Samsung Galaxy Fold preview: double feeling about foldable smartphone

Galaxy FoldAfter a series of safe design choices in the Galaxy S line, Samsung is now doing something completely new. In our Samsung Galaxy Fold preview, you can read if you like it.

Samsung Galaxy Fold preview

The folding screen will be a major innovation in the smartphone market in 2019. Samsung is the first major manufacturer to put a smartphone with this technology in the stores. The Samsung Galaxy Fold will be available in the United States from 3 May. We have already got hold of the device and have started folding it.

Flexible smartphone screens make it possible to use a large smartphone, while the device simply fits in your pocket. You simply fold the phone twice. Manufacturers use this technology in various ways. For example, the Huawei Mate X has one large flexible screen on the outside.

Samsung takes a different approach. The Galaxy Fold has a large screen on the inside and also a second small screen on the outside. As a result, the device can also be used as a regular smartphone.

Small and large screen

At least: in theory. The screen on the outside is, in fact, limited and therefore does not look nearly as nice as on a Samsung Galaxy S10 for example. It is a 4.6-inch screen with a resolution of 1960 by 840 pixels. The screen with rounded corners only takes up a small part of the front, with huge edges at the top and bottom. The screen, therefore, seems mainly practical to take action quickly. For the real thing, you have to open the device.

When folded open, a large 7.3-inch screen appears with a resolution of 2152 by 1536 pixels. That is a lot of room to work with. For comparison: the spacious Galaxy S10 Plus has a 6.4-inch screen.

Samsung Galaxy Fold preview

Folded open the device can be used like any smartphone. A handy extra feature is that you can place three active apps on the screen at the same time. One app is then displayed large and the other two small. If you use a single app, it will be placed over the entire screen. For example, consider a large map on Google Maps.

Notch and folding line

The Galaxy Fold has a clear notch in the upper right corner for the selfie camera. Since the top left corner of the device is used for the status bar, that notch does not disturb. What is disturbing is that the foldability of the screen influences its quality.

For example, a folding line is clearly visible in the center of the screen. This line can even be felt when you cross it with your finger. If you look directly at the screen, you will probably hardly be bothered by it. If you look slightly obliquely, then you do. You will also clearly see that one half of the screen is darker than the other half.

The device that we have tried out is a pre-production copy and has probably been folded many times. We cannot, therefore, say with certainty whether these disadvantages are also so clearly visible on the devices that will be available in the stores. It is certainly something to keep an eye on.

What is also noticeable is that the device is rather thick when closed. That makes sense because in principle it concerns two smartphones placed on top of each other with a hinge between them. However, the two parts do not fit flat together due to the hinge and the screen. This leaves the room and the Galaxy Fold is slightly thicker.

Galaxy Fold hands-on conclusion

Thanks to our hands-on we are left with a double feeling. On the one hand, this is finally something new on the smartphone market that actually adds something: a huge screen that fits in your pocket. In the hunt for larger displays, this is the logical next step for the industry. On the other hand, the Galaxy Fold is still clear about an early version of this technology, with visible limits.

Galaxy Fold release and price

The Samsung Galaxy Fold is available from 3 May with a suggested retail price of 2020 euros. Pre-orders are available from 26 April at various web stores and providers. The device is available in different colors. The wireless Galaxy Buds and a Kevlar case are included in the package.

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