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First Look: The new, improved Samsung Galaxy Fold

September 07, 2019 11:27 IST

How exciting is the Samsung Galaxy Fold? Ashish Narsale/Rediff.com finds out.

IMAGE: The Samsung Galaxy Fold. Photograph: Kind courtesy Samsung.com
 

The new version of the much-awaited Samsung Galaxy Fold was unveiled at the IFA 2019 in Berlin, Germany, on September 6.

The Galaxy Fold was announced in February this year. But the reviewers had a bad experience as it broke on usage.

Samsung had to delay the pre-orders and pull back the units.

Now, after long months of delay, the Galaxy Fold is back.

The issues; the fixes

The main problem the phone faced was with the folding screen.

Issue

The layer of film applied on the screen looked like a removable protective screen and, when the reviewers tried to remove it, they ended up destroying the screen.

Fix

Now, the layer is merged in the bezels.

Issue

There were gaps at the top and bottom where the screen folded, allowing foreign particles to enter.

This affected the screen by creating irregular bulges at the crease.

Fix

Plastic caps have been added at the top and bottom to close the gaps.

Issue

It had a prominent crease due to the metal and cushion layer beneath the folding area.

Fix

They have reinforced the screen by adding an extra layer of metal to the cushion.

Photograph: Kind courtesy Samsung.com

Display

The rest of the phone's design and hardware remains unchanged.

When the 2.47" wide x 6.33" height x 0.67" thick phone is unfolded, it transforms to a 4.64" wide x 6.33" height x 0.29" thick tablet.

The folding screen inside is a 7.3" QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED infinity flex display, with a resolution of 2152 x 1536.

When folded, the front is a 4.6" AMOLED display with a resolution of 720 x 1680.

The small front screen looks outdated and doesn't compliment the design as it has bigger bezels at the top and bottom.

And the crease remains. The company writes, 'You may notice a crease at the centre of the main screen, which is a natural characteristic of the screen.'

Camera

The Galaxy Fold has a total of six cameras, one 10MP in front for selfies when folded, with two 10MP for selfie + 8MP depth at the right top of the screen when unfolded.

At the rear is the three camera set-up -- a 16MP ultra wide with F2.2 aperture + 12MP wide with F1.5/2.4 dual aperture + 12MP Telephoto with F2.4.

IMAGE: The Galaxy Fold is seen on display during a media event in Seoul, South Korea, September 5, 2019. Photograph: Kim Do-gyun/Reuters

Hardware

The phone is powered by latest Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855, supported by 12GB of RAM memory and 512GB internal storage.

Sadly, it does not support a memory card slot for expansion.

The sound is generated through built-in stereo speakers, powered by Dolby Atmos.

The 3.5mm head jack is missing.

IMAGE: Another glimpse of the Galaxy Fold. Photograph: Kim Do-gyun/Reuters

Battery

The phone comes in two variants.

The LTE variant sports a 4380 mAh and the 5G variant has a 4235 mAh in-built battery.

Both variants support fast wired and wireless charging.

The LTE model supports one eSIM and one nano SIM, whereas the 5G only supports one nano SIM.

Verdict

I'm not a fan of folding phones. This is the nascent stage for such devices and I am sure the crease at the folding junction will prove distracting.

It is yet to be seen how the flex display withstands the opening and closing of the phone, though the company claims it has tested for 2,00,000 folds.

 

ASHISH NARSALE / Rediff.com
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