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Samsung’s foldable phone just got real: Meet the Galaxy Fold

February 20th, 2019 at 2:08 PM
Galaxy Fold Release Date

Samsung’s first foldable phone is no longer a secret. The company showed us a prototype back at its SDC18 developer conference in November so it could announce the Infinity Flex screen and the One UI user interface that will work on all Samsung phones going forward, including foldable gadgets. But that wasn’t a real launch for the phone, as Samsung wasn’t ready to share its commercial name or tell the world how much it’ll cost. It didn’t even offer us a good look at the phone. The prototype was encased in a bulky protective case, and the imagery it used also camouflaged the phone’s design.

Fast-forward to February 20th, the Galaxy S10 launch day, and a massive leak showed us renders of the Galaxy Fold just one day after a leaker said that would be the phone’s name. Well, Samsung’s Unpacked event is finally here, and the Korean giant just confirmed the Galaxy Fold name and revealed other details about the handset.

Just as expected, the Galaxy Fold will feature two separate displays. The main one is a foldable 7.3-inch Infinity Flex Dynamic AMOLED screen placed inside the handset, and it has 2152 x 1538 resolution with a 4:3 aspect ratio. On the outside, there’s a smaller 4.6-inch display with 1960 x 840 resolution on the back of the phone when it’s folded open, which will let you use the device for basic functions when the handset is closed.

Image source: Samsung

The phone will have sizeable bezels at the top and bottom, as well as curved edges on the sides. When folded, the two sides of the main display won’t touch each other to prevent damage.

Image source: Samsung

The strange selfie camera placed inside the phone is inside what might be one of the ugliest notches we’ve ever seen, but it’s also the kind of compromise we’ve come to expect in this era smartphone. Foldable phones need selfie cams too, and apparently, this is the best Samsung could do.

Image source: Samsung

Running the whole show is Android 9 Pie with One UI on top. What’s great about it is that, while Samsung will still have to convince us that foldable smartphones really serve a purpose, the Galaxy Fold’s operating system was developed together with Google. That means extra care was taken to preserve the Android experience.

App Continuity is what Samsung calls the software trick it created for the phone, that will let it seamlessly transition apps from the small screen on the front to the big screen inside, once the phone is unfolded. Samsung demoed on stage one app that you might want to expand on the bigger screen, Google Maps.

Image source: Samsung

Samsung also worked with Microsoft for custom Office apps for the fold, while Google’s YouTube will offer buyers free access to YouTube Premium.

Image source: Samsung

Finally, users will be able to run three distinct Android apps side by side when the Infinity Flex screen is unfolded.

Image source: Samsung

The Fold will feature a brand new hinge system that the user won’t even see from the outside. The mechanism features “multiple interlocking gears” that will let users fold the screen hundreds of thousands of times.

Image source: Samsung

The foldable will come in four colors, including cosmos black, space silver, martian green, and astro blue. The hinge color can actually be personalized, Samsung said, even if you can’t really see it.

Image source: Samsung

When it comes to specs, the phone packs a 7nm processor, 12GB of RAM, and 512GB of built-in storage. The best part about the flash memory is that its UFS 3.0 storage kind, which isn’t even available on other devices.

Image source: Samsung

Furthermore, the phone features two batteries, one on each side of the handset, and a total of six cameras, including two selfie lenses, three camera sensors on the back, and one more camera on the front (when the handset is folded).

Image source: Samsung

The fingerprint sensor isn’t placed under the screen, at least not on this first-generation foldable handset. Instead, it’s placed on the side, just as it’ll probably be the case for the Galaxy S10e.

Image source: Samsung

The fold comes in in LTE and 5G versions and will start at $1,980, which is around what we expected it to cost. The phone will ship on April 26th, a lot sooner than we expected.

Image source: Samsung

Here’s the full list of specs for the Galaxy Fold:

  • 7.3-inch QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED main display (4.2:3 aspect ratio)
  • 4.6-inch HD+ Super AMOLED cover display (21:9 aspect ratio)
  • 7nm 64-bit octa-core processor
  • 12GB of LPDDR4x RAM
  • 512GB of UFS 3.0 storage
  • Cover camera: 10-megapixel f2.2
  • Front dual camera: 10-megapixel f2.2 and 8-megapixel depth camera f1.9
  • Rear triple camera: 16-megapixel ultra wide camera f2.2; 12-megapixel f1.5/f2.4 wide-angle camera with Dual Pixel autofocus and optical image stabilization (OIS); and 12-megapixel f2.4 telephoto camera with OIS and 2x optical zoom
  • 4,380 mAh battery with fast charging on wired and wireless
  • Android 9.0 Pie with One UI on top

Chris Smith started writing about gadgets as a hobby, and before he knew it he was sharing his views on tech stuff with readers around the world. Whenever he's not writing about gadgets he miserably fails to stay away from them, although he desperately tries. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.

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