Two days with the Samsung Fold Exclusively

No iPhone can unfold... but this android phone certainly can and it does that in style
Two days with the Samsung Fold Exclusively

On the 21st of August 2023, I unboxed a beautiful Samsung Fold 5 in icy blue. The colour was fine. Honestly, I am looking for vibrant colours instead of blend colours. Anyway...

On 27th August, I was going on a short two–night gate-away with my beautiful wife and my super awesome son. However, when I first unboxed the Fold 5, I had no intention of taking the Fold 5 on this short gate-away.

I changed my mind on the morning of the 27th. But before that occurred, I had a rough morning. I was on medication and was determined that would not come in the way of the upcoming vacation. However, I was stupid enough to take new medication on an empty stomach. Long story short, I fainted. I don't know when and I don't know how. Thankfully, I did not hurt my son as when I fainted, he was playing nearby. I managed to damage the kitchen cabinets, and my right arm still hurts. Anyway, I am otherwise fine. My blood pressure was super low. It was a super stupid mistake, which could have ended in a massive disaster. But all is well. Thank God.

Fold 5

Two hours before leaving, I decided to leave the iPhone 14 Pro Max behind and take my Fold 5. My Fold 5 had my work sim card and my iPhone had my personal sim card. I set up call forwarding on my iPhone so if someone does try to reach me, I can answer the call on the Fold 5. I was concerned that my Apple Watch Ultra may feel lonely, but that Ultra is a big guy and it will survive. Plus, it has cellular, so was connected to the Apple cloud.

In the days leading up to Sunday, I had barely used my iPhone. I was super excited to have this magnificent device in my hands that within seconds can unfold into a beautiful tablet size OLED display. It's super cool and, importantly, a brand-new experience of using a device so intimately. Having a large display so close to touch and play with is super spectacular. In short, it's super FUN. The iPhone 14 Pro max is the opposite of Fun, it's super boring. It is super reliable and super consistent. Therefore, based on your needs, that is what you may require from your mobile. I want something fun. The Apple focused media aren't interested in foldable — YET. They will only come to the table when Apple makes one. Remember when Apple and all the Apple media folks were so negative on larger sized display phones because at the time Apple's selling point was that one can reach all parts of the iPhone screen with your thumb. Today, and for the last five years, Apple's most popular device are the Max phones. It's that popular that Apple cancelled their iPhone mini for the iPhone Plus. Anyway, the point is, I am independent, and my livelihood does not depend on pleasing Apple fans.

It shocks me I am writing this. I have thoroughly enjoyed using the Samsung Fold 5 and its software experience. It's super fluid and so intuitive.

I have attempted to use android phones many times.. The difference this time is that the foldable is a super unique form factor. However, my mindset is different. Instead of taking the approach of moving my iPhone focussed workflows to android. I attempted to find new ways to achieve the same outcome, but doing it in a way that the Samsung Fold excels in. No android phone is like an iPhone, and no iPhone will ever be like android. It's best to lean into the advantages of each platform.

Two days without iPhone

  • I took many pictures (it was my only camera on this trip) on my Fold 5 and many of the snaps became my wife's favourites.
  • Selfies never looked this good. The fold form factor allows you to use the rear cameras for your selfie instead of the front camera. This makes total sense because the camera at the back of the phone is always super superior to the front—facing camera. I use the main camera on the Fold and the front display as a screen to compose my snap. It has this very cool feature where when I say "smile", it will take the photo. After a few shots, even my son started saying "smile" and the Fold 5 will take the photo. Now that is dope.
  • 1Password: v8 may not be as great as a native app on the Mac, but on Android, it's pretty good. Works well in split screen mode, which makes logging into websites and apps a breeze. Even the largest iPhone cannot have two screens at once.
  • Phones calls are great. Occasionally, it's handy to have 1Password on the right and the phone call on the left to enter credit card numbers or just noting things etc.
  • Beeper: this one app kept my iMessage and WhatsApp in sync on my Android phone. Honestly, I have been using this app since July. I found this app when I was searching for an iPad version on WhatsApp. Well, there isn't one. But, I don't need one now because I have Beeper. It's not perfect, but it has worked flawlessly. I am hoping it's reasonably priced when it comes out of the free use beta.
  • Samsung internet browser: (even I didn't see this coming) my plan was to just download Firefox, but the more I started using the Samsung browser, the more I found it a delightful experience. I always thought Samsung software is subpar at best. Oh boy oh boy, I was wrong. It's great. Samsung has copied the Safari goodness, but I am not complaining. They all copy. I say, go for it.
  • The good old stylus: the S Pen is small but mighty. I used it a lot. Mainly for navigating and making minor edits to images before sharing them with family and friends. The precision a style provides, no finger can come close.
  • Multiple apps on one screen: technically, the Fold 5 can have three apps running at the same time on screen, but I kept two, and that was sufficient. Actually, more than sufficient. Many tasks that I would do it on my Mac, I was doing it on my Fold 5, simply because it was much less friction and also, a lot of fun. It’s also fun to use. For example, if I have one app open and want to open another app on the side, allI I have to do is a two finger swap from the left or right, a list of apps will show (most used apps are on top) that I can select to open, and I am off to the races.
  • Android Auto: let's just say it's miles better because of Google Assistant, and I prefer it visually. Apple Music works significantly better on Android Auto than on CarPlay… Go figure.
  • USB-C everywhere

There is so much more, but the last two days were spectacular. I had a great time with my family and my Fold was a delightful sidekick.

It's not all roses

  • The battery life is ok, but not great.
  • Fold 5 is not dust resistant, so I did not take it to the beach.
  • I wish the front display was a little wider. Certainly not a deal breaker, though. I quickly got used to it. I use this device unfolded probably 75% of the time.
  • It is not cheap. I will write another post explaining how I am justifying this rather enormous expense.
  • Miss MagSafe (hoping to find a MagSafe compatible case soon)

After many years, I am this excited because technology is fun AGAIN.

I wrote this post on the Samsung Fold 5 using iA Writer.

Hold on... there’s more