A week with the Samsung Galaxy Fold

I know, I know.

I will say this about the Galaxy Fold, however: it has been a hell of a conversation piece. I’ve had a LOT of dialogues with strangers since I started using it as my day-to-day. And let’s be honest, that’s a big part of being an early adopter.

The Galaxy Fold is also the most polarizing device I can recall to have used. Everyone who sees the thing wants to play with it, but reaction has been very mixed. I was at a FedEx store the other day and ended up handing it off to two of the four employees during the five minutes I was waiting to get a package.

Interestingly, they all seemed to be aware of the screen issues. Foldables have captured the public imagination like few recent consumer electronics. That’s going to be a mixed bag for Samsung. On the upside, it means a larger potential user base. On the downside, more people are looking on as the company figures out what to do with a malfunctioning product.

On the whole, people at the FedEx store and the various TSA/airline employees I’ve interacted with have been impressed by the product. One said it was smaller than she expected, which took me back a bit, after so many have commented on how bulky it is. I suppose she was expecting me to unfold an iPad.

Some of the TechCrunch writers/editors were a bit less impressed when I had the product with me at our robotics event last week. Tough crowd, obviously.

I’ve fallen somewhere between the two. The fold is undoubtedly an impressive bit of engineering when it’s working. For now, it seems our early suspicions that the device wasn’t ready for prime time appear to have been on the mark, as the company has shifted from “a limited number of early Galaxy Fold samples” to pushing back the launch indefinitely.

It opens up the field to a number of other already announced foldable devices (assuming they don’t experience similar problems). Of course, Samsung’s product lines, it should be noted, have bounced back from worse.

Anyway, this marks the end of my daily notes. I still plan to have a review this week, in spite of, well, everything.