Later this month, something that seemed impossible for mobile devices (but now proven possible by South Korean electronics giant Samsung) will be released in the market for curious consumers. This is the Samsung Galaxy Fold, a smartphone that can open up in one side to become a decent-sized tablet, with a larger interior LED display that actually folds in half. Samsung introduced the Galaxy Fold in late February, although no demonstration units were passed around beyond the stage presentation. This time, several tech news sources have had the opportunity to check out the Fold before distribution. How does it stack?
A smaller Chinese smartphone manufacturer managed to rush out its own folding phone-tablet hybrid before Samsung even named the Galaxy Fold. That was a clunky novelty gadget that had several hardware and software hiccups. Samsung’s phone however looks like it is made of sterner stuff according to The Verge. About the one shortcoming that can be quickly mentioned about the Fold is that in its default smartphone mode it is very small. The LED phone screen is but 4.6 inches long, with the folding tablet display a more spacious 7.3 inches. In a way, the Fold is more a tablet that turns into a smartphone, not the other way around.
Tech Crunch adds that the folding mechanism of this unique Samsung Galaxy phone is undoubtedly sturdy. The design has been drop-tested both in phone and tablet mode, while the folding system itself was machine-tested for more than its service lifetime: 200,000 folding motions. Its internals also make provisions for the phone-to-tablet conversion, with two batteries on each half combined for a power of 4380mAh. There’s a snap-lock system for when fully closing or fully opening the Fold. Even when folded there’s a small gap between the two halves on the hinge, but it is negligible.
The rest of its components are routine for Samsung. Fortune lists a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, 12GB RAM and 512GB storage. It has three rear cameras with wide-angle, ultra-wide and telephoto modes, from 12 to 16 megapixels. The phone mode has one high-quality selfie cam while the tablet mode has two. It runs Android 9.9, but as a pioneering design it has display quibbles, among several issues, that might mess with Google Play Store apps that are not optimized for a folding display. Communications-wise, it can handle two carrier networks.
Samsung is releasing its Galaxy Fold on April 26. If you want to grab a true pioneer mobile device design, you will need to pay an arm and a leg for the Fold. It costs $1,980 and will probably even be a limited-release gadget, so it will be pounced on by collectors around the world.
Image courtesy of Android Central