Samsung’s “Unpacked” product launch in San Francisco began with a preview of its first folding phone—known, logically enough, as the Galaxy Fold. It’s a tall, skinny Android one with a 4.6″ display, and a hinge that lets you unfold it into a tablet with a 9.3″ screen, just a bit smaller than an iPad Mini.
A few details:
- The Fold will be available on April 26 for $1,980—a hefty price, even given that it might replace both a garden variety smartphone and a conventional tablet.
- It has two batteries—one on each side of the hinge—and a total of six cameras.
- It’s designed to let you start using an app on the small front screen and then unfold the device and continue on the big display; Samsung worked with Google and other developers to make this work for apps such as WhatsApp and Office.
- Samsung says it invested huge engineering effort into ensuring that the folding interior screen is robust enough to let you fold and unfold it as much as you want without fear of damage.
- In general, it features top-of-the-line specs such as 12GB of RAM and 512GB of fast Universal Flash Storage.
At $1,980, the Galaxy Fold is targeting well-heeled gadget freaks, not the teeming masses. Will we someday look back at it as a bleeding-edge pioneer in a category that went on to become mainstream? It’ll be fun to find out.