Samsung Galaxy Fold: That may be the new folding smartphone

Samsung Galaxy Fold is the beginning of a whole new smartphone class. It’s not a smartphone, but more than a tablet. And yet it combines the advantages of both device classes. You can fold the device, which will be available for around 2000 euros, from May 3rd onwards.

The Samsung Galaxy S10 + in the test

This is how the folding function works

This design gives users completely new possibilities. Thus, the fold can be used like a normal smartphone with a narrow and high screen. When unfolded, it is a handy tablet with a 4.3-inch diagonal display in 4.2: 3 format. Both modes of use allow you to switch to and from each other without major interruption.

If you look for an address on the map on the small display, for example, a larger map section with more details is displayed on the large display immediately after opening. Or the Instagram feed shines in previously unknown beauty. If you like, you can also put up to three app windows simultaneously and side by side on the display. So no one has to switch between apps back and forth to take over data. Even in video games or when photographing a nearly seamless change between the small and large display is possible.

7.3 inch large screen

Samsung’s Galaxy Fold offers plenty of room on its 7.3-inch screen – for maps, for example
Photo: Till Simon Nagel

Until the launch, most Android apps are said to support this change of display modes.

Smartphone initially looks very robust

In the practice test at the presentation date in London makes the fold a stable impression. Closed and open it snaps firmly in, the parts of the device move only minimally. Up to 200,000 times, the hinge should bend without grumbling. Also the display should not be damaged by opening and closing. The kink of the made of polyimides plastic displays is almost invisible in everyday life. You can feel them, sometimes with a bit of light background. According to the manufacturer, even a flat unfolding would be possible. Then the kink would be much more noticeable.

DISPLAY

Inductive fast charging station from Samsung

✔For stylish charging
✔Comfortably standing or lying horizontally
✔LED indicator informs about charging status

An unknown in the Falt equation is likely to be the surface of the Flex display. It’s just plastic, and it’s debatable how much it’s prone to scratches compared to glass displays. Especially in the long run.

Two batteries, six cameras and 5G in one device

And what is inside? First of all, two batteries, one in each device part. Smartphone batteries can not be folded yet. There is a chip from Qualcomm, which also allows use in future 5G networks, 12 gigabytes (GB) of RAM and 512 GB of internal memory. The fold is unlocked by a fingerprint scanner on the edge of the device.

There are six cameras available for photos. The main camera is the triplet of wide angle, normal lens and zoom, which is also in Samsung Galaxy S10. A double camera for selfies and videoconferencing juts into the large display. Above the outer display sits a single camera.

back

If the Galaxy Fold is closed, the back reveals nothing about the unusual inner life
Photo: Till Simon Nagel

Niche existence for folding smartphones

Whether the folding phones prevail? The market research institute Gartner sees above all the high price as inhibition threshold for many buyers. Also Samsung sees rather chances with the clientele with the somewhat thicker purse. Technology enthusiasts who also buy 8K TVs are said. Up to five percent of the high-price segment, the analysts give the foldable smartphones until 2023. And with the Huawei Mate X is already the first competitor for the Galaxy Fold in the starting blocks. The also announced for this year device is expected to cost around 2300 euros. In the medium term, Gartner expects more model diversity and falling prices – as with all new technologies so far.

DISPLAY

Foldable Bluetooth 3 keyboard

✔Compact size
✔Lightweight and ergonomic design
✔Compatible with IOS / Android / Windows

Conclusion

In the test, the station wagon is good. The change between the operating modes is intuitive, the multi-app mode offers real added value. The Galaxy Fold is surprisingly stable. Once the hinge is snapped in, it wobbles only with a little rabid shaking. The flexible display is of surprisingly good image quality. Color and viewing angle stability are correct.