One month with the Samsung Galaxy Fold: Productivity unfolded

The display has been flawless, the outside display is used a lot, the battery goes all day with extensive use, and the device has received a security/camera update. There is a slight bit of movement in the closed position, but it continues to be my nearly perfect daily driver.

Samsung Galaxy Fold: Glimpse of the smartphone world beyond glass slabs The Samsung Galaxy Fold is a major step forward in smartphone innovation and contrasts with today's typical glass sandwiches. ZDNet's Matt Miller has had a chance to test out the phone himself, and although it may not be perfect, it's clearly improved over the Fold Samsung released in April. Read more: https://zd.net/331a0Ol

While I wrote in my full review that few should purchase this phone, it's honestly been my favorite device in years and if you think you will get value out of it then don't be afraid to pick one up. It remains my daily driver and my SIM stays inside it more than 95% of the time.

The only time I swap SIMs is when I want to take a phone on a run outside since the Galaxy Fold is big and has no water resistant rating. However, it has been with me around the US and to Europe, held by more than 100 people, traveled on plans, trains, ferries, cars, and more, opened and closed hundreds of times, and yet the display remains as perfect as the day I purchased the Galaxy Fold while my average phone usage has increased because of its ability to serve as both a fully functional phone and small tablet.

Also: Samsung Galaxy Fold review: Most innovative phone of 2019 nears Holy Grail of One Device

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Before I hunted down and purchased a Galaxy Fold, the Apple iPhone 11 Pro was my daily driver. That phone is fantastic and for the majority of people it remains the best smartphone currently available.

I've taken my SIM out of the Galaxy Fold a few times and tried going back to the iPhone 11 Pro, but I just can't do it for more than a couple of hours. I am used to having ready access to the large 7.3 inch display, fantastic cellular reception, and enhanced productivity provided by the Fold so my iPhone 11 Pro sits idle most of the time.

Last week at SDC 2019 in San Jose, we saw Samsung provide a glimpse of another form factor Fold so the future looks exciting. Based on my usage over the past month with the Galaxy Fold, I find it extremely compelling for the following reasons:

  1. Quick access to a 7.3 inch display: Even though I've been using my Galaxy Fold for more than a month, opening up the Fold to reveal the large display continues to amaze me daily. While on my commute or traveling for business, opening the Fold continues to get attention from fellow travelers. Also, as someone who is 50 with aging eyes, having easy access to such a display is simply glorious. My reading time for Amazon Kindle books and the Bible has increased thanks to the Galaxy Fold.
  2. Multi-tasking prowess: While you can have three apps in their own window, and several more opened up in pop-up windows, I've come to limit myself to using two apps side-by-side. More than these two and the windows are just too small to be very productive. I will slide the window split a bit to make one app larger than the next, but find myself using two apps about half the time.
  3. All-day battery life: I figured I would have to keep an eye on the battery since I use the large display so often, but even during long travel days with limited charging access I've been able to get through every single day since the Fold arrived without the battery dying.
  4. Side fingerprint sensor: I like FaceID on the iPhone 11 Pro and the radar on the Pixel 4 has potential. However, the side fingerprint sensor has proven reliable and fast for every application and I appreciate its simplicity and performance.
  5. RAM, storage, and performance: With 12GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage, the performance of the Fold has been flawless. I've been running dozens of apps, installing games and offline music, and more without compromise.
  6. Wireless PowerShare: Some of the latest Samsung phones have this capability, but it wasn't until I was traveling on business a couple of weeks ago that I saw it can be a vital function. I used the Galaxy Fold to charge up the Stryd power device and the iPhone 11 Pro when I realized I had no cables to charge up this gear.

Also: Six days with the Samsung Galaxy Fold: Is it really as fragile as Samsung warns?

The only thing I've noticed that is a bit of a concern is there is a bit of extremely small movement when you grasp the closed device and squeeze it in your hand. There is a bit of "play" in the hinge where the back and front panels meet along the spine. There is no movement when you open it up, but just a slight bit I notice in the closed position. We'll see how it holds up over time.

samsung-galaxy-fold-with-slickwraps.jpg

Max Weinbach helped answer some questions before I bought my Galaxy Fold and recently gave me some directions on how to clean up this Fold to remove the AT&T elements and turn it into an unlocked model. As a result, I now have the latest update that brought camera improvements and the October security update.

Even if you don't purchase the Samsung Galaxy Fold, I highly recommend you visit a Best Buy store to see one in person. You may not have good luck at an AT&T store, but you could try getting a look at one there too. It's an extremely capable phone that has impressed everyone I've shown it to and provides us all a look at the future of smartphones.