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REVIEW: Is Galaxy Fold worth it? Find out what we think of the Samsung folding

We analyzed the Galaxy Fold, Samsung's foldable smartphone that recently arrived in Brazil recently

O Galaxy Fold it was Samsung's most daring experience in 2019. Launched almost a year ago, along with the Galaxy S10 line on the Galaxy line?s 10-year anniversary, the manufacturer started with it the ?era of foldable smartphones? with a promising concept.

The arrival of Fold ushered in what many call ?Future of smartphones?, since the model is the best example, so far, of a junction between smartphone and tablet, which pleases mainly those looking for productivity. THE Samsung included new features and a system adapted very welcome both to work, as multiple apps, and to enjoy your favorite movies and series.

Galaxy Fold a mix between smartphone and tabletGalaxy Fold a mix between smartphone and tablet

However, innovative technology has a price – and not the most affordable – which can make the Galaxy Fold a distant dream for many people.

With the recent launch in Brazil, about 11 months after the announcement, we will try to answer in this analysis whether it is worth investing about R $ 12,999 in the first commercially launched foldable smartphone in Brazil, or if the best choice awaits the second generation of the line, to arrive next February 11th.

Troubled start

THE Samsung was the first multinational to announce a smartphone with a foldable screen, but being the pioneer always comes with great risks. Even though it was announced in February 2019, the final version of the Galaxy Fold s arrived on the market on September 27, five months after the initial launch date, which was April 26.

Defective Galaxy Fold unit (Photo: Reproduction)Defective Galaxy Fold unit (Photo: Reproduction)

These five months served for the Samsung to correct the construction problems that occurred with the first units sent to specialized vehicles. In short, these units had a protective layer attached to the top of the screen, which journalists believed was removable. When the film on the screen was removed, the devices stopped working. It was also reported at the time that the upper and lower parts of the hinge had considerable space, which facilitated the entry of daily dust and particles.

After solving problems, the Galaxy Fold it was only available in selected markets, where it accumulated between 400 and 500 thousand units sold in just over three months, according to Koh Dong-jin, CEO of Samsung, during an interview at CES 2020. The result can be seen with acceptance, since the folding has a very salty price (US $ 1,980, about R $ 8,240 in direct conversion).

After the problems, the Galaxy Fold was well received by the public (Photo: Deposit Photos)After the problems, the Galaxy Fold was well received by the public (Photo: Deposit Photos)

Foldable design

Right away Galaxy Fold draws attention for its construction. When folded, the smartphone has a thicker shape compared to other high-end models, with 15.5mm thickness. Its 263 grams are visible in any pocket, but neither bother. The front and rear parts are made of glass (model not specified), with aluminum sides.

The front panel of the Galaxy Fold hides a 4.6-inch external screen that you will use it when not in tablet mode. The edges are extremely large and the screen size may appear too small for the current standard.

Fold's external screen is 4.6 inchesFold's external screen is 4.6 inches

Opening the smartphone, in book format, reveals a 7.3 inch plastic folding screen made. Call of Infinity Flex Display through the Samsung, the screen has a highly resistant layer of pollimide that replaces the glass.

The solution has its pros and cons: because it is sturdy, the construction allows the screen to be folded numerous times without showing any defect – including, several tests were performed folding the Galaxy Fold thousands of times. However, scratch-sensitive plastic is the last thing you want to scratch.

While the internal screen is a little fragile, the hinge is quite resistant. According to Samsung, the folding mechanism has a 20-part double-axis lock that prevents the screen from exceeding 180 degrees. We open and close the Galaxy Fold several times, and at no time does it appear that it can accidentally open, thanks to a magnetic click made close.

Mechanism allows to fold thousands of times without problemsMechanism allows to fold thousands of times without problems

Regarding the inputs of the Galaxy Fold, there is only one USB-C 3.1 port for charging and transferring data and Dual SIM. Unfortunately, the Samsung removed the 3.5mm headphone jack, which is not a problem since a Galaxy Buds In the box.

The fingerprint reader is also in an unusual position: instead of the rear or the screen, the manufacturer chose the sides. We already said that we barely use it, although it is accurate and fast.

In general, the handling during our tests was surprising, because both folded and unfolded it is possible to access all ends of the smartphone with ease, besides that, even with the slippery rear window, its weight does not let it slide so easily between the hands. O Galaxy Fold it comes with a kevlar cape to protect it from falling, but it gets stuck magnetically, which ends up being crooked.

Two screens

Greater differential Galaxy Fold, the internal screen just perfect for viewing content, watching movies, series and playing games. Despite not having a widescreen format, 4.2: 3 is ideal to offer a broader view and allows the use of the system's multimedia resources.

The 7.3 inches have a resolution of 1536 x 2152 pixels and Dynamic AMOLED technology, which offers vivid colors and deep blacks, which are characteristic of the smartphones of Samsung. In addition, there is support for the HDR10 + standard, which increases the contrast ratio on any supported content and also enhances brightness outdoors.

Dynamic AMOLED display has vivid colors and deep blacksDynamic AMOLED display has vivid colors and deep blacks

A detail that is uncomfortable in the beginning but that the crease visible in any content is used most of the time. The Galaxy Fold it doesn?t escape the notch, but it is on the upper right and the system adapts to most apps and games.

Fold internal screen made of plastic that is sensitive to scratchesFold internal screen made of plastic that is sensitive to scratches

Regarding the external screen, the difference in quality in the visualization is noticeable, since the resolution becomes only HD +. However, Super AMOLED quality on a considerably smaller screen is generally good. But the truth is this: you will not see content with the small screen.

External display inferior to the internal one, but presents good colors for the sizeExternal display inferior to the internal one, but presents good colors for the size

One adapted UI

Not only did the hardware undergo a complete restructuring, but the software also needed to adapt to offer the best folding screen experience on the market. Galaxy Fold. Factory shipped with the Android 9.0 Pie system, the smartphone runs a modified One UI interface to take full advantage of the big screen.

The first novelty to note is the transition between the internal and external screens, Samsung call of Continuity App, which adapts any app to the big screen and vice versa. For example, if you are using the Google Maps on the small screen and need more viewing area, just open the Galaxy Fold for the map to expand before your eyes. The reverse is also possible, but it is necessary to mark compatible apps in advance.

Example of the Continuity App (Play: Samsung)(Photo: Reproduction)

Another novelty Multi-Active Window, where it is possible to have up to three simultaneous applications on the 7.3 inch screen. It is worth mentioning that yes, an adaptation of that of the multitasking feature is very welcome, since there is more viewing space, but make no mistake: a little cramped.

Fold Multitasking ExampleFold Multitasking Example

During the launch of the Galaxy Fold, a Samsung announced partnerships with Google and some game developers to adapt their tools and games to the 4.2: 3 screen of the smartphone. Although apps on the Google and games like Asphault 9 compatible, games like Pokmon GO and Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Links they have menus that are too enlarged or taken up by notch, which makes gambling difficult.

Top of the line performance

Top-of-the-line Snapdragon 855 chipsetTop-of-the-line Snapdragon 855 chipset

A point that the Galaxy Fold can disappoint with regards to performance. In what it is bad – in fact, one of the most powerful smartphones on the market – but it offers a set theoretically outdated compared to competitors in the second half of 2019 and 2020. It equipped with the processor Snapdragon 855, present on the line Galaxy S10,

Due to the delayed launch of the Galaxy Fold, the choice to keep the processor at the end of 2018 didn't make much sense, as an updated version of the chipset, the Snapdragon 855 Plus, was launched by Qualcomm in July 2019. The update brought performance improvements, a focus on games and artificial intelligence.

Even so, the configurations of the Galaxy Fold they are stout, including the 12GB of RAM, more than excellent to keep several apps open at the same time, in addition to allowing greater fluidity in games and augmented and virtual reality applications.

There is also 512GB of internal universal flash storage, allowing system data to be read fluidly and extremely quickly. Unfortunately, there is no expansion slot, which would be very welcome due to the smartphone's high price, but during our use we didn't even use half the capacity.

Multiple cameras

Galaxy Fold set the same as the Galaxy S10 PlusGalaxy Fold set the same as the Galaxy S10 Plus

In all, the Samsung included six cameras in the Galaxy Fold: a front camera when folded, 10MP and f / 2.2 wide aperture; two internal cameras, 10MP (f / 2.2 wide) and 8MP (f / 1.9 wide); and three rear cameras, the same set as the Galaxy S10 +, that is, the main one has 12MP with hybrid aperture at f / 1.5-2.4, the secondary one also has 12MP with telephoto lens and f / 2.4 aperture with 2x optical zoom, closing with the third one with 16MP with ultra wide-angle lens. and f / 2.2 aperture.

The overall quality of the images impresses with the details. Landscape photos have a very present contrast and the shadows are preserved to the maximum. In addition, the main sensor does not burst the images and Dual Pixel technology allows more light to enter each record. This mainly benefits photos in more challenging environments, reducing noise and increasing sharpness.

The telephoto lens, in turn, does not bring the same quality as the Galaxy Note 10 Plus, but the blur is very well done and there is the possibility to change how much blur you want even after the click. Theoretically the weakest of the three, the ultra-wide-angle lens does not disappoint in photographing family photos, but it can sin in darker environments.

In relation to the front panel's front camera, the Galaxy Fold receives the same configuration as Galaxy Note 10, only does not bring the possibility of recording live videos. Good quality in both normal and Live Focus mode. The internal cameras have depth detection and it is possible to take live selfies with filters, such as the black and white color point selective mode.)

Our final verdict on the six cameras in the Galaxy Fold : for a smartphone from the beginning of 2019, it is excellent, but it is well below other newer models on the market, such as the Google Pixel 4XL it's the iPhone 11 Pro.

Long-lasting battery

With two screens – one the size of a tablet -, powerful hardware and software focused on multitasking, the autonomy of the Galaxy Fold it couldn't be a small thing. And no. In fact, the smartphone brings two modules, which combined from the 4,380mAh. In numbers, there are models on the market with only one screen and better battery, but in practice the Galaxy Fold proved to be very warrior, withstanding, on average, more than a day and a half, depending on the use.

Working at home, with Wi-Fi on all the time and 100% brightness, we got a full day of use in internet browsing, videos on YouTube, multiple open apps and a few games at one time or another. Loading the Galaxy Fold among the fastest on the market, however, with 15W of power – same as the Galaxy S10. That is, even if you have a 45W charger from Note 10, the foldable smartphone will not be compatible.

Final considerations

O Galaxy Fold it was, without a doubt, the most innovative smartphone of 2019. And this means that the new generation, which will be presented next February 11th, is awaited with great expectation.

It is a true productivity machine, perfect for those looking to work away from home, making multitasking life easier with its large screen. Joining smartphone and tablet in one product, the Fold breaks the traditional barrier and renews the mobile device market. But, like any innovation that breaks with status quo, the initial costs are quite high.

Even with all its qualities, the exorbitant price of Fold practiced in Brazil, which reaches almost 13 thousand reais, will certainly limit the number of interested parties. The purchase decision must weigh a lot here, separating those who prefer models with better cost-benefit from those who seek to adopt the most innovative technologies, whatever their price.

And you, what did you think of Galaxy Fold? Would you invest about R $ 13,000 in a foldable smartphone? Leave it in the comments.

Galaxy Fold technical specifications

SpecificationsGalaxy Fold
Dimensions and weightUnfolded: 160.9 x 117.9 x 6.9 mmFolded: 160.9 x 62.9 x 15.5 mm
BuildFront panel: glassBack panel: glassInterior part: plasticLateral: Aluminum
ChipDual SIM
DisplayExternal screen: 4.6 ?HD + Super AMOLED

Internal screen: 7.3 ?1536 x 2152 Dynamic AMOLEDHDR10 +, 362ppi

AndroidAndroid 9.0 Pie
InterfaceOne adapted UI
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 855 octa-core

Adreno 640 GPU

Memory and storage12GB + 512GB UFS 3.0
Micro SD slotAt the
CamerasRear: 12 MP, f / 1.5-2.4, 27mm (wide) 12 MP, f / 2.4, 52mm (telephoto) 16 MP, f / 2.2, 12mm (ultrawide)

Internal: 10 MP, f / 2.2, 26mm (wide) 8 MP, f / 1.9, 24mm (wide)

Front: 10 MP, f / 2.2, 26mm (wide)

Recording: (email protected), (email protected), gyro-EIS

Sound2 stereo speakersNo 3.5mm jackDolby AtmosGalaxy Buds in the box
ConnectivityWi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac / ax Dual BandBluetooth 5.0GPSNFCUSB-C 3.1
Drums4.380mAhFast 15W Charging 15W Wireless Charging 9W Reverse Charging
PriceR $ 12,999

Is Galaxy Fold worth it? Find out what we think of the Samsung folding
  • Construction – 9.5 / 10
  • Design – 10/10
  • Screens – 9/10
  • Hardware and performance – 9/10
  • Cameras – 8.5 / 10
  • Drums – 9.5 / 10
  • Sound – 9/10

9.2 / 10

Final considerations and pros and cons

The Galaxy Fold is Samsung's foldable smartphone that turns into a tablet when unfolded. It features powerful configurations, six cameras and a very good multitasking experience

Pros

  • Robust and elegant construction;
  • Impressive folding design;
  • Excellent internal screen for viewing content;
  • Powerful hardware;
  • Cameras similar to the Galaxy S10 +;
  • Long-lasting battery;
  • Software adapted for multitasking.

Cons

  • Internal scratch-sensitive screen;
  • Poorly designed magnetic kevlar cover;
  • Lower hardware compared to competitors;
  • Cameras are good, but inferior to competitors;
  • Front panel has large edges;
  • Price can scare.