The Galaxy Fold is about to make a comeback.
Samsung's $2,000 foldable phone, put on ice before it was even launched in April after problems cropped up with early review units, is going to go back on sale in September after Samsung proclaimed that it had fixed those issues.
"Samsung is conducting final product tests to make Galaxy Fold available to consumers starting in September in select markets," the company said in a statement released tonight (July 24). "Availability details will be shared as we get closer to launch."
That means exactly when in September — and which markets Samsung is talking about — aren't going to be revealed as of now. It would seem a safe bet that the U.S. market would be among the places Samsung would roll out its retooled phone, but the company could also play it safe and launch the Fold in a lower-profile region to ensure the kinks truly are worked out.
For what it's worth, GSMArena reported earlier today that the scaled-back Fold launch would include the U.S. as well as South Korea, Germany, France, the U.K. and India.
In the weeks and months after Samsung delayed the Galaxy Fold launch, retail partners including Best Buy and AT&T cancelled pre-orders for the phone. We're waiting to hear when sales will resume, though presumably, that information will come out once we have a firmer release date in September.
What's changing with the Fold
In addition to announcing the Fold's relaunch, Samsung also spelled out how it's going to ensure the problems that scuttled the $1,980 phone's planned release in the spring don't crop up again.
Back in April, Samsung handed out a few early test units to reviewers. And while Tom's Guide didn't run into any problems with our Galaxy Fold, other testers did. In some cases, it was a matter of removing a protective film that was supposed to remain in place. In another instance, though, debris became caught between the Fold's hinge and the screen, making the display inoperable.
Samsung says it's extending that protective layer that was so easy to peel back so that it now goes beyond the Fold's bezel. By doing so, Samsung says it will be clear that the layer is integral to the Fold's design and shouldn't be removed. We'd imagine the documentation for the phone will make this point explicitly clear, too.
Samsung also says it's adding protection caps to the top and bottom of the Fold's hinge, and adding additional metal layers underneath the display to better protect it. There's less space between the hinge and the revamped phone's body, too.
Finally, the retooled Fold will include what Samsung calls "additional reinforcements" to guard against external particles while still allowing you to fold and unfold the device's screen.
Samsung plans to use the time between now and the September launch date to conduct further tests to confirm that the Galaxy Fold is ready to go.
Samsung has also used the Galaxy Fold's delayed launch to improve the user experience with the phone. Apps need to be optimized to take advantage of features like multitasking, which lets you run three apps at once on the Galaxy Fold's 7.3-inch screen. When we tested the phone, some apps supported this feature, but a number of critical apps did not. Samsung says more apps and services have been optimized for the Galaxy Fold in the ensuing months.
Before the Fold stumbled, 2019 figured to be a big year for foldable phones. Not only was Samsung's phone supposed to launch, but Huawei had a rival device in the form of the foldable Mate X that figured to challenge the Galaxy Fold for the hearts and minds of early adapters. The Mate X has been delayed, too, though Huawei says it's to ensure that its phone doesn't have the same problems at launch that the Fold did back in April.
If the Fold's problems really are behind it, this could be the start of the foldable phone era, a few months after it was originally scheduled. We're looking forward to seeing if the Galaxy Fold is finally ready for prime time — and when that time in September will be.