The whole reason that theexists because of the screen. Unlike other phones, where screens are from the afterthought to the camera's quality and battery life, Samsung designed the whole phone around the fact that its display is bending in half. The perils of the foldable phone design are sucking up all the oxygen in the room, after five early production Galaxy Fold review units .
Before the Galaxy Fold screens began breaking, it was the plastic crease running down the center of the Fold which caused most hand-wringing. How bad did it really look Would it worsen over time? Creasegate was threatened to take Fold and its fold before the foldable phones ever really got started.
Let's also remember the notch. The thick thumb-shaped cut-out housing two front-facing cameras and two sensors inspired sneers when Samsung first showed off the Fold prototype in late February. Onlookers fretted that it looked cheap and would get in the way.
People have also had words about the air gap, the little loop of open space at the Fold's hinge end, which is wider than the end where the screen sides shut shut.
Having used the Fold every day for more than a week, I wanted to address three of your biggest concerns and share what they really like. Let's start with the crease.
The crease is not as bad as it seems
The second you open the phone, you'll notice the crease. It dips in a little and catches the light. I've noticed it's white or black screens, but when you're immersed in something, the crease becomes much less in-your-face. That's partly because you stop concentrating on it so intently, and partly because it's less obvious as pixels light up and change.
You can also feel the crease, or more precisely, the hinge below it, when you run your finger down or across the screen. Sensing its presence is not the same as a crease disrupting or distracting me from what I'm doing. That never happened to me, but I would not rule out the possibility that it could be a drag in some specific scenarios.
Just remember it's there because this is where the fold folds over. I'm not sure how you'd have a foldable phone without a seam, at least not with the materials we have now. Can you imagine a piece of glass folding in half and then unfolding? I can not
Other foldable designs such as the Huaweiwhich puts the foldable screen on the outside of the device, have the opposite issue – not a "crease" but a bulge. I liken it to the skin around your knee or elbow. A foldable screen is a joint.
Creases and bulges do not feel elegant or premium, but they're inevitable at this point. The only solution to this that I could have foreseen is the futuristic material that reorganizes the molecules when you open and close the device.
The air gap is related to the crease
Another thing the Fold does not do well is close perfectly flat. There's an air gap on the end closest to the hinge and that's because … the plastic screen does not completely stack up itself. Perhaps that really makes the plastic snap.
I did not find that the gap made the Fold too awkward to stick in my pocket or purse. It's barely enough space to insert a credit card. When I did put one it, and then another, they held in place, but mostly because the Fold's magnetic edges kept it there. I would not be able to slide in a pen.
Huawei boasts that its Mate X is flat because of its superior Falcon hinge, but there's some clever engineering. there, too. The Mate X has a swoop on the side and "asymmetrical" screen lengths. It also gives you a grip to hold the phone, but it's a design workaround to place the battery, cameras and other rigid electronics in a non-moving part. Still, it could very well be a good solution. We'll see when we spend more than 5 minutes with that foldable phone.
OK, the notch is a problem
Unlike the other screen concerns, I really think Samsung could have designed around the notch. It's thick, bulbous and takes up more space than it really needs, considering that it only holds two camera lenses and two (stacked) sensors.
When you watch videos and play games, the notch slopes out onto the screen. You will not lose a crucial scene or moment, since the activity takes place in the center of the display, and not on the edges, but there really is no need for the notch to be so big.
The logic here seems to be that Samsung wanted to center the cameras closes to the crease without having to fold the camera sensors over each other. I suspect Samsung extended the notch to the right edge because it looked less awkward than cutting it off and leaving you with an uncentered island of a notch.
Again, Huawei gets around this on the Mate X by putting all the cameras in a stack on a part of the Mate X that does not move.
If you do not like the notch, Samsung has the good grace of letting you blacken it out in the settings menu. This creates a thicker bar at the top of the screen. If you fire up some apps, including YouTube, the screen is in line with the notch blacks out anyway, leaving the thick bars along the top and bottom (because the app can not fully resize in Fold dimensions).
The best thing to keep in mind is that this first wave of foldable phones is laying the groundwork for a brand- new type of device, one that will be much more complex than the phone in your pocket today.
The Fold may be flawed, even when it's working well, but Samsung and others canto create a foldable phone you really want.