I attended Samsung Unpacked with a singular mission: to go hands-on with Samsung’s Galaxy Fold. With a 4.6-inch show on the entrance, and a 7.3-inch show tucked inside, it seems to be a revolutionary smartphone—assuming the cellphone is as elegant within the hand because it was throughout Samsung’s scripted dog-and-pony present.
However, alas, whereas Samsung’s demo house was packed foolish with Galaxy S10s, the Galaxy Fold wasn’t obtainable. There wasn’t even a Galaxy Fold entombed in a glass show case. So I’m left with solely unanswered questions—like whether or not the $1,980 Fold may have a visual seam operating down its unfolded show just like the seam I spied through the reside Unpacked demo. Take a look at the seam on the 42:59 mark in Samsung’s official demo video, or simply look under.
So what’s inflicting the seam? Is it merely a transient ghost that shortly goes away, or does it stay onscreen completely? Does it seem solely over white content material? Does it solely seem at sure angles, or underneath sure lighting? For what it’s value, the seam didn’t seem all through a lot of the Galaxy Unfold demo—however when it did seem, it was apparent. The journalist sitting subsequent to me observed it too.
Do I even care? We’ll see. Palms-on time will reply that query. However I can’t assist however suppose we’re on the doorstep of a “seam controversy,” very similar to the Google Pixel 2 was marred by a burn-in controversy, and the Google Pixel Three stays blighted by a notch controversy. Thoughts you, I feel the notch complaints are overblown, and whereas I observed a slight quantity of Pixel 2 burn-in, it by no means diminished my largely optimistic opinions of the cellphone. Time will inform if the Galaxy Fold withers underneath fanboyjournalistic scrutiny… or actually has any seam in any respect.
Three extra unanswered Galaxy Fold questions
Will the Galaxy Fold slot in my pocket?
Samsung has but to publish official dimensions for the Galaxy Fold, however come on, have a look at it. When totally closed, it is going to be about as thick as two premium smartphones sandwiched again to again, and that’s a porky package deal for contemporary denim pockets. I can barely bend down once I’ve pocketed the Pixel Three in my semi-skinny denims, so how precisely will the Galaxy Fold carry out?
Possibly it’s time to convey again cellphone holsters. Or dad denims for all. The Fold’s thickness could possibly be a significant usability problem, and a deal-breaker for a lot of.
What’s up with the bizarre floaty entrance show?
The Galaxy Fold has a tablet-like 7.3-inch show when unfolded, however the 4.6-inch show on the entrance seems underwhelming. That’s not a beneficiant display screen measurement in comparison with what we discover in even the smallest premium sensible telephones. For context, the iPhone Xs is 5.8-inch and the brand new Galaxy S10 is 6.1-inch. The 4.6-inch Fold show really brings us again to iPhone 7 territory—and that’s too small.
Worse but, the Galaxy Fold’s 4.6-inch show basically floats in the midst of a a lot bigger bodily chassis. Can we even name these bezels?
The dead space top and bottom, left and right, looks sad. Samsung clearly had to make some compromises on the front display, and I’m interested to know whether:
- the engineers were restricted by Android Pie aspect-ratio requirements (the Fold’s natural front display ratio would far exceed 18:9);
- they didn’t have the time or liberty to customize a taller display;
- they determined a taller display would be user-unfriendly;
- continuity requirements made a more generous front display impossible.
Just how useful are continuity and multi-window on Galaxy Fold?
Unsheathe your Galaxy Fold at a party, and you’ll have an awesome parlor trick. Everyone wants to see Samsung’s impossibly cool folding phone. But what happens when everyone leaves, the empty beer bottles are staring you in the face, and you’re left holding your strangely shaped, $1,980 phone?
One of the Fold’s most wowing features is continuity, where open apps on the front display magically transfer to, and expand on, the larger interior display. Is the segue always as quick and seamless as what we saw in the Unpacked demo? And how many apps will really be optimized for the behavior? Most importantly, will we actually embrace the use case?
For example, when I run Google Maps, it’s almost always in my car for succinct driving directions. I’m not sure I’ll ever need to expand Maps to a tablet interface as illustrated in the Unpacked demo. Then we have the Unfold’s three-app multi-window. Looks cool, but will I use it? I have two-app multi-window on my Pixel 3 XL and Galaxy Tab S3 tablet, but never use it. I doubt my behavior on the Galaxy Fold would be any different.
Questions aside, the Fold has obvious upsides
Clearly I’m a skeptic, but this doesn’t mean I don’t see clear promise and utility in the Galaxy Fold. I use my phone constantly throughout the day, but then spend a fair amount of time on my tablet at night and on weekends. So I would love for my phone to expand into a tablet for Netflix, as Samsung demoed at Unpacked. And I would love to have a full-screen Chrome experience for when I’m looking up trivia, sports scores and sundry other unimportant things when kicking back on the couch.
A phone and tablet in a single device? Count me in. Now we wait to see if Samsung has actually pulled off this impossible dream—without any deal-breaking flaws, niggling usability issues, or features left unused.