Samsung Baselines Foldable Smartphones with the Galaxy Fold
by Samra Anees
Samsung is kicking off a new era of smartphone with the introduction of the Galaxy Fold— a smartphone that functions as both a phone and a tablet. Samsung introduced the phone at their Unpacked event on Wednesday in San Francisco, and the phone will be released on April 26th, 2019.
The Galaxy Fold offers a 4.6 inch screen “Cover Display” when folded, and a 7.3 inch “Infinity Flex” display when unfolded into tablet form. The phone has a total of six cameras—three on the rear and two on on the inside. The three cameras on the back include a 12-megapixel wide angle, a 12-megapixel ultra wide, and a 16-megapixel telephoto. The two cameras on the inside come with a 8-megapixel depth and a 10-megapixel selfie camera. It also has a 12 GB RAM and 512 GB ROM, and a 4,380mAh battery. The fingerprint sensor has also been moved to the right side of the phone.
The Galaxy Fold will run Android apps; most apps will adjust to the foldable screen, the same way apps are adjustable to landscape versus portrait mode on phones. Some tweaks may be necessary by app developers in order for them to optimize this new screen.
Samsung Isn’t the Only Player
Although Samsung is the first to release its flexible phone, it is by no means the only company in the market working on releasing flexible phones. Giants like Google and Apple have also said that they are working on foldable phones, as well as startups like Royole, which already has a foldable phone on the market. All of these companies are hoping to make a major wave in the smartphone market that has been static for some years now. New versions of smartphones have added embellishments or tweaks to the existing versions, but no major innovations have been introduced in a long time.
Is the Galaxy Fold Still More Sci-Fi than Reality?
Although the engineering is impressive and the concept of a foldable phone is a major wave that the smartphone industry has been waiting for, it’s hard to tell how this technology will perform in the market. On one hand, as phones become more and more expensive, people are less likely to upgrade their phone every few years just for some minor new features; it takes a big enhancement for most people to make the jump. Foldable phones are a huge development that might justify the large purchase, however the price of Samsung’s Galaxy Fold is astronomical— it will be selling for nearly $2,000 a phone.
On the functionality side, the phone is double the thickness of a regular smartphone, which is a drawback since the thinner the better is the standard for smartphones these days. Furthermore, there’s no vouching for the durability of this phone since it’s a pioneer in the market. For example, what happens if you crack or scratch this $2,000 device? The concept of this smartphone to tablet device is intriguing, but the question of whether the execution and functionality is up to standard has yet to be answered. All in all, this is a halo product by Samsung.
Although the Samsung Galaxy Fold is a market-disrupting device, it’s still in the niche phase and not necessarily intended for the mass-market just yet. There is no doubt that it’s an impressive piece of engineering and fresh take on the smartphone, but being so new and unique in the industry means that Samsung will have to test the waters with this product. It’s an interesting development and something to keep an eye on, but for now, the Samsung Galaxy Fold is a luxury phone that will need to prove itself in the market before consumers rush to the hype.