Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. on Wednesday unveiled a nearly 2,000-U.S.-dollar folding smartphone, Samsung Galaxy Fold in a bid to break the innovation funk that has beset the smartphone market and reignite consumer interest in a massive consumer electronics category that had its worst sales ever last year.
The Samsung Galaxy Fold will go on sale for 1,980 U.S. dollars on April 26 and take advantage of new and faster 5G mobile networks. The device looks similar to a conventional smartphone, but then opens like a book to reveal a display the size of a small tablet at 7.3 inches (18.5 cm).
When fully unfolded, the device will be able to simultaneously run three different apps on the screen. The Samsung Galaxy Fold will also boast six cameras: three in the back, two on the inside and one on the front.
The device “answers skeptics who said that everything that could be done has been done,” DJ Koh, chief executive of Samsung Electronics, said at an event in San Francisco. “We are here to prove them wrong.”
With the foldable phone, Samsung is trying to take the technology lead on two fronts in the smartphone race: offering an eye-catching new feature with the big, bending screen and the first 5G connection in a premium phone, feature analysts do not expect Apple to match until 2020.
It also challenges the notion of what a phone can cost, debuting at nearly twice the price of current top-of-the-line models from Apple and Samsung itself.
Patrick Moorhead, founder of Moor Insights & Strategy, said the new folding device could help Samsung stay at the top and lure consumers to upgrade devices that have looked largely the same over the past five years.
“Samsung and Apple go back and forth” to lead the premium smartphone market, Moorhead said. “I think this is Samsung’s chance to take back the innovation crown.”
Samsung said it had developed new manufacturing processes for the phone’s hinge and flexible display to tolerate opening and closing hundreds of thousands of times.
Samsung Galaxy Fold: Specifications and features
As mentioned above, the Samsung Galaxy Fold comes with dual display. On the outside, you have a 4.6-inch HD+ Super AMOLED display with an aspect ratio of 21:9. The second is a 7.3-inch QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED display with an aspect ratio of 4.2:3. Samsung calls it the Infinity Flex display. Under the hood is a 7nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 octa-core SoC paired with 12GB of RAM and 512GB storage. Sadly, there is no microSD card slot for further expansion.
In the photography department, the smartphone comes with a total of 6 cameras. First, when the phone is folded, you have a 10-megapixel selfie snapper on the outside. At the back, you get a triple camera setup which includes a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens with dual aperture, the second is a 12-megapixel sensor with telephoto lens, and third is a 16-megapixel ultra wide angle sensor.
Now, when the smartphone is unfolded, there are two cameras inside, one is a 10-megapixel sensor, whereas the other is an 8-megapixel depth sensor, and this dual camera setup will come handy when clicking selfies or making video calls. To keep things ticking, the smartphone has two batteries, and a combined capacity of 4,380mAh. There is support for fast wired charging and wireless charging too.
Samsung Galaxy Fold: Price and availability
The Galaxy Fold is the company’s most premium smartphone and it does come with an expensive price tag. The smartphone is priced at $1,980 dollars, which roughly translates to Rs 141,500. It will go on sale starting April 26.