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Saturday, Sep 21, 2019

Samsung Galaxy Fold: 5 things you need to know about the foldable phone

Samsung Galaxy Fold will be available at twice the cost of Apple iPhone XS. Did you know the cover display of Galaxy Fold is just 0.6-inch bigger than iPhone SE ?

tech Updated: Feb 21, 2019 20:55 IST
Marcia Sekhose
Marcia Sekhose
Hindustan Times
Samsung's new Galaxy Fold smart phone features the world's first 7.3-inch Infinity Flex Display.
Samsung's new Galaxy Fold smart phone features the world's first 7.3-inch Infinity Flex Display.(REUTERS)
         

Samsung cut to chase at its ‘Galaxy Unpacked’ event as it unveiled its first commercial foldable phone, ‘Galaxy Fold’.

Galaxy Fold is also Samsung’s most expensive smartphone with price hovering above $1,900. The foldable device is scheduled to go on sale in select markets starting April this year.

Apart from a foldable design, Samsung Galaxy Fold comes with top-end specifications including the latest processor and software. The smartphone-tablet hybrid also comes in a 5G version.

Not the world’s first foldable phone

Galaxy Fold may be Samsung’s first commercial foldable phone, but it’s not really the world’s first. A lesser known California-based startup, Royole Corp, beat Samsung last year to win that title.

Royole Corp’s FlexPai foldable phone has the same fundamentals as Galaxy Fold’s. FlexPai opens up to a large 7.8-inch display and folds into two screens. Its main display is larger than Galaxy Fold’s 7.3-inch screen. FlexPai is available in China for much cheaper at 8,999 Yuan (Rs 95,000 approximately.

Cameras, everywhere

Samsung has introduced an interesting camera mechanism featuring as many six sensors. There’s one camera on the front, three at the rear and two ‘front’ cameras on the inside. Samsung says it wants users to access camera functionality in any format of the foldable phone.

The setup includes 10-megapixel selfie camera (f/2.2) on the cover. The triple-camera setup features 16-megapixel ultra-wide angle sensor, 12-megapixel wide-angle sensor, and 12-megapixel telephoto lens. Finally, the dual-camera module comprises 10-megapixel (f/2.2) and 8-megapixel (f/1.9) RGB sensor. Galaxy Fold comes with camera features like Dual Pxiel AF, PDAF and supports up to 2X optical zoom.

Twice the price of iPhone XS

Apple broke the $1,000 price barrier for premium smartphones with its iPhone X. Now, Samsung has taken it many notches higher with a hefty price tag of $1,980 for its Galaxy Fold. This makes Samsung’s foldable phone cost double of iPhone XS. Samsung rightly pointed out that its Galaxy Fold is a luxury device, for now.

Samsung Galaxy Fold smart phone which features the world's first 7.3-inch Infinity Flex Display  also works with the next-generation 5G networks.
Samsung Galaxy Fold smart phone which features the world's first 7.3-inch Infinity Flex Display also works with the next-generation 5G networks. ( REUTERS )

Slightly bigger screen than iPhone SE

Samsung Galaxy Fold has succeeded in realising the commercial foldable phones, which were once deemed as gadgets from science fiction books and movies. The phone, however, also reminds us of early days of smartphones with box-like design. The closest, however, is Nokia’s Communicator which too opened like a pencil box to offer a secondary screen and a physical keypad.

Galaxy Fold, when opened up, offers one of the biggest screen smartphones in the world with a 7.3-inch display, considerably bigger than modern big-screen phones. But when folded, the cover display offers a much smaller 4.6-inch sceen. Compared to Apple’s compact iPhone SE, Galaxy Fold’s cover screen is mere 0.6-inch bigger. As far as contemporary phones go, average screen size ranges between 5.5-inch to 6.5-inches.

App continuity

On the software front, Samsung Galaxy Fold runs on Android 9 Pie out-of-the-box. But Samsung has worked with Google to optimise the OS for the foldable phone. One key feature is ‘App Continuity’ which lets users seamlessly shift from an app on both displays and continue where they left off. This essentially means there will be no interruption when you’re accessing any app in cover mode, say Google Maps, and then switch to the folded up format.

 

First Published: Feb 21, 2019 20:53 IST