Samsung Galaxy Fold: Pre-orders 'frozen' as demand surges
UPDATE: Samsung has frozen pre-orders of its landmark Galaxy Fold "due to unprecedented pre-sale demand".
On a note posted on its pre-order page, Samsung is inviting customers to register their details so they can be told when phones may be available.
Staff plan to invite custoemrs to a one-on-one hands-on session at a Samsung store. It will also be available at selected retail stores and telcos.
The Fold will go on sale in Australia on October 30 for a jaw-dropping price of $2999.
The foldable phone, which opens up to a super vivid 7.3 inch Infinity Flex display, promises a 'large screen' experience like never before.
News Regional Media was given one of the first hands on experiences in Australia in Sydney.
The first thing you notice is how narrow the phone is when folded. The hinge is firm to open and suitably robust after thousands of rigorous tests.
Samsung says the phone is designed to be opened and closed all day, while the display has been given a far more protective structure than when it was first released.
When closed, users will have access to their essential information and apps on a 4.6 inch cover display.
When opened, the experience becomes far more dynamic, allowing people to watch videos, play games and do some work all at the same time.
One of the first things we did when testing was look for the 'crease'. Yes, there is one - after all it is a foldable screen.
But it is barely noticeable when playing a game or watching a YouTube or Netflix video.
The phone's initial launch was aborted after tech journalists testing the device uncovered problems with the screen and the protective display.
Samsung admits there have 'some naysayers out there', given how long it has taken to get the phone to the market since then.
But that's quickly being forgotten in overseas markets where the tech giant has reported 'sell outs in minutes'.
"At Samsung we believe in being bold,'' Australian vice-president of IT and Mobile Garry McGregor said.
"To push the boundaries of innovation you have to take some risk."
Samsung's PR people are hoping more will focus on the magic of a foldable screen - rather than looking for a crease. And that's what we noticed.
Experienced tech journos, used to the the wonders of new innovations, found themselves repeatedly opening and closing the screen, switching between a smaller view of a map on the home screen to a much larger display when the phone is opened.
The beauty of the screen comes into its own when you are comparing information in two windows, for example while online shopping, or transferring info from one application to another.
Playing a game like Alto's Adventure or Mario Kart on the larger screen is far more enjoyable than on a normal phone.
And if you're really keen to look like you're working you can have your email window off to the side. Or just close your phone really quickly when the boss comes by.
Users can open up to three active apps simultaneously on the main display so they can surf the internet, text, work, watch, and share content.
Samsung says its App Continuity function offers seamless transitions between the cover and main displays.
As Galaxy Fold opens and closes, apps will automatically pick up where they left off. When the user is ready to take a photo, make in-depth edits, or have a closer look at the social media feed, they can simply open the display and enjoy a larger canvas.
Samsung believes despite its steep price tag, the Galaxy Fold will be a sell-out success in Australia.
"This is a landmark moment for the mobile industry in Australia, Samsung's Australian vice-president of IT and Mobile Garry McGregor said.
He said already there had been 'tens of thousands' of people in Australia sign up for information about the phone's launch.
McGregor says Australians are early adopters of new innovation and he believes it will be no different with the first 'mass market' foldable phone.
He pointed out the technology behind the foldable screen was 'eight years in the making' and the subject of rigorous testing to ensure a supreme user experience.
" With Galaxy Fold, Samsung's pioneering technology has created a new category of smartphone with a first-of-its-kind user experience."
"Australians today are embracing larger screens as they consume, capture, share, and do more on-the-go," McGregor said.
"From the moment you pick it up and unfold it, the Galaxy Fold unlocks a completely new large-screen experience."
The Samsung Galaxy Fold has a high-powered, next-generation AP chipset and 12GB of RAM.
Fold has a dual-battery system, while Wireless PowerShare enables users to wirelessly charge compatible devices via their phone.
It has a Dynamic AMOLED display and powerful AKG-tuned stereo speakers to bring movies and games to life in rich sound and display.
The top of the range phone features no fewer than six camera lenses, three in the back, two on the main screen and one on the cover display.
Pricing and availability
Samsung Electronics Australia has partnered with all operators for Galaxy Fold and will have devices on display in select stores across Australia with availability to purchase for $2,999, from October 30.
To sweeten the deal, Samsung is throwing in its Galaxy Buds, worth $249 and a super slim case to protect the buyer's hefty investment.
Samsung says the phone will be available in stores servicing 70% of the population.
Those people in more regional and remote areas are likely to be able to order a phone at a local store in a second round of offers.
For more information on availability, check the Samsung Electronics Australia website on October 30 for store locations.