Samsung Galaxy Fold Review: A Look into the Future


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The outgoing year turned out to be extremely interesting from the point of view of smartphone manufacturing. Yes, the race to reduce the frame,

increasing screen diagonals and number of camerascontinued, but fundamentally new form factors finally began to appear. All modern smartphones are generally the same type of candy bar with a screen covering the entire front panel. With some variations such as curved screens and pop-up cameras, there were no fundamental differences in design. Flexible AMOLED/OLED screens allowed manufacturers to give free rein to their imagination, and this year we saw several smartphone models with folding displays. And what’s good is that they differ significantly from each other. We won’t take into account the first Royole FlexPai: it turned out to be not particularly suitable for use and was sold only in China. And the Samsung Galaxy Fold, Huawei Mate X and Moto Razr 2019 are very real or close to reality models, each of which uses its own design and concept. Samsung Galaxy Fold has gone through a long and very thorny path to mass production, it has been refined and improved many times, including after the first reviews at the beginning of the year. There were moments when it seemed that it would remain a prototype. But, fortunately, this did not happen and the Samsung Galaxy Fold has already gone on sale, including in Ukraine. In fact, the Samsung Galaxy Fold became the first smartphone with a flexible screen to go on sale almost all over the world. Well, we have already managed to use it and form our own impression, which we will share today.

  1. What is it?
  2. What makes him interesting?
  3. What will be included?
  4. What does the Samsung Galaxy Note10 + look like?
  5. How good are the screens?
  6. What are the unlock methods?
  7. What about performance, memory, sound and autonomy?
  8. How convenient is the interface?
  9. How to use Samsung Galaxy Fold and how convenient is it?
  10. How good are the cameras?
  11. In the dry residue

What is it?

Samsung Galaxy Fold - the world's first foldablesmartphone with a flexible display (available for public sale). Equipped with an external secondary 4.6-inch screen, a foldable 7.3-inch main screen, a flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, 12 GB of RAM, 512 internal storage, triple main camera, dual front internal and additional front external.

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What makes him interesting?


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Samsung is positioning the Galaxy Fold asa fundamentally new type of smartphone. And, in fact, somewhere this is true: when folded we have a smartphone with a small 4.6-inch screen for all basic functions, when unfolded we have something closer to a tablet with a 7.3-inch display. The gadget uses a flexible DynamicAMOLED screen with a resolution of 2152x1536, a non-standard aspect ratio and support for HDR10+. Provides &#8220;seamless&#8221; switching applications between small and large screens and two- and three-window mode. To make sure this all works correctly, Samsung has optimized its proprietary One UI 1.5 shell, which is stretched on top of Android 9 Pie (for now). The performance is ensured by the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, 12 GB of RAM and 512 internal memory. The smartphone has three camera blocks: triple main, double front (inside) and single front on the outside. The smartphone is powered by a dual battery with a total capacity of 4380 mAh with support for wired and wireless charging at 15 W and reverse wireless charging at 9 W.

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What will be included?


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As befits something so unusual and expensivesmartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Fold comes in a large box with a good number of accessories inside. In addition to the smartphone itself, the kit includes a two-part protective bumper, a USB Type-C cable, a charger, an adapter from USB Type-C to Type-A, Galaxy Buds wireless headphones (they didn’t come to us for testing) and a bunch of documentation. including instructions and recommendations for using the smartphone (primarily its internal flexible screen).


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What does the Samsung Galaxy Fold look like?


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Looks Samsung Galaxy Fold, to put it mildly, veryunusual. When closed, it looks a bit like a case for glasses in shape and size. In this mode, the smartphone is narrow, but very thick: 15.5 mm and in the jeans pocket it feels good. The case, as befits a modern device of this class, is made of glass and metal. On the front there is an additional 4.6-inch screen, the frames around which are very impressive, which is not surprising, given the design and dimensions of the internal main display. The entire panel is closed with a solid protective glass with rounded edges and in the off state (or with Always on Display) the borders of the screen are practically invisible. Above are the front camera, sensors and earpiece.


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If you turn the smartphone towards you with its bottom end, thenyou can see the gap between the halves closer to the hinge. This is how it was designed and made to protect the screen from bending. On one of the parts at the bottom there is one of the speakers, on the second there is a conversational microphone and a USB Type-C connector:


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On the opposite side is a second external speaker and an additional microphone:


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The hinge mechanism is covered with a massive metal &#8220;cover&#8221; with iridescent Samsung logo. They promise that the mechanism will survive 200,000 operations without problems:


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A slot is placed on the right side (folded)for a SIM card (except for one SIM card, nothing can be shoved there). Power and volume buttons in the same place. A little lower is a fingerprint scanner. A rather strange decision, especially considering that the Samsung Galaxy S10e already used the side version, it was combined with a power button. And it was very convenient:


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The back of the smartphone is glass andthere is nothing on the triple main camera in the upper corner. Just the certification information you need in virtually invisible small print. Strictly and concisely:


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The smartphone opens like a book.The hinge mechanism works clearly and very nicely, there is a kind of &#8220;auto-finishing&#8221; in both directions, and the smartphone closes with a pleasant, characteristic clap. When open, the smartphone looks more like a tablet with a 7.3-inch screen with an aspect ratio of 4:3, although in fact this is not the case. The screen is still a little more elongated. Along the perimeter of the screen there is a rather noticeable and noticeable protective edge. The dual internal front camera, which eats up a very significant piece of the screen, is somewhat confusing.


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Instead of glass, multilayer glass is usedpolymer coating, thanks to which (among other things) the screen bends. Of course, such a screen is very easy to damage. The manufacturer warns both in the instructions and when you turn it on for the first time that you should not leave any objects inside when closing, press the screen with your fingernails, or generally apply any noticeable force to it. In general, the edges around the perimeter do their job: when closed, the screen does not come into contact with anything. Plus, under this same side are hidden the edges of the outer film, which journalists mistakenly tried to remove in an early revision of the smartphone. Another feature worth knowing about is the fold. Yes, it is there, you can feel it with your finger. It is noticeable when the screen is off and at an angle. When viewing something it is not visible.


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At the back, when open, a massive metal edge with the Samsung logo is hiding inside. Outside, only external glass panels and thin metal frames remain:


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The smartphone is made very high quality and feelsvery expensive. But the feeling of its fragility is also there and it is more than justified. Glass on the outer panels, impressive weight, movable honor and, of course, a flexible display do not add points of durability. But such is the price of a new form factor. Most questions are about the life span of a flexible display, even assuming that it will be handled with the utmost care. Anyway, it’s still difficult to judge how many cycles of flexion and extension it will withstand. As we mentioned above, Samsung promises a service life of a hinge of 200,000 bends, but there is no information on the screen.


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The complete protective bumper cannot protect againstall possible troubles, but he can still provide some protection. It consists of two halves and is made in the form of carbon fiber. It looks stylish.


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How good are the screens?


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As we remember, the Samsung Galaxy Fold has two screens.The external small one has a diagonal of 4.6 inches. This is Dynamic AMOLED with a resolution of 1680x720 and an aspect ratio of 21:9, pixel density is 397 ppi. Visually, the matrix is ​​of high quality; Samsung decided not to skimp on the additional display. The picture is good and does not fade in the sun. The size and format are great for quick actions: messages, viewing notifications, mail, and so on. Measurements showed that the maximum brightness in natural mode is 343 cd/m², while the color rendition is very clear: the red and green components are close to the reference values, there is a minimal excess of blue:


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In bright mode, the maximum brightness is362.332 cd/m², while color rendition differs slightly towards cooler shades. At the same time, the color gamut is typical for AMOLED panels: much wider than sRGB.


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The main internal display is 7 diagonal.3 inches and an unusual aspect ratio close to 4:3. This is a flexible Dynamic AMOLED matrix with a resolution of 2152x1536, while the pixel density is 362 ppi. This figure is not a record, especially considering the peculiarities of the arrangement of subpixels in AMOLED matrices. But in reality the picture does not seem loose, &#8220;ladder&#8221; and fuzzy fonts are not visible thanks to a slightly unusual use. When open, you subconsciously hold the Galaxy Fold like a tablet, a little further from your eyes than a regular smartphone. HDR10+ supported. The screen itself makes a very good impression: excellent rich colors, an impressive amount of brightness and maximum viewing angles. But the format itself is a little controversial: it is very good for mail, instant messengers, working with documents and the browser. But not for multimedia content: when watching a video, black bars remain, and the cutout for the front camera eats up an impressive chunk of space.


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Indoors in &#8220;saturated&#8221; mode, the maximum brightness was 400.302 cd/m2 (SDR). At the same time, there is a slight excess of blue, and the color gamut is significantly wider than sRGB:


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In &#8220;natural&#8221; mode, the screen is closer to the reference indicators, the color gamut is close to sRGB, and the maximum brightness was 366.399 cd/m2:


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Screen settings are familiar to modernSamsung flagships. There are no special features: there are font and scaling settings, dark theme, night mode, Always on Display settings and display modes: &#8220;saturated&#8221; (with the ability to manually adjust the main color components) and &#8220;natural&#8221;. The only thing the screen lacks is the DC Dimming feature. Possibly added in future software updates:


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Comparison with other models:

Device name
White field brightness,
cd / m2
The brightness of the black field,
cd / m2
Contrast

Samsung Galaxy Fold
400.302
0

Samsung Galaxy Note10+
387.745
0

Sony Xperia 1
394.97
0

Huawei P30 Pro
447.247
0

Samsung Galaxy S10
378.72
0

Samsung Galaxy Note9
340.32
0

What are the unlock methods?

To identify its owner, a smartphoneuses a fingerprint scanner and face recognition. There are no complaints about the scanner itself: it works with lightning speed and accuracy. But, as we wrote above, its implementation is a bit controversial. Combining it with the power button would be more logical. But a matter of taste. By default, the smartphone does not respond to touching the scanner. That is, first you need to press the power button, and then put your finger on the scanner. Fortunately, in the settings, you can enable the unlock function immediately by touching. Of the additional functions, it is possible to include a gesture to call the curtain by moving along the scanner.


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Face unlock is also present, butit works a little strange. Of course, it works only with front cameras and for security purposes, for example, for contactless payment, the smartphone will also ask for a fingerprint. But the face is detected quickly, including in low light. Apparently there is enough additional light from the screens. But what was a little upsetting is that the hat interferes with the operation of the facial recognition system; the smartphone does not always &#8220;recognize&#8221; owner.


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What about performance, memory, sound and autonomy?

The filling of the Samsung Galaxy Fold is another interesting onemoment. We are used to the fact that all Samsung flagship smartphones come to us with proprietary Samsung Exynos processors. And Snapdragon only hits the Chinese and US markets. But the Galaxy Fold decided to limit itself to the version with the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor. Just in case, let us remind you that this is an 8-core 7-nanometer processor with 1 Kryo 485 core at 2.84 GHz, 3xKryo 485 2.42 GHz and 4xKryo 485 1.78 GHz, responsible for graphics accelerator Adreno 640. RAM 12 GB LPDDR4X RAM, storage – 512 GB fast UFS3.0 memory. So the lack of a memory card slot somehow doesn’t bother me at all. As is productivity in general: its reserves will last for another couple of years. Synthetic tests confirm this:


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Cooling system efficiency and stabilitythe operation of the system is not the strongest side of the smartphone: after all, the specific design somewhat complicates the process of arranging everything necessary inside. In the stress test, the throttle system up to 81% after 10 minutes of maximum load. Not the best indicator, but not fatal. Moreover, in real conditions it will be difficult to load a smartphone like that.


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Graphics performance is perfectok. All modern demanding games run great. The settings can be turned up to maximum (where possible). The situation with the cutout for the front camera is as follows: some games stretch across the entire screen, but part of the picture is &#8220;eaten&#8221; neckline Usually, not the most important interface elements are placed there, so this is not fatal. In another case, the picture is cropped and a black stripe remains on the left. Interestingly, there were no critical problems with scaling for such a screen and aspect ratio. And it’s even more convenient to play strategy this way.


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Game Launcher app and Game overlayBooster is available, as with all current Samsung smartphones. It is possible to adjust the level of performance for games (including individually), turn off notifications, record videos, take screenshots. There is time monitoring in games, a chart by genre, the ability to stream to Mixer and link a Discord account:


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

 

Interfaces: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax (Wi-Fi 6) 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, Bluetooth 5.0 LE with aptX HD, LDAC, ANT+, NFC and fast USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Type-C) for wireless connectivity wire. Global positioning systems GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo are supported. The smartphone has stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos support. They sound very loud and high quality. Very few smartphones can boast such sound. But, unfortunately, they didn’t find a place to put the 3.5 mm headphone jack, even taking into account the impressive dimensions of the case. This is partially compensated by the presence of Galaxy Buds in the kit, but you still want to be able to connect your favorite wired model. As in the Note10 line, standard Type-C to 3.5mm adapters do not work. The functionality of the player remains similar to current Samsung flagships.


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The smartphone is powered by two batterieswith a total capacity of 4380 mAh, just a little more than the Galaxy Note10+ (4300 mAh). The difference is completely insignificant. As for the battery life, given the specifics of the Galaxy Fold, it’s difficult to give an unambiguous estimate. It will significantly depend on the time of use of different screens: after all, both the diagonal and resolution are very different. But, in any case, it is difficult to seat him in a day. Unless you constantly run games. I used the following: notifications, calls, messages, mail and news feeds on a small screen. Web surfing, social. networks, videos and games - on the big screen. By late evening there was about 50% charge left. For emergencies, there are energy saving modes.


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The smartphone supports wired and wirelesscharging up to 15 watts. And if for wireless charging this is a good indicator, then I would like faster over the wire. From a complete charger, the smartphone charges a little more than 2 hours. Supports reverse wireless charging. From a smartphone it will be possible to charge, for example, Gear Buds or a smart watch Galaxy Watch.

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What about the interface?


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The smartphone runs on Android 9 OS.0 Pie with One UI 1.5 shell. One UI 2.0 on Android 10 has not yet arrived. The first time we turn on, we are congratulated on the purchase of the Samsung Galaxy Fold and told what should not be done with the screen so as not to damage it.


 


 


 


 

 

No significant difference compared toNo other current Samsung flagships, just some minor things. In particular, adaptation to two different screens. (for example, you cannot install a 5x6 grid on a small one). Otherwise, everything is familiar: desktops, a separate application menu, which can be disabled in the settings. There is &#8220;simple&#8221; with larger icons. Part of the interface has been redesigned with elements shifted down for easy access with fingers. Although the usual small screen mode was not found.


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Navigation options are standard for Samsung: traditional buttons or gestures. But, in addition to the ability to swap them, there is the ability to move them to the right, left side of the screen or stretch them to full width:


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The application manager is familiar, with smallreservations. This is a familiar set of cards; it is possible to open the application in a window of adjustable size and transparency or minimize it to an icon. But instead of the standard two-window mode, three applications can be placed simultaneously:


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There is no Edge panel, which is logical: there is no bending of the screen in the smartphone. But instead of it there is a panel that is called by movement from the edge of the screen, on which is a list of application icons. They run in the aforementioned multi-window mode. Windows can be dragged and sized:


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Of useful little things there are additional gestures. For example, the aforementioned ability to call the curtain with a fingerprint scanner, take a screenshot with the palm of your hand, double-tap to activate the screen and launch the camera (or any other application) by double-clicking the power button.


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Another interesting feature is&#8220;smooth&#8221; transition from a small display to a large one. How it works (theoretically): we opened the application on a small screen, needed more space - opened the smartphone, the application is scaled to the entire large screen of the smartphone. In practice, this actually works almost always. The vast majority of applications have no problems with this. But there are some isolated exceptions. For example, TP-Link Tether or Monobank. When switching to a large screen, they remain with the same aspect ratio, and we get black stripes on the sides. The smartphone prompts you to restart the application. After restarting it expands to fill the entire screen.


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Familiar branded applications are present, there areeverything you need. File manager, voice recorder, note, its service application for optimizing a smartphone, Bixby, Smart Things for a smart home, Galaxy Wearable for connecting wearable gadgets, Samsung Health and Smart Switch for comfortable data transfer between smartphones and Samsung Global Goals, which we already talked about in past reviews of Samsung smartphones. In short: you are watching an advertisement, and you can donate money for viewing it.


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How to use Samsung Galaxy Fold and how convenient is it?


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Given the new, very unusual form factorsomehow it’s difficult to unambiguously evaluate usability. In particular, due to the lack of the ability to compare with anything like that. So this section is very subjective and based on personal feelings of use. The idea of ​​a device that can offer different screen sizes for different tasks is interesting and promising in itself. But it should take some time until manufacturers and users decide on the optimal form factors and designs. In the case of Samsung Galaxy Fold, we have a small screen for basic tasks and a large internal screen for everything else. According to personal impressions, it is convenient to use the small external screen on the go with one hand due to the compact size and small width of the smartphone when folded. Making and receiving calls, answering messages in instant messengers, and flipping through tapes on the go is convenient. By the way, talking on the phone can only be like this: there is no conversational speaker inside, so it will not work to cover the face of the tablet with the wind. Using the main camera is also more convenient when closed.


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The large internal screen is definitely moreconvenient for viewing content, reading books, surfing the web, working with mail and documents. It fits much more than anything. But in this position, one-handed use is virtually eliminated. Unless just watching the video, and obviously not on the move: the risk of dropping is extremely high. More exotic use cases are possible, for example, such a modern variation that brings back memories of the Nokia 9110i Communicator or Nokia E90.


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By the way, the native keyboard is divided into two halves and typing is very convenient. Not a BlackBerry with a physical QWERTY keyboard, of course, but there is a distant similarity.


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For multimedia Samsung Galaxy Fold is notbest choice. Yes, the quality of the screen, the power of the filling and the large amount of internal memory contribute. But the unusual aspect ratio and a large cutout for the front camera somewhat spoil the impression. The large diagonal of the display when watching a video in this case does not have advantages: we get black bars from the bottom and top, as well as a piece of the picture cut off by the front camera.


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How good are the cameras?


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The Samsung Galaxy Fold has as many as three modules installedcameras, but in terms of characteristics there were no exotic ones. The main module migrated from the Sasmung Galaxy S10+. Main camera 12 megapixels, 1/2.55&#8243; (pixel size 1.4 microns), interchangeable aperture f/1.5-2.4, optical stabilization and Dual Pixel phase autofocus. Telephoto 2x zoom - 12 MP (1/3.6&#8243;, 1 micron), f/2.4, optical stabilization and phase detection autofocus are also available. Ultra-wide-angle camera - 16 MP, viewing angle 123°, without autofocus and stabilizer. There are two front modules: one inside, the other outside. The external one consists of a single 10 MP f/2.2 camera, while the internal one is dual, with a similar main camera and an 8 MP depth sensor. In terms of shooting modes and capabilities, there is everything possible, including background blur, zoom, auto-adjustment, night mode, hyperlapse, super slow-motion video, 4K 60 FPS and so on. The camera application has not changed: switching modes with horizontal movements, the camera switch next to the shutter button and all the main settings on the main screen:


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The camera shoots well, which was quite expected. Photos are obtained with a wide dynamic range, excellent detail and natural colors. At night, in the most difficult conditions, the detail can drop a little and sometimes grain appears. But not critical, without crime.


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Wide angle camera:


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Zoom:


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Blur background:


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4K 60 FPS video recording example:

 

Stabilized video:

 

Super Slow Motion:

 

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In the dry residue

It is worth paying tribute to Samsung:the company had the persistence and courage to see the job through to completion. Despite many difficulties during development and technical problems with early samples, the Samsung Galaxy Fold finally made it to stores. &#8220;Run-in&#8221; new technologies and form factors - this is always a long and difficult path on which manufacturers hit the bumps in order to subsequently bring their ideas to fruition. Yes, the Galaxy Fold turned out to be a specific and, in a sense, experimental smartphone with no pretensions to mass appeal. It has its advantages and controversial areas, but it already gives the impression of a completed device, not a prototype. Galaxy Fold looks futuristic, unusual, original and really expensive. They also haven’t forgotten about the main components of a flagship smartphone: excellent quality screens, powerful hardware, large amounts of RAM and internal memory, cool stereo speakers, impressive battery life, high-quality cameras and a convenient shell are present. But besides the WOW factor, the new design and flexible display also have a downside. The concept of a smartphone (or foldable tablet) with screens of different sizes for different tasks is definitely good and will be developed, but the smartphone and screen turned out to be very fragile, and the crease is noticeable. &#8220;Book&#8221; The format, unusual aspect ratio of the display and (especially) the large cutout for the front internal camera will not please everyone, and they also make the smartphone not the best option for viewing media content. And, of course, the price of the smartphone is impressive57 000 UAH, with which it will go on sale on December 21.On the other hand, it will not stop a certain category of users who are determined to acquire the most unusual and unique smartphone available on the market.

7 reasons to buy Samsung Galaxy Fold:

  • new, unusual form factor and futuristic appearance;
  • excellent quality screens;
  • top performance;
  • large amounts of RAM and internal memory;
  • long battery life;
  • flagship cameras;
  • functional and quick shell One UI.

4 reasons not to buy Samsung Galaxy Fold:

  • extremely high cost;
  • fragile display and design;
  • features of the main display (controversial form factor, crease and large neckline);
  • with impressive dimensions there was no place for a 3.5 mm jack.

Samsung Galaxy Fold

The world's first smartphone with a flexible display, whichcan buy. Equipped with a 4.6-inch external display and 7.3-inch flexible Dynamic AMOLED display inside. Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 flagship processor and 12 GB of RAM are responsible for performance, the storage capacity is 512 GB.

Eldorado

Comfy

Citrus

Hello

Rozetka

Pioneer

Technical specifications Samsung Galaxy Fold

Display
External: 4.6 inches, Dynamic AMOLED, 1680x720, 21:9, 397 ppi, internal: 7.3 inches, flexible Dynamic AMOLED 2152x1536, 362 ppi, HDR10+

Housing
Dimensions: 160.9&#215;117.9&#215;6.9 mm, 160.9&#215;62.9&#215;15.5 (folded) Weight: 263 g

CPU
64-bit 7nm Qaulcomm Snapdragon 855: 1xKryo 485 at 2.84 GHz, 3xKryo 485 2.42 GHz and 4xKryo 485 1.78 GHz, Adreno 640 graphics 512 GB of fast UFS3.0 memory

RAM
12GB LPDDR4X

Flash memory
512GB UFS3.0

Camera
12 MP (f/1.5-2.4, 26 mm EGF, 1/2.55&#8243;, 1.4 µm, Dual Pixel PDAF) + 12 MP (f/2.1, 52 mm EGF, 1/3.6&#8243;, 1 µm, AF), optical stabilization, 2x zoom, ultra-wide-angle 16 MP, f/2.2, flash, video 2160p@60fps, 1080p@240fps, 720p@960fps; front camera: 10 MP f/2.2 with autofocus (external)

Wireless technology
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac/ax (dual band, 2.4 and 5 GHz), Bluetooth 5.0 LE aptX HD, LDAC, NFC, ANT+

GPS
GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO

Battery
4380 mAh, non-removable

operating system
Android 9 Oreo + One UI 1.5

Sim card
NanoSIM

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