Samsung caught the world’s attention last week with its foldable phone demo at its annual Samsung Developer Conference (SDC). Using what it called the “Infinity Flex Display” and “One UI” which Samsung has co-developed with Google, the device dubbed by many as the “Galaxy F” is set to take stage again at the Mobile World Congress happening February next year before being launched on the following month.
But before you get your hopes up, according to Yonhap News Agency, the Galaxy F will be priced quite steeply at ₩2,000,000 (approx. Php 93,600 or $1,770). That’s almost twice the price of Samsung’s own Galaxy Note9 or three times the price of most “budget” flagship smartphones.
An argument could be made that with a foldable phone, you are effectively getting two devices in one. However, based on the specs Google has revealed during their Android Dev Summit (remember, Samsung’s working with Google to develop the One UI) and what we’ve seen during the SDC last week, we’re still having a hard time justifying the jaw-dropping price.
What Samsung is trying to sell here is a tablet and a phone in one body. But as a phone (with the device folded) it has a similar screen size to an iPhone 6, but with large top and bottom bezels and the bulk of two phones stacked together. It’s not pretty, bluntly put.
Unfolded into “tablet mode”, the screen’s only about an inch bigger than a Note9’s and 0.6 of an inch smaller than an iPad Mini’s. We’re not entirely sure if the people who will be able to afford the Galaxy F wouldn’t just opt to buy a separate tablet with a screen larger than 7.3-inches.
Considering the price, the Galaxy F will undoubtedly be a niche product, especially since this will be a first-generation foldable smartphone. But with Samsung’s execution bordering dangerously close to unpractical and downright ugly, the attention now shifts to their competitors, mainly Huawei, who are also racing to bring a foldable phone to the market.