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Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019

Techilicious with Rajiv Makhni: A look at Samsung Fold - India’s most expensive phone

With Samsung’s folding phone now in India, the gauntlet for truly cutting-edge technology has been thrown down

brunch Updated: Oct 13, 2019 11:47 IST
Rajiv Makhni
Rajiv Makhni
Hindustan Times
The Samsung Fold is currently India’s most expensive phone
The Samsung Fold is currently India’s most expensive phone

The Holy Grail, the dream turning to reality, a paradigm shift in smartphones, a whole new category, the ultimate jaw-dropper! The Samsung Galaxy Fold has been described in many ways. Away from the buzz, I’ve decided to fold back the hyperbole and answer some very straight questions on this extraordinary phone. This is for three main reasons. One, I’ve been flooded with more questions about this phone than anything else this entire year. Two, almost everyone seems to be waxing eloquent about this phone, but not really delving into the things that matter. Three, it’s priced at Rs 1,64,999 and real, honest buying advice for India’s most expensive phone is hard to come by. Let’s get started with unfolding the future, while keeping it grounded in reality.

Is Samsung Fold really a showcase of the future?

This is a phone eight years in the making. I first started seeing prototypes of folding screens from Samsung around 2011. At that time it was jaw-dropping. Seeing it in reality is even more so. There is no question about the fact that this is truly the future because a phone that unfolds to a bigger screen has been the quest forever.

So what is the big deal and how does it work?

This is a phone with two screens. On the outside front is a smallish 4.6 HD+ Super AMOLED screen, which works really well for quick glances at apps, a short message, opening an email, or making calls. It’s when you open this up like a book, using its 20 part dual axis hinge (solidly engineered), that the true magnum opus screen is revealed. The foldable, bendable, big, bright 7.3 QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED screen appears, which immediately turns this into the biggest tablet you can carry in a pocket or bag. And this changes everything!

Early rumours state that Samsung is in a near sold out state with the Fold in India

This massive screen makes watching movies, taking a picture, shooting a video, viewing Instagram pictures, playing games, browsing and pretty much everything into a larger-than-life experience. That big screen makes using three apps at the same time really easy. Thus if you want WhatsApp, email and a note-taking app all open and easy to use at the same time, this is the only phone that can do that. Plus, it has app continuity. Anything you’re doing on the inner screen translates to the outer screen when you close the phone (and vice versa).

Besides the big screen, what else can it do?

Lots. This is an optical powerhouse with six cameras. Triple rear camera with a 12MP main lens, a 12MP telephoto lens and a 16MP ultra-wide lens. Inside are two more cameras including a depth-sensing lens. And there is a 10MP camera on the front, which is great for a quick selfie and video calls. Top of the line Snapdragon 855 chipset with 12GB and 512GB internal memory. Plus, two batteries that work in tandem.

Have they solved the problem they had with some earlier prototypes?

Yes, that’s all been sorted and also seems to be the reason why Samsung went back to the drawing board for a short while. Everything works like clockwork and the folding screen is perfect, doesn’t crease and gives a true one-screen seamless experience.

The massive screen makes pretty much everything into a larger-than-life experience
The massive screen makes pretty much everything into a larger-than-life experience

It’s India’s most expensive phone! Is it worth Rs 1,64,999?

The Samsung Fold is currently India’s most expensive phone. For first movers, the swish set, those that must have the best, that want cutting-edge tech first, and those that want to show off, this is your best bet. For anyone else, this isn’t your current phone for some time. There is another way to look at it too. The Fold may be the most expensive phone in the market – but by how much? The India market has absorbed and sold phones priced around the Rs1,50,000 mark for quite some time now. I was quite surprised that Samsung came in so aggressive as the expectations were that this would be priced at around Rs 2,00,000. Early rumours state that Samsung is in a near sold out state with the Fold in India.

What happens now?

Besides you trying to save up for this phone? Well, the gauntlet for future technology has been thrown down. The competition must now scramble and come up with their versions. The Fold may well mark the start of an era where we may look back and wonder how we ever used phones that didn’t bend or fold.

Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV, and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3

Techilicious appears every fortnight

From HT Brunch, October 13, 2019

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First Published: Oct 12, 2019 22:20 IST

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