Samsung's Galaxy Fold Is The Fantastic Future Of Phone Design

By Robert Leedham
21 February 2019
Samsung

A foldable phone that puts the Samsung Galaxy S10 in the shade

The brand new Samsung Galaxy S10 is a creation of outrageous excess. It’s what happens when gadget design has reached its opulent zenith. At least it would be if Samsung hadn't also announced the Galaxy Fold.

Why the dramatic turn of events? Well, the Samsung Galaxy Fold is a phone that can fold in half and the Samsung Galaxy S10 is a phone that cannot. So even though the S10 comes with a triple lens camera, a lightning fast in-screen fingerprint scanner and the ability to wirelessly charge your other gadgets via its backside, it still doesn't fold in half. And that’s kind of a problem.

Samsung
Samsung Galaxy Fold

Now in fairness, level-headed folks will take one look at this phone and decline to partake in such extravagance. It doesn’t take a genius to see that a foldable phone which opens up like a book into tablet form is patently solving a problem that no one had in a first place.

The standard Galaxy S10’s screen is already a huge 6.1 inches in size. That’s plenty of real estate for all your Instagram, WhatsApp and Netflix-related dabbling. The ultra-deluxe 5G edition of the S10 has an even more enormous 6.7in screen. That’s pretty much tablet-sized. Until now, no one was looking for an even more immersive way to watch dog memes on their morning commute.

With the Galaxy Fold, Samsung is basically taking the John F Kennedy approach to phone design, “We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” Just as justifying tenuous technological advancement with the words of a former US President is clearly excessive, the same goes for lavishing a handset with a foldable screen. Smartphone innovation has plateaued for all but those who demand the new hot thing and a never-before-seen selling point.

Samsung
Samsung Galaxy S10

Chances are the phone you have right now with one camera, a button for a fingerprint scanner and a screen that neither folds nor has a pinhole for a selfie camera remains good enough. Having gotten hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy S10 a couple of days ago, I can tell you with some certainty it is an improvement on what you've got. This phone is sunning to behold, incredibly slick in use and features a load of refinements that make for a handset that’s very hard to fault on first impressions.

Compared to the Samsung Galaxy S that launched nine years ago, with its plastic shell and barely passable 5MP camera, the difference is night and day. Compared to the two year old Galaxy S8, which features the same metal and glass aesthetic and specs that still hold up, the change is nowhere near as noticeable. Just as Apple’s iPhone XS is almost the same as the previous iPhone X.

So if you are of sound mind and sold on a new Samsung this year, here’s what your choice actually looks like. You could opt for the Samsung Galaxy S10, a phone that’s better than what you’ve got but not that different. Or you could choose the Samsung Galaxy Fold, a phone that’s different to what you’ve got but not necessarily better. Especially when you bear in mind its eye-watering price tag of $1,980.

With Huawei and Motorola expected to release rivals to the Galaxy Fold in the coming months, we’ll soon see whether this foldable revolution has any legs. In the meantime, you can happily trundle on with the phone you’re likely holding right now. Your next upgrade is no longer essential, but Samsung is going all out to convince you otherwise. I can’t help but admire its ridiculous ambition.


Via British GQ