Samsung Galaxy Fold Review

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Introduction

2019 was the year of foldable smartphones with various brands trying to step up and innovate the smartphone industry. Well, Samsung was the first one to announce the development of a foldable smartphone. We now have the Galaxy Fold with us for the review. Earlier, the device was known for durability issues, which is why the smartphone maker re-launched after five months with improved durability.

 

No wonder the Galaxy Fold brings the innovation at your palm, but that costs a hefty amount of more than INR 1.5 lac. Well, that is more than most of the premium high-end smartphones out there. Furthermore, the brand suggests using the device carefully with a light touch on display. Well, that sucks considering the asking price point.

Samsung Galaxy Fold

Today, we’ll be talking about the device in much more detail. So let’s find out more about this device.

Price in India, Variants, Availability

Samsung Galaxy Fold comes in a single storage variant featuring a massive 12GB of RAM and a 512GB internal storage. The smartphone comes in two different color options, namely Cosmos Black and Space Silver. The device will set you back INR 1,64,999 and is available for purchase exclusively via Samsung Store.

The brand is offering a 24/7 Galaxy Premier Service, dedicated support via phone, chat, and in-person visit. You will also get a one-year limited warranty as well as a one-time screen replacement in case you wreck it accidentally.

 

Box Contents

Samsung Galaxy Fold comes packed in a minimal and straightforward premium black colored box with Galaxy written in the foldable font on the front view. Opening the main cover, you will find the box which contains the device and all other accessories. Opening the lid, you will see a welcome letter from the company. Right underneath it, you will find the phone itself covered in a protective layer and placed in an unfolded manner.

 

There is an informative page on the Galaxy Fold’s Premier service in the below section. You will also find a rectangular section there which consists of manuals, SIM ejector tool, and a high-quality back case. There is a 15W fast charging adapter, USB Type-C to Type-A adaptor, and USB Type-C cable. Well, Samsung has also added a truly wireless Galaxy Buds, a useful throw-in considering the massive price tag.

Here is a quick overview of what you’ll be getting inside the box:

 

  • Samsung Galaxy Fold
  • 18W wall charger
  • USB Type-C cable
  • USB Type-C to Type-A adaptor
  • Samsung Galaxy Buds
  • SIM ejector tool
  • High-quality cover
  • Manuals and Documentation

Specs at a glance

Before we jump right into the review, let’s have a look at the specifications of the device.

 

  • Display: 7.3-inch Dynamic AMOLED display, 1536×2152 pixels, 362ppi
  • Secondary display: 4.6-inch Super AMOLED panel, 720×1680 pixels
  • RAM & ROM: 12GB, 512GB
  • Processor: Snapdragon 855, 7nm
  • GPU: Adreno 640
  • Rear cameras: 12MP+12MP+16MP
  • Selfie camera: 10MP+8MP
  • Cover camera: 10MP, f/2.2
  • Software: Android 9.0 Pie
  • Battery: 4,380mAh capacity, 15W fast charging, 15W wireless charging, 9W reverse wireless charging
  • Weight: 263g
  • Dimensions: 160.9×117.9×6.8mm (unfolded), 160.9×62.9×15.5mm (folded)

 

With key specs cleared out of the way, let’s talk about the very first aspect of our Galaxy Fold review.

Design and Build Quality

Samsung Galaxy Fold is the future of the smartphone industry. At this price tag, no wonder, the smartphone feels premium and delivers that excitement of holding it in hand. The fact that your small screen phone can convert into the tablet just by opening it up like a book is quite impressive. There is a 4.6-inch cover display on the outside while there is a 7.3-inch display on the inside. The brand is calling it the Infinity Flex display.

Thanks to the 20-part, dual-axis hinge, the motion between folded and unfolded device is buttery smooth. The strap feels very premium and durable while the screen feels a bit delicate. When you close the device, you will hear a satisfying click, which shows how well the parts fit in promising high standards in manufacturing. That click sounds reminds me of the older generation of flipping phones, which were used to be quite popular once. Just like the outer cover display, the main screen is plastic and does not feature Gorilla Glass.

The device is quite tall and narrow, with the older heftiness packed into it. In the folded state, the device is 17.1mm thick on the hinge side and 15.7mm thick on the opposite side. Furthermore, the device weighs around 276g. You will feel the heftiness as well as thickness when you will put it inside the pocket. In an unfolded state, the device is 7.6mm thick. Coming to the buttons, the power key, volume rockers, as well as the fingerprint sensor, is located on the right side. The fingerprint sensor button also doubles as the Bixby key. There are two speakers placed at the bottom and top. We’ll talk about the speakers later on in the review. There is no headphone jack, but that does not matter since you get the wireless buds bundled with the device.

Display

Samsung Galaxy Fold comes equipped with a massive 7.3-inch Dynamic AMOLED display with a resolution of 1536×2152 pixels and 362ppi density. With the screen-to-body-ratio of 85.7 percent, the overall experience is wholly immersive. With such a large display, surfing the web, watching movies, and playing games is a delightful experience. It is one of the plus points of owning a Galaxy Fold smartphone.

Furthermore, the large display at your disposal allows you to boost up your productivity and multitasking. I can open server apps and control them all at once on the primary larger screen. That’s impressive. The central display also supports the HDR10+ content delivering higher contrast while consuming supported media. Coming to the brightness levels, you will find no issue using the smartphone outdoors.

 

Sadly, there is a significant issue of uneven refresh rate. When you scroll through a website on a larger screen, you will notice the lag, which is due to the irregular refresh rate. Because the brand creates some of the best panels out there, it is very disappointing to see such a case. Moving on to the cover display, you will find a slightly smaller 4.6-inch panel surrounded with bezels all around. The cover display comes with a resolution of 720×1680 pixels and an aspect ratio of 21:9.

In conclusion, it’s fun to use a device that can unfold to a tablet size allowing users to have a fully immersive experience while watching movies or playing games. The uneven refresh rate sucks, and the cover display comes with large bezels. Considering the first attempt of a foldable smartphone, Galaxy Fold seems and feels impressive. No wonder the foldable future is on the right track, and we might see some flawless foldable devices in future, but this one does have some minor flaws.

Performance

Even though the price of the device is on the expensive side, you still get the standard flagship chipset which other phones are already offering at a much lower price. With that said, you are paying for the screen innovation. Under the hood, the device runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset paired with a massive 12GB RAM and 512GB onboard memory. The SoC is manufactured using the 7nm fabrication process and consists of eight cores. These include – 1x Kryo 485 core clocked at 2.85Ghz, 3x Kryo 485 cores clocked at 2.42Ghz, and 4x Kryo 485 core clocked at 1.78Ghz. For graphics, the device makes use of Adreno 640 GPU.

 

Well, we are already aware of the performance of Snapdragon 855 and that it is a capable chipset. The processor can handle every single task thrown at it with ease. You can open multiple apps, switch between them, and perform heavy multitasking without facing any issues. Considering the price tag, the smartphone maker should have gone with the improved Snapdragon 855+ chipset. Coming to the gaming performance, you can play all the graphics intensive titles on maximum settings. We tried playing Pubg Mobile on the device and found the gameplay experience to be quite smooth. There were no signs of occasional frame drops or rendering issues during our multiple gameplay sessions.

 

With 12GB of RAM at the disposal, apps stay in the memory for a more extended period, and switching between them is a buttery smooth experience. Since you will be doing multitasking most of the time thanks to the larger screen, the decision to add a massive RAM is appreciable. Even the onboard memory size should be more than enough for most of the users out there.

Software

Samsung Galaxy Fold runs on the latest version of the Android operating system, i.e., Android 9.0 Pie. Well, the entire foldable smartphone is possible because of two aspects – hardware and software. Speaking of software, the smartphone maker has done an impressive job. A feature called App Continuity helps the brand create a transition from a smaller screen to the larger or vice versa.

 

With the help of this feature, you can control your phone in a folded state, and the moment you switch to the unfolded screen, the apps or window will automatically open there, acquiring the entire screen. The transition is quite smooth, and we appreciate it. You can control which apps you want to use this feature. I primarily used Google Maps on this feature. Whenever I am in a crowded place, I can use the cover display to see the navigations. In other situations, I could open the device like a book, and there you go. You can now see the Maps on a full screen continuing from the previous screen.

 

Then there is a multi-active window feature, which also enhances the overall user experience. Although there are plenty of apps that do not support this feature fully, this feature allows you to control three apps simultaneously on the larger screen. You can control the size of each app on the screen.

Cameras

Samsung Galaxy Fold comes with a total of six cameras, which includes one cover display sensor, two front selfie cameras, and three rear cameras. The smartphone maker has adopted camera sensors and configurations from the latest S10 Plus and Note 10. There is a single 10MP camera sensor located on the cover display with an aperture of f/2.2. It is the same front sensor which you can find on the Note 10 except it does not support Live Focus video mode.

When you unfold the smartphone, you will see another front selfie camera setup that consists of two sensors with a 10MP wide sensor and an 8MP depth sensor — this the same configuration which you can find on the S10 Plus. We even tried Live Focus selfie mode on this setup. At the back, there is a triple camera module that consists of a primary 12MP sensor (f/1.5-2.4), secondary 12MP telephoto lens (f/2.4), and 16MP ultrawide angle lens (f/2.2).

 

The entire camera setup performs exceptionally well, and you will not regret this device in terms of cameras. The rear setup clicks images with a high level of details, excellent dynamic range, and good saturation levels. Even in the low light conditions, the camera performs exceptionally well. The same goes for the rest of the three camera sensors. You’re getting the best camera sensors that Samsung has yet to offer. The Galaxy Fold has got the best from Note 10 and Galaxy S10 Plus.

 

Battery Life

Samsung Galaxy Fold, backed by a massive 4,500mAh battery, packs a punch when it comes to battery life. Even though the device has a massive 7.3-inch display along with a smaller cover display, we were able to use the phone for about one and a half days. On the other hand, if you play games or do heavy tasks most of the time, then the device might last for a day. The battery life of any phone depends on the fact of how long you use its display. If you’re using the cover display for most of the time, then you can expect a long battery life.

 

During our usage, we keep switching from cover display to the primary one now and then. If you add a few gaming sessions to our usage, the device will last for an entire day on a single charge. As for the charging, the device comes with a 15W fast charger adapter, which you can use to juice up the device. Sadly, the smartphone maker has not included the Super Fast charging, which is there in the Note 10 lineup. You also get wireless, as well as reverse wireless charging support, capped at 15W.

Audio, Biometrics, Connectivity

For audio, the device comes with a dual speaker one located at the bottom while the other one located at the top. The combined output is impressive with loud and clear output. You will love using the speakers while consuming your favorite media. Sadly, there is no 3.5mm headphone jack, but on the brighter side, you get a wireless Galaxy Buds bunded inside the box. If we talk about cellular connectivity, there were no issues with mobile reception, earpiece, and microphone during our usage.

 

There is a fingerprint sensor located on the right side of the phone instead of the traditional back sensor. I would rather like to see a fingerprint sensor integrated inside the power button, as we have seen earlier with the Galaxy S10e. Well, this time, the Bixby key doubles as a fingerprint sensor. Personally, the power button with a fingerprint sensor would have been a much better and feasible option, according to me. Enough about that, the fingerprint reader is quick, accurate, and reliable. You also get a Face Unlock, which is also very fast and precise.

 

For connectivity, the device comes with all the standard features such as dual-band WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0 with A2DP, LE & aptX HD, GPS, and USB Type-C for charging. Furthermore, there’s also NFC support, which you can use for mobile payments and one-tap pairing requests.

Verdict

Well, Samsung Galaxy Fold is one of a kind smartphone which brings the future of smartphone right into your palm. The smartphone comes with two displays with impressive software optimizations, flagship processors and powerful camera setups. Even the battery life of the device is up to the mark in our opinion. The pricing, on the other hand, changes the entire thing here. To be honest, the device is designed for tech enthusiast who just wants to own a piece of first innovation in a foldable smartphone lineup. If you’re looking to impress the world with your phone and don’t care about any price tag at all, then Galaxy Fold is meant for you. If you can wait for more foldable smartphones in the near future, then you should not go for this device at all. It is also worth mentioning that the device requires an extra bit of care since it is a delicate device. If you can’t use it carefully, then there is no point in spending such a hefty amount since you will end up breaking it. Pros: Innovative foldable smartphone Run three apps at once Bundled Galaxy Buds The gaming experience is next level Cons: Highly expensive Cover display covered with bezels Bulky and heavy No Super Fast charging