This is the Samsung Galaxy fold a phone that continues to absolutely fascinate me because it’s really the first of its kind in a growing category of foldable phones that we’re gonna really start seeing in 2020 like Samsung Galaxy Fold. I’m gonna tell you what I really love about this device what I really don’t like what I can’t wrap my head around and also how this device fits into the blueprint for how foldable phones might be in the future Samsung’s basically been talking up the Samsung Galaxy fold for like forever we got a sneak peek back in November the phone launched in February.
Finally we reviewers got our hands on it and within the first week there were three separate screen problems that basically made the phone unusable Samsung took all the phones back redesigned it and this is where we are now now the changes to the design are subtle but significant you’ll notice that there are plastic caps on the top and bottom of the phone this is to help keep out dust and debris there are also more protective layers that you can’t see and this is to help minimize the crease and also to keep the phone screen from being destroyed.
if you apply too much pressure pressure still a problem we’ll get to that later one of the most important changes though is that the polymer display that Samsung made for the interior seven point three inch screen is now underneath the bezel completely before there was a ridge.
it kind of looked like a protective film you could peel off and if you did that it ruined the phone so this is unequivocal now there’s nothing for you to even peel or pry off and that protects the device a lot more the last change that Samsung made is that it lowered the hinge this is the part that connects the two sides that fold in so it sits lower seems to make the phone feel a little bit more compact and smoother when you’re snapping it together.
Whole purpose of Samsung Galaxy Fold, having a foldable phone to begin with is the screen this device is 100% entirely about the display we’ve got a 7.3 inch screen on the inside and a 4.6 inch cover screen on the outside the fold really does operate as a mini tablet and I really loved using it this way this is amazing for watching videos for reading things it just totally immerses you multitasking was another thing that felt natural you swipe over from the right and you get a bunch of the apps you can open it up and split the screen multitasking exists on other Samsung phones but I always had to force myself to find a reason to use it and just not so with this case the fold has support for three windows at once.
I actually found that I preferred using only two at a time when I added that third window things just got really crowded it’s hard to move things around and it’s not very intuitive to close out all of those displays now one of the reasons that multitasking even exists on the fold is support from Google for foldable phones.
one thing that I really love is called app continuity you open up any app and you start using it on the outside open up the phone and there it is on the inside I’m not the biggest fan of Samsung’s digital keyboard but one smart move on the fold is splitting it into two halves which makes it a lot more comfortable to type especially when you’re in landscape mode but my main issue with the keyboard is how much space it takes up so you’ve got this big screen in front of you and the keyboard takes up almost half of the display.
if you start using the multiple active windows it seems like your screen space shrinks so instead of having 7.3 inches you have small little windows you have to close the keyboard if you want to scroll up and see what you did and then open the keyboard up again to use it I am a big fan of the placement of the fingerprint reader when the fold is open it’s just really easy to get in there super accurate super fast the only problem is if you’re using a third-party case it could wind up restricting your access then you can’t unlock the phone with your finger and that sucks the first time I use the fold I didn’t like this placement.
it’s basically on the bottom part of the galaxy fold sandwich it’s hard to get to but over time I’ve learned to just kind of swoop my thumb in at the right direction hasn’t been a problem so a little bit cumbersome when the phone is closed.
I wish there were a way to securely unlock the phone using your face but I think that will come in the future before we get into everything bad and awkward and weird about the Galaxy fold I want to leave you with one more thought and that is that it is very convenient to be able to take selfies while the phone is closed and while the phone is open you’ve got a 10 megapixel an 8 megapixel camera on the inside you’ve got a 10 megapixel selfie camera on the outside and when you’re all done doing whatever it is you’re doing on the screen foldable phones are brand new.
Nobody’s ever really done this before and that introduces a lot of potential funkiness into the design now the fold feels really sturdy when I close it it’s got this big thick hinge and that’s gorilla glass on the outside and that hurt feels good but it’s this interior screen that you really have to absolutely baby it’s changed the way that I use the device it’s changed the way that I think about the device discreet is polymer which means it’s the type of plastic and Samsung specially manufactured this display for the fold but it is delicate and that’s where we found all those screen issues before Samsung tells you specifically it’s got care instruction for the display.
for the phone in general do not press the screen with a harder sharp objects such as your pen or apply excessive pressure so I’ll put your fingernail in it don’t put keys or anything on the screen while you fold it in half there are magnets along the edges and that’s what help keeps the full snapping shut it but it could potentially demagnetize something like your credit card the fold is also susceptible to damage from water or dust now.
I asked Samsung and they said that when you do clean this apply it light pressure and use a dry microfiber cloth that’s different than how you would take care of glass where the microfiber cloth could be wet don’t want to do that in this case so far I have an experience in a screen damage yet but in the first iteration I did notice that there were marks almost like half moons maybe my fingernail accidentally pressed it or I put it in my purse perhaps and something brushed up against it what I do know is this situation here with the screen is something that Samsung or somebody else in the industry is going to have to solve because it’s basically the biggest impediment to foldable phones it’s got to be something that is stronger sturdier and less prone to damage than what we have on this phone now while we’re on the topic the notch here is absolutely massive it’s basically the size of my thumb.
when I look at it closely I see the two cameras I see two sensors and I see a lot of dead space as big an eyesore as the notch is when I’m looking at it when you’re actually reading or watching video it kind of does bleed off to the side it’s probably the number one question that people have about the fold is what about this crease the seam that runs down the middle of the screen yes it is there and as far as I know you’re never gonna be able to really avoid one it’s much more noticeable when the screen is all black or all white but when I’m doing something I’m immersed in the thing that I’m doing and I’m not really distracted by that crease something.
I notice over time is that the fold is really heavy part of the reason that the fold is heavy is because you’ve got two batteries in here one on either side so you do have that balance which is nice but what that translates into is when you’re holding it for a long period of time trying to read or watch something in bed or on an airplane if you don’t have a stand for that you’re gonna notice and your arms are gonna get tired sometimes to give my hands a rest.
I’ll close the phone and use the exterior screen you can use any app on this display but the icons are small and the keyboard feels even smaller if you’ve got larger fingers it’s gonna be much harder for you it’s not that the display itself is small that it’s tall and narrow so the dimensions just feel cannot off let’s talk about photography taking a picture when the fold is closed is fine can Center it you can take your picture switch your lenses all that’s great but if you’re going to be taking a picture with a fold open which is a lot better if you really want to fine-tune what you’re doing you’re gonna stand out and you might feel ridiculous at least I did and also everyone behind you will be able to see your screen [Music] so the Galaxy fold there are some really compelling things in this phone but there are also some big problems.
However I think they could be fixed over time the truth of the matter is that most people aren’t going to be buying this Samsung galaxy Fold phone it’s too expensive and you have to baby it too much but it is important because it represents what we could have we know that Samsung is creating more designs we know that Motorola is having one and we certainly think that Apple is planning a foldable phone in the future too but the thing that’s important about this particular device and where I think the fold is actually successful is improving the concept that a foldable phone is something that can actually be useful and enrich our lives it’s not solely a gimmick and all of that comes down to the screen space and the fact that it does give you more room to run but you can fold it up into a size that is relatively portable I can in fact zip this right into my jacket pocket.
I love that Samsung Galaxy Fold phones definitely aren’t a thing yet they’re not an inevitability and they could still fall apart but there is enough in the galaxy fold that convinces me that with the right improvements you can still wind up owning a phone that looks a little bit like this.