Is the future the Samsung Galaxy Fold?
You've all heard the hype and seen the (breaking) videos, the Samsung Galaxy Fold is probably one of the most striking hybrid phones to have been released in the market. It is after all Samsung's first foldable smartphone. And like every first, the first impression counts! Mine was one of disbelief mixed with awe. I was truly bowled over by the 7.3-inch Dynamic AMOLED Infinity Flex display that could be folded into a compact device. Surely, this can't be real! – I muttered sceptically under my breath as I held the phone in my hand. What do I think of this future? Well, allow me to break it down for you below:
That screen issue
Ok, let's address the elephant in the room. When the Samsung Galaxy Fold was unveiled earlier, there were a lot of concerns about its screen and whatnot. The company took heed and some improvements were made to the display since then. It was rebuilt with new screen technologies incorporating tissue thin bonded layers with innovative polymer, a new foldable adhesive and a first-of-its-kind virtual dual-axis hinge. Essentially, these elements translate to a plastic screen that allows the device to easily fold and unfold while keeping debris off from the hinges, gaps and etc. Now I'd be lying if I say I wasn't a tad nervous when 'opening and closing' the device. The Samsung Galaxy Fold feels really fragile in the palm of my hand. I was mostly scared of damaging the thin screen. But if anything, Samsung Malaysia is offering its members a one-time screen replacement or repair within a year of wear and tear.
That huge display
Galaxy Fold is supposedly Samsung's way of reimagining the smartphone screen. Here are the numbers to note: the outer 4.6-inch Super AMOLED HD screen (1,680 x 720) opens up to the 7.3-inch Dynamic AMOLED screen (with a QXGA+ resolution at 2,152 x 1,536). You know what they say about the bigger being better? Well, I couldn't agree more—the Galaxy Fold opens up like a mini book and the expansive display is definitely a joy to read, watch videos and multi-task on. The colour is beautiful and sharp, and the viewing experience is fantastic. But once the "book" closes, that's when you'll find some issues with the device. It was bulky and heavy, and I didn't particularly like adjusting to the smaller screen after being spoilt with the large screen inside. It wasn't enjoyable to view content, what more to type!
That productivity factor
The Samsung Galaxy Fold in an essence is a device made for productivity, it is meant to help you do and accomplish more. On paper it is engineered to work like a phone but it also doubles up as a tablet—both that you can easily switch to back and forth seamlessly so the experience is as smooth as butter. The App Continuity function is really useful; you can transition any app from the 4.6-inch screen automatically to the 7.3-inch screen seamlessly. Once unfolded, you can open up to three apps at a single time. The downside is that two of the apps will appear to be a tad too small for you to do anything much. Other things to note: the phone runs on a Snapdragon 855 processor, 12GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage. So performance and space are not an issue, neither is the battery life at 4,380mAh capacity.
That camera experience
Just like for most Samsung premium smartphones, you will geek out to the camera function of the Galaxy Fold. There are six integrated cameras—including a 10-megapixel front camera; dual 10-megapixel and 8-megapixel cameras when the phone is unfolded; and a triple-lens camera on the rear (a 16-megapixel ultrawide lens, a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens and a 12-megapixel telephoto lens). All these numbers but what it boils down to is how crisp are the images and how easy it is to point and shoot. To answer, the colour and details are mostly clear (best in daylight or well-lit area), but not quite convenient to use as you're essentially trying to take a photo/video with a tablet.
The Samsung Galaxy Fold is a pretty impressive gadget to own. It was the life of the party at every social event that I attended. Personally, I find the draw comes from the 7.3-inch screen while the foldable element ranks second in my book. Now the question: is it worth the hefty price? If you're a diehard Samsung fan, yes.
Samsung Galaxy Fold retails at RM8,388. For more information, click here.