Samsung's Galaxy Fold will be here in just a few short days, and leading up to that, Samsung gave a few outlets the opportunity to go hands-on with the device for the very first time leading up to its release on April 26.
The Galaxy Fold is the first foldable phone to launch in the U.S., meaning it'll be the first device of its kind on the market. There's been some concern surrounding the phone's durability and how well it'll be able to hold up in day-to-day use, but those concerns have been quickly put to rest.
Per CNET's Jessica Dolcourt:
As I said before, the phone feels solid and surprisingly premium. The opening and closing mechanism is smooth, thanks to a large hinge on the side, and that makes the width of the phone's "wings" narrow.
Geoffry Fowler from The Washington Post was also impressed with the build quality, saying:
We were both impressed with the engineering. The Fold feels more solid and responsive than you'd expect from a first-generation device. It does things we've not seen before, such as make a hinge disappear inside a screen, thanks to an interlocking set of gears you might expect to see on a German car.
The Galaxy Fold would likely be DOA for a lot of people if it didn't look and feel absolutely fantastic thanks to its nearly $2000 price tag, so it's reassuring to hear that everyone seems to agree that Samsung nailed the Fold's build quality.
In order to get a device of this form factor, however, there are a couple of compromises that need to be made — one of which is the Galaxy's Fold's thickness. Laying on its back, it's essentially the same width as two normal phones stacked on top of each other. That may sound like a usability nightmare, but Fowler reassures us that it's not the end of the world:
The Fold is about as thick as a stack of two smartphones, or two-thirds of an inch. I ran around stuffing it in a variety of pants, jackets and even tunics — and it wasn't as bulky as I had worried. You just might want to avoid putting it in skinny jeans.....Instead of the first pocket-friendly tablet, perhaps the Fold is more like the first Fannie-pack friendly tablet.
Another compromise that's just going to be a reality of using the Galaxy Fold is the crease. This is the interruption in the middle of the inner display where the screen folds while it's closed. The general consensus seems to be that, while it is noticeable, it's something you'll learn to live with as time goes on.
Per Dieter Bohn from The Verge:
You can see the crease from an angle, but it mostly disappears when you are looking at it head-on. You can also feel the crease, which is a little disconcerting. But you get over it.
CNET also shared similar impressions:
Yes, there's a crease, but so far a little one. When I press down on the 7.3-inch screen when the Fold is opened, I can feel the hinge mechanism underneath, but I don't really notice if I'm swiping lightly.
While these impressions are nice to have seeing as how this is the first time Samsung's let anyone outside of the company use the Fold, it seems like a lot of questions won't be answerable until we're able to use the phone as a daily driver.
With the Galaxy Fold's launch date of April 26 looming closer and closer with each day that passes, at least our waiting will soon be over.
- Samsung Galaxy Fold: Everything you need to know!
- Samsung Galaxy Fold Hands on Impressions – a 'foldable' tablet in your pocket!