Thinking about buying a Galaxy Fold or another folding phone? Well, there are a couple of differences when compared with normal slab phones. Foldable phones help to pack a bigger screen in a small form factor, therefore helping you with multi-tasking and gaming. However, there are quite a good number of drawbacks too. If are interested to know the experience of using a Galaxy Fold phone before getting one, we have curated a list of the pros and cons of using foldable phones in this article.
Note: This article is written based on our experience of using folding phones like Galaxy Fold and Pixel Fold. We aren’t including flip phones like Galaxy Flip and Moto Razr as the experience of using Fold and Flip models is quite different.
Pros of Using a Foldable Phone
First, let me cover the best things about using a foldable phone compared to a regular phone.
An obvious improvement of a foldable phone over a normal phone is the ability to multi-task freely. While Android supports split-screen mode even on a normal phone, there isn’t enough screen real-estate to run 2-3 apps at the same time. Whereas the Fold’s inner screen is bigger and can easily run 2 apps in their natural size or even 3 apps if needed.
So, you can check your bills and also use the calculator app at the same time or you can research on the browser and jot down notes on a Notes or Docs app.
What takes multi-tasking on the foldable phone to the next level is that now you can drop-and-drop images, text, etc. from one app to another. For example, you can open the Gallery app and any chat application in a split screen. Then you can just long-press the images in the Gallery to select and then drop them on the chat application to send to anyone. Similarly, you can drag and drop text from the browser to docs or any other application. Here is a GIF explaining how drag and drop works in folding phones.
Not just for productivity, but even for entertainment, a bigger screen is always an advantage. Not to mention, most of the games from Candy Crush to Call of Duty expand and work great on big foldable phones. Especially for shooting or any open-world games, you can have a bigger view of the surroundings, which you can even call as an unfair advantage over other players. This advantage isn’t possible even with tablets as they have a different aspect ratio compared to Fold phones.
However, some games might not be optimized for a foldable phone. They either leave black bars on the side or stretch the game window to fit the screen without perfectly optimizing. Nonetheless, in our experience, most of the games are perfectly optimized.
3. Preview While Taking a Photo or Video
A small advantage when you are taking photos or videos with the Fold is that you can enable the preview on the outer display. So that the person in the frame can check out how they look and adjust their pose. Most foldable phones like Galaxy Fold support this feature. But in case you are getting a foldable phone from a lesser-known brand, this may not be available.
4. Rear Camera Selfies and Video Calls
Apart from just using the outer display as a preview, you can directly open the Camera app on the outer display. Now instead of using the front camera to shoot your selfies, open up the fold and use your rear cameras as they generally offer better quality than the front camera. Similarly, you also can open video calling apps like WhatsApp, Teams, and Google Meet to have better quality video calls.
5. In-Built Stand
Following up on the video calls, you can actually use the device form factor itself as a stand to make video calls or even consume any content. No need to hold your phone or place it flat on the table.
You can either use it in the tent mode and use the phone via the cover display, or you can use it in the laptop mode and use the phone via the inner display. I personally prefer the laptop mode as most foldable phones provide various helpful options in the bottom half.
6. Separate Home Screen for Different Tasks
One feature that most people don’t talk about but still very helpful is the ability to have two different home screens. One for inner and one for outer display. So that you can add apps and widgets that are meant to do quick tasks like phone, calculator, music player, tasks app, etc. on the outer display screen.
On the inner display, you can add apps like Notes, Netflix, Browser, games, etc. that need an immersive experience. However, you can have your own plan and have two different home screens for your different needs according to the display.
7. Novelty Factor
Folding phones aren’t common yet. So even after 4 generations of Galaxy Folds, you can still consider them as new and cutting-edge tech. If you love using phones or gadgets in general that turn people’s heads, then foldable phones are for you.
Cons of Using Foldable Phones
Apart from many advantages because of a bigger screen, they also suffer from some flaws that you need to keep in mind before getting one.
1. Media Consumption
Media consumption has to be a major pro when you have a bigger display in your hand. But with the aspect ratios of most foldable devices available in the market today, streaming on Netflix and YouTube isn’t a massive advantage. Most movies and YouTube videos just leave a black bar at the top and bottom of the inner display. Whereas on the outer display, they leave black bars on the sides.
They are as good as normal phones, but holding a massive phone with added weight and still having a similar experience is definitely a major con.
The situation is pretty much the same with speakers. Most foldable phones may have more speakers compared to slabs, but they sound just as good as normal phones.
2. Typing Issues on Outer Display
This issue is specific to the Samsung Galaxy Fold series as the aspect ratio of the outer display is tall and thin. Which leaves less vertical space for the keyboard keys making it harder to type. However, over a period of time, you may get used to it. Nonetheless, the keyboard on the outer display on Galaxy Fold isn’t a seamless experience to use.
3. Sensitive Inner Display and Crease
An obvious flaw of any foldable phone is the sensitive inner display. As the display has to fold, screens are made out of plastic rather than glass like you are normally used to. While the plastic is durable in terms of folds and drops, it can easily get scratched. Even dust particles can sometimes damage the phone’s screen. Not to mention, using a plastic display doesn’t provide the premium feel of a glass screen for many people.
Apart from just having a plastic inner screen, foldable phones also have a crease in the middle of the display where the display folds. While it isn’t visible while using the phone all the time, you can easily feel it when you slide your finger over it.
4. Unoptimized Apps
Most developers do not optimize their apps for foldable phones as it does not come with a regular aspect ratio like slab phones. So many apps just open in the regular slab phone aspect ratio leaving the black bars on the side. On Samsung Fold phones, Samsung will stretch the app to fit the entire screen. Though some apps work and look good even when stretched, some apps provide an unpleasant experience.
Check out, the best apps optimized for Galaxy Fold and other foldable phones.
5. Camera Specs
The camera isn’t a major obvious issue when you use the phone. But for a similar price, you can get a better camera on a regular phone. Whereas most foldable phones are thin and have less space internally to pack a better camera. They also miss out on telephoto cameras or have a lesser megapixel one compared to their regular flagship phones.
On Galaxy Fold, the camera on the inner screen is an under-display camera. Though it provides a better distraction-less display, it compromises photo and video quality.
Even the thinnest folding phone out there right now is bulkier than your average phone. Not to mention, they are also a bit heavy compared to normal slab phones because of the hinge. However, the advantage of having such a massive display, the additional weight is negligible. Nonetheless, if you are not a fan of heavy phones, then foldable phones aren’t your option as of now.
Foldable phones are generally more costly than many normal phones, especially for the specifications they offer. The additional cost goes to foldable screen technology. Some foldable phones like Galaxy Fold are costly, instead, you can easily get a flagship Samsung phone and tablet together for the same price. Unless you want to have a bigger screen in your pocket, there are better options to go with.
Time to Fold
Apart from that, mostly the experience of using a foldable phone remains the same. But if you prefer to multitask and are into editing documents, photos, etc. a lot, then a bigger screen will serve you. But for most general tasks like chatting or watching Netflix, foldable phones don’t really pack any advantages. But if you are really interested in trying once, nothing can beat the novelty they offer right now. Are you sold on folding phones yet?
If so, here are some hidden features of the Galaxy Fold that you might like.