We have been waiting for flexible smartphones for years now. And following the teases and demos, Samsung has officially unveiled its new Galaxy Fold.
Defying the market
Make no mistake, the Samsung Galaxy Fold is an engineering marvel. It seamlessly transitions between phone mode and tablet mode.
To do this, Samsung has developed a hinge-system built into the device. So instead of it disrupting the view, it stays hidden when in use. The mechanism is made from multiple interlocking gears for a smooth and natural transformation with a satisfying click sound.
To factor in the folding of the smartphone, Samsung has opted for new display materials that allow folding and not just bending. A new polymer layer is what allows this type of movement which is 50 per cent thinner than your typical smartphone display layer.
On it, you find the world’s first 7.3-inch Infinity Flex Display when fully opened. This is a QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED panel with an aspect ratio of 4.2:3. When folded, the cover display is a 4.6-inch HD+ Super AMOLED type with a 21:9 aspect ratio. To complement the seamless multimedia experience, the Galaxy Fold comes with stereo speakers powered by AKG.
Because the phone offers such a unique experience, Samsung has built a unique UX from the ground up running on top of Android 9.0 Pie. Its multi-active window allows you to open up to three active applications simultaneously. So you could potentially be surfing the web, texting and watching a video all at once.
In what Samsung calls app continuity, the phone will be able to transition easily between the cover and main display. Applications automatically show up where you leave off. So if you find yourself wanting more screen space such as when watching content, a simple flip will enable access. Additionally though, you will still get the standard software experience that comes with any Samsung phone. Its DeX PC-like experience, the personal assistant Bixby, Samsung Pay, Samsung Health as well as the security of Samsung Knox.
What about other hardware?
It is hard to imagine how the South Korean giant has managed to cram high-end hardware on the Galaxy Fold. A high-end 7nm 64-bit octa-core processor powers the show with 12GB RAM and 512GB of UFS 3.0 storage memory. The sacrifice here is the lack of a micro-SD card. And if you are wondering where the fingerprint scanner is, it is off to the side where the thumb naturally sits for an easy unlock.
As for battery technology, the Galaxy Fold comes with two separate batteries to facilitate the fold. Both batteries work together, can be charged either wired or wirelessly and amount to a combined total for 4,380mAh. The phone is also capable of charging itself and a second device simultaneously with Samsung’s new Wireless PowerShare while connected to a regular charger.
But the camera is where things start to get interesting. The unique nature of the device meant Samsung wanted to make the cameras accessible at all times. The Galaxy Fold comes with a triple lens 16MP ultrawide, 12MP wide and 12MP telephoto configuration on the back, a 10MP selfie and 8MP RGB depth camera on the inside and one 10MP selfie camera on the cover for a hexa-camera setup.
Pricing and availability
While this is completely uncharted waters for any smartphone, Samsung has done it. And it is demanding a premium for the phone. The Galaxy Fold comes in a silver, black, green and blue finish with the ability to engrave the hinge.
Available starting April 26, the Galaxy Fold will retail for a whopping $1,980 (Dh7,272.74). The box will include Samsung’s new Galaxy Buds in a premium packaging experience. We are not sure about the phone’s local availability and pricing but we will keep you updated.