Sometimes, I really don’t enjoy being right. A perfect example is when I repeatedly warned readers for about a year before the Galaxy Fold was even announced that Samsung’s first smartphone with a foldable screen would end up being a horribly designed piece of junk. Then the phone was officially unveiled and the world saw immediately that Galaxy Fold’s design was horrible. As we approached the phone’s release date in late April, it became undeniably apparent that the Galaxy Fold was a piece of junk.
How was I so sure a year before the phone was unveiled that it would be so awful? The answer is quite simple: I’ve been doing this for a long time. I’ve seen Samsung repeat the same pattern over and over again with all of its mobile products. When Samsung releases a first-generation product, it’s garbage. Plain and simple. Samsung’s first Galaxy S phone was garbage, its first Galaxy Note phone was garbage, its first tablet was garbage, its first smartphone with a curved display was garbage, and its first smartwatch was garbage. Now, Galaxy S and Galaxy Note phones are some of the most gorgeous and most powerful smartphones on the planet. Samsung’s tablets are spectacular and its smartwatches are great. And Samsung’s signature curved displays are the best in the industry. Samsung is not an innovator, it’s a renovator, and now history is repeating itself yet again with the Galaxy Fold.
Someday, Samsung will sell foldable smartphones that are wonderfully sleek and people will love them. Unfortunately for people who were looking forward to the Galaxy Fold, that day isn’t going to come anytime soon. Even if we put aside the fact that the Galaxy Fold was such a piece of junk that its release had to be delayed indefinitely, the phone itself is hideous. It’s way too thick to be held comfortably when folded, both the inner and outer displays have massive bezels around them like it’s still 2012, the main display has a gigantic chunk missing from the corner where the front-facing cameras and other sensors are located, and so on. It’s hideous.
Even if the Galaxy Fold hadn’t been designed and manufactured so poorly, it was already an aesthetic failure. But then you add in the facts that the technical design was terrible and Samsung’s quality control was atrocious, and you’re left with a total dumpster fire. This is a $2,000 smartphone with huge gaps in the hinges, so dirt and dust would work its way into the device in a matter of days and destroy the display. This is a $2,000 smartphone with a display that had exposed edges on its top layer, so it looked like a cheap pre-installed screen protector that people inevitably want to peel off. Only when they peeled off this particular plastic film, the screen was instantly trashed.
Look, I like Samsung products. They’re great. The only Android phone I would personally even consider using over a Galaxy S10+ right now is the OnePus 7 Pro, and it’s basically just a Galaxy S10+ copycat with a pop-up selfie camera. And Samsung TVs? They’re the best on the planet, hands down. I would probably strangle a distant relative (no, not really) to get my hands on Samsung’s massive new 8K TV. But all of Samsung’s best products have one thing in common: They’re mature.
Samsung has been making televisions since 1970, and it has been making Galaxy S phones for almost a decade. When the company’s tenth-generation foldable smartphone comes out, it’s going to be absolutely astonishing. But when its first-generation foldable smartphone is finally released — and no one knows when that might be, not even Samsung — it’s still going to be awful. Even if Samsung fixes the inexcusable defects that early reviewers found in April, it’ll still be a $2,000 piece of junk. Skip it and save your money. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.
I hate to say it, Samsung fans, but I told you so.