Samsung Galaxy Fold Review: Incredible and Compelling!
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The Galaxy Fold from Samsung is an exciting, pathbreaking and successful innovation, that does make the future real today, going far ahead of mere incremental innovations. After using the Samsung Galaxy Fold for the past week, I have been genuinely amazed and wowed. Yes, it is heavy (268g!) and needs some getting used to.
And yet, as someone who operates in an ‘always-on’ work environment, I have found the Fold’s power, flexibility and solid performance a real boon. Imagine being able to shoot out email replies on the go or consume content while in-transit. I can see a lot of potential enterprise use cases driving the adoption of Fold, in industries ranging from banking to hospitality.
The Fold elicits a genuine wow and excitement for its form factor and looks. On the outside, one gets to see a 4.6-inch mobile handset with a 19:9 aspect ratio. When flipped open, the device transforms horizontally into a 7.3-inch tablet. When closed, the Fold looks very much like a candy bar, and fits well into trousers, despite the 15.5mm thickness.
The plastic OLED (P-OLED) panel on Samsung Fold produces a high resolution and vibrant colors. The only drawback here is a noticeable crease at the folding point, that is visible when display is off.
All the Essentials.
The Galaxy Fold does all that today’s smartphone do, and much more. The Fold comes with a powerful three main camera array system, backed by a 4380 mAh battery dual battery system, split between each side of the fold, that lasts all-day. All other specs remain as one seen in Samsung’s flagship Galaxy devices, including a Snapdragon 855 processor, and 12 GB of RAM. The Fold comes with fast charging, and includes Wireless Power Share, that allows one to use the Fold to charge other Qi-enabled devices.
The Fold has a single-mounted fingerprint sensor on the right side of the aluminum chassis.
The Samsung Fold comes with Android 9 and with Samsung’s OneUI 1.5 on top. The software on the Samsung Fold has been wonderfully fine-tuned and optimized for shifting form factors as well as the larger screen estate. Split-screen multi-tasking on the unfolded device works fine, with a display of 2-3 apps at the same time, with more apps also possible in a floating window.
The software experience on the Samsung Fold is impeccable for a first-generation innovation.
The Fold comes with a triple camera system featuring standard, wide-angle, and telephoto lenses. On the front, there are two sets of selfie cameras: a 10MP lens in the folded form, and a 10MP lens alongwith a wide-angle lens on the upper right corner, when the device is unfolded. The camera system produces images with vivid colors and details.
While taking photos with the folded display is same like that in smartphones, it is a rather unusual experience while taking photos with display unfolded. The larger than usual viewfinder makes framing images better and easier.
Performance and battery life
The Fold is superior to a standard smartphone, and much more powerful when it comes to content consumption, gaming, or even as a productivity tool, in its unfolded form akin to a tablet.
When folded, the device is easy to hold, but a bit tougher to navigate and operate. The keyboard has been squeezed in to fit the narrow width of the device. As a result, typing and reading text, for instance is problematic, but manageable. Using the swipe method of typing works fine.
The performance of the Fold is very much on the same lines as one sees on the Galaxy S10, Note 10, Note 10 Plus. The device is a performance powerhouse.
All said, it is true that the Fold is not meant, as yet, for the average consumer.
Given that the current intended demographic for the Fold remains early technology adopters, and enthusiasts, who crave for, and seek to be seen with the latest technology, all the criticism about the high pricing is not valid. While there are so many exciting smartphones currently in the market, there is only one Fold – with sharp displays, solid camera system, and great battery life, the Samsung Fold is a no-brainer for early adopters. The results on the ground also bear testament to the above: the Samsung Galaxy Fold sales in India have gone exceedingly well.
The proof of the pudding is in unfolding the Fold for yourself.
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As Head – Industry Intelligence Group at CMR, Prabhu Ram advises industry participants on the dynamic technology market in India and other Asian geographies through proprietary and custom technology research, cutting across technology domains. Prabhu oversees an analyst team that tracks smartphones, data cards, tablets, storage, display, wearables and smart homes.