Samsung shrugs off struggling sales of super-premium smartphones with £1800 Galaxy Fold coming in May

Samsung shrugs off struggling sales of super-premium smartphones with £1800 Galaxy Fold coming in May

Samsung also first major manufacturer to rush out 5G smartphone with the Galaxy S10 5G

Samsung has unveiled the first folding screen smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Fold, which will come to the UK on 3rd May.

The device was shown off at the company's Unpacked event in San Francisco, California yesterday alongside the new Galaxy S10, S10 Plus and a number of other devices.

The Samsung Galaxy Fold will offer a 7.3-inch main display on a 4.6-inch device, unfolded. The main display is a QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED screen, while it also offers a 4.6-inch HD+ Super AMOLED ‘cover' display.

However, the 5G Samsung Galaxy Fold has been pegged at a price of $1,980, which will equate to around £1,800 in the UK, including VAT.

The device will also offer 512GB of flash storage, 12GB of LPDDR4x memory and will be powered by a 7nm 64-bit octa-core CPU. The Galaxy Fold will be packed with a 4,380mAh battery with fast charging. To top it all off, the Galaxy Fold has one 10-megapixel front-facing camera and a triple-lens rear camera offering 16MP for ultra-wide angle photos, a 12MP wide-angle lens and a 12MP telephoto lens.

The device "answers skeptics who said that everything that could be done has been done," said Samsung Electronics CEO DJ Koh. "We are here to prove them wrong."

At the event, the company also showed off its Galaxy Watch Active smartwatch, the Galaxy Fit and Galaxy Bud wireless earphones.

The launch therefore relegated the company's mainstream premium smartphones, the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus to a supporting role. The main development on the S10 and S10 Plus is the screen-embedded ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, with the ‘budget' Galaxy S10e offering a cheaper side-mounted capacitive fingerprint sensor.

From left to right: The Samsung Galaxy S10e and S10 and S10 Plus

From left to right: The Samsung Galaxy S10e, S10 and S10 Plus

All three devices are powered by Samsung's 8nm Exynos 9820 octa-core chip, backed up by 6GB of memory on the S10e, and 8GB RAM on the S10 and S10 Plus. Samsung is also offering an "ultimate performance edition" of its top of the line S10 Plus, boasting 12GB RAM, 1TB storage and a ceramic chassis.

The handsets offer 3,100mAh, 3,400mAh and 4,100mAh batteries, respectively, and the S10 range is the first from Samsung to support reverse wireless charging. That means that wireless PowerShare, as Samsung is calling it, will enable the phones to charge compatible devices, such as the Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Buds unveiled at the same event - when they're placed on its backside.

Samsung has been keen to highlight the S10 devices' cameras, too; the S10 and S10+ both sport a triple-lens setup, comprising 16MP ultra-wide, 12MP wide and a 12MP telephoto lenses, while the lesser-specced Galaxy S10e offers a dual-camera setup without the 12MP telephoto lens.

This upgraded hardware comes paired with some new camera software, including a new 'Super-steady Video' and upgraded Intelligent Camera modes, which is intended to help the camera to identify objects.

Around the front, the Galaxy S10 and S10e sport a 10MP single-lens, while the S10+ squeezes a dual 12MP + 10MP setup into its elongated punch-hole cutout.

All three devices boast the same IP68 certification as last year's Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus, and offer the added bonus of Gorilla Glass 6 protection around the front. They also all offer WiFi 6 support, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a dedicated key for Bixby, Samsung's personal assistant.

The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus will cost £900, while the Galaxy S10 will cost £800 and the Galaxy S10e will cost £670. These devices are all 4G only.

On top of that, Samsung also announced a 5G version of the Galaxy S10, the Galaxy S10 5G, which sports a 6.7-inch QHD Dynamic AMOLED display, and a quad camera setup complete with a 3D depth-sensing lens. It's unclear, though, whether the device will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 or Samsung's Exynos 9820 with Samsung's own Exynos Modem 5100.

Past practice suggests it may sport different CPUs and modems for different markets.

As things currently stand now, Samsung's line-up at the premium end appears somewhat confused and overlapping, with the Galaxy S8 still available (at £690) and the Galaxy S9 (at £740).

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