Samsung Galaxy Fold: Impractical but groundbreaking
The Samsung Galaxy Fold is an utterly ridiculous device.
But it’s also something new. In a world awash with cookie-cutter black slab smartphones, the Fold feels revolutionary. And for the first time in quite a long time, gadget lust has struck again. Which is what most people will do with the Galaxy Fold, lust over it.
This first model in this new breed of smartphone costs AED7,0000 to start. For that, you get a smallish tablet that folds up into a largish phone. But the Galaxy Fold does the most important thing Samsung promised: fold. It snaps shut and glides open. And that’s all that really matters.
We consumers are smarter in 2019 than we've ever been. We know Apple isn’t reinventing the smartphone when it unveils its iPhone 11 Pro’s triple camera—it’s just making improvements.
The smartphone race, technologically speaking, is now pretty even between Apple, Google and Samsung. We know that buying a new phone every year is stupid expensive, even with payment plans, and especially because each year brings fewer and fewer improvements—seriously, the last actually cool iPhone was the gold one.
We know that the relentless phone cycle sucks resources out of the earth, and we feel pretty damn guilty about that. We also know that phone companies like Apple and Samsung and Google are not our friends and in fact are profit-gobbling entities making mega bucks off our data.
And yet. And yet, we can also see that the Samsung Galaxy Fold is a groundbreaking device, the first of its kind available en mass to consumers. For the first time in a long time, a gadget is making us—and I swear I’m not trying to sound schmaltzy here—dream of what the future might hold. Who cares if it’s not practical or strong or sleek? This is the gauntlet thrown down.
Apple has to start innovating again so it can give us a super-thin iPhone that folds in half. Google has to improve its hardware—and also give us a super-thin Pixel that folds in half. Tech companies have to stop wasting our time and what little expendable money we’ve got with lame phone upgrade options, year after monotonous year.
Samsung will (hopefully) keep tinkering with this Fold design until it actually makes sense to invest in one. Lord knows I wouldn't right now, unless you can't bear to be left behind at the start of the next tech revolution: the return of the flipping phones.