Galaxy Fold: Thoughts After a Week of Folding My Phone

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DROID LIFE Editor's ChoiceBefore I dive too deep, we have to applaud Samsung for making this device happen. The Fold did not get off to a great start earlier this year and no one would have been surprised if the company up and cancelled its release altogether. Instead, Samsung went back to the drawing board, did what they could to make the folding device more resilient to everyday usage, and here we are with a Galaxy Fold to talk about.

I believe the concept of foldables is something to be excited for, and while the Fold may go into the history books as merely a high-priced proof of concept, my hope is that Samsung and other OEMs will continue to develop and perfect the hardware to make it something truly remarkable and accessible to all in terms of pricing.

For the Galaxy Fold, I have to say that I have very much enjoyed using it for the past week as my daily phone. I never really got over the newness of or fascination with looking at something on the outside 4.6″ screen, then opening the phone up to the big and beautiful 7.3″ display (minus the crease running down the middle).

So, what makes Galaxy Fold cool, you may ask? Well, because it folds, of course! My positive take away from time with the Fold is that I really do appreciate the smaller screen for glancing at things like emails and texts, but then having the ability to open the phone up and really immerse myself in what I’m doing. That’s mostly the pitch here and the Fold does a good job with it.

On that note, because of its folding trickery, the Galaxy Fold is the ultimate head turner. As someone who has no issues showing off what phone I’m using to random people who may ask, it doesn’t get any sweeter than pulling the Fold out and showing people what its capable of. People’s eyes seem to get bigger when you unfold it, which doesn’t get old for me. On multiple occasions I’d be at the grocery store using Samsung Pay and the clerk would ask me what phone I was using. Once I showed them the Fold’s folding capability, they thought it was incredible, but then heads quickly shook after I mentioned the $2,000 price tag.

Additional highlights of using the device include battery life. I didn’t come across a single time when battery was an issue. I’d unplug around 7:30AM, then plug it back in around 11:30PM with plenty of juice left. That’s even after an hour or so of Minecraft’s Creative mode, blowing up woodland villages with countless amounts of TNT. I’m a simple man, people. The cameras are good, too, identical to the experience I just left with the Galaxy Note 10+. If you want more camera talk, I recommend you read that review.

Unfortunately, once you get past the fact that the Fold folds, it’s really nothing special or anything you can’t get from other less expensive and less fragile Samsung Galaxy devices. If having a big screen is something you need, you can get a Galaxy Note 10 or Note 10+ for about half the price of a Galaxy Fold, and they come with an S Pen for added productivity. If you’re looking for a tablet-like experience, get yourself a Samsung tablet that’s about a quarter of the Fold’s price. A tablet + phone combo is going to cost you less than a Galaxy Fold. Those devices also include an S Pen, which would have been nice to see with the Galaxy Fold, but I suppose a stylus would be dangerous to use on this screen. Samsung even recommends keeping sharp fingernails away from it.

However, this is where the a folding phone fits in and why the Galaxy Fold is an important proof of concept. The folding concept makes total sense if you consider you’re essentially getting two device experiences in one, but spending $2,000 to be an early adopter of it, along with the fact that you have to be extremely careful in how you use it, doesn’t seem like the greatest use of your money.

Having a big display is great for consuming content like videos and scrolling through social media, but due to the fragility of the device’s screen, hardcore gaming isn’t something I’d considered, even though it’s one of the things I was most looking forward to. I downloaded Minecraft and Mario Kart Tour, and while it all looks fine and plays decently enough, the big warnings you get with the device when you open the box tend to make me shy away from wanting to touch too hard on the screen, the way you’d touch when playing certain games. Now, if we pair a gaming controller with the big screen, then things could get fun, but I don’t plan on carrying around a Bluetooth controller with me everywhere I go. Power to the people who do or at least to people who aren’t as worried about breaking this thing as I am.

I’d label the Fold as the ultimate couch device, because that’s basically the only place I truly feel safe using it. As Kellen mentioned in previous thoughts, he changed up his routine a bit to accomodate using the Fold. I’ve done the same. While he doesn’t use it while working out, fearing sweat getting onto it and the device being bulky by nature, I do not take the phone with me when I walk my dogs. Now in Portland, the rainy season has begun, and because this phone offers zero IP rating, I wouldn’t dare get a single drop of moisture on this device. It’s best to leave it inside.

Being a little amateur chef, I love having my phone next to me in the kitchen for recipe following, but that’s not something I’m comfortable doing with the Fold. If I get a grain of salt or pepper, or any vegetable stock on this thing, I know my anxiety would go through the roof and that’s just not something I can handle right now. Again I emphasize, I’m not a fan of a $2,000 phone that I have to baby. I want to use it how I need to use it, but that’s simply not what you can do with the Fold.

In closing, the best way I can put it is, you want to play with this phone, but you don’t want to live with it as your daily driver. If it lived on my coffee table, such as a tablet would, it’s ideal. However, as soon as you leave the couch and venture outside, you realize the world is a very dangerous place for the Galaxy Fold. Again, I hope Samsung only improves upon what they’ve done here because we’re on the right track.

Kellen shared his thoughts on the Galaxy Fold in his recent video, which I’ve embedded below. If you rather read what he’s said about it, look here.

DROID LIFE Editor's Choice



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