Samsung’s new phones are finally here! Samsung unveiled its long-anticipated Galaxy Fold and four new Galaxy S10s on February 20 at a launch event in San Francisco.
With this new array of different yet similar phones, Samsung fans might be wondering which one is best to order.
The Galaxy Fold: Samsung’s first foldable phone looks like a traditional 4.6 inch smartphone when folded and expands into a 7.3 inch tablet using Infinity Flex Display when opened. It has two OLED displays and a 1960×840 (smartphone mode) and 2152×1536 (tablet mode) resolution panel.
The Galaxy Fold is available in four colors – black, silver, green, and blue – and has the ability to run three apps at the same time, so users can listen to music on Spotify, message a friend on WhatsApp, and scroll through Instagram simultaneously. The Galaxy Fold also comes with two batteries, one on each side of the phone.
And the camera? The Galaxy Fold does not disappoint. It has a triple-lens rear-facing camera: a 16 megapixel ultra-wide lens, a 12 megapixel wide-angle lens, and a 12 megapixel telephoto lens. The Galaxy Fold also has a 10 megapixel front-facing camera and an inside 10 megapixel selfie lens and 8 megapixel depth lens.
Samsung anticipates that Galaxy Fold users will continuously switch between smartphone and tablet mode and it has therefore developed an app continuity system to ensure smooth app adjustment when the user changes from smartphone mode to tablet mode and vice versa.
However, convincing app developers to create apps for foldable phones, which must take into consideration their unique form, might be a challenge initially. Many app developers will likely want to see the level of consumer interest in foldable phones before investing time and money into creating conforming apps.
The Galaxy Fold is launching on AT&T and T-Mobile; Samsung hasn’t confirmed anything yet with regards to other carriers.
The Galaxy Fold is considered a “luxury” item according to Samsung and has a hefty $1,980 price tag. It comes in LTE and 5G versions. The LTE version will be released on April 26. Samsung expects the 5G version to become available sometime in the second quarter of 2019.
The Galaxy S10 Line-up: Samsung is also launching its Galaxy S10 smartphone line. It unveiled four models at the launch event: S10, S10 Plus, S10e, and S10 5G.
What exactly is the difference between the four models? The answer, surprisingly, is not much, except for the size, price, and camera.
The S10 comes with a 6.1 inch display screen and costs $899. It has a triple-lens rear-facing camera – 16 megapixel ultra-wide lens, 12 megapixel telephoto lens, and 12 megapixel lens, which can switch between f/1.5 and f/2.4 apertures – as well as a 10 megapixel front-facing camera.
The S10 Plus, in contrast, has a larger 6.4 inch display screen and costs $999. Its triple-lens rear-facing camera is similar to the S10’s. However, it comes with an additional front-facing camera.
With the phone bearing a $749 price tag, consumers can think of the S10e as the S10’s smaller and poorer cousin. It has a 5.8 inch display screen, two rear-facing camera lenses, and a single front-facing camera.
The S10 5G model looks similar to the S10 – except that it is the first mainstream smartphone using 5G capabilities. In theory, that might be a cause for celebration. However, because 5G networks are still in their infancy and full coverage is years away, the benefits of the S10 5G might not be seen until 5G networks are fully functioning.
The S10 5G model has four rear-facing lenses, including a 3D depth-sensing lens for augmented and virtual reality. The S10 5G model also has a 3D depth-sensing front-facing lens. Samsung expects to release the S10 5G sometime in the second quarter of 2019. The S10 5G model will be exclusive to Verizon. Its price has not yet been announced.
Differences aside, the Samsung S10 line-up has some notable new features that could make life much easier for users.
S10 smartphones study their users and learn their habits. For example, if a user typically opens the weather app and the mail app every morning immediately upon awakening, the phone will automatically load those apps in the background before the user opens them to save time. The phone will also automatically close the apps when the user is done with them to prevent battery drainage. According to Samsung, this feature will extend battery life by approximately 24 hours!
S10 smartphones also have the ability to charge another smartphone – any smartphone, even iPhone and non-Samsung smartphone models – by placing the phone needing to be charged on top of any S10 model. Of course, the owner of the S10 phone must approve battery sharing. The S10 phone will stop charging automatically when the host phone reaches 30% battery life.
The Galaxy S10 line-up is available in pink, blue, black, and white. Yellow and green are also available in some countries outside the U.S. The phones, with the exception of the S10 5G model, will be released on March 8 and pre-order is already in process.
Will enough consumers be motivated to upgrade to the new models? There is no denying that Samsung’s new line-up has some interesting new features. The question remains to be seen whether these features are enough for people to justify the high price tag in an era of smartphone fatigue.