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Taking the Galaxy Fold on holiday: It survived Egypt

Opinion
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Last updated: October 2nd, 2019 at 15:40 UTC+02:00

After returning home from Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt yesterday, I thought I'd pen down my experience of taking the Galaxy Fold with me on holiday. As many of you are aware, Sharm el-Sheikh is a resort town that sits on the coastal strip along the Red Sea. There are amazing beach-side resorts which also means there's a lot of sand. Using the Galaxy Fold in such close proximity to endless amounts of sand is going to give a lot of people anxiety.

There’s no denying the fact that the Galaxy Fold is a fragile device, at least when compared to other flagships like the Galaxy Note 10. Samsung bombards you with multiple warnings when you fire up the device for the first time. You’re not supposed to put too much pressure on the foldable display. You’re also not supposed to put anything in between the two halves when folding it shut. Samsung has done its job by adequately explaining what you should and shouldn’t do with the device. From that point onwards, you’re on your own. Good luck with your $2,000 phone.

The Galaxy Fold doesn’t have an IP rating, the standard by which we judge the water and dust resistance capability of a mobile device. No device has been classified as water or dust “proof,” but modern devices like the Galaxy Note 10 are resistant enough that you can dunk them in the pool and not have to worry about sand.

We have different conditions in the Netherlands compared to Egypt simply because of our location in the world. You won't find a desert on the outskirts of Amsterdam but there's a pretty impressive one right outside Cairo. You get the idea. I was worried about dust even before we got there.

As we’ve all come to know by now, the Galaxy Fold doesn’t like dust, sand, lint or any particle that could make its way inside through the gap between the panel and the hinge. Samsung has significantly reduced the gap before relaunching the device but it’s not completely sealed shut.

So out of an abundance of caution, I asked my girlfriend to keep the Galaxy Fold wrapped up securely in her bag until we reached the resort. We spent most of our time at the resort by the pool as we’re not really beach people. Not that this didn’t make me worry any less about the device. A dunk in the pool would most likely kill the Galaxy Fold.

I would put the Galaxy Fold back in our bag when I was done using it. Since the bag wasn’t waterproof, I always had this worry in the back of my mind that I should be careful with drinks around the bag. An accidental spill could cause serious damage after all.

By now you must be thinking what good could possibly come from taking the Galaxy Fold on holiday, particularly to a destination like Egypt? Well, you’d be surprised, as we certainly were.

It's an ice breaker, a statement piece almost, as most people still can't comprehend a smartphone in this form factor. I distinctly remember how a gentleman's face lit up when he took a photo for us at dinner one night. He took one photo using the cover display and didn't quite understand when I asked him to open up the phone.

I told him to just open it like a book and his face instantly lit up with a massive smile. He said this felt like magic! We launched into a conversation about how this was Samsung's latest device and how it provides a completely unique user experience compared to anything else on the market.

Perhaps the most interesting reaction we got from people who saw us using this device was that they couldn't quite believe it was Samsung. The company no longer deserves the reputation of being an Apple copycat but it takes a long time to change perception. People are genuinely surprised to see that such a futuristic device has come from Samsung.

Aside from the shock value, don't forget that the Galaxy Fold is a genuine flagship. It has excellent cameras and delivers the best in mobile performance, be it content consumption or gaming.

Something that stood out to me was the convenience. There's no need to bring more than one device with you on holiday. Previously I would carry a separate tablet but I was perfectly happy binging Netflix on the 7.3-inch internal display. Yes, you can't be completely carefree with this device until it gets water and dust resistance, but this is a first-gen device after all.

Despite the concerns about the Galaxy Fold surviving conditions in Egypt, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the foldable smartphone. It offers everything that I need from a high-end smartphone and saves me the hassle of carrying multiple devices. The screen gets nice and bright so using it outdoors for extended periods of time isn't a problem.

I look forward to the day when the Galaxy Fold picks up an IP rating as that would truly elevate this device's usability. Don't forget, though, that my unit did return unscathed from Egypt. So as long as you exercise reasonable caution, your Galaxy Fold will be just fine.

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