Samsung finally ended their silence regarding the delayed Galaxy Fold. Earlier this year, the $2000 foldable smartphone experienced some devastating issues with the advanced display while in the hands of reviewers. Samsung was subsequently forced to hold off the Fold’s release indefinitely as it looked to address the concerns. Now that Samsung has publicly stated that the Fold is ready for a return to the market, do the improvements mitigate the concerns that consumer may have towards such an expensive device?
There are a number of important adjustments that have been made to the Fold’s display. Here is a full breakdown of the design changes made to the Fold as stated by Samsung:
” – 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 feature additional reinforcements to better protect the device from external particles…
-The top and bottom of the hinge area have been strengthened with newly added protection caps.
– Additional metal layers.. to reinforce the protection of display.
– The space between the hinge and body of Galaxy Fold has been reduced.”
The top priority for Samsung was clearly to increase the integrity of the screen and secure the confidence of its consumers. The immediacy of broken displays, whether due to misuse or flaws in the device’s original construction, may have temporarily put off some users who may have looked to jump in on a first generation product.
Fortunately, this time around, it looks as though Samsung has taken the opportunity to properly research and address the Galaxy Fold’s flaws. The radio silence concerning updates about the Galaxy Fold was honestly the best course of action. A constant stream of updates could have set premature expectations for the consumers and the media that would have added undesired pressure on Samsung. The South Korean company has also been through its own fair share of controversy in the past with the Galaxy Note 7, and knew it could not afford to release another product with a critical flaw especially in a “new product category”.
Even with the delayed launch of the foldable phone, there is a tremendous amount of anticipation for the Galaxy Fold. Huawei’s Mate X foldable phone has been viewed as the only true competitor for the Galaxy Fold, but the differences between the devices’ constructions tend to point towards a favoritism with the Fold’s design. The Huawei Mate X utilizes its foldable display on the outside of the device. This has caused concern about its ability to stand up to everyday use. The Galaxy Fold, on the other hand, has two displays with a smaller 4.6″ screen on the front of the phone, which uses a hinge that opens to a 7.3″ foldable display. The screen’s protection from every day exposure to the elements can not be understated.
Samsung has the perfect opportunity to bring foldable phones into the mainstream. While the construction is not without flaws, including the rather uninspiring front screen and the gap left when the phone is folded, the first generation Galaxy Fold is a courageous attempt to test the market for a phone-tablet hybrid. It will take time for developers to properly adapt applications to run seamlessly on the Galaxy Fold, and the durability of the device can only be effectively tested by having it in the hands of consumers.
The expensive price tag of the Galaxy Fold, which rivals high-end laptops, will likely only draw immediate interest from first adopters or users looking for more screen real estate without the need to purchase a tablet. For this reason, the financial implications may not be so prohibitive over the next few iterations of the Galaxy Fold. Traditional consumers would most likely spend close to $2000 on both a new tablet and new phone. Samsung’s long term goal, therefore, should be to offer a solution with an effective and reliable 2-1 product.
Samsung announced that the Galaxy Fold will be available in certain markets this September, which could prove to be an interesting strategy as it might just overshadow the impending release of Apple’s new iPhones, which also traditionally releases in September. Either way, Samsung has a lot riding on the Galaxy Fold. If the company can offer a product with a profound and unique user experience, it just might answer the developing question about the future of the smartphone market.