Today, after months and months of teasing, Samsung unveiled its folding-screen smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Fold. While its namesake trick is technically impressive, it’s also questionably useful. Oh, and it will launch in April at a sky-high price of $1,980 at the very least.
The Samsung device may be on-trend in a world of increasingly glitzy and expensive handsets. But it is bucking conventional wisdom in one good and important way: it is extremely thick. It’s just too bad that it’s not all battery.
Owing to its folding design, which is basically two phones of typical thickness joined on their longest edge by a hinge of screen, the Fold gets chunky when in compact mode. With a battery in each side, it’s essentially two phones stacked on top of each other in closed form. The Fold won’t actually be for sale for several months, so exact specs are hard to come by at the moment, but it’s clear the kind of girth we’re looking at.
This is good! Or at least, not bad. The thinness of modern smartphones is cosmetic and arbitrary, often coming at the direct expense of the most important feature a phone can have: battery life. Thinness has become a norm thanks to companies’ repeated urge to chase it. The uncomfortable truth is that in our current market, thinner, flashier, more premium-seeming phones are just going to be more profitable than thicker, longer-lived ones that you might prefer if they existed.
Samsung’s Fold manages to buck that trend and embrace it at the same time. There’s hardly anything more loudly and aggressively premium than a nearly $2,000 phone with cutting-edge-if-questionably-useful tech, but its uncommon girth at least gives a new shape to this grade of flagship pocket supercomputer. Now if only we can get one that doesn’t do any folding and is just chock full of battery.