After two or three years that were packed full of smartphone designs that nearly bored us to death, things are finally starting to heat up in the smartphone industry. At least, they’re starting to heat up on the Android side of the fence. Apple is expected to use almost the same iPhone design for the third consecutive year in 2019. Thankfully, Android vendors have finally decided to stop copying Apple and instead go their own way. Towards the end of last year, we saw all sorts of nifty new smartphone designs pop up in China. In 2019, things like hole-punch cameras, pop-up selfie cams, and more are making their way to the rest of the world. On top of all that, smartphone makers finally have the technology at their disposal to pack a tablet-sized screen into a pocketable device. The answer was foldable OLED screens, of course, and the first phones with foldable form factors are set to begin hitting store shelves beginning next month.
We already know that Samsung plans to release its Galaxy Fold on April 26th in the United States. On Monday, Samsung announced that smartphone shoppers in Europe will be able to preorder the phone beginning that same day, ahead of its May 3rd release in the region. But some even more interesting news about the Galaxy Fold emerged on Monday, and unfortunately it’s not quite as positive as launch details. Samsung’s first foldable smartphone packs quite a punch, but a new leak suggests it doesn’t translate its jaw-dropping specs into anywhere near as much power as it should.
When Samsung finally detailed its exciting Galaxy Fold smartphone during last month’s Unpacked press conference, we learned it would be just as powerful as the most expensive Galaxy S10+. On paper, at least — specs include Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 processor, 512GB of storage, and a whopping 12GB of RAM. According to a new leak, however, it appears as though all that cutting-edge tech isn’t translating to quite as much oomph as we had hoped.
When we reviewed the Galaxy S10+, we were blown away by how powerful it was. The model we reviewed had just 8GB of RAM instead of 12GB like the high-end model, but it still managed to achieve Geekbench 4 test scores that topped every other Android phone available in the US. On the single-core test, our unit averaged a score of 3483. On the multi-core test, the Galaxy S10+ racked up a score of 11081, which is nearly as powerful as the iPhone XS’s industry-leading score of 11269.
The Galaxy Fold was recently spotted on the Geekbench site ahead of its release. With the same Snapdragon 855 chipset and 12GB of RAM instead of 8GB like our Galaxy S10+ review unit, we figured Samsung’s foldable phone would score at least as well as the S10+, if not a bit better. Unfortunately, that’s not the case at all. The Fold managed a single-core score of 3418, which is terrific. Under the heavy load of a multi-score test though, Samsung’s foldable smartphone only managed a score of 9703, which is more than 1300 points less than the Galaxy S10+.
The good news is it’s still a month before the Galaxy Fold is set to be released, so there’s a chance things could be further optimized before the phone hits store shelves. That said, we doubt Samsung has too much tweaking left to do this close to launch, so it looks like performance may have been throttled a bit for one reason or another.