Sold the Fold: Samsung's innovative device has room for improvement

The Samsung Galaxy Fold is a great demonstration of our mobile future and has performed flawlessly for a couple of months. As winter approaches and I further evaluate my device needs, it was time to say goodbye and look ahead to the next generation Galaxy Fold.

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

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Samsung Galaxy Fold at Best Buy

The Galaxy Fold launches in the US and at Best Buy on Sept. 27. Buy it here.

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I have been thoroughly enjoying the Samsung Galaxy Fold, see my full review, but over the past couple of weeks, I kept having to swap the SIM into another phone for a few reasons. At $2,000, I couldn't justify keeping it around if it wasn't capable of full-time use, so I sold it via Twitter.

There are many reasons the Galaxy Fold can be an excellent daily driver for many people, but there are also some areas where compromises had to be made for today's folding technology. I may soon regret giving up the Fold. Here are a few reasons I decided to give someone else the opportunity to enjoy this future experience:

Also: One month with the Samsung Galaxy Fold: Productivity unfolded

  1. Dust/water resistance: I ride my bike to and from the train, stand in line for a few minutes, walk from the train to the office, run with my phones, and often use my phone in light rain here in Washington. I didn't want to risk the Fold in the rain, so I missed a few phone calls, messages, and left it behind when I ran. This is not a compromise I'm willing to make and one reason I always preferred using phones with water resistance or the ability to be enclosed in a rugged case.
  2. Camera usage: While the Fold has a 7.3-inch display that can be used as a large viewfinder, I found this a rather awkward experience and used the smaller outside display as the viewfinder. This experience wasn't that enjoyable, and I never grew comfortable using the Fold for photos or video despite the solid triple rear cameras. I prefer something like the Note 10 Plus or Apple iPhone 11 Pro.
  3. Limited utility of dual screen apps: While you can use three apps at once on the 7.3-inch display, having two stacked on the right is really a novelty. Even with an app open on either side in a dual-app setup, I rarely found much utility in this setup. The LG G8X with two full smartphone displays enhances productivity and is much more useful. I appreciate the capability, but 7.3 inches is still too small for serious work with two apps on one screen.
  4. Size and weight: One reason I keep going back to the small Apple iPhone 11 Pro is it's size and form factor. I can easily place it into my shorts or shirt pocket for use in any situation. I don't mind big heavy phones, but you have to think about what you are wearing and where you are going when using the Galaxy Fold. The closed-form is great for phone calls, and I found the outer screen very useful for quick tasks.

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

While I did let this Galaxy Fold go last week, I may not be able to hold out long and just might have to get another. Some of the reasons I might reconsider it include:

  1. Innovative design: Everyone that saw and held the Galaxy Fold in person was awed by its stunning design and gorgeous large inner display. The stainless steel hinge piece and flawless design are one of the best ever on any smartphone, and it is truly an amazing feat of engineering.
  2. Small tablet use: I enjoyed reading magazines and Kindle books, watching TV shows, and movies, and browsing the web on the large 7.3-inch display while commuting and traveling on airplanes. These experiences are definitely better with a large display and are compromised even on a 6.4-inch display of a large smartphone.
  3. Performance, RAM, and storage: It's nice to see a high-end phone launch with core specs that don't compromise. The Snapdragon 855 with 12GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage means that you can look beyond the specs when making a Galaxy Fold purchase.

Samsung did a great job improving the Fold in a few key areas, and I never saw any failure in the display after a couple of months of use without taking any particularly focused steps to provide extra care in handling. I look forward to seeing the evolution of the Fold, especially if Samsung is ever able to add S Pen support to make it my ultimate mobile device.