, contrast, color and what else you would expect from a high-end Samsung screen.
It is a pleasure to watch movies, Youtube, pictures, websites and everything else on it. It all gets even better with the fabulous sound coming out of the Galaxy Fold. The sound quality is best reminiscent of the Galaxy Note10 and Galaxy S10 – thus among the absolute best. The crack where the screen folds is rarely something you notice, especially when you look directly at the screen. If the background is white, the crack can be seen, but does nothing bad for the experience – even when moving your finger around the screen.
You do not get past the notch in the big screen. Usually I don't have the big problem with notch, hole punch or what the manufacturers choose to call them, but this one is too big and too much in the way. Knowing what Samsung is capable of, it feels like a step back.
The crack in the screen is easily seen when looking for it. But in everyday use you don't even think about it.
On a dark background, the crack in the unfolded screen is rarely seen.
Lots of battery life
There is not just one, but two batteries in the Samsung Galaxy Fold. Each side of the Fold contains a battery of 2190 mAh, a total of 4380 mAh.
In addition to being a bigger battery than both the Galaxy Note 10+, Galaxy S10 + and Huawei P30 Pro, the division of the batteries also means a better weight distribution. In Galaxy Fold, the weight feels very evenly distributed. It would not have been the case if one side contained the entire large battery.
The 4380 mAh in Galaxy Fold holds well, but can also swing a lot. If you use the big screen a lot, percentages smoke a bit faster than if you bother using the small screen for the simple tasks. I pull out about two days of battery out of Fold under normal use, but can also kill it in a single day.
It features Samsung's excellent 15W fast charge, but unfortunately not 25W or 45W from the Galaxy Note10 +.
Of course, the Samsung Galaxy Fold has both wireless charging and reverse wireless charging.
Click to open the photo gallery:
Whole six camera lenses
Samsung Galaxy Fold contains a total of six camera lenses. This means that no matter how you hold Fold, you always have access to a camera. Let's take a quick look at them:
- 12 megapixels f1.5-2.4 with OIS
- 12 megapixel f2.4, 2x zoom telephoto, with OIS
- 16 megapixel f2.2, 123 degree ultra wide angle
- 10 megapixel f2.2 (front)
- 10 megapixel f2.2 (inside)
- 8 megapixel f1.9, depth sensor (inside)
All six cameras in Samsung Galaxy Fold.
It is a huge collection of camera lenses, but it always makes sense to have access to a camera.
Most have probably already spotted that the device's primary cameras (back) are identical to the Samsung Galaxy S10 +. It's exactly the same good camera. If you want the extended version, please visit our Galaxy S10 test. In short, it is an excellent camera with typical nice Samsung colors, really good dynamic range and good detail. With both 2x optical zoom and ultra wide angle, there are plenty of options for capturing the best image.
Samsung's camera app is a pleasure to use. It is simple, fast and fluid in use, but still contains many options for the more demanding users.
Conclusion: Hard not to be impressed
The Samsung Galaxy Fold is the most interesting mobile phone I've tried in a long time. It is the first generation of a new type of mobile phone that we will soon see sold on par with the smartphones we use today – though more expensive until the prices of the foldable screens fall.
It is noticeable that Galaxy Fold is Samsung's first offer for a foldable mobile and in several areas it does not live up to the mobiles we are used to today. Here is no IP certification, no fingerprint reader on the screen. It has a huge notch in the big screen and the screen on the outside is too small and surrounded by large black beams. And then it is fragile, heavy and clumsy. Things we have long become accustomed to in our current smartphones and which we no longer worry about.
Although Galaxy Fold is the start of something new, it still has to be compared to the mobiles we are running around with now. If the foldable mobile is not, in all areas, equivalent or better than the ones we have now, then of course it is a step back and is reflected in the final character.
On the other hand, Galaxy Fold is an impressive piece of technology that I mostly enjoyed during the test period, and not least show off, because it has a really wow factor. It is definitely a good phone with good screens, good sound, good battery and a good camera. I love taking pictures, watching videos on Youtube and playing games with the big screen in front of me. And so Fold offers something no other mobile phone does: a large screen that can be folded and taken into your pocket.
However, the price of 15,899 kroner is something that will keep most people from buying it. However, you get a few Samsung Galaxy Buds included in the price.
The Samsung Galaxy Fold provides an exciting insight into what the mobiles of the future will offer and we can't wait at all. The foldable mobile phone has come to stay.
This time around, the Samsung Galaxy Fold has earned 4.5 stars.