Samsung Galaxy Fold Foldable Phone review: Show Off

The expensive, foldable smartphone of the future finally arrives

Samsung Galaxy Fold Foldable Phone review
Samsung Galaxy Fold Foldable Phone review

As the world’s first mainstream foldable smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Fold feels special – so I’m willing to make an exception.

By Fergus Halliday  

Ordinarily, I like to take at least a week – sometimes a little longer – using a smartphone as my daily-driver before penning a review. Give the device a little time to breathe and give myself some time to marinate in my thoughts about it. I meditate about the price. I play around with the key features. I think about the kind of person who would get the most out of any given product. 

Unfortunately, due to forces outside of my control, Samsung are only giving me about four days with the Fold. 

So I want to be upfront about this and afford you the proper context – because I’m going to try and write something close to a review anyway. I don’t know how long it’ll be before I have the chance to spend more hands-on time with this particular device and – given that it is already on-sale – I want to have some sort of buyer’s advice for it on the site.

I’m not super thrilled to work within these limitations but, at the same time, we’re heading into the holiday season and the Galaxy Fold is one of the most talked-about smartphones of the year. It’s the elephant in the room and a sneak peek of what the foldable future of computing could look like. 

However, much like this review, the Galaxy Fold ultimately is something of a work-in-progress.

Should I buy the Samsung Galaxy Fold (2019)?

The Fold doesn’t come across like a first draft but it feels far from a final one as well. 

It’s not the disaster the original Fold probably would have been, but with a superior second-generation effort less than twelve months away and Samsung’s reputation for depreciating devices, it’s difficult to recommend everyone go out of their way to throw down $3000 to buy this thing right this second. 

In fairness, the Fold might well surprise many skeptics but it feels like it’s just as likely to spurn early adopters expecting a main course rather than an appetizer. 

Foldable phones are probably going to get way better than this. The Fold is just the only one you can buy right now. Like I said in my initial hands-on of the device, it’s a problematic fave at best and your individual mileage here is going to vary based on what you actually use the Fold for. 

Sure, the redesigned Galaxy Fold does things that no other phone can do. And, yes, the high-end specs leave it standing tall as the best smartphone Samsung has released this year. But as with the Galaxy Note 10, you really do have to be in a situation where the additional flexibility and unique hardware capabilities of the Fold help justify the price. 

And assuming you can afford it, whether or not you should invest in the foldable revolution ahead of time is ultimately going to come down to whether or not you think a screen that folds is better than one that doesn’t. 

After only four days with it, I honestly can’t tell you which way I lean. I’m convinced that foldables have a future but I don’t know if I’m necessarily keen enough to recommend buying the first-gen product that the Fold ultimately is.

The Fold is innately compelling, truly innovative and impossibly expensive. 

Price when reviewed

In Australia, the Samsung Galaxy is available for as little as AU$2999. More

Fergus Halliday

PC World