Samsung has announced that the Samsung Galaxy Fold officially goes back on sale in the U.S. on September 27th. It’s the U.S.’s turn to finally get in on the folding phone fun after Samsung delayed its initial launch to address concerns regarding its durability.
At launch, the $1,980 Galaxy Fold will be available as a carrier-branded phone from AT&T, or as an unlocked model available at select Best Buy and Samsung retail store that will work on any of the other major U.S. cell networks. However, unlike the UK and South Korea which got both 4G and 5G versions of the Galaxy Fold, at least initially, only the 4G Galaxy Fold will be available in the U.S.
The two main updates Samsung made to the Fold for its re-launch were moving the protective polymer film that sits on top of the phone’s flexible OLED display beneath its bezels so that no one would mistake it for a screen protector and try to remove it, and the addition of a T-shaped insert designed to prevent debris from getting inside the Fold’s hinge.
Alongside the release of the Galaxy Fold, Samsung is also introducing its Galaxy Fold Premier Service, which is a new customer service experience designed to help and assist anyone who buys the phone. Fold owners will be able to use to service to get a walk through and explanation of the Galaxy Fold’s various features, or to contact Samsung about any potential issues via video chat, in-person support, or a dedicated phone number.
Unfortunately, as YouTube channel JerryRigEverything demonstrated recently after pouring some sand and rocks on the phone, the thing still won’t win many durability contests. Because the Galaxy Fold doesn’t have an official IP rating for dust or water resistance, it’s still quite possible for small particles to find their way inside Samsung’s foldable phone.
On the bright side, the Fold’s hinge should be able to withstand a huge amount of pressure, because despite Zach from JerryRigEverything pushing directly on its hinge, he wasn’t able to bend of break the phone like he did on a couple previous iPhones and iPads.
As for the Galaxy Fold’s main rival—the Huawei Mate X—it’s expected by the end of the year. While Huawei still hasn’t announced an official sale date for its foldable phone, Huawei consumer group CEO Richard Yu said, during its recent launch event for the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro, that the Mate X could be available as early as next month.
Either way, while the Galaxy Fold is certainly an ambitious and impressive device, for anyone interested in a foldable phone but concerned about its durability or longevity, my advice would be to wait for the second or third generation of folding devices.
The Galaxy Fold is an all-new type of smartphone experience, but as with all first-gen devices, there’s still some growing pains that Samsung and others should be able to address more thoroughly on subsequent versions.