Excited wasn’t the word that can describe my feelings when I got the news to review the new Samsung Galaxy Fold. It was more of an adrenaline rush that made me overly enthusiastic. Now this is the gadget device that I’ve been looking forward to this year. And finally I get to review it.
First, as we all know, the Galaxy Fold was put on hold due to some hardware hiccups earlier this year where it malfunctioned on many occasions. Since then Samsung has been making changes in the hardware design – particularly on the whole body construction.
After a few months of back and forth R&D testings, the Fold was…unfolded. When it was announced for public launch, gadget geeks went on wanting to get their hands on the Fold. I don’t blame them. I was one of those geeks. It is dubbed as the device of the year. Yeah, I know another smartphone giant is making their own version of a foldable phone but Samsung got there first.
So with that, let’ts dive in the unfolded Galaxy Fold.
First Look and Specifications
I had to sit in an hour long “course” when I picked up the Galaxy Fold review unit. This is to ensure that I know the basic handling of the device as well as the care that I had to put in it.
My first impression was, heavy. Yes, the Galaxy Fold is considered heavy by today’s standards. But it feels rather solid and durable. But I wouldn’t dare dropping this device because of the folding hinge. And because it is expensive too.
Opening and closing the Fold is easy and it feels sturdy. The mechanism design is well thought of. It opens easily and close just as easy too. It has that little springy pull at the end when you open or close the Fold, which is good.
When folded, the device feels slim and I can handle the phone in one hand. Texting with on hand is also possible, thanks to the narrow form factor. But to me the front display is a little too small for me to type on, but good for a quick browse on Twitter and such. At 21:9 screen ratio, it feels tall and narrow. But it’s okay for me.
When unfolded, it look (and feels) like opening a book. But with a nice AMOLED screen saying hello in your face. The colours are bright and vibrant, as how you would expect in a flagship Samsung devices. The display ratio is somewhat you need to get used to. A little squarish in my opinion at 4.2:3 screen ratio. But that is fine when you like doing some reading on the Galaxy Fold.
Oh, you will wonder about the crease in the middle, right? Yes, the crease is visible but at the same time it’s not that intrusive. You won’t even notice it when you’re doing some reading or playing games on the Fold. It’s something like, it’s there…but at the same time it’s not there. Get what I mean?
There are a total of 6 cameras on the Galaxy Fold. You can find one selfie cam at the front, two cameras facing you when you unfold the Fold, and three at the back as the main shooter. The Galaxy Fold is using the exact same camera module as the Galaxy S10+ so the picture quality is something you can be happy with.
When unfolded, you can find the volume rocker and the power button/fingerprint sensor on the right side while you can find the SIM slot on the left. At the bottom and top, you can find the stereo speakers. So when you tilt the Fold to view any videos, the speakers will be on the left and right side of the device to give you that full stereo experience. The sound is loud and clear. Very enjoyable when you’re listening to some music or playing games. Also at the bottom, you can find the USB type-C port for charging and file transfer.
Few other things that you can find in the box are the usual stuffs like charger head, USB type-C cable and a little bonus, the Fold comes with Samsung wireless earbuds tuned by AKG. Now this buds are awesome. You need to get it to fit your ears tightly by using the correct size silicone buds. Sound quality is not bad. I really enjoyed using the buds.
Below is the Galaxy Fold full spefications:
|Operating System||Android 9 Pie, Samsung One UI|
|Main Display||7.3-inch |
2152 x 1536
|Cover Display||4.6-inch |
720 x 1680
|Processor||Qualcomm SM8150 Snapdragon 855|
7nm 64-bit octa-core
2.84GHz + 2.41GHz + 1.78GHz
|Main Camera||12 MP, f/1.5-2.4, 27mm (wide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS|
12 MP, f/2.4, 52mm (telephoto), 1/3.6″, 1.0µm, AF, OIS, 2x optical zoom
16 MP, f/2.2, 12mm (ultrawide), 1/3.1″, 1.0µm
|Selfie Camera||10 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), 1/3″, 1.22µm|
8 MP, f/1.9, 24mm (wide), 1.22µm, depth sensor
10 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), 1/3″, 1.22µm
|Security||Capacitive fingerprint sensor |
|Charging||QuickCharge 2.0 wired charging |
Fast Qi wireless charging
|Dimensions (Folded)||62.9 x 160.9 x 17.0mm|
|Dimensions (Unfolded)||117.9 x 160.9 x 7.5mm|
|Colors||Space Silver |
Performance and Usage
Probably I don’t need to elaborate on the performance but I still need to show some figures here. Powered by the great Snapdragon 855 and supported by the ample 512GB storage and huge 12GB of RAM, the Fold is a mean work horse.
Just throw any heavy duty task at it. Rendering videos? Easy. Running 3D graphics? Meh. Opening tons of apps at once and multi-tasking? No problem. Bottom line, it respond as quick as you.
I did ran an Antutu 3D Benchmark on the Fold and it sits comfortably in the top 10 fastest devices. I will usually stay on to watch the whole process so with the Fold, it ran liquid smooth. It has no problem handling heavy graphics. So I put the Fold in another test – PUBG Mobile gaming.
This is my favourite part. Upon installation, it detects that the Galaxy Fold is able to run on the highest graphic settings (duh). And with that, I set the Fold to use only the highest graphic settings. Full ultra HDR, anti-aliasing, highest frame-rate, shadows and full detailed realistic graphics.
I was blown away by the fluid graphic rendering and vibrant display. I have never ran PUBG Mobile on that kind of settings before without experiencing any lags or stutter. Everything was smooth, liquid smooth. I have tried the same setting on the Galaxy Note 10 before this, it worked just as great but with the Fold’s larger display, it made it look heck of a lot better.
Also thanks to the large dual Li-Po battery totaling up to 4380mAh capacity, I can continue gaming for a few hours with the Fold. Watching movie is fun too. But the aspect ratio made it a little disappointing. If only it has a wide angle display with the usual 16:9 ratio. But it’s not what the Fold is all about anyway. On the upside, the stereo speaker is simply wonderful.
On a normal usage (without gaming or movie binge), the Galaxy Fold can last me close to 48 hours straight. Maybe it can last longer than that if I didn’t do any 40 minutes or so reading while in the LRT to and from work. Also to note, the Fold is a head turner. I got a lot of stares while using it in the LRT especially when I’m doing some reading. So yeah, there were some ooohs and aaahs from people around me.
The one and only qualm that I have with the Fold is that it’s a fingerprint magnet. The shiny metal surface attracts fingerprint marks like octopus tentacles to your face. I mean, I leave a mark all the time despite having it wiped clean almost all the time. But having said that, the Fold also comes with a phone case made of kevlar type material that looks super cool.
But overall usage is really good. It’s a tad heavy but it’s worth it.
Photos with the Galaxy Fold
Having 6 cameras in total is somewhat overkill, or is it? The front camera on the front display is the same one as the inside so the quality is pretty much the same. But the inner camera is supported by a depth sensor camera to give better depth of field images or “bokeh”.
At the back are the three main cameras – a normal wide angle camera, an ultra wide angle camera and a telephoto camera for that extra zoom. I particularly like the ultra wide angle camera setup and I often use it for my day to day shoots. But let’s just look at the photos so that you can judge the quality for yourselves.
The quality of the Fold’s camera is top notch. We’ve seen the results from the Galaxy S10 and we know the camera is good, so the same can be said about the Fold. But on the ultra wide angle part, we can see some obvious distortion around the corners. Apart from that, all looks good.
Low light photography is a little hit and miss with the Fold. I notice some noise in the dark area of the photo. But I guess that’s kinda normal.
As for the live focus function, the “bokeh” effect is spot on. Some of the photos that I took with the live focus function turns out great. It’s my most favourite function to use whenever I launch the camera app. So portrait shots will be awesome with the Fold.
With all the hype on a foldable phone going around, we would expect the Fold to shine as an example for others to follow. Well we’re in the right track. More companies are starting to come up with their own version of a foldable phone.
To me the Galaxy Fold set the benchmark for the foldable phone era, especially for a tablet sized device. What I like about it is that the Fold can be used as a normal phone when it’s closed and use as a tab when it’s opened. And using it for gaming is extremely awesome. Large screen for PUBG Mobile is super fun.
Now let’s be realistic. The Fold is an innovation device by Samsung. It’s among the first foldable phone by any company. The specification is top of the line, only the best put into a futuristic device. Surely the price for this kind of device will hit the roof even just by mentioning the idea of it. That is absolutely true and that is the harsh reality.
The Galaxy Fold is fun to use. At the same time it is also considered fragile. The hinge is sensitive. It was the reason why the Fold was delayed the first time. But the improvements and reinforcements done to the Fold made it a little more durable. And with the price that you have to pay to obtain one will make you think twice about dropping it.
The recommended retail price for the Galaxy Fold is RM8,388.00 and it only come in one single version. You can find out more at Samsung website.