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Samsung’s Foldable Phone Is the $1,980 Galaxy Fold (theverge.com)
179 points by Tomte 64 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 191 comments

Tangentially, it's interesting to see how Samsung's reveal video (at the top of the article) [1] is so uncannily similar to what Microsoft came up with a few years ago for the Surface Studio [2], right down to the music selection. Something about technology killing creativity, perhaps? /s

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7r_UgNcJtzQ

[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifZXp2geVKI (apologies that this isn't a link to an official source; Microsoft doesn't seem to have it online anymore)

It could very well be possible that the same creative agency that creates promotional videos for Microsoft does it for Samsung. That could explain the similarity.

They are notorious for copying Apple in many ways too

actually it's more like the first iphone reveal.

Simply magical.

While I won't be an early adopter for this, I think the concept is great.

The things I'll be watching out for if this takes off:

1) How does the screen holdup in daily use? Does the Infinity Flex Display get work out or glitchy at the hinge after 10,000 folds?

2) Will the device get thinner? This is currently the size of two phones stacked on top of each other. I can't imagine carrying that in my pocket long-term.

3) What's it like to actually use? Is it comfortable to hold when fully opened?

Other than that, I could see this being pretty awesome, personally.

If IKEA can build a machine that repeatedly flexes their chairs until failure, I'm forced to believe that Samsung can build a machine that repeatedly flexes their screen. Surely that's not going to be the failure mode, it's more likely to be grit in the mechanism or fragility after dropping.

You would have expected Apple to test its keyboard designs in the same way - we know how that turned out.

Ironically - if that's the word - I think a larger laptop format device with a tactile folding hinged screen would be more interesting than this enormo-phone.

This device will probably sell moderately in the nouveau Asian markets, but I doubt it's going to be a storming success, or the template for the next generation of devices.

Fun story for you on that:

I applied numerous time for their Failure Analysis Engineer, Reliability Engineer, and other similar positions but repeatedly got rejected (or simply ignored by their ATS, I don’t play that keyword game very well).

My professional career in Materials Science and Materials Engineering has had a large focus on reliability testing and failure analysis. In parallel with inventing new technologies or pioneering research projects I have had to rigorously test and verify the robustness of the products. To put it plainly: the position descriptions were me. I had a bit more experience and qualifications but not so much that I was “over qualified”.

When I see some of the things that get through their engineers, I scratch my head and wonder what’s going on internally. Is there a lack of empowerment? Are those positions more or less for show and, while filled with legitimate engineers, not really leveraged as they should be?

At any of the places I’ve worked stuff that Apple has let slip through would have never flown.

The iPhone 5S compass/accelerometer issue (those of you who had it know, it was a bummer) and solving that by replacing the phone with another faulty one? The 2010-MacBook Pro discrete and integrated GPU switching failure? Right now I’m sitting in front of a 2017 MBP that has been used as a stationary desktop and babied with a keyboard cover and much TLC that has strange screen artifacts that seem to indicate that it was pinched or there’s adhesive in those regions while the rest of the screen is trying to pull away? Whatever it is has been there since I got it and I didn’t realize it wasn’t suppose to be that way until recently.

I stopped applying to Apple because nothing was coming of it and the thought of working for a company that claims to be detail oriented but let’s that stuff slip through was enough to put me off.

What’s inspiring though is that it gives their competitors and easy way to jump on the market. I’ve seen plenty new students choose Surface Books or Pro’s over Apple computers or tablets.

There’s a point where companies forget to continue earning their success.

I expect the foldable phone technologies have gone through considerable cyclic testing. That doesn’t mean that some manufactured ones won’t be flawed and that also doesn’t mean that people won’t be doing normal consumer things that cause failure sooner, but it’s likely these won’t be too bad.

> I’m sitting in front of a 2017 MBP that has been used as a stationary desktop and babied with a keyboard cover and much TLC that has strange screen artifacts that seem to indicate that it was pinched


That’s ironic. A product intended to solve one major fault in the laptop caused another one.

Mystery solved. Thanks.

I am really intrigued when people claim that more students are buying Surfae books than MBPs. Where are those students? Do you have any statistics to back that up or it’s just “anecdata”? If it’s latter then I can add mine here. I have been teaching in 5 countries in 3 continents over the past several years and I teach subjects that require coding. I have to go around the class helping students out on their laptops. I have so far seen only 4-5 Surface laptops. On the other hand the number of students using macs ranges from 5% to 80% depending on the type of the class (undergrad, full time masters, executive masters, PhD) and the country. That has remained steady.

> On the other hand the number of students using macs ranges from 5% to 80% depending on the type of the class (undergrad, full time masters, executive masters, PhD) and the country

Did you see a trend with the type of class, did the PhD classes have a Different distribution or was it other factors that affected it

I see most PhD students in business management with Windows computers. There Macs have 5%-10% incidence rate in my experience. I work with a few CS profs and their students and all the profs use Macs and their students use either Windows or Linux (I think) machines :) I spoke with two of them who use new MBPs before buying mine and they strongly recommended buying it.

In some executive teaching in Europe I have seen people using mostly Macs. It could be because of the industry where they came from. Among the masters students in France, about 50%-60% had Macs.

The caveat remains: This is "anecdata"

Anyone in a business-focused program will suffer with a Mac as Excel for Mac is very much a second-class citizen. Forget not having PowerPivot and PowerBI, the lack of keyboard shortcuts alone will slow your work to a crawl.

Not a very interesting story, just you complaining about how Apple passed on you with a healthy dose of sour grapes. I know a couple aerospace colleagues who got hired there though. They were well above average mechanical engineers, needless to say Apple's hiring bar is quite high.

I'm quite impressed you took the time to write a full paragraph telling someone who wrote several that you didn't like what they had to say. The cleverly disguised personal insult to their engineering credibility is also quite subtle. /s

I find that the color added by a good story adds more to the conversation than the blatant elitism of a contentless dismissal.

It was more interesting than your comment.

They probably did...in an artificial environment with dust and crumbs. Or they figured they were at an "acceptable" failure rate without considering how much more severe the cost to repair was.

I think it's worth noting that the issue with their keyboard was only really known of after the keyboard was brought to the MacBook Pro. It didn't occur at a high enough rate on the 12" MacBook for it to be publicized.

I’ve been through four keyboard failures, and my experience has been that the keys over the parts of the computer that get hot are more likely to fail. I suspect it takes (or at least is more likely with) a combination of heat and contaminates, which might be less likely on the 12”.

So they will be able to engineer it to fail exactly around the time the next Samsung phone comes out.

The real world is a pretty harsh and unpredictable place. I bet they will find out that users are doing things they never thought of.

I think the parent commenter's mention of "daily use" implies things like grit. Hopefully their flexing machine also showers the phone with pocket lint.

and coins. My old v3 used to collect the odd coin while it was in my pocket. Never did it any harm. A screen might be less impressed.

Expected chair lifespan > expected cell phone lifespan. (sadly)

4) do the two screens wear uniformly?

5) what effect does putting a hinge in the center of the device have on the thermal capacity of the unit (thermal capacity is almost more important for performace than ram on a modern mobile computer architectures)

6) what are the long term ramifications of splitting the battery cell into two halves. It must be less capacity due to the extra packaging and safety overhead.

I could go on.

It’s certainly not clear to me that having a mode which trades XY for Z is a win.

But it’s an interesting experiment. It will be entertaining to watch.

I don’t think dividing up the battery is a big problem. You’re right that there’s some additional overhead from more packaging, but it’s not horrible.

Consider Tesla batteries, which consist of thousands of cells. They are heavier and bigger than they could be (and indeed, their newer ones use somewhat fewer, larger cells for this reason) but it’s ok.

Phones are more weight sensitive than cars, but a two-piece battery is also not very extreme.

I don’t think I was totally clear. I agree if one takes a cell and cuts it in half then the overhead of managing the two cells isn’t hugely significant but I think what happened here is volume which could’ve been cell became hinge and that loss of capacity could prove to be an architectural disadvantage.

I may have missed it, but do we know the battery is split in 2?

Personally, I would make one half of the device be 100% battery, and the other half hold all of the remaining components.

I'm not sure what the effect of that would be in terms of weight balancing, though. I'm not a hardware guy. I wouldn't be surprised if this led to the battery half being significantly heavier and feeling more substantial.

Still, seems like there are options beyond splitting the battery in half.

Solid points otherwise, though. Could you imagine have the screen wearing out faster than the other? That'd be a nightmare to look at.

There could be some benefits. I wouldn't be surprised if separating the battery in 2 actually helped with some of the thermal characteristics and reduced battery aging

It’s unlikely that it reduces aging. It’s probably worse but it is possible to have no impact depending on how they did it.


I hope for Samsung's sake that there isn't some freak failure mode with the folding mechanism that makes it more likely for the battery to explode

> Does the Infinity Flex Display get work out or glitchy at the hinge after 10,000 folds?

Or does the hinge break if lands at just the right angle from 3 feet above?

It doesn't seem any thicker than the phones we had in our pockets in the early-mid 2000s. I personally would mind that compromise.

I remember carrying a Nokia 3310, which is ~20mm if I remember correctly. I kept thinking when could we get this to thinner. Later I had a Sony Ericsson Kxxx, I think it was Sub 15mm, it was still too thick. In ~2007 ish I had a Nokia 6xxx that was sub 12mm, then iPhone all the way to iPhone 6s, 6.x mm which was the thinnest iPhone before reverting now to 8.x mm on iPhone XS.

All of them were still too think. I think iPad Pro 2018 got it about right. Somewhere between 5mm to 5.8mm would be perfect. But a 18mm foldable phone 5" Phone, I am not too sure. I would much prefer to have a thinner version of 6.8" iPhone.

"Would mind"?

Yep, a typo. Too late to edit it now.

Honestly, if this is even vaguely usable, it's going to replace my phone and my tablet, simply by reducing the screen size for both while still having some modern hardware behind it. I find 5" phones to be just slightly too large to comfortably use one-handed (and forget about the larger flagship phones that come out these days). I at least have some faith that I'll be able to reach across the 4.6" screen, although who knows how annoying the large vertical bezels will be.

The tablet side is actually more exciting to me, completely independent of the folding feature. I still don't have a good replacement for a Nexus 7, and this looks like the first tablet that's come out since 2013 that's both close to it in size and on par or better in terms of hardware. The N7 was basically the perfect form factor for my hands, and since I finally gave up on it I've been using an 8.4" tablet that's just narrow enough to hold in one hand but more than uncomfortable enough that I still complain about it years later. Even if the Fold is unusable as a phone, I might spring for one anyway as a pure tablet replacement. If it's also comfortable enough to carry and use as a phone, that's just gravy.

Speaking as someone who's never owned a tablet, but always buys iPhone+ sized phones (6+,7+), I'm exited for this (and maybe Apple's iteration of this?) in the coming years. I am the type to even hate turning my phone sideways (because it's always on rotation lock) so being able to physically open a thing would probably reduce the barrier to entry of enjoying of my phone / all-in-one device.

Honestly, as a first publicly available iteration it's pretty sleek. I'm excited for the future all over again as this becomes mainstream.

4.6" is the screen size on the Galaxy Fold, but the bezels are huge. The Galaxy S10e which is a solid small-ish phone has a height of 142mm. A Sony XZ2 Compact, for comparison is 135mm but has a screen of 5" vs 5.8" on the Samsung.

These Samsung's and Xiaomi's foldable phones don't excite me as much as Nokia Morph.

On 2008-02-25, Nokia showed a concept phone Nokia Morph [1]. I have just watched the video about it [2] again and I am still as excited about it as I was 11 years ago.

> The phone's theoretical feature list would include the ability to bend into numerous shapes, so it can be worn around the wrist or held up to the face; transparent electronics, which would allow the device to be see-through yet functional; self-cleaning surfaces that can absorb solar energy to recharge the phone's battery; and a wide range of fully integrated sensors. [...] The manufacturer believed that some of the device's imagined features could appear in high-end devices by 2015.

So, I am waiting for something like Nokia Morph but also with a screen that can take the form of a standard physical keyboard and give me the same tactile feel.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia_Morph

[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IX-gTobCJHs

More like a foldable tablet that can make phone calls.

What I like is it eliminates one device you may be carrying around. If you previously had a $900 phone and a $1100 tablet, you could essentially have both for the same price and fit them in your pocket.

I find it hard to believe that this ~7“ device with a strange aspect ratio and without a foldable keyboard can replace a $1100 tablet like a Surface Pro or a 12.9“ iPad Pro.

No, probably not, but it could quite plausibly replace an iPad Mini. I could see even replacing a midsize tablet, for someone for whom that amount of bulk elimination merits a compromise.

At around 4x the price? It's not replacing anything.

Foldable devices like this won't remain $2,000. It's not replacing anything today. Tomorrow it will when you can buy good devices that are comparable for $600 or $700 and Samsung is forced to compete on price.

Eh. Plenty of people buy iPhone Xsen even though it is 3x the price of competent midrange phones. Another 1.5x multiplier on a $1200 Xs Max doesn’t seem like an insane deal to me for the added feature if you’re a mobile media consumer.

Maybe Samsung has learned from Apple: the profits won’t be found down-market.

If apple made it with stylus control? Sketching and note taking with One note? There’s a new product line.

At a (admittedly hefty, but not prohibitive) premium over the combined price of a higher-end phone and a tablet. The whole idea is that you're getting one device that can do the work of both.

The multiplier isn't as important as the total cost -- under two grand isn't exactly an impulse buy, but it's also not prohibitive.

At the current $2k pricing it would certainly be an upgrade, not a lateral replacement.

The aspect ratio is only slightly narrower than that of an iPad Mini, so I doubt videos or games would be affected. Responsive design means websites wouldn't be affected at all, but you might get the "16:10 tablet" layout as opposed to the "4:3" iPad layout.

But it can eliminate the need for a tablet that isn't the largest tablet you can get like the ones you listed.

I also doubt it will replace a $400 9.7“ iPad, or the reportedly upcoming iPad Mini in the same price range.

you could essentially have both for the same price and fit them in your pocket

Will you be able to fit this in a pocket? My pockets can't fit anything bigger than a Pixel.

The garment industry cannot keep up with the rapid growth in tech

If you look at fashion trends-- it's not even trying, the opposite if anything.

That just seems gimmicky at best IMO. No ecosystem. I expect it will sell for 2-3 years and then die off and have them lose money on it. What type of niche market actually needs a phone that can display 3 apps at once and fold down to a brick sized phone?

It's good that companies take these leaps of fate but they sort of seem reaching.

Why not wait and keep pushing the tech until it's worth releasing a beautiful product that can capture actual market share?

>No ecosystem.

The ecosystem is Android. The vast majority of apps should work just fine, even on a display with an unusual aspect ratio.

Android is working on OS-level support for folding displays. This one's early, and will have limited support from apps, but I don't think the category will die as a gimmick. It has genuine utility, it's just been a technological hurdle. Personally, I'll wait another couple years for Apple to refine it a bit.

Also, the smartphone market has started saturating and device makers are clamoring for a feature - any feature - that will get people to buy new ones. This has resulted in lots of little useless features as they attempt to differentiate, but here we have an actually super useful feature which is costly to implement and will induce real gadget-envy for the first time in years. So there's going to be a gold rush behind it.

If they are working from the OS side that’s perfect. But I Im no way expecting to see anything but the most important apps have useful multi-app-in-screen interactions. Yeah YouTube, FB, Search, w/e but will that make it worth it?

Sort of like the Touch Bar on MacBook Pros (which I have). Yeah it’s awesome to have on select apps like Photoshop, Safari, etc but it’s in no way so valuable as to build a whole product around - like this phone is trying to do.

You can take the Touch Bar away from me at any moment and I won’t mind.

Unless apps deeply integrate with this folding capability etc its just a gimmick that I expect will die pretty quick or remain a very niche product.

> useful multi-app-in-screen interactions.

I use multiapp all the time on my current phone. I love it. Android makes it easy to move in and out of multiapp mode, swiping the separator when you want to go back to full screen. Many android apps already support this feature.

This is the same thing, except with a larger screen & different panel arrangement.

The only specialized support it really needs has less to do with folding and more to do with toggling between two different screens without problems and while maintaining context, which they already seem to have nailed. Everything beyond that is just building on things that are already relevant for normal tablets, like multitasking.

I agree that this looks a bit early, but it also seems like a genuinely useful innovation if it can be pulled off.

It reminds me a lot of the first MacBook Airs that sold to a niche market at a premium for a few years until the technology had advanced to the point that they could target a mainstream price point, at which point they became exceedingly popular.

I could easily see the same thing happening here.

> a genuinely useful innovation

I agree. The writing is on the wall... people are ditching desktop computers in droves in favour of handheld/portable devices.

Just as I usually do with any new V1.0 tech... I'm staying away, but am excited about future improvements!

I want a phone that I can read books on, and spend quality time with, rather than reading crappy stuff like Twitter. I fully expect to buy a foldable (not sure which one) and would easily pay $2500+ for it.

(It's not like I can buy laptops any more, since those are all garbage even when I pay $4000 for a supposedly high-end system, so I certainly have spare device money laying around!)

All laptops are garbage huh, that's a hot take.

The macbook and it's 3+ year butterfly keyboard debacle or windows 10 laptops with all of their spyware even when high end being his only 2 practical choices is what he is probably referring to.

Kindles are cheap and light, if digital reading is your goal.

I often read PDF versions of books (especially technical books) or PDFs of academic papers etc

I've never been able to view these properly on a kindle. Well, last time I tried anyway, is it better now?

A foldable phone would be great for PDFs. I often want to flip between pages quickly, which Kindles still can't do.

Sony DPT-RP1.

Kobo Aura One seems to be the right size for your use case.

Yep, I'm currently reading my EPUBs and PDFs on an ancient iPad 3. I researched a newer solution and settled on a Kobo Aura One (or perhaps the Forma which came out only recently) running the open-source KOReader [0], which is apparently much better than the built-in app on the Kobos. But I'm too cheap to upgrade while the iPad still works.

[0] http://koreader.rocks

I have an Aura One that I love (probably around 2k hours of use on it), but the PDF experience (of anything that can't be converted to epub anyway) is not good.

Kindles are not phones, the parent said "I want a phone that I can read books on, and spend quality time with..."

A foldable phone may meet his criteria, a Kindle would not.

Right ... the point is, I can do higher-quality reading without carrying extra devices around.

How do you access the kindle when you're not at home?

Based on the voting pattern at this point, I think several people may have misunderstood his last comment. He is the original person to post in support of a better phone based reading experience, not the Kindle advocate. So he prefers to carry one device, and uses his phone to read.

Yeah, I'll admit I didn't notice that. My apologies.

And it does‘t have any distractions on it. When I‘m reading on my phone I always get distracted by messages or googling something.

Most of my books are still physical books. It‘s weird but I often buy books based on their cover.

Apple's phones are now faster than their laptops. I think it makes sense to have a folding computer, especially now that we have screen tech that enables it.

*For very limited workloads - And those synthetic geekbench scores don't really count

Try JS Octane benchmarks then. Or how do YOU benchmark devices?

The real bottleneck is UI, not CPU's.

It isn't so much about the benchmark one uses. A CPU converts electricity to heat, and does computation as a side-effect. A CPU embedded in a laptop (or moreover, a desktop) is going to be able to convert more electricity into more heat — and more computation — by virtue of being able to better dissipate the heat due to having a larger surface area to do it over. (In addition to having active cooling — vents and fans — which I've yet to see on a phone.)

Modern non-phone CPUs can have TDPs of more than 80W. If your phone did 80W, it would burn your hand. So, forgive me if I'm skeptical of any benchmark that says a phone outperforms a laptop.

You're arguing that the phone CPU can get significantly better performance, do so with less power, and occupy a form factor smaller than what a laptop requires? Why would I not just manufacture a less space-constrained version of this chip (to make it cheaper) and stick it in a laptop?

I Googled the specific benchmark you referenced. I'm not able to find results on it, but one of the top hits was this: https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/04/googl...

Why do you think Apple is bringing iOS apps to Mac? ARM MacBook is inevitable (unless they switch to AMD).

That's likely a 35W CPU and I'd bet it won't even be close in performance to current laptop standard i5 or Ryzen. Maybe it can keep up with the ULV versions. ARM is good at power saving, not performance.

*For very limited workloads

> Apple's phones are now faster than their laptops.

Kind of like how a plane is faster than a car. You're trading off some flexibility for that added speed.

I agree this first-gen product is worth skipping, but given that many people spend probably 20% of their waking hours looking at their phone screen, it seems short sighted to me to argue that a 2x boost in screen size is merely a gimmick.

>given that many people spend probably 20% of their waking hours looking at their phone screen

This sounds like punishment to me.

Early products using cutting edge tech probably often seem gimmicky, but I think it would be short sided to dismiss the whole concept due to that.

Hopefully enough early adopters buy this thing so that they keep iterating and improving on these. It's easy to see how a phone with a folding screen would be desirable to a lot of people... if it were thinner and cheaper. The first foldable phone is probably not going to be a great product, maybe not even the first 10 of them. In 5 years maybe they'll be great though.

It has status value that other phone style devices do not have. I am not into showing off with fancy watches, shoes and having to have the latest iPhone but I understand plenty of people are.

Now there are lots of people that could benefit from this because you can have bigger letters on the screen. So it is far from a vanity product, like the latest and greatest iPhone it does have genuine utility.

There is also a class of people who are vastly richer than everyone else, you see them drive in stupidly expensive cars. For this type of customer the $$$$ of this gadget is not a consideration.

This gadget won't be 'displaying three apps at a time' any more than your desktop has three windows open side by side on it. It matters not about the keyboard, this is for consuming content with big type. Everyone has a regular phone already, this will sell well as soon as they can get the production volume up.

I think it's a good experiment to learn what users really want and what problems may come up with the device.

> Why not wait and keep pushing the tech until it's worth releasing a beautiful product that can capture actual market share?

I can only speak for myself, but I have been waiting. Since 2011, to be precise, which is when Sanyo and I believe Sony came out with 4.3 inch phones that folded out into 7-inch tablets.

If there's any company that can invest properly in this form factor, it's Samsung, so I'm glad they're doing this.

Certainly not going to buy it at that price point though!

Both the Samsung S10 Series and the Fold are technical Marvel. Even if you are an Apple user one should appreciate how Samsung's technology are improving. The OLED is 1200 nit, while the reporting numbers are always off to actual testing results, it is still an amazing achievement to have 1000+ nit.

Purely from a Hardware Perspective, this is the best you can buy with no Trade oFfs. Apart from a slightly slower Single Core Pref Compared to Apple, the NAND, the RAM, The Display, 5G, WiFi 6, Battery, UnderScreen SuperSonic Finger Print, better Bezel less design, Best Camera Module on the front and the back. This is Samsung going all out.

Not sure how the market will react to it, but I sure hope Apple takes notes. You cant rely on iOS and Software forever.

My iPhone has a screen and I’m fine with it. And it isn’t even the top model! I don’t need a solarium display.

Apple will release phones with foldable displays when they invent a real use case for it. Apple wouldn’t be able to rely on iOS if they released shitty phones. But they don’t.

Really impressed that Samsung has matured the display manufacturing process so much that they can launch a mass market foldable screen. Also, surprised to hear the speaker say 7nm processor in the Fold. I didn't know the technology to fabricate 7nm chips existed.

7nm has been around for a while. All 2018 iPhones are using A12 which is manufactured using 7nm.

AMD's next Ryzen CPUs will be 7nm as well. And their Radeon VII uses 7nm Vega chips

Not only that, the S10 announcement shows they can put cameras under the screens too. Oo

They don't have a camera under the screen, they have a finger print reader.

It's actually even less of a camera than existing optical under-screen readers, as it uses an ultrasonic system.

This looks a lot nicer than I thought it would. I even kind of like that in phone mode it's a slim bar like mid 2000s phones. As an avid and long-time iPhone user I look forward to seeing how this thing performs in the wild.

Considering a 512gb iPhone XS Max is $1450 I guess it's hard to call it any more overpriced than an iPhone. But both are too over-priced for me.

$1500 is a LOT for a phone, but $2000 is a whopping $500 more than that. It's not exactly a "little" more than the top iPhone model.

Slightly OT: IMHO, I think Samsung made a huge mistake announcing the Fold along with their other products.

1 - This is a new product category and I think it deserves its own stage.

2 - Fold is overshadowing everything else Samsung announced. Galaxy, etc. are their biggest sellers but they lost the main attention to the Fold. Basically Fold's hype will cannibalize market attention of their new announcement that will make most of their revenue.

The Fold is $2,000, so I highly doubt it'll cannibalize the sales of the S10.

By definition a more expensive item cannot cannibalize sales of a less expensive one, at least when I learned it in business school. :)

OTOH, the fold will get a lot of media attention that will mention the s10 in an aside. The s10 by itself is boring enough that most mainstream media wouldn't mention it. Halo products are often a good strategy.

How would you explain iPhone over iPod then.

S10 phones are just evolution on S9. I usually buy every 2 year (my S9 plus is working perfectly), so I'll probably just skip it and buy S11, but I consider smart phones as a mature category, much more excited with spending my money to buy a Tesla (and I never bought a new / almost new car in my life).

This is a tiny glorious technological miracle, and it's also absurdly expensive.

I wonder how many times you can fold the display before it makes a crease or splits in 2. Hasn't that been a long-standing problem with flexible displays? You can bend them but you can't fold them? I imagine that like paper, you can only fold it so many times before the same thing happens.

It seems to me that the fold is more of a tight bend rather than a crease, with the hinge width keeping it from fully folding.

I'm still skeptical of the screen surviving long-term wear too, but I'd imagine they've tested this with countless repetitions with some robot.

Fhat's everybody's question but given the material spec, they probably made it so no internal pressure buildup is done when folded. You can roll paper forever if you stay in the constraints

It's good that this design puts the foldable screen in the inside. The surfaces of these screens probably won't be using scratch-resistant glass any time soon.

Agreed, but I wish they had designed it to fold along the other axis. This thing looks weirdly thin and elongated when folded, and seems to have a lot of wasted real estate above (and maybe below) the external screen. Folding in the other direction would be much more natural. It would just look like a smaller, thicker tablet.

Pretty amazing. I like the trademark name of "infinity flex" which implies you can open and close it a lot of times, but wonder what the engineering spec on that is.

I also wonder if there ends up being a note version and how well that works with the stylus. All in all its a pretty fascinating device.

Someone will build a lego technic testing device for sure.

The weight, which I am assuming is going to be around twice as much as a normal phone, will be a huge turnoff for most people. And unlike a normal phone you won't be able to use a pop-socket to help holding it or likely even a case for protection when it falls.

There is a surface without a screen that will be the back in all layouts. Why wouldn't a pop-socket work?

It wouldn't be in the center when the phone was unfolded so you'd have to deal with the phone wanting to rotate in the direction of the heavier side.

I don't think you'd use the unfolded form one handed. I imagine it'd be more like holding a small tablet.

All these new transforming devices remind me of my old Nokia N90. Due to their initial cost, way too few people had one and the ecosystem was lacking.

This one is way too expensive for me but I really appreciate the form factor and the technology innovation surrounding it. I'd love to see someone like JerryRigEverything [1] stress test and disassemble it.

I wonder how much Xiaomi's foldable equivalent will cost, which has no visible hinges.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/user/JerryRigEverything/videos

$2,747.35 AUD if it was going to be a 1 to 1 conversion (which it won't).

I'm being priced out of high end smartphones, and I have a well paying job. This does not feel good.

WTF? If you have a high paying job, this is a couple of days work, and it is tax deducible in oz if you work in the industry.

The income required to make that a couple days work is several times more than what I'd consider a "well paying job".

A well-paying job... I don't know if I'd call $168/hr a well-paying job or use some other superlative.

So how the hell are you going to put a case on this thing?

It seems to be the nicest iteration of a foldable phone so far.

I'm still doubtful about the usefulness, though. Does it support the S-pen?

I suppose they made it fold to the inside because their display technology limits them to it (even though intuitively I'd expect the opposite to be true), I would find it folding to the outside much more useful, since this thing you'll have to unfold to (properly, the outside screen is quite small) to use, but then it becomes a tablet ...

So far I see it mostly as a technology demo. I'm glad that manufacturers are actually selling them, though, it gives a good feeling of the practicability and readiness of the technology (and something for rich hipsters to buy).

I'd much rather it fold inside to protect the display.

This is amazing and the real game changer unlike some gimmicks like notch and similar things. It's refreshing to finally see something different on the market where all products are basically same since 5-7 year.

Is that a huge notch in the upper right corner of the "tablet" screen?

That was my first reaction. And when they watch a video, it looks like the notch removes like 1cm of screen width. Which means that the videos gets scaled down a lot from what it could look like if they placed the notch differently.

Watching videos, reading ebooks or browsing websites on a large screen is the first use I can think of for this screen.

the display is quite square, there will be black stripes bottom and top with most videos anyways.

For reading: notch fits the status bar, so no text should scroll behind it.

Does anyone know why both the Samsung and the other announced foldable phone have huge bezels on the OUTSIDE screen? That's just a regular non-foldable screen, why is it not edge-to-edge?

Likely cost savings, also its the auxillary screen. They likely wanted it to be useable with one hand and more for texting and email when on the go.

The star of the show was the inside screen with nearly no bezel even less than the tab s5e or iPad Pro except for the camera cutout in the top corner.

This looks like a cumbersome phone to use. OTOH though, I would love it if my 11" iPad Pro could fold in half to fit in my pocket, even without any usability when it was folded.

Low-key killer feature: a hand-sized display on a 2019 flagship

Anyone know if the S10 or Fold will support Linux on Dex?

I'm glad someone mentioned this, or had a question about this, since it's the one thing I would really want on a fully convertible device.

Currently the s9 and s9+ have open betas for Linux on dex, and it works on note 9 and tab s4. I am pretty optimistic that the fold will support it.

But seriously, think about how great this would be: phone that could turn into a tablet when you want (say, to read or consume media, or edit photos, or take notes). That device would also be able to run in a desktop mode for you to carry out work when you need to. The device as it currently stands does the first two, with Linux on dex you get closer to the third.

it 100% should support Linux on DeX and later this year Google should be officially launching Android Studio for all AOSP devices so you can develop apps for your Galaxy Fold right on your Galaxy Fold.

What a beautiful time we live in.

I had the Motorola Atrix when it first came out, my first Android phone. The experience with the laptop dock blew me away, and installing chroot and a terminal made it my daily laptop my freshman year of college. It was unfortunately never updated, and the system was just a bit too slow for me.

I'm really hoping the experience on this will be much better, and really get me the convergent experience I've wanted since then.

highly recommend you test out any of Samsung's recent phones or tablets. s8 and up all have Samsung DeX which polishes the Atrix idea to be usable daily.

Samsung is really attacking this from the business side (automatically load work desktop at work) and actually use it for development on the DeX team.

Its amazing that we can now write android apps on android itself.

$2000, and no pen? Well, that seems like a waste.

I love being able to put my phone on a table and click the pen's button to get a group shot with everyone in it.

Since this is so new, they had to trim all the fat to make the size reasonable. The Note variant in v2 or v3 should provide

So much this. I love my note because of the Pen, I would've bought this if it had one.

I'm more interested in a foldable smartphone than a foldable notepad, but I can see how this would be the first iteration.

Cool tech, but the design seems fundamentally flawed. There should be two screens, not three. Putting them both on the outside does increase the wear and tear, and it’s tough to know which side the user wants to use, but having so much capability sit idle is a problem.

This is a classic case of the technology taking precedence over the functionality. Samsung's TV division has invested billions in developing flexible displays, thinking that this would be the future. Once the technology got to the point where it was actually feasible, THEN they started thinking about how they could market it.

Good product design starts by asking what the problem is and then building the solution. Samsung started with a technology and then tried to figure out how to sell it. The result is the gimmick you see here which, like all of the tablet-phone combos that came before it, does nothing particularly well and costs more than two solutions designed specifically for each use case (iPhone: 1000. iPad Mini: 400). When will people learn to stop jamming toasters and vacuums together?

> The result is the gimmick you see here which, like all of the tablet-phone combos that came before it, does nothing particularly well and costs more than solutions designed specifically for each use case.

Aren't Samsung's long line of successful phablets (and the influence they've had on other flagship phones) a stark disproof of your claims about “all previous tablet-phone combos”. Clearly, the utility the market finds in them differs from the utility you find in them.

> costs more than two solutions designed specifically for each use case

We call that "integration," and it's been a feature of the tech industry for as long as there's been a tech industry.

This isn't being priced not marketed at the masses. This is for technophiles; people who like to be on the bleeding edge. Not everything needs to be perfected and 100% utilitarian. Sometimes people just want something because it's interesting and for now I think this falls into that category.

Also, it's basically a phablet taken to the next level. Some people will find the use in that.

I guess smartphones getting too expensive isn't a thing anymore?

It's not. I had a Nokia X6 w/ 64GB storage and 6GB RAM shipped to me from HK for US$300. Lots of good deals on devices from Xiaomi and Huawei as well.

Samsung sells smartphones from $50 to (now) $2000. You are taking the highest possible price point and using that to push an argument about phone prices in general.

> You are taking the highest possible price point and using that to push an argument about phone prices in general.

Is that the highest possible price? I see the article says "starting at $1,980" but I don't know where it goes from there.

It would be if Apple made it.

Samsung's answer to a $1,000 phone is a $2,000 phone? Bold.

This $2000 is not an answer, it's a new category of its own.

The S10 line is the (great, IMHO) "answer" to the other flagships. And Samsung phones typically get cheaper after a couple months.

Considering the first iPhone was $600, $728 in today's money, and did basically nothing. I don't see how $1000 is completely unreasonable. Video games still cost exactly the same(without inflation), with 100x the budget, as they did 40 years ago, and people still bitch. People love blowing things out of proportion.

considering the iPhone X didn't have a single standout feature over the smartphone market it's reasonable for people to criticise the price of $1000, even apple realized that's not a viable strategy and released the XR at $750 as to avoid losing all of their customers with those exuberant prices offering little more than camera upgrades and meaningless changes avg consumers can't notice.

the avg person will tell you they don't know why the X is better it just looks more futuristic and that's why apple sells it for $1000.

Well, X was lightyears better than my aging 6s. Is there a major leap year to year to justify the cost? Of course not. Is everyone upgrading year to year? Of course not. I'm not trying to justify a $1000 phone, but Apple hardware has always been more expensive than the sum of its parts.

The future (of folding screens) is here, and it's gaudy.

So how do they have a continuous display across the hinge?

They have been working on this for at least 6 years, possibly longer. They have created a unique display and display substrate that is fantastically thin.

The led panel is flexible. LG has a 1mm screen you can roll up in a tube.

Travel display for laptops hhhhhnnnngg

I've played around with various travel display solutions, and IMO, the biggest problems aren't in hardware portability, they're in software and connectivity. Every solution feels like a finicky hack with various problems. (Display software can't handle laptop going to sleep and back, extra display trashes laptop battery, macOS updates randomly break displays)

I wouldn't expect a good travel display until Apple or MS makes a first party one.

Could have designed a middle ground use case where you use the thing half unfolded with interface at the bottom and content on top

Am I the only person who found that entire presentation awkward? That guy just seemed...uncomfortable up there.

No, it was incredibly weird. also the dude demoing appeared very nervous (understandably, but still).

How do people feel about Samsung's Fold vs Huawei?

> run three apps at once

There are 3 numbers with programs - 0, 1, and infinity (or, more pragmatically, "run out of memory"). Programs that have arbitrary limits like "3" are just wrong.

It's like the filename length limitations in operating systems. No matter how long they are, they are arbitrary and somebody overflows them. The real limit should be the size of the disk drive.

This is a user interface decision, not a programming decision.

Allowing simultaneous viewing of arbitrarily many apps may not be a problem technically, but it would make the system more complex to use, with more possible interpretations of actions. It's a tradeoff.

Next year Samsung will announce a new phone with FOUR apps that can be open at once! Or Apple will do it for them.

they announced that with the Note 4 actually since that phone supported Facebook messenger style floating windows for as many apps as you wanted.

Android nougat added that to the AOSP source so any android phone can open up to 8 apps at once in floating windows. This is not new tech. The 3 way app view is just a tiling window manager managing it in a weird way it's not a real restriction

They seem to have made this choice to ensure a quality UI experience

Brb, taking out a second mortgage.

I still want the Global Link from Earth: Final Conflict.

Need more screen... just pull it a little wider.

so happy Samsung didnt follow Apple in making their 'budget' version, the S10 E bigger than their S10. Cant wait for them to start promotions to pick up one for like $500

Somebody please make a foldable vr.

Like, a foldable VR headset? Wouldn't that be Google Cardboard or similar?

Something smaller, that fits into our pockets perhaps but with its own screen.

Eh, looks pretty gimmicky to me. Like Samsung is desperate to find uses for its folding screen technology.

Weird flex, but okay


Yeah it still looks like a proof of concept to me. I don't see why anyone would use it.

Even as a proof of concept.

This is like a car show showing a prototype car with just a new engine throw in the trunk. So amateur.

$2,000 for a smartphone? HA HA HA...........

Agreed it's a high price point but also thought that about the iPhone XS and people still didn't flinch to pay that for face lock and animoji's.

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