Could it really be true? Samsung has announced that its troubled Galaxy Fold will be available to consumers in South Korea on Sept. 6.
The Fold will gradually be rolled out in select countries. But Americans shouldn’t get too excited yet, as the 5G version of the phone will not be available in the U.S.
Meanwhile, Samsung made another move that has left U.S. customers bewildered. We’ll tell you about that, as well as the other caveats the Galaxy Fold has in store for the American market.
Galaxy Fold leaves Americans hanging
As expected, Samsung announced the start of the Galaxy Fold’s rollout on Sept. 5 at IFA 2019 in Berlin. South Koreans will almost immediately have access to the 4G and 5G versions of the innovative foldable phone.
The United Kingdom will get both versions of the phone on Sept. 18, with Germany getting only the 4G on that date. But when is the Fold coming to the U.S.?
On its Galaxy Fold homepage, Samsung gives a vague “in the coming weeks” for the U.S. market with some reports giving a launch date of Sept. 27. Also, there are reports that the Fold will only be available in 4G when it’s finally launched here.
It got worse
Adding to the confusion, Samsung sent an email to customers in the U.S. saying that it is canceling all pre-orders. The company is offering a $250 gift card as compensation.
Samsung has not said why it won’t be offering the 5G version of the phone in the U.S., although TechRadar reports that it had already been established that the U.S. would only get the 4G version.
Currently, only AT&T will be selling the Fold. T-Mobile decided not to sell it following its many delays.
As for the canceled pre-orders, it may have something to do with the launch lag in the U.S. On both its home page and in the emails sent to pre-order customers, Samsung said it wanted to “reinvent the customer experience.” Specifically, the Galaxy Fold will come with Premier Service that gives consumers direct access to Samsung experts 24/7.
How did Samsung fix the Galaxy Fold
New launch details aside, the initial April launch was delayed after review versions of the Fold began breaking almost immediately.
Some reviewers cited problems with the Fold’s hinges and when users’ applied extra pressure to the screen. Others said the hinges broke when they peeled off what appeared to be a screen protector but was actually meant to be left on the phone.
Two other reviewers who reported broken displays said they did not remove the Galaxy Fold’s protective film. Samsung confirmed it had found problems with the hinges and said the protective film would be strengthened.
Here are the fixes Samsung made to the Fold:
- Samsung added covers to the gaps where the hinges and screen fold in order to prevent any debris from getting in and breaking the hinges.
- The hinges have been updated and the phone is now easier to open and close.
- The hinges no longer bulge under the screen.
- The protective layer is now almost impossible to peel off as Samsung has extended it to go under the bezels.
- An additional layer of metal has been placed under the screen to strengthen it.
Despite all the delays the Galaxy Fold has always been expected to be a game-changer in the smartphone market
When closed, it has a 4.6-inch display. Unfolded, it becomes a 7.3-inch tablet screen. It has 12GB of RAM, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 CPU and two batteries encased in each side of the fold.
Its operating system is Android 9.0 Pie and the Fold has 512GB of internal storage but no microsSD storage. The Galaxy Fold has six cameras, including a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera, a telephoto camera and a new 16-megapixel ultra-wide camera for panoramic shots.
You get a lot of phone with the Galaxy Fold and the price reflects that. The Fold will retail in the U.S. at almost $2,000.