Galaxy Fold: A $2,000 smartphone becomes a reality, but is it worth the money?

I long thought that it would be an iPhone that first hit the $2,000 smartphone barrier. I'm a bit surprised that it ends up being a Samsung smartphone that folds in half.

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So it's not an Apple iPhone that's the first smartphone to hit the $2,000 barrier, but the Galaxy Fold -- Samsung's long-awaited foray into folding smartphones. And while it seems that no expense has been spared to make the Galaxy Fold, it doesn't feel like a surefire winner.

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From a tech specs point of view, the Galaxy Fold is quite a beast:

  • Display: 7.3-inch Infinity Flex Display, running at 1536 x 2152 resolution, with a 4.6-inch 840 x 1960 cover display
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 512GB of Universal Flash Storage 3.0 (eUFS)
  • Cameras: Six cameras (three rear-facing, one front-facing when folded, two front-facing when unfolded)
  • Batteries: Dual battery
  • Finishes: Cosmo Black, Space Silver, Martian Green, and Astro Blue

The starting price for the LTE version is an eye-watering $1,980 -- with the 5G version no doubt coming with an even stouter price tag.

Now I'm pretty certain that the Galaxy Fold -- which doesn't land until April 26 -- will cause some people to hold off from impulse buying one of the other models (the Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10e, and the Galaxy S10 Plus) just so they can see what the Galaxy Fold looks like.

Is any smartphone worth $2,000? 

I suppose at the end of the day that's down to what two grand means to someone and how people plan on using the smartphone. But the one advantage that the Galaxy Fold has over, say, an iPhone, is the gimmick of switching from a phone into a tablet (and a tablet can run three apps simultaneously at that). That's a pretty neat trick, and if Samsung can make it work smoothly and seamlessly, it could mean that the Galaxy Fold could not just be a smartphone, but also replace a tablet, or even a small laptop.

That could very well justify the price tag.

But.

Yes, there's always a but.

There's a lot to be wary of with the Galaxy Fold.

  • What's the performance like?
  • How reliable is that hinge?
  • How well does the screen put up with repeated folding?
  • How well can Samsung make pull everything together with the software? If this isn't smooth, then the folding screen is nothing more than a gimmick.
  • What will other vendors bring to market?
  • What will next year bring?

As interesting an idea as the Galaxy Fold is, the high price, combined with the experimental nature of both the hardware and software, makes it feel like quite a gamble.

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