Our Galaxy Fold didn't break. Here's what's good and bad
Don't get me wrong, there's a lot that I actually really like about the fold.
I think it's totally naturally to close it and stick it into my pocket, and I love having all of these extra display space We're gonna get to that, but first, we think I need to talk about the problems.
I've had the Galaxy Fold for a week, and although I've haven't personally experienced any problems, some reviewers have.
For example, there's this plastic film around the edge, that looks like you can peel it off.
But if you do, your screen will immediately stop working, cuz it's part of the display.
That can be really confusing.
We didn't have any instructions on the box, saying not to do that.
Then there was another reviewer who found that the left side of his screen was flickering for no apparent reason.
So now we're hearing that Samsung's going to delay selling the Galaxy Fold, while it addresses these issues.
Because it doesn't wanna have this kind of pure nightmare on its hands.
Since my review unit hasn't had this problems I've been able to experience what really like to use the Galaxy Fold.
Okay, let's start with the design the Galaxy Fold is long and narrow when you fold it its made out of glass on the outside it's got this big hinge here the screen on the outside is 4.6 inches it's really small I would say that it feels pretty heavy, but it doesn't really weigh me down when it's in my pocket, or jacket, or my purse.
I think I'm just kind of used to carrying some heavy things around.
There's a 7.3" plastic screen on the inside, that's because glass doesn't bend yet.
It does feel pretty smooth to navigate around, but you do feel that crease down the center.
This is where the phone actually folds.
It's unavoidable, I haven't seen any prototype so far that don't have a crease.
You can see it when you're looking right at it, or if your screen is all white or all black.
But when you are reading an article or you're watching a movie, you sort of lose track of it and you become more immersed in what you're doing.
So it's a lot less noticeable.
Because the plastic screen is not as hard as glass, I have noticed a ding on the side of the screen already.
But I'm also seeing a lot of lint that's giving trap between the buzzle in that protective layer.
Number four of these other screen issues, the biggest screen concern was the screech and wear and tear.
I have literally opened and closed it hundreds of times and I don't see that it's getting worse for me.
I think that this is still something that we're gonna have to keep an eye on over time.
By over time, I mean like months.
So, Samsung envisions that you're gonna use the fold open more than you're gonna use it closed, but you can still get to any of the apps on the outside of the screen.
The problem is that the screen is really, really tiny.
The icons are small.
The font is incredibly miniaturized.
It's really hard to type.
If you're walking, you just wind up typing a bunch of gibberish.
So I didn't find myself using the outer screen as much as I thought.
I really did wanna open it up.
I think that's a bit of a problem.
There's also a lot of this empty space around it, so you're just kind of, I don't know, it doesn't look as good.
However, it is really the perfect size to use one handed, and when I was in a crowded bus, or a crowded subway in New York, I found that I could still use my phone without clutching it with two hands.
If you launch an app while the phone is closed and then you open it, you'll see that app on the interior screen.
But if you want to see any app that can appear on the outside after you've closed the device, that's something you're going to have go and arrange in the settings.
It won't happen by default.
The fun point of having such a large screen on your phone is that you can see it and do more with it so you can either put one thing on the big screen or you can separate it to see more little things at once this basically lead us to multi tasking same thing Samsung and Google have worked together to make it possible to have up to 3 open apps at once I did find this useful some of the time, sometimes I just actually wanted to use the entire screen but there are a lot of rules around it and so it was a little confusing to set up at first.
So for example you have to open the main screen first and you do that by pulling the app tray, but if you wanna open any secondary or tertiary app you have to pull from the side, from a different app tray.
Okay so I commute to and from office, and I found that Typing and walking, although I feeling a little bit ridiculous, it actually feels pretty secure in my hand.
I never feel like I'm gonna drop the Fold and I feel like I can actually do it.
I don't love the Samsung keyboard, but right now that's the only way that you get the split keyboard.
And whatever keyboard you have on the main screen is what you have on the outer screen, too.
I personally prefer Keyboard but that's not a choice right now.
I've watched a lot of videos on the phone and it doesn't really resize to the screen.
So you've got these thick black bars on the top of the bottom and then the notch is definitely noticeable.
It doesn't really get in the way because a lot of the action is happening in the center of the screen.
But also sometimes I do see that multitasking half moon over on the right that's the on screen control.
And I just don't know why that needs to be there.
In certain lighting, I can definitely see the crisp but since I'm so focused on what's happening, it really doesn't get in a way.
Another thing that I notice is that if you're scrolling vertically pretty quickly, that the left and right sides of the screen load at slightly different rates So you do get a little bit of this wave going on.
It's not too noticeable, it's not really a big problem but it is there and it's something that Samsung's definitely gonna need to fix in the future.
Because of the big screen, this phone is really begging to have a stylus especially for navigating around.
The screen is larger than the Note phones, and they have one However because the screen is made out of plastic instead of glass and because it is more sesputable to scratch this and this that is going to be a real problem and we are probably not going to see one for a little while.
The galaxy full has kind of an embarrassment of riches when it comes to camera's there are six in total there are three on the outside, there is a regular 12 megapixel lens.
16 megapixel wide angle lens and a 12 megapixel telephoto lens.
In addition to that you have a ten megapixel selfie camera on the front when its closed.
And on the inside you have another ten megapixel camera plus an eight megapixel depth sensing camera.
That camera is mostly gonna be used for AR or possibly one day securely unlocking your phone with your face.
In some ways it's easier to take pictures using the fold open because that's when you can really see what you're doing, fine tune it, make any manual adjustments.
But I felt extremely awkward, and out of place, and silly holding up the phone.
However, when it's closed then you have the problem of a really small screen.
So if you don't really care what you're taking pictures of, if it's something that's just going to be going online, or you're sending to one other person I think it is totally fine to do that way.
Image quality is really good overall, these are the exact same cameras that are on the Galaxy S10 Plus there are just more of them.
However, it does also mean that there is no stand alone low-light mode and the zoom is okay.
So the Huawei P30 Pro is still going to take better pictures over all.
So the batteries situation here is a little different.
There is a battery on both sides.
And the two work together to give you a 43 AD MilliAmp capacity.
Of course, if you're using the folder open it's gonna search down those resources faster especially if you are streaming video or navigating on maps Will last you the whole day from morning until night you are going to have to expect to charge it up at the end of the day.
Also, I'd recommend using the charger in the box I tried using a different charger and it charged a lot slower.
Some other things I don't love about this phone it's not water resistant, of course because it's got this plastic screen and a hinge There's no headphone jack, you have to use a dongle.
They do give you a pair of wireless buds in the box, and that's great, but if you want to use your own headphones you're going to have to deal with the dongle situation.
I had some problems setting up the fingerprint reader for the first time, that's when the phone was open and closed, and it is a lot harder to use when it's closed.
That's because the fold looks like almost two phones stacked on top of each other The fingerprint reader is on the bottom phone in the stack.
So you have to sort of like maneuver your thumb and reach through both of these to get to what you want.
So the Galaxy fold does have wireless power sharing which is one of my favorite new features and it does work, but because the phone is so much narrower, it works a lot better on the Galaxy buds than it does on another phone like the Galaxy S 10+.
You can't just position it in any which way, you really have to stack them closely and keep an eye on it, so it doesn't slip and fall.
The Galaxy Fold is like any other phone, you're gonna get your fingerprints all over, all sides of it, that's just something you're gonna have to deal with.
If you wanna protect the outside of the phone and maybe keep some of those fingerprints away, you could use the case that Samsung includes in the box I think it's a little bit ugly and it's a little bit funny, since it's sort of like two separate cases.
But hey, it's there and you don't have to buy a new one.
I think that the reality of the Galaxy Fold is really different from the concept of the Galaxy Fold.
This is a really expensive device.
This is $2,000.
This is not.really for you and me.
This is for really early adopters who wanna be on that leading end of technology.
It's for developers who will learn how to use these apps for future build of the phones.
So it's also something for everybody to get excited about in general.
The screen issues aside, the reality is that This is not going to be a device that most people are going to want to use because it's just such an early iteration of it.
This is something that we're gonna want to use maybe in multiple generation from now.
When we've really got that design a better screen material taking care of.
So although it is premium especially in terms of price using it doesn't necessarily feel premium especially when you can't do things like type on the outside of the phone I grew up with flip phones so I think that it still have the muscle memory for opening and closing a phone.
I find that it's a lot of fun.
I really do genuinely love having all of this display to work with.
Do I need a foldable phone?
No but I like it.
I think that in order to want one for myself The price has to come down and the quality has to go up.