A leaked video purporting to show the Samsung Galaxy Fold in action has surfaced online and it paints a pretty bleak picture. There's a visible seam in the display and the UI is alarmingly sluggish. In other words, it's looking decidedly dodgy for a $2000+ flagship smartphone.
However, it's worth noting that we have no way of knowing if the depicted product is the final production model. So don't freak out. At least, not yet.
As the first foldable phone announced by a major manufacturer, the Samsung Galaxy Fold has a lot riding on it. Its success - or failure - could help determine the fate of the entire form factor. The aforementioned leak must therefore be a little distressing for Samsung. (See it for yourself above.)
The video, which originally surfaced in Vietnam, depicts the phone in both modes and it doesn't look great. At all. As Gizmodo notes, there's a noticeable crease down the middle of the screen. While it's not glaringly obvious, it's not the "magically folding display" that was promised either.
More concerning is the unresponsiveness, as demonstrated by the several attempts it takes to unlock the phone. There's also a noticeable pause when the phone switches to its external display (which, it must be pointed out, is extremely narrow.)
This must come as a bit of a blow to people who were eagerly anticipating this new form factor - Lifehacker's Anthony Cuarana has been practically gagging for it - but there's no need to write the device off yet.
As mentioned above, there's no way of telling when this video was taken - for all we know, it could be an early prototype or unfinished pre-production model. It wouldn't be the first time a Samsung phone leak proved to be inaccurate. (Anyone remember the Galaxy S10's 'side notch'?)
Whatever the case may be, we're confident that the version shown in this video will not be the version shipped out to consumers. In the wake of the stunning Huawei Mate X you can rest assured that Samsung will do whatever it takes to ensure it has an equally impressive product - even if that means pushing back the release date a few months.
It's only taken a few days but the Samsung Fold's leadership in the folding phablet business is already under threat. The Huawei Mate X was unveiled at Mobile World Congress today and while it's slightly larger than its Korean competitor, most reports suggest that it's easier to grasp. And, unlike the Galaxy Fold, Huawei's approach gives you two external displays that open into 8-inches of viewing goodness.
All will likely be revealed in the second half of 2019. But don't consign the Galaxy Fold to the dustbin of history just yet.