Samsung Galaxy Fold review


The Galaxy Fold was the “one more thing” at Samsung’s MWC event this year and what a thing it was! A smartphone with a massive foldable AMOLED screen, a second AMOLED on the outside for mundane tasks, a bunch of trendy cameras all over – these wrapped within a unique body with a sophisticated hinge. And being a first of its kind, the Galaxy Fold promised one thing – to show you the future if you are ready to pay the price – and a steep price it is.

The foldable handsets, once known as flip-phones or clamshells, have been around for years, though lately, they’ve been out of commission. Not anymore though. While Xiaomi and Motorola were experimenting with sliders Samsung has taken a different path, one that was charted way back in 2013 when the maker launched the one and done Galaxy Round with a flexible display. But while both LG and Samsung tried to play the flexible card, it wasn’t the thing the users wanted. But if you can flex it, why not fold it, right?

Fast-forward five and a half years and we are holding the gadget we really wanted back in 2013 – a foldable smartphone. But the one and done curse may just be striking again, as by the time we finished this review Samsung had already recalled all Galaxy Fold units because of broken screens and postponed the launch for an unknown period of time.

The good news is Huawei Mate X is just around the corner and Samsung might be pressured to fix the Galaxy Fold. But the Galaxy Note7 fiasco was not so long ago and Samsung may decide not to risk another one and cuts its losses.

Anyway, whatever happens, we are here to give you a glimpse of what’s coming or what could have been. Either way, the Galaxy Fold is an incredible piece of technology worthy of experiencing. Because it might be the next big thing, whether it goes on sale or not.

Samsung Galaxy Fold specs

  • Body: Foldable, display folds inwards on itself. 160.9×62.9×15.5mm folded, 160.9×117.9×6.9 mm unfolded, 263g; Space Silver and Cosmos Black essential colors, Martian Green and Astro Blue with Gold or Dark Silver hinges.
  • Display: Primary: Foldable 7.3″ Dynamic AMOLED Infinity Flex Display, 1536x2152px, 4.2:3 aspect ratio, 362ppi. Secondary (cover): 4.6″ Super AMOLED, 720x1680px, 21:9 aspect ratio, 399ppi.
  • Rear camera: Wide (main): 12MP, 1/2.55″ sensor, f/1.5-2.4 aperture, 26mm equiv. focal length (77° FoV), dual pixel PDAF, OIS. Telephoto: 12MP, 1/3.6″ sensor, f/2.4 aperture, 52mm equiv. focal length (45° FoV), PDAF, OIS. Ultra-wide: 16MP, f/2.2 aperture, 12mm equiv. focal length (123° FoV), fixed focus.
  • Front camera: Main: 10MP, f/2.2 aperture, 25mm equiv. focal length (80° FoV), PDAF. Secondary (depth only): 8MP, f/2.2 aperture, 85° FoV, fixed focus lens.
  • Cover camera: 10MP, f/2.2 aperture, 25mm equiv. focal length (80° FoV), PDAF.
  • Video recording: Rear: up to 4K 2160p@60fps, EIS up to 2160p@30fps, slow-mo up to 1080p@240fps, super slow-mo 720p@960fps for up to 0.4s (12s playback at normal speed); HDR10+ recording. Front: up to 4K 2160p@30fps with EIS.
  • OS/Software: Android 9.0 Pie, Samsung One UI.
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 855 (7nm): octa-core CPU (1×2.8GHz & 3×2.4GHz Kryo Gold & 4×1.7GHz Kryo 485 Silver); Adreno 640 GPU.
  • Memory: 12GB RAM, 512GB storage, no microSD card slot.
  • Battery: 4,380mAh total, Li-Ion (sealed), 2-piece, 15W wired charging (Adaptive Fast charging, QuickCharge 2.0 compatible), 15W Fast Wireless Charging 2.0, Wireless PowerShare.
  • Connectivity: Dual-SIM – one nano, one eSIM (where available); LTE-A, 6-Band carrier aggregation, Cat.18 (1.2Gbps/150Mbps); Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac/ax MU-MIMO; GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo; NFC; Bluetooth 5.0. USB Type-C (v3.1), no 3.5mm jack.
  • Misc: Capacitive side-mounted fingerprint sensor, doubles as Bixby button; stereo speakers.

The Galaxy Fold employs every cutting-edge piece of technology available on a smartphone – the most current Snapdragon 855 chip, enhanced with 12GB of RAM, a half a terabyte of teh fastest flash storage there is, a triple camera on the back, a dual-camera on the inside, and even an extra autofocus selfie camera on the outside. There is also a large battery, a ton of connectivity options, stereo speakers, and whatnot.

The one thing the Galaxy Fold can’t do is withstand water. But it would have been a second technology miracle to capsulate the phone against water.

But before we unfold the Galaxy Fold, and we promise the puns end here, let’s see what’s in its box.

Unboxing the Galaxy Fold

Surprise! We didn’t need to unfold the new Galaxy as it ships unfolded in thin a box within its much bigger retail box. Indeed, the Fold arrives in one premium-looking package and there are many goodies inside.

For starters the box contains all the usual necessities – an 18W charger that hasn’t been changed for years and a USB-C cable. There is also one very familiar female A to male C adapter that Samsung has been supplying within its boxes for a while.

The Galaxy Fold box doesn’t contain a wired headset, but a wireless one – the new Galaxy Buds to be specific. They come within its own charging case, coupled with three types of rims for the earbuds. Those are the same buds to ship with the Galaxy S10 pre-orders, but they come as default with the Fold. And for €2000 – they better be!

But wait, there is more. There is a protective case with a carbon-like finish to keep your glass Fold safe. It’s got a mild adhesive to stick it securely onto the phone, but you can easily remove it after it’s been applied. Or don’t use it at all – we found the case to fit very well without applying the adhesive.