Samsung Galaxy Fold, the company's first foldable phone, is finally here. After showcasing a prototype of the first foldable phone in November last year, and numerous hints for over a year, the South Korean tech giant on Wednesday unveiled the Samsung Galaxy Fold at its Galaxy Unpacked 2019 event in San Francisco. The new smartphone combines two screens in one device – one main flexible display of 7.3-inch and the other secondary screen of 4.6-inch. Targeted at customers who want the very latest technology in the palm of their hand, Samsung Galaxy Fold will be marketed as a luxury device. The Galaxy Fold goes on sale in April this year in select markets around the world. Samsung is yet to share the market-specific availability details.
Samsung is using the brand-new Infinity Flex Display to put a large 7.3-inch screen in the Galaxy Fold, which can be folded to turn the phone into a compact device that can easily fit in your pocket. The company claims that it had to work on the Galaxy Fold from the ground up and create new manufacturing processes, components, and a lot more to turn the phone from a concept into reality.
To make sure the Galaxy Fold's folding mechanism works as intended, the company has given the phone a robust backbone in the form of a sophisticated hinge, which uses interlocking gears. This hinge is cleverly hidden in the body of the phone and is not visible at all on the outside, helping the phone keep its elegant look.
According to Samsung, it will start selling the Galaxy Fold beginning April 26, 2019 in select countries around the world. The Galaxy Fold price has been set at $1980 (roughly Rs. 1,41,300) and the phone will be offered in four colours – Green, Blue, Silver and Black. The company notes, the smartphone will be sold in both 4G LTE and 5G variants.
There is no word on the pre-order details right now or exactly which of the markets will be receiving the device. If we were to hazard a guess, all major markets would be getting the Galaxy Fold, sooner or later.
Moving to the internals of the smartphone. Samsung has revealed that the Galaxy Fold is powered by an unnamed processor, which is based on 7nm manufacturing process. It is likely the SoC in question is Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855. The resolution of the larger 7.3-inch Infinity Flex Dynamic AMOLED panel is set at 1536x2152 pixels (4.2:3), whereas the smaller 4.6-inch Super AMOLED panel includes 840x1960 pixels resolution (21:9). The smartphone also includes 12GB of RAM and 512GB of inbuilt storage (UFS 3.0) - there is no storage expandability. Since, there is no market-ready flexible battery right now, Samsung has packed two batteries in the phone that are placed on two sides of the phone. The batteries combine their energy and offer a total capacity of 4,380mAh.
For the imaging needs, the Samsung Galaxy Fold comes with a total of six cameras – three are placed on the back, two on the inside, and one on the front. Let's start with the rear cameras: a 16-megapixel ultra wide camera with an f/2.2 aperture, a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera, with Dual Pixel AF, OIS, and variable f/1.5 to f/2.4 aperture; and finally, a 12-megapixel telephoto camera with PDAF, OIS, an f/2.4 aperture, and 2X optical zoom. As for the front dual camera, it features a 10-megapixel f/2.2 primary sensor and an 8-megapixel RBG depth camera with an f/1.9 aperture. Finally, the cover camera is a 10-megapixel selfie camera with an f/2.2 aperture.
Samsung says that no matter how you are holding the phone, you will have a camera ready to snap a photo whenever you need.
It isn't just the hardware where Samsung has worked hard to make the Galaxy Fold great, the company has invested equally in the software of the device as well. The Samsung Galaxy Fold runs on Android Pie and packs several software customisations to make use of that massive real estate. The company has included support to run three apps simultaneously on the large 7.3-inch as well as App Continuity for seamless transition from the smaller screen to the larger and vice versa.
According to Samsung, the company has worked with Google as well as the developer community at large to make sure everything works great and seamlessly on the Galaxy Fold. Apps like WhatsApp, YouTube, and Microsoft Office have been optimised to work great on the Samsung phone.
Samsung may be the first mainstream smartphone maker to launch a foldable phone, but pretty much all smartphone makers are working on foldable phones of their own, including Xiaomi, Lenovo, and LG. Even some recently discovered Apple patents hinted at the developed of foldable phones in Cupertino.
With Galaxy Fold, has Samsung kicked off a revolution in smartphone tech? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.