Mobiles & Tablets

The Galaxy Fold: First impressions

Mala Bhargava | Updated on October 01, 2019 Published on October 01, 2019

A file photo of Samsung's Galaxy Fold smartphone   -  Bloomberg

The Samsung’s Galaxy Fold smartphone

The Samsung Galaxy Fold

When Samsung’s Galaxy Fold was announced in February this year it caught the world’s attention by storm, customers eagerly pre-booked it and waited for it to get to the store shelves. The ambitious new device — which folded in two — hit a snag when users peeled off a outer protective layer for the screens, thinking it was the usual plastic paper you get on all phones. 

After reviewers found quite a number of problems with the screen and hinge, Samsung halted the roll out and went back to the drawing board to fix the issues.

They put in new materials on the screen, moved the protective layer where it can’t be reached, and changed the hinging mechanism by putting in "interlocking gears". 

Spending a brief spell of time with the Fold at the India lunch event, I found the form factor an interesting and intriguing one.

It didn't feel difficult to hold — light and balanced enough when open, and not too thick or unwieldy when folded. Compared with the first version of the device, the second take opens up much flatter, not looking reluctant as it did before.

You can certainly see a slight indentation down the middle, but you soon stop noticing its presence and it doesn't come in the way when you swipe around on the phone. In fact, the virtual keyboard splits in two for each side for those who like to fly about the screen with their thumbs, but you can customise it and join it up, change the colour theme etc. to suit your own style.

I was happy to see that you can also swipe-type across both sections if you like that method of input. It can also be used when you change the phone’s orientation.

The 7.3-inch AMOLED screen immediately looked of typical Samsung quality. Launching the camera app, it was nice to shoot a photo with that nice big 'viewfinder' of a screen.

Both rear and front cameras seemed to be doing a good job, on the basis of that first glance we got at it. The cameras work whichever way you turn the smartphone.

For the multi-tasker

When folded up, which the device does uncomplainingly, closing up with a little click, it’s surprisingly narrow and easy to hold in one hand.  You can go into that mode to take phone calls or quick actions.

Both modes let you pull down notification trays from top to bottom and an app drawer from bottom to top.

You can launch different apps and position them on the screen and even drag and drop information between the windows.

There’s also a continuity between apps on the top screen and the opened up display, but I’ll have to spend more time with the Fold to see how well that works. Quite obviously, this is a smartphone-tablet hybrid for the ultimate multi-tasker who thrives on productivity. 

There have still been reports of the device’s fragility. There are a number of warnings about how to handle the phone and the care that is going to be required from its users.

The Galaxy Fold definitely can’t be treated with the confident carelessness with which today’s regular smartphones are. 

How to buy?

The Galaxy Fold comes with 12GB of RAM and 512GB internal storage, and will be available in black at Rs 1,64,999.

Pre-bookings for Galaxy Fold in India will open on October 4, 2019, and deliveries will begin on October 20, 2019. The phone will be available for pre-booking online on Samsung’s official online store, Samsung Shop, and offline in 35 cities across select 315 outlets, including the Samsung Opera House in Bengaluru.

 

Published on October 01, 2019
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