Hands-On With Samsung's New Galaxy Fold

After months of waiting and a design overhaul, Samsung's first foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Fold, is now available to customers who want to shell out $1,980 for a device that can convert from a phone into a tablet.

We decided to pick up one of Samsung's folding smartphones to test it out to see if it's worth the price point, so check out our video for our Galaxy Fold unboxing and first impressions.


Samsung initially planned to release the Galaxy Fold in early 2019, but after providing the device to reviewers, a host of major issues were uncovered that impacted the durability and performance of the device.

samsunggalaxyfoldfront
Samsung ultimately canceled the Galaxy Fold's launch and went back to the drawing board to address some of the problems that led to multiple broken devices within a matter of days after reviewers received a review unit.

galaxyfoldfolded2
So the new Galaxy Fold is supposed to have a more durable display with a better protective layer (which some reviewers thought was meant to be removed on the original version) and a strengthened hinge to prevent breakage from dust and debris, and other durability changes.

Samsung's updated device, as we discovered, comes with a whole host of paperwork and instruction, which makes for an odd unboxing experience. The Galaxy Fold is still delicate enough that users need to be instructed in the specifics of how to use it without breaking it. Many of the instructions are also outlined in a Samsung video:


Basically Samsung warns Galaxy Fold owners to use a light touch when interacting with the device, avoid water and dust, avoid excessive pressure, and to keep it away from objects that can be damaged by magnets. It's unsettling getting such a long list of warnings with a new smartphone.

Design wise, the Samsung Galaxy Fold is massive in size and heavy compared to a standard smartphone, but that's no surprise since it unfolds from a thick 4.6-inch smartphone into a 7.3-inch tablet.

samsunggalaxyfoldhomescreen
There are volume and power buttons on the right side along with a fingerprint sensor, which is best suited to a thumb due to its position. There's a triple-lens camera at the back, two front-facing cameras at the front when it's unfolded, and one other camera on the front above the display when folded.

galaxyfoldmacrumors
The versatility of the Galaxy Fold is useful because the small 4.6-inch folded size is ideal for one-handed use, but then the 7.3-inch display is ideal for when you have the time and space to use the phone unfolded. It's an interesting compromise for those smartphone users who have always preferred a smaller form.

galaxyfoldlandscape
Using a folded phone in practice is novel and it's not quite like anything else that's out there. The 7.3-inch display looks great, and it's perfect for media consumption and multitasking. Typing with the keyboard works well despite the split design.

galaxyfoldmultitasking
There are new T-shaped brackets at the top and bottom of the Galaxy Fold that are meant to address the hinge issues present in the prior Galaxy Fold design. It also looks more resistant to dust, and the built-in screen protector now extends to the hinges and can't be accidentally removed.

galaxyfoldhinge
The crease in the middle of the Galaxy Fold isn't really noticeable in person when it's in use, and it mostly blends right in.

galaxyfoldtaco
We've only had the Galaxy Fold for a couple of hours, so it remains to be seen how well it's going to hold up over time, but Samsung is now offering a $149 screen replacement program for those who experience issues.

galaxyfoldfolded
Despite the improvements, we've already heard reports of durability issues. TechCrunch's Galaxy Fold, for example, already has a broken display even though it wasn't damaged. TechCrunch's Brian Heater says he believes pressing on the display to close it may have caused the damage.

Since the Galaxy Fold is priced starting at $2,000, it's a niche smartphone, but if it proves popular, folding display technology could be the future.

Rumors and patents suggest Apple has explored folding display technology for the iPhone, but there's thus far been no concrete evidence that Apple has plans to release an ‌iPhone‌ that folds in half.

Top Rated Comments

nsayer Avatar
20 months ago
I'd poke fun at them for a video with care instructions, but Apple made a support document with care instructions for a credit card, so...
Score: 97 Votes (Like | Disagree)
needfx Avatar
20 months ago
whine all you want, this thing is interesting
Score: 79 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KazKam Avatar
20 months ago
Wow. Compromised in every possible way for some useless gimmick (IMO).

* Awkward (non-standard) screen size in every configuration.
* Hardware failure points galore
* Not a good phone form factor
* Not a good tablet/phablet form factor
* And that off-center notch tho, ugh

This is NOT pushing the envelope or innovating or evolving, it's just a bad idea poorly implemented. Move along. A "throw crap at the wall" move in true Samsung style.
Score: 54 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gldoorii Avatar
20 months ago
It's weird to me that when it's closed it looks like a a really mediocre phone, so it's practically begging you to open it every time you want to use it. If I had to pull out my iPad Mini to "use my phone" I'd find it really annoying.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
realtuner Avatar
20 months ago

Wow. Compromised in every possible way for some useless gimmick (IMO).

* Awkward (non-standard) screen size in every configuration.
* Hardware failure points galore
* Not a good phone form factor
* Not a good tablet/phablet form factor
* And that off-center notch tho, ugh

This is NOT pushing the envelope or innovating or evolving, it's just a bad idea poorly implemented. Move along. A "throw crap at the wall" move in true Samsung style.
You forgot:

* Runs Android

Since Android on tablets is basically useless.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
a m u n Avatar
20 months ago
The 'Fixed' Galaxy Fold broke after one day ('https://www.tomsguide.com/news/the-fixed-galaxy-fold-broke-after-one-day')

Samsung never had quality. Only quantity.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

apple event spring loaded

Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Officially Announced for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Following an overnight leak by Siri, Apple today officially announced that it will be holding a special "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with all of Apple's 2020 events, the April 2021 event will be a digital-only gathering with no members of the media invited to attend in...
iphone12cameras

Kuo: 2022 iPhones to Feature 48-Megapixel Camera, 8K Video, and 6.1 and 6.7" Sizes With No 5.4" Mini Option

Tuesday April 13, 2021 10:45 pm PDT by
The upcoming 2022 iPhone lineup will feature two 6.1-inch devices and two 6.7-inch devices, with no mini-sized 5.4-inch iPhone, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a note to investors that was seen by MacRumors. Two of the iPhones will be high-end models and two of the iPhones will be lower-end models, similar to the current iPhone 12 lineup. Apple introduced the 5.4-inch...
macos catalina serial number

Apple Preparing Rollout of New Randomized Product Serial Numbers Ahead of 'Spring Loaded' Event

Wednesday April 14, 2021 2:08 am PDT by
Apple is advising its authorized premium resellers and dealers to prepare for new products with 10 and 12 digital serial numbers, days ahead of when it's expected to reveal a slew of new products. MacRumors previously reported that Apple plans to switch to randomized serial numbers for future products starting in early 2021. The company now seems to be preparing for that roll-out, telling...
apple event particularly innovative article

Gurman: Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Won't Feature Anything 'Particularly Innovative'

Thursday April 15, 2021 1:30 am PDT by
Bloomberg's highly-respected Mark Gurman says that he expects nothing "particularly innovative" or "extraordinary" to launch at Apple's "Spring Loaded" event next week, Tuesday, April 20. Gurman made the remarks during an interview for Bloomberg Technology, in which he reaffirmed that Apple will launch a new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, with the higher-end model featuring a brand new...
duanrui iphone13 notch samples

More Leaked iPhone 13 Samples Show Smaller Notch, Repositioned Earpiece and Front Camera

Wednesday April 14, 2021 1:06 am PDT by
Leaker known as "DuanRui" has today shared an image of two iPhone 13 "film samples," which show the same rumored smaller notch design coming to the iPhone 13 series that we've seen from other sources. In past tweets, DuanRui has accurately leaked the correct names of the iPhone 12 models and an iPad Air 4 manual revealing its new design, so there's good reason to think this leak is credible, ...
siir apple event april 20

Siri Reveals Apple Event Planned for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 12:04 am PDT by
Siri has apparently prematurely revealed that Apple plans to hold an event on Tuesday, April 20, where the company is expected to reveal brand new iPad Pro models and possibly its long-awaited AirTags trackers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Upon being asked "When is the next Apple Event," Siri is currently responding with, "The special event is on Tuesday, April...
apple event hashflag

Twitter Hashflag for April 20 Apple Event Goes Live

Tuesday April 13, 2021 2:21 pm PDT by
Following the overnight Siri leak and subsequent announcement that Apple will hold a media event on Tuesday, April 20, a new Twitter hashflag has appeared to help provide visibility for the event on the platform. For the last several recent events, Apple has utilized hashflags, which are little icons next to hashtags on Twitter, as a way to market its events. The company first started the...
parallels windows 10 arm mac

Parallels 16.5 Can Virtualize ARM Windows Natively on M1 Macs With Up to 30% Faster Performance

Wednesday April 14, 2021 7:00 am PDT by
Parallels today announced the release of Parallels Desktop 16.5 for Mac with full support for M1 Macs, allowing for the Windows 10 ARM Insider Preview and ARM-based Linux distributions to be run in a virtual machine at native speeds on M1 Macs. Parallels says running a Windows 10 ARM Insider Preview virtual machine natively on an M1 Mac results in up to 30 percent better performance compared ...
iphone 13 pro render rear

iPhone 13 Pro Rumored to Be Thicker and Feature Larger Rear Camera System

Wednesday April 14, 2021 7:07 am PDT by
Tech blog 91Mobiles has obtained 3D renders of what it claims will be the iPhone 13 Pro, revealing a largely familiar design with a few notable changes, including a smaller notch and a significantly larger rear camera system. Following renders of the standard iPhone 13 model from MySmartPrice yesterday, which showed a new diagonal rear camera layout, these renders of the 6.1-inch iPhone 13...
third gen Apple pencil leaked video

Video of Alleged Third-Generation Apple Pencil Leaks Ahead of Apple Event

Friday April 16, 2021 6:13 am PDT by
A video purporting to be of the third-generation Apple Pencil has today been shared online, showing a glossy finish that mirrors previous leaks. New ✏️ ready to 🚢 #AppleEvent @TommyBo50387266 pic.twitter.com/s4RCDwDi5M— 漢尼斯·拉斯納 🇨🇳 (@ileakeer) April 16, 2021 The brief video from Twitter account @ileakeer, spotted by 9to5Mac, shows an Apple Pencil with a glossy finish much like the...