Announced just before the Samsung Galaxy S10 last February, Samsung had surprised everyone with the presentation of the Samsung Galaxy Fold, the first smartphone of the Korean manufacturer with a foldable screen.
But even more surprising, Samsung had taken the opportunity to announce the availability of the Galaxy Fold at the end of April. For France, it arrives from this 03 May 2019. If its price of 2020 euros is not the most accessible, it is the price of innovation and to be able to perceive one of the possible future of the world of mobility !
We are among the lucky ones to have been able to take charge of it today. Yes, because as a reminder, if it was presented to some distributors under the mantle during the MWC 2019 last February, it was visible only under a bell while its direct competitor, the Huawei Mate X could be taken in hand from the Barcelona show. On the other hand, on the side of the Chinese manufacturer, if the effect of announcement was there, one remained more discreet on the availability of the product evoking the first semester of this year but in targeted markets! Still, on the side of Samsung, the Galaxy Fold will be available and we have had it in hand and test (which will arrive as soon as possible).
Packaging and Availability
There is packaging worthy of an object that is different from more conventional smartphones. The box is more imposing, which corresponds to this side more luxury / Premium that Samsung wants to put forward. This is also how Samsung wants to sell its Galaxy Fold which will be distributed in very small quantities, especially when compared to the quantities of Galaxy S10 for example.
Inside, there are some fairly traditional elements such as the smartphone of course, a USB-C cable, a quick charger, protective Kevlar shells and wireless headphones, the famous Galaxy Buds. The Samsung Galaxy Gold will be available on May 03, 2019 at the price of 2020 euros. If the versions Black Cosmos and Silver Star will be the versions available by default, the versions Astro Blue and Martian Green will be available exclusively on the Samsung site and with a delay of 3 weeks.
The Samsung Galaxy Fold offers two screens, a Super AMOLED exterior screen and Gorilla Glass 6 4.6 inches with HD + definition and a 21: 9 format. On the side of the main screen, it is obviously foldable and offers a screen Infinity Flex Dynamic AMOLED 7.3 inches with a definition of 2152 × 1536 and a format close to 3: 4.
And yes, the fold is beautiful is visible, especially when the content displayed is dark type. On the other hand, I prefer to reassure you, in the classic applications and when you are in front of your Fold, this is not seen and unlike Huawei's Mate X, we do not see the effect of mini-ripples on the 'screen.
Outside of this fold, the two screens seem really good and I will not be surprised that they are the same caliber as the latest Galaxy S and Galaxy Note. Maybe less bright but it's to check. And finally, you will have noticed, there is a kind of notch on the folding screen. Given the overall surface, it did not bother me more than that since the notifications information have enough room to display on the left of this notch.
For the sound side, there are stereo speakers but no jack. It is the end. I remind you that the Galaxy Fold is well delivered with Galaxy Buds headphones of good quality.
No Exynos version because of the quantities according to Samsung, the Galaxy Fold embeds a SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 7nm. In internal memory, if you can not find a Micro-SD port, the Fold offers 512GB with 12GB of RAM. We find the Bluetooth 5.0, WiFi 6, 4G LTE Cat.20 and a battery of 4380mAh with fast charging, wireless charging and energy sharing. For weight, the Galaxy Fold is 263g.
Needless to say, it's a beast of power and even with both screens, everything should run without any worries about the Galaxy Fold. Similarly for autonomy, the Fold should easily ensure a full day.
The Photo, always at the heart of the smartphone
The photo is of course one of the strong points of a Galaxy S smartphone and it is also on the Galaxy Fold since to make it simple, on the back, the Galaxy Fold takes the photo block Samsung Galaxy S10 and S10 +. For the photo block linked to the internal screen, we take the same photo block as the Galaxy S10 + on the front. The small novelty is the camera and more related to the external screen that takes the photo block of the Galaxy S10 in front of a 10 megapixel sensor with a wide-angle lens and an opening of F / 2.2.
As a reminder, with the Galaxy Fold, we find the super fast autofocus "Dual Pixel", but also the "Dual Aperture" on the main photo sensor. As a reminder, the main camera offers a wide angle lens (FOV 77 °) with a double aperture, F / 2.4 and F / 1.5. Simply put, when the brightness is above 100 lux, the Galaxy Fold will use the first aperture and when the brightness is below 100 lux, the Galaxy Fold will switch to the second aperture. And there, you will ask me why not have a single F / 1.5 aperture that is capable of doing F / 2.4 theory? Simply because with such small lenses, according to Samsung, this would increase the risk of aberrations and over-exposure.
Technically speaking, the Galaxy Fold offers a standard "Dual Aperture" camera with a 12 megapixel sensor and a new camera with an ultra wide angle (FOV 123 ° and F / 2.2) with a 16 megapixel sensor. There is finally a third camera on the back which is none other than a telephoto lens x2 (F / 2.4 and a 45 ° FOV) with a 12 megapixel sensor. On the front with the internal screen, you get a wide angle camera with a 10 megapixel sensor, a Dual Pixel Autofocus and UltraHD video recording, and a second camera with an 8 megapixel RGB sensor. an aperture of F / 1.9 that will be used primarily for Portrait mode and depth calculation.
Very personally, I have not yet taken a photo selfie with the Fold, if I can understand that we can take a selfie with Fold unfolded, I think I would have preferred with the opposite between the block photo foldable screen and the external screen. After, I'm not the super specialist selfies so good, in fact, it did not bother me in the end. Still, there is very little chance that there are big differences with the Galaxy S10. We will see with the tests but I do not get too much ideas on the subject.
For the design, it must be admitted that Samsung has very well deployed his score with a successful device and whose finish is fair to the price where it is positioned. Samsung knows it is not a mainstream product, it is for early adopters, technophiles. And from people to whom I could show the device, needless to say that fold or not, the Wow Effect was indeed there.
If the Galaxy Fold plays the map of fineness when it is unfolded (6.9mm), it remains thick once folded (17mm). I was expecting a larger space at the fold, but no, it is still relatively small but there is still a small space. We are still far from Royole Flexpai. The Galaxy Fold is not heavy in itself, especially if it is considered a tablet but once folded, it is not the lightest of the smarpthones. Moreover, on this subject, I prefer to consider the Galaxy Fold as a tablet that can be folded, rather than a smartphone that deploys.
But where Samsung has played well, it is by offering a closed design in length, which allows easy handling and easy to one hand. So, it is very well in hand and it will not slip from your hands like smartphones super thin but with XL screens. Moreover, it reminds me of the hinge that seems super solid and that's reassuring.
And finally the famous question about the outdoor foldable screen like the Huawei Mate X or the folding screen inside like the Galaxy Fold. Honestly, I do not know yet but in my opinion. On one side, the fold is more marked but the screen does not wave and it is protected and on the other side, it makes better but I'm not sure that the solution of Huawei is thought for everyday use and everything seems to me more fragile. To see when I have that of Huawei
Small note on the fingerprint sensor that is on the Bixby button … Why not but I would have seen more on the power button …
Android 9.0 Pie and One Ui
Like the Galaxy S10, we find the One UI overlay on Android 9.0. Nothing to report, it still works very well. We were more than happy on the Galaxy S10, we find this user experience that suits me perfectly.
I have not had time to discover the intricacy of the version dedicated to Fold but the multi-tasking resemble what can be on the tablets of the Korean manufacturer.
In fact, the experience is quite close to what Android stock offers and this although Samsung is still trying to impose certain technologies like his personal assistant Bixby … I still do not use … But as on the Galaxy S10, the Bixby button can be configured with any function except Google Assistant or Alexa … for sure.