The first mainstream foldable phone is being put on the market five months after it faced reliability setbacks and a recall.

By Ian Horswill

Posted on July 26, 2019

The “select markets” that Samsung has announced will retail the relaunched Galaxy Fold smartphone from September are almost certainly India, the US, UK, France and Germany as these are the only countries where it is still being tested.

The Samsung Galaxy Fold is clearly for the luxury end of the smartphone market with its retail price US$1,980.

“Galaxy Fold completely reimagines the smartphone, changing the way you interact, communicate and experience everyday life,” Samsung said in a statement.

“Precisely refined, slender and encased in luxuriously finished materials, Galaxy Fold lets you totally immerse yourself in whatever you need, wherever you are, in the palm of your hand. Access your essentials on the cover display while holding Galaxy Fold comfortably in one hand, and open it up to use multiple apps at once. Now, with Galaxy Fold, you can review charts while talking on a video call, and search information, all at once.”

The first mainstream foldable phone is being put on the market five months after it faced reliability setbacks and a recall before it was sold.

Galaxy Fold is to be released in September, but there is no specific date yet. That month will also see the three new versions of Apple’s iPhone 11 hit stores, so Samsung is going to have a hard time getting much attention. September also marks the release of the Huawei Mate X foldable smartphone. Mate X can transform from a 6.6-inch and 6.38-inch phone into a full 8-inch Android tablet.

Samsung said it has been working at improving the Galaxy Fold, which has a 4.6-inch screen on the outside and a bendable 7.3-inch screen on the inside. Those improvements are:

  • The top protective layer of the Infinity Flex Display has been extended beyond the bezel, making it apparent that it is an integral part of the display structure and not meant to be removed.
  • Galaxy Fold features additional reinforcements to better protect the device from external particles while maintaining its signature foldable experience.
  • The top and bottom of the hinge area have been strengthened with newly added protection caps.
  • Additional metal layers underneath the Infinity Flex Display have been included to reinforce the protection of the display.
  • The space between the hinge and body of Galaxy Fold has been reduced.

At its annual Google I/O conference on 7 May, Google’s Senior Android Director, Stephanie Saad Cuthbertson, said foldable phones “open up a complete new category which, though early, might just change the future of mobile computing.”

As the world’s largest phone maker and the first major brand to announce a foldable phone, Samsung’s reputation is at risk with the Galaxy Fold, especially after its disastrous unveiling on 20 February. Foldable phones represent a new type of device that’s meant to maximise screen size without expanding the overall size of the device.