This is the first thing you have to know about the Samsung Galaxy Fold: the unit to which Hypertext It has had access, it has not been broken. That does not mean that this is going to be the most durable smartphone in history, as it will take a long period of time to assess with certainty how the hinge and the folding screen ages, but it is a good starting point.
I have used it without any special treatment, despite the thousand ridiculous instructions that the manufacturer encloses with the product. Sometimes, in fact, began to open and close it continuously for mere entertainment, while waiting for a train or get in the elevator. And after a week with that dynamic, everything continues to work perfectly.
Samsung says the Galaxy Fold withstands 200,000 openings and closures without any problem, which amounts to about 100 folds per day for an approximate period of 5 years. Nevertheless, independent tests such as the one executed by CNET They have lowered that optimistic figure to 120,000 movements, which is equivalent to about 100 daily folds for about 3 years. Ideally, the mechanism would not have an expiration date, but the figures given by these tests cover, a priori, the usual renewal cycle among consumers. So far, all good.
Samsung has strengthened the Galaxy Fold, but, to avoid accelerated degradation, ask users to exercise caution. Is this the way to go?
There is a somewhat surreal part regarding the issue of durability, and that is, to avoid accelerated degradation, Samsung asks Galaxy Fold users to touch the phone screen with unusual care and, above all, not to press the panel with their nails. The reason is simple: the coating of the interior screen is not glass, it is plastic, and therefore it is much easier to leave permanent marks such as those presented by our unit on the day we were given or even damage the OLED panel.
This strategy, honestly, is somewhat vague, because further delegates the durability of the product to consumers. Did Korea think of the millions of people who wear extravagant manicures and pointed nails? And if they did, they pretend that all these people, if they are interested in a Galaxy Fold, change their habits of use so as not to end up giving the phone screen? I honestly don't know, but if that was Samsung's intention, they are going the wrong way.
Nobody wants to live in a bubble or worry about the treatment they are giving their smartphone.
People put their smartphones in backpacks where other objects and even dirt motes also inhabit, in many cases; they put them in pockets along with the keys or the wallet; and, by accident, they also fall to the ground with relative assiduity. The last thing a manufacturer should do is leave the integrity of the product to consumers. No one wants to live in a bubble or worry about the treatment they are giving their smartphone. The industry has understood and thanks to this we have products increasingly resistant to bumps and liquids. That a phone of 2,000 euros like the Galaxy Fold goes against that address is, therefore, a manual error.
And yes, Samsung has made changes in both the mechanism and the coating of the screen to prevent it from occurring as easily as that first version that they gave to various American journalists before arriving at the stores; but nevertheless, This is still a phone that demands special treatment more than what a smartphone should. And the biggest proof of this is the pamphlet that the manufacturer includes in the product box, which alerts the user with instructions and warnings of use as soon as the package is opened.
The seductive underlying idea
If we set the durability aside, there is Many interesting things in the Galaxy Fold. The idea of ??carrying in your pocket a product that adapts to the needs of the moment by expanding or contracting your screen is very seductive. Muchsimo, really.
Going on the subway, opening the telephone and running two applications simultaneously is very practical in many cases. Pin it carefully: Slack and Chrome; Google Calendar and Todoist; Twitter and Feedly; Gmail and Google Docs Using these pairs of apps at the same time and on a larger screen is even liberating, as the friction layer that constitutes having to change applications constantly disappears. This phone it "encourages you" to do tasks that, in other cases, you will have parked until you have a computer or a tablet in front of you.
Samsung's multi-window system implementation, moreover, is quite versatile. This allows you to divide the screen into up to three spaces and run a floating window About any content. If you use all the options at once, the interface is a bit saturated, so it is best to use them intelligently and moderately.
The Galaxy Fold makes you feel more productive and capable. The large screen and multiventana options invite you to do tasks in mobility that, in other cases, you would have parked until you have a computer or a tablet in front.
Today, that's right, there are many applications that do not support multi-window options posed by the manufacturer with the Galaxy Fold or wasted work area when using the interior screen. However, this is not a problem unique to Samsung; it is an obstacle that affects the entire Android ecosystem that has never gotten along particularly well with tablets. However, if these types of devices (with folding screen) begin to gain traction in the market, it is possible that the situation improves over the years.
As a multimedia device, The Galaxy Fold also has a lot to offer. Playing on this large screen provides many advantages as long as the title has been adapted for this device and its peculiar notch, which sometimes covers some control buttons, as well as playing videos, taking pictures or reading. And all those virtues, in addition, are housed in a device that, when we have finished, we can simply fold it and carry it in a pocket without any problem. It's like having a minitablet at your disposal whenever you need it.
Going beyond the durability and the idea that the concept brings, there are many details in this Galaxy Fold that are halfway cooked, as if it were a prototype.
The outer screen is ridiculous. I buy the idea of ??having an exterior screen in which to do fast things, like answering a WhatsApp message or changing songs. However, the one riding the Galaxy Fold is too small. So much so that it is even difficult to write on it. And it is also surrounded by excessively thick frames that greatly degrade its aesthetics and transform the effect wow of such a different product in a resounding plof.
Visually, it is not an attractive phone. The aesthetics of the front (described in the previous point), the great notch that dominates the interior, the harmony between colors and materials are details that, aesthetically, play against this product. A Galaxy S10 + is infinitely more attractive than the Galaxy Fold.
The format is strange. When closed, the Galaxy Fold is very tall, very narrow and very thick. It is a rare format, closer to that of a remote control than that of a smartphone conventional. In the pocket, due to its thickness, it bulks more than desired especially in the type skinny.
Yes, it has a mark in the middle of the screen and does not close completely. This is perhaps the biggest proof of the premature state of this Galaxy Fold. The product does not close perfectly and leaves a small gap of air at one end so as not to damage the inner panel. When it is open, in addition, the screen has a fold right in the middle, where the hinge is located. This mark goes unnoticed if you look at the phone in front, but as soon as some reflection appears, you swipe your finger around the area or simply tilt the device slightly, it becomes visible. After a few days of use, you end up getting used to it, yes, but that does not mean that this is the right thing in a product of 2,000 euros.
Moving parts? With the arrival of smartphone, manufacturers began to detach themselves from moving parts in favor of more compact and sealed designs, which have allowed to increase the durability of the products and more intelligently take advantage of the interior space of the phones. However, the Galaxy Fold walks in the opposite direction, since its hinge puts a complex mechanism of moving parts back on the table that, despite its apparent solidity, is probably less resistant in case of impact. Samsung has before it the great obstacle of convincing people and the sector that these mobile elements can have a place (again) in the industry.
As smartphone traditional (beyond folding screens and concepts), The experience offered by this Galaxy Fold is similar to that obtained with the Galaxy Note 10+. Thanks to the latest generation Exynos, 12 GB of RAM and UFS 3.0 storage, all applications run with speed and efficiency, even the most indigestible.
The screens make use of AMOLED technology, although none of them reaches the technical and visual brilliance of the panels present in the Galaxy Note 10+ and the iPhone 11 Pro. They are more than enough and, luckily, they do not supersaturate colors as they did years ago. But if you want the maximum resolution, the best dynamic range or the highest brightness level, it is better to look at other products in the Samsung catalog.
|Exterior display||4.6 inches, Super AMOLED and an HD + resolution|
|Interior screen||7.3 inches, Dynamic AMOLED, HDR10 + and a resolution of 1536 x 2152 pixels|
|Main camera||12 megapixels, 27mm, OIS, 1.4 micron pixels and variable aperture between f / 1.5 and f / 2.4|
|Telephoto camera||12 megapixels, 52 mm, OIS and 1 micron pixels|
|Wide angle camera||16 megapixels, 12 mm and 1 micron pixels|
|Inner front camera||10 megapixels with a f / 2.2 aperture objective. It also has a depth camera.|
|External front camera||10 megapixels with a f / 2.2 aperture objective|
|Biometra||Fingerprint reader on the side|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi, GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS, NFC and USB-C|
|Fast and wireless charging||S in both cases, up to 15W|
The autonomy, despite the size of the battery, is good, especially if there is a mixed use of the two screens. It doesn't shine like the iPhone 11 Pro or the Huawei P30 Pro, but it's what baggy enough to withstand a day of use. In addition, it is compatible with Qi wireless chargers (up to 15W).
As far as biometrics are concerned, The Galaxy Fold has a fingerprint sensor on the side of the phone, which works fast and is safe. The absence of a fingerprint reader under the screen or a 3D facial unlocking system (taking advantage of the notch interior or thick exterior frames) is understood given the inclusion of a folding screen.
Finally, as far as photography is concerned, The Galaxy Fold has six cameras along the chassis: two inside, one front outside and three main ones in the back region. The experience, in general, is the same that we obtained with the Galaxy S10 +, so we will not go into much detail. It is a good camera, but the Pixel 4 and iPhone 11 Pro are a step above in almost all scenarios.
Is this the future?
He smartphone It has become an essential communication tool, a first level entertainment device and a productivity machine. We use it on the train, on the plane, during a meeting or while returning home. We read, we watch movies, we create spreadsheets, we answer e-mails … It has become such a multidisciplinary device that the idea of ??expanding or contracting its size based on the needs of the moment fits like a ring to the finger.
The underlying idea in the Galaxy Fold, therefore, is very interesting, especially for those who make intensive use of their smartphone. The problem is that the execution of that concept, at least for the moment, implies so many commitments regarding a smartphone conventional that, honestly, it is impossible to recommend your purchase. Less still if we consider its highest price, which doubles the majority of smartphones High end
I applaud and praise the achievement that, from an engineering point of view, it is to create and manufacture a folding screen on a certain scale. It will be absurd not to do it, really. But There are so many things halfway through this phone that the sensation it leaves is closer to that of a laboratory prototype than to a final product, robust and 100% ready to go to market.
Whether the Galaxy Fold end or not being the future of smartphone It is something that only time can determine. There are too many influential factors (the interest of the public, the lowering of production, the necessary improvement of durability, the support of partners and developers) how to put on the visionary outfit and predict what will happen in the coming years. What is responsible for affirming is that this first version, the one that is currently available in the market, It is not a recommended purchase. So, if you are curious about the idea of ??a smartphone folding, just go to a store and experiment with it, but don't buy it.