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Galaxy Fold Hands-On: The Folding Phone Is Back!

Galaxy Fold Hands-On: The Folding Phone Is Back!


– This video is sponsored by Qualcomm. My friends, back when I was
slingin’ phones at retail, almost every phone was a foldable, and you know what? I wish we’d never left them behind. A folding phone is just smart. It’s petite when you pocket it, full-sized when you flip it out, and it protects its important bits when you close it back up. The trouble is, in the smartphone world, no one’s been able to figure out how to give you the
benefits of a big screen with the portability of
a clamshell, until now. I’ve just spent two hours with
the Galaxy Fold from Samsung and it’s about to flip the
smartphone world inside out. (upbeat music) You can probably hear it in my voice, getting to hold this phone was one of the most exciting moments of my career covering mobile tech, reminiscent of the thrill I got previewing the Huawei Mate X a couple months ago. But, as intoxicating as
the Huawei phone was, it’s Samsung’s design that I think will ultimately win the
coming foldable wars. That’s because the Galaxy Fold in an innie instead of an outie. That means when closed, it
protects its big display instead of exposing it
to damage on the outside. That screen is one
continuous, flexible OLED that dominates almost the
entire interior surface with the exception of an offset notch in the upper right corner for the twin interior selfie cameras. Fold that big, flexible
panel back over itself, and you’ll find a much smaller touchscreen on the front outside cover. I’ve recently realized that versatility is one of the most important
features to me in a phone and the most potent illustration of the Galaxy Fold’s
versatility is right here, that big 7.3 inch tablet on one side and the small 4.6 inch phone on the other, it’s the same device. If you’re sweating the big
bezels on the smaller screen, I sympathize, it’s kinda goofy looking, but as someone who’s used a lot of clamshell phones back in the day, I gotta say that kinda misses the point. This screen is for the quick-hit tasks, when you’ve only got one hand free. You’re not gonna spend
a lot of time out here. When you have a second
to sit down and unfold, you can take whatever
you’re doing up front and spread it out across that main canvas. In fact, there’s so much screen area here, compared to a normal phone, that you can run three
apps alongside one another, if you want to. Then, when you’re done,
you fold it back up and stick it in your pocket, like it’s a much smaller
phone because now it is. Samsung had to make sacrifices to fit everything into
the Fold’s form factor. The bezels I mentioned a moment ago, the thickness of the design when closed, the lack of a headphone
jack or microSD card or waterproofing, all standard
on recent Samsung flagships. But it’s also noteworthy what
Samsung didn’t sacrifice. There are three main
cameras on this phone, the same wide, ultra-wide,
and telephoto array that I loved on the Galaxy S10+, that’s in addition to those
dual selfie shooters inside and a sixth camera for the
cover, also for selfies. There’s wireless charging on board, as well as reverse wireless charging to gas up your Galaxy Buds or Watch. And there’s enough horse
power under the hood to satisfy power users across everything, from phone mode to tablet mode, to yes, PC mode with Samsung DeX. I’m sure all three of
you DeX users out there will appreciate that. Okay, so, ready to come
back down to Earth? Yeah, the Galaxy Fold also costs a staggering amount of money, so let’s take a step back and take stock of the shortcomings
you’ll have to live with if you smash the piggy bank. With a power pack barely bigger than what’s in the Galaxy S10+
and a much larger display, battery life is a concern for me. You probably won’t be able
to charge it as quickly as you can some newer phones either, thanks to the older Quick Charge tech. The strange aspect
ratio of the main screen isn’t great for watching
widescreen videos. Then, there’s the mechanical
reality of the display. Samsung rates it good
for 200,000 open/closes, which it says should be good
for five years of usage, but if you expect this to be
the perfectly smooth glass of your current smartphone
screen, think again. Just as I saw on the Huawei phone, there are imperfections and
yeah, there’s a crease here. And given the various foldable prototypes I’ve seen over the past few months, it seems clear those creases are something modern engineering just
can’t yet iron out. Most concerning of all is a kind of broader platform question, when was the last time you saw an Android tablet get rave reviews? They’re almost universally
regarded as not that great, and an Android tablet
is kinda what you get when you open this thing. I mean, I’m gonna have
to try hundreds of apps in my review to satisfy my
concerns about scaling issues and compatibility with
this screen shape and size. For most people, conventional smartphones will continue to be the more practical, less expensive choice for awhile yet. But I do think the Galaxy Fold is the future of smartphones, or at least the first example of what I think they’ll become because look, it just
makes so much more sense to have a phone that can
be this or this on demand, instead of a phone that
will always be this. Even more details in a moment,
my friends, but first, price. The Galaxy Fold costs a
Jackson short of $2000. It’s on presale today
for AT&T and T-Mobile with a shelf date of April 26th and a special offer of free
Galaxy Buds and a free case. And well, I know I usually say that I can’t wait to use a
device in the real world, I have never meant it more than now. Please, subscribe theMrMobile on YouTube, so you don’t miss my videos documenting life on foldable phones and
stay tuned after the break for some off-the-cuff impressions that didn’t make it into
the script ahead of time. This video is sponsored by Qualcomm. The Qualcomm Snapdragon
855 mobile platform features a fourth generation AI engine with dedicated AI acceleration for echo cancellation
and noise suppression. What’s that mean? Well, it should make it much easier to talk to your smartphone’s
voice assistant, no matter what’s going on around you. You’ll also see accessories improve, wireless earbuds should
work together better and last longer on a charge and you’ll have less audio latency, so you can do things like play games or watch videos without
a delay in your sound. As someone who’s always
wanted to edit videos without relying on a wired connection, I say bring it on. The absolute number one that everyone is gonna be asking about is
the crease, of course. Yes, you can see it. Yes, you can feel it. As I said in the VO, it
just seems like something we can’t engineer out right now. As you’re scrolling horizontally, say, yeah, you feel a little
bit of a gutter there. Only time will tell whether
that starts to annoy me or not. This caption just sorta runs off the edge of the screen here because in order to read that caption, it turns out we have to open the phone and then, once again,
we have to go back down and find our spot. Now we understand what
Dave was trying to say. Early software. See how that speaker is? Good call there, bud. (Star Trek episode playing on phone) Oh, man. We got audio here, we
got audio here, nice. Alright P-Touch, you got a spoiler alert. Another thing that actually
surprised me quite a bit was that the fingerprint
sensor is integrated not into the power button, which is right up here on the side, but into the Bixby button, which is where your thumb rests. I don’t have an objection to that, I’m going to ask why the power button is not the fingerprint sensor button. We’ve dealt with this
before, we’ll figure it out. You know what this reminds me of? The BL40 from LG mixed with the LG Envy. Both of those released before
you were born, young man. (laughs) Haven’t gotten enough? If you want another take
on the Samsung Galaxy Fold, Android Central has a hands
on going up alongside mine, so check it out at the
link in the description and folks, I’m eager to
talk about this phone. Hit me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, anywhere you can find theMrMobile handle and hit me with the
questions I didn’t get to in this hands on. Until next time, thanks for watching, and stay mobile, my friends.

55 thoughts on “Galaxy Fold Hands-On: The Folding Phone Is Back!”

  1. This is only first gen. I'm sure in no time those bezels will he nearly gone. I'm very impressed with this and 20 year old me would have bought this on day 1 but I'm old now and I got kids and shit. I cant justify spending that much… unless somebody makes a dock that also makes this thing power a laptop. Then we in there.

  2. I'm not trolling, I like this phone and agree this is the future, plus I also think the few that broke out in the wild are exceptions because even my S10 I'm sure had ones that broke in the wild but that isn't news. Everything that's manufactured has a few duds in comparison to what works. Just wondering your view?

  3. I love your point that the outer screen is for one-handed use, thus the small size and UI. The problem is, I don't think anyone believes that's the thinking behind those bezels.

  4. Oh hey! He's wearing the H&M jacket! I have the same one, I think I got it back in 2008. Did they make a new version or did you just kept it in good condition?

  5. Compared to an incremental upgrade, single screen phone with a notch like iPhone XS Max (512GB) costs almost $1,500, the Fold is definitely worth the price and cheap from technology (512 GB storage, three screens, etc,), usability, and novelty perspective.

  6. Why is everyone so hyped up for a Samsung hybrid device when android is notoriously awful on tablets? Hard pass bro. I can’t be the only one that thinks this device looks awful. It looks rushed and unfinished. The tech is cool as hell but it juts isn’t ready

  7. With the thick bezels and the small screen on front fold, why can’t that just be the selfie camera? Why is the cut out camera necessary on the inside. That could simply be one total screen.

  8. Less than impressive design. I can see so many lazy design ideas here and i see people looking back in a few year and asking themselves "what was samsung thinking?"

  9. They should of put the camera on the front and got rid of the selfie camera. I am waiting for the note 10, can't live without a sdcard and can't stand that notch it would drive me crazy.

  10. I have absolutely no interest in a foldable phone. Reminds me of the 3D TV hype we had 10 years ago that they tried to push on us

  11. theres still some shit they can fix other than why they recalled it.
    especially for that price tag. it better be worth it.

  12. Oh that notch in the phone is nothing now, it has to be there for the front facing camera, when Apple did it it was a major problem, I wonder why?

  13. if these motherfuckers think I'm going to spend 2 fucking thousand dollars on a phone they are out of their mind

    I mean it's cool as hell but imagine how much avocado toast and lattes I could buy with that money instead!

    I think a more promising design is the one with the screen that wraps around the outside of the phone. The screen doesn't have as much protection but the crease is far more subtle and is probably less prone to failure

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