Culture

Samsung’s Folding Smartphone Is Both Called ‘The Fold’ And Actually Folds

Samsung Fold

We first saw a prototype of Samsung’s giant foldable smartphone in 2011, and now it has a name — and its planning to carve its own path in a world full of devices you never knew you needed.

The Galaxy Fold straight up creates a new category. It’s not a phone, it’s not a tablet. It has a 7.3-inch Infinity Flex Display which never even existed until this was created. As the name suggests, it folds. It enables your terrible multitasking habit. But who is this even for? Anyone with a smartphone who would also really love a bigger screen when they need one, it seems.

DJ Koh, President and CEO of IT and Mobile Communications Division at Samsung says the Galaxy Fold was created for “those who want to experience what a premium foldable device can do, beyond the limitations of a traditional smartphone.”

Yeah, But What Is It? And How?

The screen, it doesn’t just bend. It folds. There’s a difference, and it’s basically that folder is harder to do. Samsung went and straight up invented the super-thin materials needed so you could fold your tablet in half, shove it in your pocket then sit on it accidentally. Which if you do, by the way, it should be okay.

That being said, without actually using one multiple times over many months (years?), we just have no idea what kind of wear and tear the screen can take. I’d love to get a hold of the videos of this thing being tested. And I’m certain a YouTuber will find a way to break it sooner rather than later.

The Fold has a fancy hinge with a whole lot of gears so that it opens like a book, and closes with a satisfying clicking sound. You can’t hang up on someone this way, though – because it’s designed to move the apps you were using on the big inside screen, to the smaller outside screen, pretty much immediately.

Garry McGregor, Vice President of IT and Mobile at Samsung said “From the moment you pick up the Galaxy Fold and open it, you’ll discover an entirely new experience, seamlessly moving between displays without missing a beat. The Samsung Galaxy Fold is built to deliver all the power and performance Aussies expect from Samsung, now optimised for the foldable experience.”

To keep up with this kind of incredible nonsense, it has two batteries – one on each side, evenly balanced so you don’t drop it, or if you do it’s not through any fault of design, you’re (I’m) just clumsy.

There are the usual bells and whistles you’d expect, too – like a  fingerprint scanner on the side.

What Do You Do With It?

It works like a smartphone. You use it in its compact form to make calls, texts, scroll through social media — then open it up to watch a video, view a presentation, read a long-form article or use augmented reality on a screen big enough to appreciate what you’re doing. It’s not this:

You can use up to three apps at once, too. So say you’re scrolling through Netflix, you can — at the same exact time — be reading reviews and seeing what Twitter says about your potential choices, all on the same screen. It’s safe to say the Fold is built with entertainment in mind. There’s that Dynamic AMOLED display that means colours are about as true to life as you can get, contrast is great, it’s just pretty, okay?

It has a camera, too. Six, to be exact. Three lenses in the back, two on the inside and one on the cover.

The Fold also the Powershare wireless charging awesomeness the new Samsung Galaxy S10 range has, so you can charge other devices by sitting them on it – even while the fold is plugged into a charger itself.

When Can You Have A Fold?

We’ll be among the first in the world to get the Fold when it is available in the next few months (exact date to be announced still), and you can register an expression of interest to buy one as of right now. How much it will cost in Australia, is still a mystery. It’s $1980 in the US, though – so it’ll be more for us.

The Fold will be 5G, so at least the network will be fast enough to keep up with all that multitasking, too. You’ll be able to choose from a range of colours – Space Silver, Cosmos Black, Martian Green and Astro Black.

Junkee travelled to Samsung Unpacked as a guest of Samsung