Samsung’s Galaxy Fold represents a truly new method of building displays into smartphones. Whether you like the idea of a foldable device or not, the option to own a functional model at all feels like something out of sci-fi.
Several publications have gotten a chance to go hands-on with the device in more extensive tests than what we’d seen to-date. Samsung has been coy with the Galaxy Fold, often displaying the product from a distance or not allowing anyone to touch it.
The general feedback from USA Today, The Verge, and Wired is positive. The device hinge feels solid and responds well. Performance is on-par with other Galaxy S10 devices. The Verge refers to the overall software quality as “surprisingly acceptable.” Wired also referred to Samsung’s small suite of applications that can take advantage of the Galaxy Fold’s unique layout and said that this mostly worked well, though app support wasn’t flawless.
Overall, everyone came away fairly impressed with the product. The hinge is not that bad. The crease is noticeable but fades into the background with use. With that said, there are few negatives that everyone called out.
The device is large. It doesn’t fit in anything less than a large suit or jacket pocket comfortably. The phone isn’t waterproof. At $1,980, it’s extremely expensive. There is no headphone jack or removable storage. It isn’t particularly easy to carry one-handed, the screen isn’t glass, you can see and feel the crease at least a little, all the time. None of the reviewers actually recommend buying the product right now.
So why, then, would I say that they came away “fairly impressed?” Because these types of first looks are intrinsically about balancing the “coolness” of the device versus the practicality and intrinsic benefits that device offers. The Samsung Galaxy Fold clearly makes a hell of a first impression. No one is sure, past that, exactly how much of a market the product will find for itself. There have been plenty of devices that debuted with a dramatic splash and went relatively nowhere thereafter, as far as making a last mark upon the industry.
Even if you love the Fold, for example, mass market success means bringing that price point down. How successful will Samsung be in doing that? We don’t know yet. It will take time to determine where the device can be cost-reduced without compromising other aspects of its experience.
Full reviews of the Galaxy Fold should be out next week.
Top image credit: PCMag
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