Samsung Announces Galaxy Fold, a Weird Folding Smartphone Available in April

Nicole Nguyen, Buzzfeed:

At an event in San Francisco on Wednesday, Samsung officially announced a name for its new foldable phone: the Galaxy Fold (lol).

It’s a mobile device that can be folded in half to fit in one hand or in your pocket, with a touchscreen that works like you’d expect a smartphone to. Then, when you need to see something in a larger format — BAM! — you can flip open the Galaxy Fold to reveal a gigantic 7.3-inch display.

Vlad Savov:

The Galaxy Fold is Samsung’s Google Glass: an exciting technical showcase that should never be released to the public, because it’ll sour everyone on the entire nascent category.

This comment probably won’t age well, but I don’t yet get the real-word allure of a device like this. Count me with Savov so far: this isn’t a great ambassador for a technology that may become spectacular, in more capable hands.

During the unveiling, Samsung emphasized the Fold’s versatility in being able to transform from an ordinary smartphone into a tablet just by opening it up. But this device — and others like it — are bad phones, and worse tablets. Every shot of the closed phone looks like it’s begging to be unfolded; its display looks narrow, uncomfortable, and cramped. It seems far better in its tablet-like configuration, but it is at best a diet version of a tablet.

I’m not down on this because it’s Samsung. I dig that this is experimental and weird. But it isn’t compelling to me as either a phone or a tablet, and it’s certainly not compelling to me as a device trying to be both.