We’ve seen Samsung and Huawei (and others, actually) do the folding-phone dance for a few months now, and today it seems we have a victor – Samsung will launch the Galaxy Fold in the USA this month, April 26.
This will make Samsung first to market with a device housing new flexible displaying technology, an enviable marketing position regardless of whether or not it translates into actual sales.
The Galaxy Fold is like a notebook, with a flexible display on the inside that can be opened to give the user a 7.8-inch tablet-like surface. When it’s closed, a smaller screen on the front of the device takes over and offers a more traditional single-screen Samsung smartphone experience.
Samsung’s announcement of the Galaxy Fold was quickly followed by Huawei’s Mate X at MWC, another take on the folding display form factor that is in many ways the opposite of the Galaxy Fold – the Mate X screen flexes around the outside of the device and avoids using a notch in the unfolded display. It’s also a 5G phone.
Both companies have anxiously detailed their devices since launch, albeit with some limitations – Samsung has been notoriously coy with letting anyone get near a device, while Huawei has put working units in front of journalists in tightly controlled environments. Neither has been really willing to talk launch dates or pricing.
New technology doesn’t come cheap, though – we’ve heard for months that both phones’ price points will make your eyes water and neither company for all their talk has really been willing to dispute that.
So, if you’ve got the princely sum of $1,980 US dollars sitting in a bank account somewhere, you can get in on the ground floor of folding smartphones and get yourself a Galaxy Fold. From April 26 on a couple of US carriers, and at US retail.
Converted, that’s some $2,700+ Australian dollars. You’ll also likely get socked an extra 10% GST on the import.
At this point you’ll probably need to consider just how badly you need to own a foldable device (noting also that, as a 5G device, the Mate X seems likely to cost at least the same or possibly more). Industry analysts say they expect to see folding phones become more affordable in the coming years, and there’s still a lingering question of whether or not you actually need such technology in the first place. It’ll be difficult to assess acceptance of the technology in market until that point.
There’s been no word yet of an Australian launch date or price for the device.