When the Samsung Galaxy Fold was first introduced in 2019, it marked the beginning of the foldable phone era, despite facing some launch issues and delays. The device boasted a 4.6-inch outer display and a 7.3-inch inner display that could fold in half like a book. Additionally, it came equipped with six cameras, a Snapdragon 855 processor, 12GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage.
The device was undoubtedly an innovative and ambitious product, but it had its downsides. Notably, it was quite expensive and delicate. With a price tag of $1980 upon its release, it demanded extra care when handling its foldable screen. While reviewers praised its versatility and performance, they also criticized its small outer display, visible crease, and bulky design.
But here’s the question: Is it still worth considering in 2023, when newer and more affordable foldable phones have emerged? To help you make an informed decision, let’s explore the pros and cons of this device.
- The Galaxy Fold offers a unique and innovative form factor that seamlessly transforms from a smartphone to a tablet. This makes it ideal for multitasking, watching videos, reading ebooks, and playing games on a larger screen.
- It has decent battery life, thanks to its dual battery system that combines to offer a capacity of 4380mAh. It also supports wireless charging and reverse wireless charging, allowing you to charge other devices with your phone.
- The Galaxy Fold features a versatile camera system capable of capturing shots from various angles and modes. It consists of three cameras on the back (12MP wide-angle, 12MP telephoto, and 16MP ultra-wide-angle), two front cameras (10MP selfie and 8MP depth-sensing), and one camera on the cover (10MP selfie).
- The Galaxy Fold remains expensive, even in 2023. Although its price may have dropped over time, it is likely to still cost more than newer flagship phones offering similar or improved features.
- Fragility is a major concern with the Galaxy Fold, particularly its inner display. Removing or peeling off the protective layer can damage the screen. Additionally, the visible crease in the middle of the screen can be distracting. Moreover, the device lacks water and dust resistance, requiring extra caution in its usage.
- The outer display of the Galaxy Fold is small and narrow for most tasks. It has thick bezels and a resolution of 1680 x 720 pixels, making it less suitable for comfortable web browsing, typing messages, or using apps.
- Compared to newer phones that have made significant strides in camera performance, the Galaxy Fold’s cameras are not class-leading. While the photos and videos it captures are decent, they may suffer from noise, blur, or lack of detail in challenging or low-light conditions.
- The battery life, especially when using the large inner display, is average and not exceptional.
- There may be limited or discontinued software updates and support from Samsung in the future.
Galaxy Fold 1st Gen vs Galaxy Fold 3
Although the Galaxy Fold 4 is available, the Galaxy Fold 3 still offers excellent value for budget-conscious buyers.
Samsung entered the foldable smartphone market as a pioneer with the release of the first Galaxy Fold device in 2019. Since then, the company has continued to refine and enhance its design and features, culminating in the Galaxy Fold 3’s launch in 2021. So, how does the original Galaxy Fold compare to the latest model? Let’s explore some key differences.
The Galaxy Fold 3 boasts a larger and more durable cover display compared to the Galaxy Fold 1st Gen. It measures 6.2 inches, whereas the 1st Gen had a 4.6-inch cover display. The main display on the Fold 3 is also slightly bigger, at 7.6 inches versus 7.3 inches, and supports a smoother 120Hz refresh rate for scrolling and gaming. Both displays benefit from Corning Gorilla Glass, providing enhanced scratch and drop resistance, with the Fold 3 featuring an improved iteration of this technology, Gorilla Glass Victus.
The Galaxy Fold 3 features a more advanced camera system than its predecessor, boasting five cameras in total. Its rear camera setup includes a 12MP wide-angle lens, a 12MP telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom, and a 12MP ultra-wide-angle lens with a 123-degree field of view. On the cover display, there’s a 10MP selfie camera, while the main display houses a 4MP under-display camera that remains hidden when not in use. In contrast, the Galaxy Fold 1st Gen offers six cameras, but they are less powerful and versatile. Its rear camera setup comprises a 12MP wide-angle lens, a 12MP telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom, and a 16MP ultra-wide-angle lens with a 123-degree field of view. The cover display houses a 10MP selfie camera, and the main display has two cameras: a 10MP selfie camera and an 8MP depth-sensing camera.
The Galaxy Fold 3 outperforms the Galaxy Fold 1st Gen in terms of processing power and efficiency. It is equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset, accompanied by 12GB of RAM and up to 512GB of internal storage. On the other hand, the 1st Gen relies on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset, paired with 12GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage. Both devices support wireless charging and reverse wireless charging, although the Galaxy Fold 3 has a slightly smaller battery capacity of 4400mAh compared to the 4380mAh capacity of the 1st Gen.
The Galaxy Fold 3 brings several unique features to the table, distinguishing it from the Galaxy Fold 1st Gen. It boasts an IPX8 rating for water resistance, supports the use of an S Pen specifically designed for foldable devices, and an improved Samsung DeX mode, which allows you to connect your phone to a monitor or TV and utilize it as a desktop.
Is the 1st Gen Galaxy Fold Worth It?
The Galaxy Fold 1st Gen undoubtedly represents Samsung’s innovation and vision, but as a first-generation product, it comes with its fair share of flaws and compromises. Given its limitations, we do not recommend purchasing this device. It is fragile, bulky, awkward, and outdated in certain aspects. For users seeking a foldable experience, it would be more advisable to opt for the Galaxy Fold 3 or 4, as Samsung has made significant improvements to the design and durability of these devices.