The Samsung Galaxy Fold is back and better than ever. After design flaws began causing reviewers’ phone screens to break, Samsung postponed the Fold’s release date and went back to the drawing board to fix the problem. Now, a new and improved Galaxy Fold will go on sale in September, starting in Korea and branching out throughout Asia and Europe before heading to the US. (Here’s what we know about preordering the fixed Fold.)
I got a chance to go hands-on with the redesigned model, which Samsung says will avoid incurring the kind of damage that caused some reviewers’ screens to break. (CNET’s review unit never broke, but the screen did sustain scratches.)
Samsung’s fixes correct the Galaxy Fold’s early problems, but it also marks a shift in the phone maker’s strategy for selling the device. The $1,980 Galaxy Fold was supposed to be a smash hit that secured Samsung’s place as an innovator. Early adopters would clamor for it. It would become the ultimate symbol of status and luxury. But now these changes represent Samsung’s mistakes, and the company seems less enthusiastic that it the Fold will sell.
This new design looks mostly the same as before, with subtle changes that make it harder to damage the Galaxy Fold’s delicate plastic screen. For example, Samsung has completely removed the question of whether the protective layer on top of the original design was an optional screen protector or an essential part of the display’s integrity — it was actually the latter, as some reviewers learned the hard way earlier this year.
Unfolding the Fold also feels different. Smoother, perhaps. Sturdier. I always loved opening and closing the original design during my time with the phone: The sensation of resistance as you closed the screen and felt the magnetic sides snap shut.
Now it feels more complete somehow. It’s hard to say why exactly, with the original Galaxy Fold so far in the rearview mirror and just my memory for comparison. Before this week, the last time I held the Fold was in mid-April. Here’s every way the Galaxy Fold has changed.