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Samsung Galaxy Fold – Initial Thoughts & Review

As an avid lover of technology, I am always excited to see the latest and greatest breakthroughs. The mobile industry has somewhat stagnated with most phones being the normal rectangular shape with manufacturers focusing more on improving the cameras and battery rather than design. Samsung broke the mould when they announced the Samsung Galaxy Fold, a foldable device that lets you use it one-handed with the front display and then being able to open it up to a 7.3-inch tablet when needed. Samsung initially had teething issues when various reviewers and YouTubers had damaged displays within a matter of days. Samsung improved the design and durability and the Fold was released to the mainstream around September 2019.

I was shopping around last week on Facebook Marketplace when I came across a good deal for the Galaxy Fold. I was super excited to open the box and experience my first ever hands-on with a folding device. The Fold comes with a warning sheet that advises you to take care of the device and not to use any nails or sharp objects near the display. I powered on the device and was amazed by the immersive screen, however, I was also surprised at how square the fold is. The Galaxy Fold comes bundled with a 15W charger and also the first generation Galaxy Buds in the box which is a nice touch for an expensive phone. Samsung has advised that the Fold can be folded up to 200,000 times before any issues occur. It is hard to confirm whether this is true or not, although I can confirm the hinge feels solid.

The Galaxy Folds front 4.6-inch display is useful but also very cramped. I found it useful for quickly changing a track on Spotify or reading a notification whilst exercising but I would not like to try complete any serious tasks on it. Samsung’s usual Always On Display is present on the Galaxy Fold and is once again excellent, this also shows on both displays. The Fold is a nice device to watch media on but the aspect ratio leaves black bars at the top and bottom of the video. You can zoom in on the video to fill this space, however, you then end up cutting off some important details. The Fold also has a large notch, I would like to see a Note 10 style small notch on the second generation. Samsung’s AMOLED panels are once again class-leading, the main 7.3-inch display may not be as sharp as some of the other top tier handsets at only 326 pixels per inch but the display still looks vivid and crisp. The front 4.6 display is also pleasant to look at but typing can be tricky on such a small display. The crease in the display is evident when looking at the device from an angle but it has not been an issue for me as you hardly see it when using the phone on a daily basis.

Samsung opted to fit the Galaxy Fold with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, this isn’t the latest and greatest anymore but this is partly due to the delay in launch. The 855 will still handle anything you can throw at it and can play any game on the play store comfortably. Samsung has done a solid job with the software on the Galaxy Fold, multitasking is a breeze and you can easily run two or three apps on the screen at once. This is useful and is one of the best reasons for having a 7.3-inch display. The Fold is also fitted with 12GB of RAM and 512GB of UFS 3.0 storage which helps to keep everything running smoothly. Samsung has also pushed out Android 10 along with One UI 2.0 over the last few weeks which also helps to keep things running smoothly. The signal is as strong as ever and 5G is also supported in the UK, the Fold often has a stronger signal than my iPhone 11 Pro Max. Battery life has been subjective for me, I have often needed to top the Fold up by 5pm to finish the night. However, a lot of reviewers have reported superb battery life on the Fold. I have been running the device on 5G and I am a heavy user so this may vary for you.

Usually, on a review, I would go outside and test the camera capabilities, unfortunately, due to the current lockdown conditions in the UK I haven’t been able to put the camera through its paces. Although the camera on the Fold is very similar to the Note 10+ therefore you will get a good standard of photo or video from the Fold. I would imagine that the customers looking at a device like the Galaxy Fold are more interested in its bleeding-edge folding technology or the multitasking capabilities rather than the output of the camera. The Fold also features Samsung’s Super Steady Video function, this brings superb stability to your recordings without the need for a tripod. Audio performance is solid on the Galaxy Fold thanks to Bluetooth 5.0. I have listened to tracks on both the included Galaxy Buds and Apple Airpods Pro and the performance was the usual high Samsung standard. It is worth noting that the Galaxy Fold does not have a headphone jack.

I could write thousands of more words without covering everything on the Galaxy Fold, however, here at Mobile Made Simple we like to keep the articles simple and straight to the point. Would I recommend the Galaxy Fold to everyone? No, not at all. The Fold is very expensive (currently £1,900 from Samsung) and is also very fragile. The Fold does not have an IP rating which means it can’t come in contact with any water and the Fold is thick when folded which may be difficult for those with limited pocket space. Despite all of this, the Galaxy Fold is a genuine advancement in technology and I cannot wait to see where Samsung take it next. I would love to see the front bezels reduced to get a bigger front display. I would also like a slightly taller aspect ratio to reduce the black bars shown when watching a video and a smaller notch, an S-Pen would not go amiss either. I can remember representing Samsung at IFA in Berlin when the Galaxy Note was first launched, Samsung changed the market and introduced us to phablets. I can see a similar trend following with the Galaxy Fold.

Pros –

Folding design, One handed use on the small display, Immersive experience with the 7.3 inch display, Multitasking capabilities.

Cons –

Expensive, No IP rating, Large notch, Front display is cramped

  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  • Memory: 12GB
  • Storage: 512GB
  • MicroSD storage: None
  • Screen size: 4.6 inches (folded), 7.3 inches (unfolded)
  • Resolution: 1680 x 720 (folded), 2152 x 1536 (unfolded)
  • Connectivity: USB-C, Bluetooth 5.0
  • Battery: 4,235mAh (UK 5G model)
  • Size: 160.9 x 62.9 x 17 mm (folded), 160.9 x 117.9 x 7.5 mm (unfolded)
  • Weight: 263g (9.28oz)
  • Operating system: Android 10

MobileMadeSimple
Hi all, I'm Alan and I am the main writer at MobileMadeSimple.co.uk. I have a huge passion for technology and I am experienced at using both iOS and Android. I have previously worked for a major UK mobile network in a technical support role and I also represented Samsung at major product events such as IFA and MWC. I have decided to restart my blog during the COVID-19 lockdown and it is also a great opportunity to share my passion for technology with all of you.

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