Samsung Galaxy Fold 2020 review and pricing

The Samsung Galaxy Fold is something that is a step into a completely new direction, and that is evident by the fact that it exists parallel to the Galaxy S20 and Note 10 lineups. It’s a foldable phone that has 2 displays, can run 3 apps at once, looks insanely great and fancy, and is also super expensive that puts it in the mix with industry leaders like the iPhone 11 Pro Max, the Google Pixel 4XL, Samsung’s own Galaxy Note 10+ and Galaxy S20 Ultra and the OnePlus 7T Pro making it a very tough choice to opt for a phone that had suffered reliability issues in it’s first launch, but with that sorted out by increasing the durability of the device, Samsung is ready to launch it again. Is the Galaxy Fold the phone of the future, and if not, who is it really aimed at for?

The design of the phone is simply incredible and the highlight of the Galaxy Fold. It has a clamshell design and is supported by a 20 part dual axis hinge for folding in and out. It’s very much like a small personal diary, which you can open and close from phone mode to tablet mode and back. And the action has a very slick and satisfying feeling to it as it claps shut. The main focus of this drop of the Fold was to rectify the durability issues of the first version of it that had a tendency to get damaged very quickly. The protective layer has been extended all the way to the edge now which makes it less likely for users to remove and damage the phone and the hinges now get caps to prevent debris to get stuck behind the screen and cause damage and they’ve even reduced the space that opens up when the Fold is in the closed position to prevent other things to get into it. Apart from that the primary display now has a metal layer added underneath it to make it more rigid and solid. However with the fanciness of the folding mechanism and attractive design, comes the loss of practicality, because when the phone is folded, it is very very thick and keeping it in a pocket is simply not possible and it’s also quite heavy making it hard to use for a long time with one hand. Also the buttons on the phone are a weird set. The power button is separate from the fingerprint scanner which is located on the Bixby button which makes unlocking the phone a 2 step process and in a cumbersome way, which will make facial recognition your go to way of verification on the Fold but it is less secure. Also, it now only comes in two finishes — Space Silver and Cosmos Black which is a letdown since it was supposed to come in Astro Blue and Martian Green too before the whole durability spectacle happened.

Google Pixel 4

There are 2 displays on the phone, a 4.6inch one that is active in the closed position and a massive 7.3inch one that is the primary display and runs in the open position. The 4.6inch display is tiny and very narrow which makes it simply good for glancing on information and maybe skipping your music and not for intensive purposes, however it’ll run all the apps no matter so it’s still a personal choice. However the real magic is inside, open the phone and you’re welcomed to a massive 7.3inch Super AMOLED display with a tablet like orientation making it very useful and capable for doing much more productive activity than you’d normally do even on plus sized phones like the iPhone 11 Pro Max and Galaxy Note 10+. However Samsung advises to use this display with caution and not be rough with it even with the added enforcement because, unlike the display on the outside which has Gorilla Glass 4 cover, the primary one is made of plastic and is quite sensitive compared to the displays we’re used to using on other phones. The display is vibrant and crisp, like you’d expect, but with apps that have white backgrounds, the central crease of the display might feel distracting. Its not the brightest panel out there but it is quite color accurate which is a good characteristic. However, the notch on the right side of the display is also not a very convenient place making pulling down the notification bar a little odd. 

The software on the phone is designed to work with foldable devices as it runs a version of Android that is co-developed by Samsung and Google. The App continuity feature allows you to be running an app on the smaller display and instantly have it run full screen when opening to the primary display which is quite slick. However it doesn’t work vice versa unless enabled from the settings. There’s also the functionality to run 3 apps at once and you can resize their windows by simply grabbing and pulling the frames with your finger, Samsung calls it Multi Active Window, and while some apps support it right away, many of them need to be optimized and is pretty much dependent on developer adoption. 

The Galaxy Fold has 6 cameras which sounds incredible. However these are a necessity taken the Fold’s unique design. On the rear it has the same triple camera system as the Galaxy S10 Plus and Note 10 with a primary 12 megapixel wide camera lens with the variable aperture tech and ranges from f/1.4 to f/2.4, a 16 megapixel ultra wide lens and 123º field of view and a 12 megapixel telephoto lens that has 2x optical zoom and LiveFocus portrait mode and the results from this system are identical to the Note 10 and S10 Plus setup with the same pros and cons. For the front camera, there are 2 setups. When the phone is closed, the small screen is backed by a 10 megapixel camera for selfies which has sharp and good results. Open the phone and it has another 10 megapixel camera for selfies paired with an 8 megapixel depth camera for portrait selfies. While you can use the rear cameras in any orientation whether open or closed, it is a little hard to frame shots on the small and narrow display but open the primary display and it gets much easier and a different experience altogether, and while initially it might feel a little weird as it is quite similar to people using iPads for photography, and is a two hand affair, thanks to the thin bezels it doesn’t seem that odd. 

The Galaxy Fold is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC, the same as the Galaxy S10 line and Note 10 line which offers decent power, and while it’s nowhere close to the A13 Bionic on the iPhones and is also a little down on the newer Snapdragon 855+ SoC on the OnePlus 7T Pro, it is compensated for by 512gigs of internal storage and 12GB of RAM available to allow the phone juggle through multiple apps as users use the Multi Active Window feature. The phone offers decent power but is definitely not a powerhouse. All of this is powered by a 4380mAh battery which offers decent battery life even with that massive 7.3inch display and is even more important because Samsung throws in the Galaxy Buds in the box with the Galaxy Fold as it also has the Wireless PowerShare reverse charging feature. 

All in all, the Samsung Galaxy Fold is a unique phone that is aimed towards people who are simply bored of using regular phones and are enthusiasts looking for something completely out of the box and new but also have a lot of money because the Galaxy Fold is a very expensive phone starting at 1980$.