After years of buildup, Samsung finally announced its foldable phone yesterday. Called the Galaxy Fold, the phone will launch on April 26 in the U.S. with a starting price of $1,980 and Europe on May 3 starting at 2,000 euros. It will be available in both LTE and 5G models.
Compared to other recent high-profile phone releases—including the Galaxy S10—little was known about the Galaxy Fold before the event.
However, we did already know about the screen. Just like the prototype unveiled at the Samsung Developer conference in November, the final model will have a 7.3-inch infolding AMOLED display with a QXGA+ resolution. It will also have a smaller 4.6-inch HD Plus display on the outside that allows the device to be used as a regular phone with one hand.
The Galaxy Fold looks beautiful… when unfolded
The device looks fantastic when open. There are almost no bezels around the main screen. When closed, the small screen and large bezels don’t look quite as futuristic, though. The device will be available in four different colors: black, silver, green, or blue. Samsung said the hinge color can also be personalized.
On the inside, the Galaxy Fold will have two batteries—separated by the fold—that combine to give a total size of 4,380mAh. This is large, although with two displays it really has to be. There will also be 512GB storage, an incredible 12GB of RAM, and a Qualcomm 7nm Octa-Core processor.
The Galaxy fold will have six cameras
The phone has a top-end camera setup including a rear triple camera setup with a 16MP ultra-wide lens, a 12MP dual aperture wide-angle lens, and a 12MP telephoto lens. There is also a dual front camera setup with a 10MP shooter and an 8MP depth camera, and a 10MP selfie camera on the cover.
Key to the usability of the device will be the user-interface. Samsung gave us a glimpse of this at the Galaxy Unpacked event. On the main display, users will be able to open up to three different apps simultaneously. The apps also switch seamlessly when the phone opens from phone mode to tablet mode.
Samsung developed a hinge mechanism for the phone with multiple interlocking gears. While we haven’t had a go on the device ourselves, videos suggest the motion will be quite smooth. In terms of security, there is a fingerprint scanner on the side.
Much like Samsung’s other recent flagship devices, the Galaxy Fold will support Dex, allowing you to power a desktop from the phone. This essentially means people buying the device will get a phone, a tablet, and a desktop computer in one—albeit a desktop experience that could still use some refinement.
Is the world ready for the Galaxy Fold?
As what will likely be the first widely available foldable device, it seems like Samsung is trying to fit a little bit of everything into the phone. This means buyers are unlikely to be disappointed with the feature set on offer.
The only thing to wait for now is to see just how ready the market is for one of the biggest smartphone design changes of the last ten years, as well as for paying almost $2,000 for a phone.