After releasing it in South Korea and the UK, Samsung is finally ready to say when the Galaxy Fold will go back on sale in the US: September 27th. Samsung says it will be available both in an AT&T version and a standard unlocked version. It’s a smaller launch than the first time around, as it will only be available in “select” AT&T and Best Buy stores — plus Samsung Experience stores (it should also be available to order online).
The Fold has been slightly redesigned to make it more durable than the first version, as we detailed when Samsung unveiled the fixes to journalists earlier this month. Check out the video above for details on the changes, which includes a screen protector that doesn’t look like you’re supposed to peel it off.
Despite the changes, concerns about the $1980 device’s durability not only persist, but are completely reasonable. Zack Nelson put the 5G version of the Fold through his usual durability tests on his YouTube channel JerryRigEverything. It performed much like other smartphones except in two key areas: how easy it is to make permanent marks on the screen and how easy it seems to be to get grit inside the hinge mechanism.
We have been waiting to see if Samsung would provide more details on its Galaxy Premier Service and they don’t seem forthcoming — or more accurately, it seems as though what Samsung has said previously is the full width and breadth of the program. Customers who buy a Galaxy Fold will have the option to get an in-person setup session with a Samsung expert.
They’ll also have direct access to Fold-specific support via an app, the web, or a dedicated phone line. Many had been hoping that Samsung would also be included some sort of improved warranty support, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. It’s possible, maybe, that having direct access to Fold-specific support channels will make it easier to get repairs or replacements than usual.
The re-launch has been some time coming — and may even be a surprise to some. Samsung launched the Fold as though it were a standard flagship phone, giving it ample stage time at one of its “Unpacked” press events. But a device this fragile that costs $2000 probably should have been positioned as a niche (or even luxury) device more clearly.
Even then, several early review units (including ours) developed catastrophic hardware problems in mere days. Samsung delayed the launch, ultimately cancelling all preorders, though it did give some customers a $250 store credit for their troubles.
We did our best to review the Fold “as if” it hadn’t had those major issues, not knowing at the time that the original launch would be cancelled. We’ll be reviewing the revised version soon.