Samsung Galaxy Fold: Everything you need to know

This year we were expecting many folding smartphones, and the first major release to be the Samsung Galaxy Fold. Now, due to the Galaxy Fold’s problems, and Huawei’s current situation, the excitement around them has cooled. Issues with the screen delayed the Fold’s initial April 25 release, but the issues are now apparently fixed. Now we’re simply waiting to hear when it’ll be re-released.

You can check out our full Samsung Galaxy Fold review, but there’s loads to explore even outside of that. Here’s absolutely everything you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy Fold.

Updates

Galaxy Fold redesign is complete, and the issues have been fixed

If a report is to be believed, then the Galaxy Fold’s issues have been fixed and a re-release should be expected eventually. Apparently released before it was ready, the Fold’s screen has been given significant work, with particular emphasis put on the device’s protective film. However, we’re not anticipating seeing it yet. It’s apparently unlikely to be at the August 7 Galaxy Unpacked where we expect the Galaxy Note 10 to launch, so instead expect it to show up later in the year.

Galaxy Fold release date rumors

When, if at all, will the Galaxy Fold be released? The messaging is very confusing, with no straight answer from Samsung, and various contradictory rumors. The vice president of Samsung Display is confident the problems with the screen have been fixed, saying at an industry event in South Korea on June 18, “Most of the display problems have been ironed out, and the Galaxy Fold is ready to hit the market.”

The translation may be to blame, but we’d argue that all of the display problems need to be fixed before the Fold is ready to hit any market, rather than most. This is also at odds with other statements and rumors circulating around the Fold’s eventual release. A July launch was rumored but denied by Samsung officials speaking to the Korea Herald, despite repeated promises a new launch date will arrive soon. A Samsung official told the publication: “If we are running such a media event this month, we should be doing something by now. Nothing has progressed since the April delay.”

Samsung Mobile’s CEO DJ Koh has previously stated a new, revised Galaxy Fold would launch in May, and then in June, and most recently, before July.

Since recalling early review samples, Samsung had apparently concentrated on making the hinge more durable, and has revised the design of the screen protector, in an effort to ensure no further problems are encountered. Quality control work on the display and the film over the top was still in progress in May, according to unnamed industry insiders. Once ready for sale again, the revised Fold will have to undergo network certification tests, potentially pushing any date even further into the future. The company has also stated the new Fold may be released in South Korea before coming to the United States and other locations.

AT&T cancels Galaxy Fold pre-orders

AT&T has given up hope and canceled pre-orders for the Galaxy Fold, ahead of the revised June 13 release date that AT&T had previously told customers it expected to ship Galaxy Fold orders on. AT&T is offering a $100 AT&T Promotion Card as recompense for the cancellation. AT&T’s action is just the latest in a series of setbacks for Samsung’s folding phone. In May, Best Buy canceled all outstanding pre-orders for the device after Samsung itself was forced to cancel Fold pre-orders due to federal regulations.

Samsung decided to delay the release of the Galaxy Fold soon after the review model recall. Digital Trends has reached out to Samsung for comment.

Galaxy Fold display problems

Some reviewers, who were the first to get their hands on the Samsung Galaxy Fold, found the phone’s display had either completely broken or was partially damaged after just days of use.

CNBC, for example, says that its review unit is completely unusable with all but a portion of the display still working. The Verge’s unit is also damaged, with a small bulge that’s causing the display to distort. YouTube reviewer Marques Brownlee removed the film on his phone to find that the display had broken. Samsung has warned users not to remove the protective layer of the phone, which may look like a basic screen protector. Still, CNBC says that it didn’t remove anything from the screen.

Following the reports, Samsung spokesperson gave Digital Trends the following statement:

“A limited number of early Galaxy Fold samples were provided to media for review. We have received a few reports regarding the main display on the samples provided. We will thoroughly inspect these units in person to determine the cause of the matter. Separately, a few reviewers reported having removed the top layer of the display causing damage to the screen. The main display on the Galaxy Fold features a top protective layer, which is part of the display structure designed to protect the screen from unintended scratches. Removing the protective layer or adding adhesives to the main display may cause damage. We will ensure this information is clearly delivered to our customers.”

In iFixit’s teardown of the Galaxy Fold, the source of the device’s many reported display problems may have been spotted. The engineer notes a 7mm gap in the device’s bezel, near the bend, that could allow entry to dirt or other small particles. It’s entirely possible this could have lead to the problems observed on the recalled review units. iFixit said the Galaxy Fold unit was obtained from a “trusted partner,” iFixit subsequently removed the teardown video after Samsung requested the video be taken down.

Samsung issued a statement stating, “Initial findings from the inspection of reported issues on the display showed that they could be associated with impact on the top and bottom exposed areas of the hinge. There was also an instance where substances found inside the device affected the display performance.”

Samsung recalled all the review models sent to journalists. The model sent to Digital Trends did not break or stop working.

We recently got our hands on the Galaxy Fold. Check out the photos below

Design and display

Featuring an Infinity Flex display, the Samsung Galaxy Fold goes from a 4.6-inch display for phone mode and folds out to reveal a separate 7.3-inch display on the inside. Don’t worry, Samsung hasn’t emphasized the large screen experience over the small screen, as the Fold has also been designed to be comfortable to hold when folded. The 7.3-inch Infinity Flex Dynamic AMOLED display has a resolution of 2152 × 1536 pixels, while the smaller Super AMOLED 4.6-inch display has a resolution of 1680 x 720 pixels.

The fold is comprised of a sophisticated hinge system with multiple interlocking gears, hidden inside the spine. That fold is tested using a series of machines that repeatedly fold and unfold the phone. Samsung says that the stress test folds a device 200,000 times, and takes around a week to complete. Check out the machine in the video below.

The Samsung Galaxy Fold comes in four colors: Cosmos Black, Space Silver, Martian Green, or Astro Blue, and you can choose a different color for the phone’s spine.

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Samsung worked with Google and the Android developer community to tailor apps like WhatsApp, Microsoft Office, and YouTube. The interior screen is so big it can be used for three-app multitasking. You can watch a video, chat about it, and browse options on the web all at the same time. Samsung has shown this off with YouTube running on the left, a WhatsApp chat window at the top right, and a web browser at the bottom right.

Samsung

The displays work together for a seamless experience thanks to something Samsung calls app continuity, so you can switch between screens without missing a beat. The demonstration showed us a smooth transition between screens while using Google Maps and Netflix.

“The Galaxy Fold is a device unlike any that’s come before it,” said Justin Denison, Samsung’s senior vice president of mobile marketing. “It’s a versatile smartphone, tablet, and camera.”

Specs

Don’t worry, you get cutting edge specifications to match that cutting edge design.

There’s plenty of processing power inside the Samsung Galaxy Fold, thanks to the inclusion of this year’s flagship — the Snapdragon 855. That chip should be plenty powerful enough to handle the Galaxy Fold’s unusual design, while 12GB of RAM means it should also be excellent at handling multiple apps at once. It’s worth noting that a high amount of RAM makes more sense on the Galaxy Fold than other smartphones, as the unfolded screen can be used to run three apps at once. There’s no need to worry about running out of storage space either. The Galaxy Fold comes with 512GB of universal flash storage, and it can read data twice as fast as other smartphones.

There’s one final surprise hidden inside the foldable smartphone. The Samsung Galaxy Fold actually has two batteries — one in each side of the device. Splitting the batteries like this allowed Samsung to get around the problem of having to have a folding battery. While that may seem like a lot of juice, if you’re switching to the large inner display a lot (and why wouldn’t you?) then it’s likely it’ll last you about a day. There’s a difference between the battery sizes, depending on the model you get. The LTE model’s battery is rated at 4,380mAh, while the 5G model will have a 4.235mAh battery.

Wired charging capabilities are slightly disappointing due to Samsung’s continued love affair with QuickCharge 2.0 — other devices have moved on to Quick Charge 3.0, and even 4.0 — but wireless charging is also included, and you’ll even get one of the Galaxy S10’s headline features; Wireless Powershare. Plonk your Galaxy Buds case down on your Galaxy Fold and you can charge it using your phone’s battery.

Camera

With all the innovation in design, it would be fair to give Samsung some slack on the camera front. But you needn’t do so — the Korean company has pulled out all the stops, adding six camera lenses to the Galaxy Fold.

You’ll find the first camera lens on the cover, above the 4.6-inch Super AMOLED front display. It’s a 10-megapixel selfie lens with an aperture of f/2.2, and a field-of-view (FOV) of 80-degrees. You’ll find three more impressive lenses are around the back of the device though. The first is a 16-megapixel ultra wide-angle lens with an aperture of f/2.2 and an FOV of 123-degrees. Next comes a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens with Super Speed Dual Pixel autofocus, optical image stabilization (OIS), a variable aperture of f/1.5 and f/2.2, and an FOV of 77 degrees. The final lens is a 12-megapixel telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom, phase detect autofocus (PDAF), OIS, and an aperture of f/2.4.

We’ve not forgotten the final two lenses though. Open the Galaxy Fold up and you’ll find two more selfie cameras looking out at you from the device’s odd notch. The main lens is a 10-megapixel lens with an aperture of f/2.2, and a wide FOV of 80-degrees. The second lens is an 8-megapixel depth-sensing lens with an aperture of f/1.9, and a wide-angle FOV of 85-degrees.

All of this comes with Samsung’s now usual bevy of A.I.-powered extras, including the Scene Optimizer and the Flaw Detection that can tell you if someone blinked or moved suddenly. Video capabilities are also impressive, with the ability to record 4K UHD footage at 60 frames-per-second (fps) and super slow-motion video at 960 fps.

Pricing and availability

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Samsung Galaxy Fold will come in LTE and 5G versions and is planned to be available in the U.S. and in Europe. Prices will start from $1,980. Following the device’s delay, pre-orders were stopped, and unless instructed otherwise, companies including AT&T and Best Buy canceled any pre-existing orders for the Fold.

Currently, Samsung is asking those interested in the Galaxy Fold to sign up on its website for more information. Before pre-orders were canceled, AT&T priced the Galaxy Fold at $66 a month for 30 months.

Updated on July 3, 2019: Apparently the Galaxy Fold’s issues have been fixed.

Product Review

The Lenovo IdeaPad S940 has its flaws, but the presentation won us over

The Lenovo IdeaPad S940 is a well-built laptop that leverages its tiny bezels to good effect. It’s small, thin, and has a great display, with a cost in performance and battery life.
Computing

You can get a 2018 MacBook Air for just $999 with this latest deal from B&H

Other retailers like B&H are offering their own sweet laptop deals during Prime Day 2019. In fact, you can score a 13-inch 2018 MacBook Air with a Retina display at a $100 discount from B&H right now.
Mobile

The best prepaid phones aren't just for the budget conscious anymore

A prepaid phone, coupled with a prepaid plan, frees you from multi-year contracts and lets you organize your budget without worrying about your credit rating. It's great for people who use their phone only occasionally or for emergencies.
Mobile

You can now get the Sony Xperia 1, but you'll have to pay $950

Sony took the wraps off of three new phones at Mobile World Congress 2019, including the new Xperia 1, which is the company's new flagship phone and the first with a 4K OLED display with a 21:9 aspect ratio.
Mobile

Nomad's new Kevlar-reinforced cable range is now available for purchase

Nomad has just released an update to its super-tough Kevlar range of cables to include a new USB-C to Lightning cable and a blisteringly fast 100W USB-C cable. They're expensive, but they're the toughest cables you'll find.
Mobile

Xfinity Mobile customers can now bring their own Android device to the carrier

Xfinity Mobile, a mobile carrier for Xfinity internet customers, is adding the Samsung Galaxy S9, S9 Plus, S8, S8 Plus, Note 9 and Note 8 to its BYOD program. Customers porting a number on a new line are eligible for a $100 Visa card.
Deals

The best Prime Day smartphone deals: Samsung, Motorola, Google, and more

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is here, and there are a ton of great deals on smartphones worth looking into. Whether you're looking for a new iPhone or an Android device, there should be a Prime Day 2019 deal for you.
Deals

Apple Watch Series 4 smartwatch now just $360 in Amazon Prime Day deal

Amazon Prime Day is a fine time to buy a new smartwatch. The Apple Watch Series 4 is the cream of the smartwatch crop, and now in an Amazon Prime Day deal, the 44mm model can be yours for just $354, down from its original $429.
Deals

The futuristic Samsung Galaxy S10 5G just got a price cut on Best Buy

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is finally here, bringing with it some of the best smartphone deals you're likely to see all year. In particular, there are some amazing deals on Samsung Galaxy phones, including the much-loved Samsung Galaxy S10.
Apple

Missed out on Amazon’s Prime Day Apple Watch deal? Walmart has you covered

Amazon's deal on the Apple Watch was pretty good, but it sold out within the first 24 hours of Prime Day. As an alternative, we'd suggest you shop Walmart, which has the Apple Watch Series 3 available for $80 off its normal price.
Mobile

Having issues with iOS 12? These fixes will help you get back on track

Apple's iOS 12 has a lot going for it, but it's not perfect and several issues have cropped to annoy people. Here are some of the most common iOS 12 problems we've heard about, with some advice on how to fix them or work around them.
Deals

Amazon cuts up to 40% off on Moto G and Z smartphones on Prime Day

Today at Prime Day, Amazon is exclusively offering selected items on the Moto G and Z family at a discounted price of up to 40%. Take this chance and check them out as we’ve gathered them all here.
Product Review

Samsung's $99 fitness tracker takes on Fitbit. Can it keep pace?

Samsung’s going toe-to-toe against Fitbit’s Inspire HR with its own $99 fitness tracker -- the Galaxy Fit. It also has a heart rate monitor, can automatically detect six workouts, and has a battery that can last for days.
Deals

There’s still time for Prime Day iPad deals, even without a Prime membership

Prime Day ends soon but there’s still time to score before the clock runs out. Shoppers looking for a new tablet should strike while the iron's still hot, and this might be your last chance before to snag an iPad deals before summer's…