Forward-looking: Samsung is venturing into uncharted territory with the Galaxy Fold. Smartphone innovation has been down across the industry and as major markets hit saturation levels, consumers are demanding something new. The Galaxy Fold is certainly a break from the norm, but how will buyers respond to that nearly $2,000 price of entry?
All eyes were affixed on Samsung today as the company hosted its latest Unpacked mobile event. Most suspected Samsung would open with the Galaxy S10 but the company surprised onlookers by diving right into its latest innovation, the Galaxy Fold.
The Galaxy Fold features a 4.6-inch HD+ Super AMOLED display (21:9) on the outside but when unfolded, the device transforms into a small tablet boasting a 7.3-inch Dynamic AMOLED Infinity Flex Display with a QXGA+ resolution (4.2:3). It's powered by an unnamed 7nm, 64-bit processor, 12GB of LPDDR4x RAM and 512GB of local storage (UFS 3.0) and packs a total of six cameras - three on the back, two on the inside and one on the front.
Notably, there's no micro SD card slot.
The rear camera array is comprised of a 16-megapixel f/2.2 ultrawide camera, a 12-megapixel wide-angle shooter with f/1.5 - f/2.4 aperture, dual pixel AF and optical image stabilization and a 12-megapixel telephoto f/2.4 aperture camera, also with OIS.
The dual front-facing system is made up of a 10-megapixel f/2.2 selfie camera and an 8-megapixel RGB depth camera with an aperture of f/1.9.
Samsung's latest derives power from two separate batteries, one on each side of the fold. Collectively, they afford 4,380mAh of capacity - a sizable amount for a standard phone, but one has to wonder how much mileage to expect out of this new form factor.
The Galaxy Fold ushers in an entirely new form factor for mobile devices. To create it, Samsung had to develop a sophisticated hinge system with multiple interlocking gears that can withstand hundreds of thousands of folds and unfolds. I'm especially interested to see how this feels in practice and more importantly, how the hinge - and the Infinity Flex Display - hold up over time.
Key to any good smartphone is quality software and Samsung looks to be on to something with the Galaxy Fold.
Samsung has developed a unique UX for the Galaxy Fold to take advantage of its multiple use scenarios. Designed for the "ultimate multitasker," the Fold can run up to three active apps simultaneously on the main display. With App Continuity, you're able to seamlessly transition between the cover and main display without losing your place.
Samsung tells us the handset will ship running Android 9.0 Pie.
The Samsung Galaxy Fold launches on April 26 starting at a staggering $1,980. Carrier payment plans will soften the blow a bit but still, this is one expensive device. It'll be offered in both LTE and 5G variants, we're told, and will be available in black, silver, green and blue color schemes.