Boy has the Galaxy Fold been on a journey this year.
After a faulty initial review period, Samsung rolled back the launch date to fix key issues that were found with this new-form factor device.
Months later we have seen the Fold release overseas, but weren't quite sure when it would land in Australia and how much it would cost.
Now we know, and it's coming real soon.
New form factors are always exciting, but nothing else in recent years has captured people's imaginations quite like foldable screens. When it comes to the Galaxy Fold, drama has ensued. From its micro-debut at Samsung's Developer Conference in 2018, to faulty review units, there have been many question marks around how it would eventually perform. And while some may have even assumed that the first generation of the Fold would become Vapourware, it made a surprise appearance at IFA 2019. And we got to spend 45 glorious minutes with it.
The new version of the Fold has two hardware differences from those originally released earlier this year.
At the base of the device there is now a T-shaped clip that stops people from peeling off the protective film when they inevitably mistake it for a screen protector.
The hinge gap has also been reduced, meaning that it's far less likely for dust and other debris to slip into the device, which caused some to short out previously.
That being said, we still recommend being very cautious about taking it out anywhere it will get dirty, such as hiking or the beach. The Fold doesn't have an IP rating at all so its still at risk of having some issues in this area.
As for the specs, the Fold comes with a 7.3-inch Dynamic AMOLED Infinity Flex display, 4.6-inch HD+ Super AMOLED outer display, triple rear camera (16MP ultra-wide, 12MP wide and 12MP telephoto), dual front camera (10MP selfie, 8MP RBG dept) and a 10MP cover camera.
Under the hood you'll find a Snapdragon 855 processor (no Exynos!), 12GB RAM, 512GB storage and a 4,380 battery with fast charging and Qi wireless charging.
It will come with Android Pie and there is no word on when it will get Android 10 yet.
Here's a full spec run down:
We only had a short period with the Fold this week, so we didn't notice anything different to our hands on in Germany last month.
We're still impressed that Samsung has gone beyond the folding gimmick to make an incredibly functional new form factor device. The multi-tasking use case for both work and leisure is obvious even after playing with it for just a few minutes.
The split keyboard is particularly great, being it's both comfortable and quick to use.
It's also still incredibly fun to play with, has a decent camera and the app continuity and rotation seemed on point for the most part. However, a Samsung rep did say that some apps may struggle switching between the front screen and the main screen when unfolded. Some may even crash and need reopening - Uber was used as an example here.
We would definitely recommend testing this though. As we discovered in Germany, app continuity is not turned on by default. You'll need to toggle it on with every new app download.
When it was in use, we found that it worked beautifully with the likes of Chrome and YouTube - but of course they're both part of the Google family so that may be why.
While it's still a little thick for our liking, and the crease is noticeable to the touch, you may very well get used to both of these things. They're becoming more comfortable with every hands on, and the crease itself at least isn't visible all the time.
The main concern is still durability. It's probably going to scratch easily, and from the sounds of it Australia will not be getting the one free screen replacement deal that U.S. customers have access to.
Another interesting tidbit - you won't be able to buy one online. It will be available in store only regardless of whether you want to buy it outright or on a plan.
While Samsung is claiming that this is in order to keep a fair playing field and give the device a premium feel, it may also have something to do with all of the issues it has so far. Making people go into a physical store means that the opportunity is there to make damn sure that they know exactly how to use it (and it's limitations) before they purchase.
We're hoping to have a full review up for you real soon, but you can read out first impressions here.
And if you're already sold and want one regardless, you'll be able to get one in Australia in Australia from October 30.
And in a move that we were shocked by, it's only going to have an RRP of $2,999. That's obviously still very pricey for a phone, especially a first gen, but we were honestly expecting it to hover around the $3,500 - $4,000 mark.