By Chloe Aiello
Samsung released its long-awaited foldable smartphone on Wednesday ー and its close to $2,000 price point is giving even the most enthusiastic tech junkies sticker shock.
“Today, Samsung is writing the next chapter in mobile innovation history by changing what’s possible in a smartphone. Galaxy Fold introduces a completely new category that unlocks new capabilities never seen before with our Infinity Flex Display,” President and CEO of Samsung Electronics DJ Koh said in a statement.
The Galaxy Fold is something of a tablet-smartphone hybrid and features a flexible, 7.3-inch AMOLED display made of polymer, which Samsung said makes it about 50 percent thinner than a typical smartphone display. It folds like a book, thanks to a hinge with interlocking gears ー and features app continuity so users don't have to stop what they're doing when changing configurations. It also includes a dual battery system with Wireless PowerShare, biometric fingerprint security, AKG speakers, 5G and LTE capabilities, and a six-lens camera system that allows for triple app multitasking use during video calls.
But the detail that's catching everyone's attention is the price tag. When SVP of Mobile Product Development Justin Denison announced the $1,980 starting price at Samsung's launch event, there were audible gasps from the audience.
Twitter wasn't any kinder concerning the Fold's price.
"Umm, $1,980 for the Galaxy Fold, available April 26th…won’t be reviewing that one, LOL," tech reviewer Michael Kukielka wrote on Twitter.
"These phone (sic) are getting more and more expensive..... The Samsung Galaxy Fold is a price of rent in NY," Twitter user @BmoreShawty wrote.
Cam Snackel tweeted: "@SamsungMobile spent years trashing @Apple’s notch and pricing, only to pull the ultimate troll move by announcing the Galaxy Fold — which comes with a massive right notch on the inner display, huge top and bottom bezels on the outer one, and a $1980 price tag. Well played...?"
Jokes aside, foldable handsets are shaping up to be the next big thing in consumer tech ー and the Galaxy Fold will be the first widely available device with that coveted feature when it debuts April 26. Xiaomi, Huawei, and Lenovo have all teased their own versions of a foldable handset, according to the Verge, meaning quite a few more of these devices could emerge in 2019.
Alongside the Galaxy Fold, Samsung also unveiled on Wednesday four new Galaxy S10 devices that range in price from $750 to $999, wireless earbuds that are cheaper than Apple's, and a new line of fitness bands and watches.