According to a text from XDA's Max Weinbach
(@mweinbachXDA), the Samsung Galaxy Fold
is going to have a Bixby button. That might not warm the cockles of every Samsung fan's heart considering that many would rather stick to Google Assistant
. Samsung did make one change, ostensibly because of the foldable form factor. On the Galaxy Fold
, the Bixby button is located inside the power button, and when it is held down Bixby will be activated.
Since the release of the new Galaxy S10
line, Samsung is allowing the Bixby button to be remapped, not only on the new phones, but on older models as well
. Users can choose to allow a single tap or a double tap to bring up Bixby; if they choose the single tap, a double tap can be used to open any app already installed on the phone, and vice versa. For example, a Samsung Galaxy S10
owner who prefers Google Assistant over Bixby could make a single tap of the button open up Assistant, while a double tap wakes up Sammy's digital helper. However, since the Galaxy Fold wont sport a dedicated key to activate Bixby, it is not yet clear what the story will be with that device.
The Samsung Galaxy Fold is expected to be released on April 26th. Another tweet by Weinbach
notes that there will be an unlocked U.S. version of the phone. While the foldable will initially be available for carriers T-Mobile and AT&T in the states, firmware discovered earlier this month indicates that the phone will eventually be offered by Verizon, Sprint and other U.S. carriers
. Pricing of the early foldable phones has been prohibitive with Samsung asking for $1,980 for the Galaxy Fold, and Huawei seeking the equivalent of $2,600 for its Mate X
. The latter won't be out until this summer.
More manufacturers throw their hats into the foldable ring
We expect to see a number of firms launch foldable phones over the next year or two. Already, there has been word from Oppo, TCL, Xiaomi, Motorola and other manufacturers who have thrown their hat in the ring. With growth in smartphone shipments disappearing, the foldable segment of the market is expected to eventually provide a lift, along with the advent of 5G connectivity. However, Samsung is limiting production of the Galaxy Fold and most manufacturers will probably do the same with their foldable handsets; it might take a few years for the pricing of these phones to drop down to a level where they could help generate increased demand for smartphones.
The Samsung Galaxy Fold features a 4.6-inch exterior display. When the device is fully open, it reveals a 7.3-inch display As we told you the other day, it appears that all Galaxy Fold models will be powered by the Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform
. This goes against Samsung's usual MO of equipping its high-end models with Qualcomm's SoC in the U.S. and China, while the company's home grown Exynos chipset powers up these units elsewhere.
The Galaxy Fold will have 12GB of memory and 512GB of storage. Keeping the lights on is a large capacity 4380mAh battery. There is a triple camera setup in back that includes a 12MP primary camera with variable aperture, a 16MP ultra-wide camera, and a 12MP camera with 2x optical zoom. Fully opened, there is a double punch hole camera set up for selfies that includes both a 10MP camera and an 8MP camera. Android 9 Pie is pre-installed along with Samsung's new One UI interface. The latter moves actionable buttons and contents to the bottom of the screen so that users can still navigate their phones using one hand.