Samsung took it to its online newsroom to announce several changes to Galaxy Fold redesign and reveal that Samsung's first foldable device will be available in September "in select markets".
Samsung improved major design flaws that were reported earlier and display's top protective layer that was previously mistaken for a screen protector has been extended beyond the bezel emphasising that it is a crucial part of the display and should not be removed. The gap between the Galaxy Fold's body and the hinge has been reduced.
Underneath the display there have been additional metal layers included to strengthen the foldable panel. To better protect the device from small particles, top and bottom hinge areas now have protection caps.
These design changes are now being tested for consumer use and we hope to hear more news on the progress as we get closed to the launch in September.
Samsung hasn't announced any changes to the price of the fixed Galaxy Fold, so it's safe to say it will cost a whooping £1800. The tech behind the Galaxy Fold makes it one of the most expensive handsets, but given the fact that it has been reworked and consumer's faith in this design and practicality is yet to be regained, the cost is insanely high and we think Samsung will have tough time convincing buyers that the Galaxy Fold is priced just right.
Samsung postponed the release of the highly anticipated Galaxy Fold following a number of early reviewers reporting that their devices' screens broke after a mere few days of use. According to some earlier reports in Korea, Samsung were initially planning to reveal a new release date for the Galaxy Fold some time in June as opposed to May. It has since been almost two months since Samsung first delayed the Galaxy Fold's launch. In order to reassure unsettled consumers who have already pre-ordered the device, Samsung announced that their order would be cancelled if they had not announced a new shipping date by the end of the month.
Following these events, there seems to not have been a lot of progress from Samsung. Rumours have been circulating that they would be releasing the Galaxy Fold in July instead of June, however Samsung have denied this. According to the company, no media events for the device's launch have been scheduled. One official even reported that "nothing has progressed since the April delay". It therefore remains to be seen when the rescheduled launch will occur, and if Samsung will manage to release their device before their competitors.
Samsung reported that they have completed their internal inspections of samples that were damaged, due to the removal of the top protective layer of the main display or due to substances found on exposed areas, and they are now in the process of taking measures to prevent similar issues from occurring. Samsung state that these measures have included improving the durability of the hinge's exposed areas and ensuring that external substances cannot penetrate the device by minimising the gap between the bezel of the main display and the protective layer.
It remains to be seen how Samsung will fare against Huawei, who are also planning to release a folding phone this year, the Huawei Mate X. It could be speculated that Samsung were rushing to launch the Galaxy Fold in order to release a folding phone before Huawei. Samsung was adversely affected by the Galaxy Fold's screen breaking fiasco, which could have allowed Huawei to easily assume the lead in the race to release a folding phone this year. However, in an interesting turn of events, following the Huawei ban in the United States, Huawei have had to push the launch of the Huawei Mate X back to September. This could buy Samsung time to release the Galaxy Fold once the device's issues have been resolved.
There is a notable difference between these two phones, namely that the Galaxy Fold closes in on itself, while the Huawei Mate X folds on the outside. The Huawei Mate X impressed viewers at the Mobile World Congress, however it remains to be seen if its outwards facing screen will be able to withstand scratches, scuffs and being dropped on the ground.
Cover image: TechRadar
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