Close up with the Galaxy Fold's original screen, notch and hinge

Here's what you got with Samsung's original foldable phone design.


Jessica Dolcourt

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Jessica Dolcourt

See full bio

1 of 60 Angela Lang/CNET

Love it or hate it, the Galaxy Fold is a remarkable phone. Samsung has now updated the design after major issues. This gallery takes you on a tour of the Fold's first design.

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As the world's first major foldable phone with a bendable screen, it's definitely sticking its neck out.

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You can use it open like a tablet or closed like a typical phone.

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Opening and closing the Fold is satisfying.

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Using the foldable phone also feels remarkably natural.

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Although early screen issues have caused Samsung to delay its sale, we got to use a working Fold for a week.

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We've come to know its strengths and weaknesses well.

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For example, the Fold's 7.3-inch screen is great for watching videos.

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It's also adept at looking at anything without squinting or hovering over the display to see better.

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And you can multitask with up to three active windows open at a time.

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Google has partnered with Samsung in particular to support this.

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Gaming, too, is better on a larger display. 

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When you're done using the Fold, it snaps closed and fits into tall, narrow pockets.

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Wireless power sharing means you can top up other devices using the Fold's 4,380-mAh joint battery capacity (there's a battery on each side).

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It's harder to position a phone on top to charge. The Galaxy S10 Plus is wider, so it kept slipping off the Fold's back.

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Closed up, the Fold is great for taking calls. It reminds me of candy bar phones of the past. 

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Opened up, calls are a different story. I look and feel ridiculous.

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The real issue is the screen. See that plastic film around the edges?

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There it is again if you peer past the plastic bezel. Don't peel this off. When two reviewers did, their Folds stopped working. Samsung is going to make sure that message is clear.

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Before we worried about screens fizzling out, we wondered how much that crease down the center got in the way. You can see it, but it causes fewer problems than you might think.

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The hinge is large, which causes the Galaxy Fold's "wings" to be fairly narrow.

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The hinge mechanism is smooth. 

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But moving parts have a higher tendency to trap lint and dust.

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There are some other design flaws, like no headphone jack, so you'll have to use a dongle if you don't use the Galaxy Buds that come in the box.

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Navigating on that 4.6-inch exterior screen is hard. Icons are tiny.

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And typing? Forget it. My hands are small and even I found it almost unusable.

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Samsung's default keyboard also doesn't support word tracing, which means that you have to hunt and peck. If you're walking, good luck making sense.

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Careful. The Galaxy Fold isn't water-resistant.

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And the big notch on the interior screen can get in the way when you're watching videos.

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The notch is over an inch long.

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Why is it so big? You can see that the two cameras lenses and sensors don't actually take up that much space. Likely Samsung wanted to center the cameras as much as possible.

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Closed up, the Fold looks like two phones stacked on top of one another. That makes it harder to unlock the phone when it's closed.

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Multitasking is also a little hard to pick up at first. You have to open apps for the side panel a different way than you open your main app.

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Not all apps are optimized to work on the side panel, which can be frustrating and cause you to juggle around your screen more than you might want.

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Taking photos with the Fold closed up is fast and easy.

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Open it up to fine tune the shot. I admit, I felt silly taking photos with a tablet-size device.

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There are six cameras all told: three on the back, one on the "cover" (closed) and two inside. 

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When the Fold is closed, there is a bit of a gap toward the hinge end. You can peer through it to see a sliver of orange behind it.

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I was able to slide in a credit card, which held in place, mainly because of the magnetic closure on the edges.

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You can actually open and close the Fold one-handed, but it takes some practice. 

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Until you snap it fully open, it looks like this.

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Samsung envisions that you'll use it open most of the time.

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A two-part case and Samsung Galaxy Buds come in the box.

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The Galaxy Fold's exterior is made of glass, and comes in four colors: Cosmo Black, Space Silver, Martian Green and Astro Blue.   

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You can customize a silver or gold hinge color for the blue and green models.

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Here are some more Galaxy Fold photos for your enjoyment.

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59 of 60 James Martin/CNET
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Read all the good and bad in our Galaxy Fold review, and see what's changed with the new Fold.

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