Samsung’s first foldable smartphone is here. Called the Galaxy Fold, the device debuted at Samsung Unpacked 2019 in San Francisco.
With the Galaxy Fold, there are two different screens. There’s one 4.6-inch 1960×840 AMOLED display on the front for one-handed use, and by opening the device up, you get a secondary 7.3-inch 1536×2152 AMOLED display. Samsung is targeting this as a luxury device that combines the best of a compact smartphone and a versatile tablet.
That’s why it has such a high price tag. In fact, Samsung says it’ll cost $1,980 and range in cost depending on carrier and region. That’s an extremely high price tag for a smartphone, whether it folds in half or not. The company says it’ll come with premium packaging and free wireless earbuds, but my God, this phone’s gotta be really good to justify that price tag.
Like, really good.
Anyway, Samsung is doing some interesting stuff with the Galaxy Fold. Thanks to the Infinity Flex display and its size, Samsung allows for App Continuity. Essentially, this lets you open an app on the smaller screen and carry it over to the larger display simply by opening the phone. You also get triple-app multitasking, allowing you to run three apps on the screen at once. This all runs on top of Android Pie with Samsung’s One UI.
So yeah, it’s basically a tablet in your pocket.
Inside, Samsung uses a 7nm processor along with 12GB of RAM. You also get speedy Universal Flash Storage 3.0 with 512GB of space. There’s also two different models of the Galaxy Fold that will be sold: one with LTE, and one with 5G.
Design nerds will care about the engineering efforts Samsung poured into the Galaxy Fold, and they addressed that on stage. The company uses a special interlocking gear system as the hinge to remain durable and strong even after thousands of opens and closes. It’s all hidden behind a cover plate that you can customize with your own color. And as mentioned, Samsung uses its Infinity Flex display to make the 7.3-inch panel bendable.
For security, Samsung includes a fingerprint scanner on the side of the Galaxy Fold. You’ll also find a USB-C port and stereo AKG speakers on the sides.
For power, Samsung actually uses two batteries in either side of the Galaxy Fold. Together, they supply 4,380mAh of power. With two screens and powerful internals, it’s unclear how long the batteries will last. However, when you need to juice up, the Galaxy Fold comes with wireless charging and Quick Charge 2.0.
As far as cameras go, the Galaxy Fold has six (yes, six) individual sensors. There’s a front-facing 10MP f/2.2 lens above the 4.6-inch screen; a 10MP f/2.2 and 8MP f/1.9 front-facing camera inside; and a 16MP f/2.2, 12MP f/1.5-f/2.4, and 12MP telephoto f/2.4 lens on the back. It’s essentially what would happen of you combined all the cameras on the S10 and S10 Plus.
Samsung Mobile president DJ Koh had the following thoughts to share on this announcement.
“Today, Samsung is writing the next chapter in mobile innovation history by changing what’s possible in a smartphone. Galaxy Fold introduces a completely new category that unlocks new capabilities never seen before with our Infinity Flex
Display.” said DJ Koh, President andCEO of IT & Mobile Communications Division, Samsung Electronics. “We created Galaxy Fold for those that want to experience what a premium foldable device can do, beyond the limitations of a traditional smartphone.”
Samsung says the Galaxy Fold will launch in the second quarter of this year.