I’m in Seoul, South Korea this week for MIK 2019-9 with some time to head to the Samsung campus. The campus is in the heart of Gangnam district, and has a walkable mall, where you can go to Samsung D’Light.
More Than Just Phones
Of course, Samsung makes a lot more than computers and mobile devices. Refrigerators, air conditioners, printers, massage chairs, beauty masks… you get the idea.
The main goal was to get a first hands-on look at the fold 5G – their foldable phone.
The Fold 5G is a 9.28 oz, 4.6 inch phone. It’s actually pretty thick, but it unfolds to a 7.3 inch Android 9.0 tablet.
Inside is the Smapdragon 855 CPU, with Octa-core processor at 3×2.42 GHz. Graphics are Adreno 640. Memory contains 12 GB RAM, and 512 GB internal storage. No card slot.
4 cameras on this phone, a dual rear camera with 12 MP telephoto (f/1.5) and 16 MP ultra-wide (f/2.4). Front camera on the 4.6 side at 10 MP (f/2.2), and the front camera of the 7.3 side with 10 MP selfie (f/2.2), and 8 MP RGB depth (f/1.9).
This phone has no headphone jack – in fact the only jack is the USB-C 3.1 connector. Stereo speakers at 32-bit/384kHz, and Dolby Atmos sound (supplied by AKG). The phone will go up to about 73 dB.
The battery is a non-removable at 4,235 mAh. The iPhone 11 has a 3,969 mAh battery in comparison. Fast charging at 15W, and the new reverse wireless charge at 9W.
Features of the Samsung Fold 5G
There are 2 colors to this phone – Space Silver, and Cosmos Black.
For secure access, you have the side-mounted fingerprint reader. It was easy to login, in folded or unfolded manner.
The phone is also set up for 5G, 802.11 ax dual-band WIFI, and can be used as a hotspot. Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, and NFC support.
Thoughts of Samsung Fold 5G
The phone looks fairly sturdy. The spine makes the phone thicker, but it seems to be also fairly sturdy. Closing and opening the device did not feel flimsy.
If you look closely at the unfolded AMOLED screen, there is a small, faint rib in the middle. That is probably by design, as if it weren’t there, it might break more easily. On that point, I am not sure if that is going to get wore down over time, and we’ll hear about that being the main single-point of failure.
As a tablet, this device really shines. The graphics are pretty stunning, as I played Asphalt 9: Legends. Not as great as the gameplay cockpit with 8K QLED technology I played after, but this one fits in your pocket, and is a lot less expensive.
The last point is this is a two-screen system. If the tablet screen does break down, you still have the front screen to use as a phone. It’s a bit bulkier than the Huawei Mate X because of it.
The Price of Samsung Fold 5G
As for the price, the onslaught of foldable phones have only just begun. You have the Huawei Mate X ($2,600), the Oppo foldable phone, Motorola Razr (which folds like the razr phone of old), LG Bendi, and more. With time, you’ll be able to get a sub – $1,000 2-in-1 device.
As for the Samsung Fold 5G, I am seriously thinking about it. ..
As for the store experience, I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve done Samsung pop-up store experiences at SXSW, CES, and more. This one was similar, but very different.
Through the first floor experience, I got my face up on a board, went through the stations, and got my results emailed to me.
On the second floor, I got to experience a possible IoT House, exercise area, classroom, and vending station.
If you’re in South Korea, I highly recommend this as a stop to see the latest technology Samsung delivers. I truely geeked out here. #geekout