Almost every other smartphone maker has followed suit since, from Google to Samsung. Look no further than Samsung’snew smartphone, the Galaxy S10, for an idea of how Apple’s iPhone X design has pushed the entire smartphone industry toward a so-called “all glass” phone interface:
Which is why one particularly bizarre design choice stood out so much when, on Wednesday, I first saw Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, the $1,980 folding smartphone/tablet that Samsung is also launching this year.
That the device folds is obviously remarkable. A folding screen! That’s some “Jetsons”-style futuristic magic right there:
After that initial novelty wore off, however, something else really stood out: the smartphone’s front screen.
Given that the device is still primarily a smartphone, it’s striking how bizarrely small the screen is at 4.6 inches. Even more striking, perhaps, are the two absolutely massive black bars on the top and bottom of that tiny screen:
Are there technical reasons for these large gaps? Almost certainly. Price considerations, given the already high price of the device? Assuredly.
The Galaxy Fold is, more or less, an entirely new product category, so we’re in uncharted territory here. There could be any number of reasons for the large gaps above and below the smartphone’s screen.
That said, anyone switching from a standard, modern smartphone to the Galaxy Fold will need to consider the trade-off: losing abouta full inchof screen real estate in exchange for a folding phone.
We’ve asked Samsung representatives for a statement on the screen design, but have yet to hear back.
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