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Redesigned Galaxy Fold tempts users to explore folding experience

At first look, the unfolded 7.3-inch display of Samsung Galaxy Fold -- which was finally unveiled at a media event held in Seoul on Thursday -- looks neither like a smartphone nor a tablet PC. 

(Photo by Song Su-hyun /The Korea Herald)
(Photo by Song Su-hyun /The Korea Herald)

Samsung Electronics offered tech reporters here a chance to test the redesigned Galaxy Fold after working on defects found in April. The tech giant’s first and the world’s first commercial foldable smartphone will be officially launched Friday. 

Feeling unsure about how to identify the newest gadget in a whole new category, first-time testers would naturally hold the folded-out device with two hands.

Jittery and excited, two thumbs then -- hesitantly at first, and more sure the next -- add pressure to the display to bend the device.

When it’s folded in half and becomes 4.6 inches diagonally, it feels like a thick but slim metal bar is perfectly placed in one hand. 

(Photo by Song Su-hyun /The Korea Herald)
(Photo by Song Su-hyun /The Korea Herald)

After repeating the acts of folding the device several times, right-handed users would be more confident to easily unfold it with their right hand by using the thumb power, and vice versa for the left-handed.

So, the question of whether the full-touch screen made of flexible organic light-emitting diode display will be safely folded in and out seems to have been answered fairly. 

Once the testers tried writing a text message on the cover display, the 4.6-inch screen looked quite small. So, they unfolded the device and got the same texting screen on the bigger 7.3-inch screen. It was the App Connectivity feature boasted by Samsung for its first foldable device.

Due to the feature, whatever has been operating on the cover display -- watching a You Tube clip, playing a high-resolution video game, browsing the Google Map etc. --can be expanded to the bigger main display when unfolded, and it can also be reduced to fit the smaller display when folded in without stoppage.

Another fresh experience with the Galaxy Fold was that three different tasks can be simultaneously carried out on the main display.

The primary app that started first is placed on the left half side of the display, while the second and third apps that started later appear on the right half, top and bottom each.

The users can add even more tasks by placing a fourth app with a fingertip drag on the center of the display, and other ones on the menu bar showing operating app icons at the top left side.

The apps can be moved around to the space the users want for personal convenience.

One thing that was found disappointing was that the dragging of each app that were simultaneously being operated required quite a sensitivity of the users’ fingertips in order to accurately point a semi-transparent bar at the edge of the divided screen for each app and press it to move them around.

Samsung has rectified the problem of breaking the fragile foldable display film by stretching the material further and hiding it inside the bezel.

However, due to the characteristics of the foldable film, a faint line in the middle of the main display remains and is shown when placed under the light.

By Song Su-hyun (