Samsung Galaxy Fold | An iPhone user’s review

I’m an Apple iPhone user and probably always will be for my personal mobile. I’ve used iPhones since 2008 when the iPhone 3g was finally made available in Australia. I love the way iCloud works with all my contacts synced between my devices, my photos available on iPhone, MacBook Pro. Messages, handoff and FaceTime are great technologies for me. It is so useful being able to send, read and reply to SMS messages on the laptop without having to distract myself picking up the iPhone. I listen to Apple Music everyday and wouldn’t even dream of trying Spotify because I don’t need it. I have well over 150 apps on my iPhone. As a personal phone, it is brilliant. I feel safe knowing it is regularly updated and even though its popularity makes it a strong target for hackers, it is secure.

But, I think the Samsung Galaxy Fold is a better phone for business use.

Samsung Galaxy Fold vs Apple iPhone

Why do I own a Samsung Galaxy Fold and an iPhone? The Galaxy Fold was given to me by my employer as a corporate phone. It gets more use than my iPhone, not because I want to, but because I need to. I am talking on it for a few hours a day, and it is normally on, with me checking my email, updating websites, taking photos and more. The big bright screen is on for more time during the day than my iPhone. I use it for video conferences that last hours.

Battery

The battery of the Samsung Galaxy Fold vs the Apple iPhone battery has impressed me for than any other feature. I currently have an iPhone 11. Over the years, I’ve owned an iPhone 3g, iPhone 4, iPhone 5 (worst battery life ever) iPhone 6+ in black and white (6 plus was in my view the best phone Apple ever made) iPhone 7 red, iPhone XR, and now the iPhone 11. None of these iPhone models have a battery that has been able to last a day for me. I use my iPhones for email, messaging, social media, a bit of internet, YouTube watching, news reading and apps while I’m commuting. Thing is, the battery is normally flat by the end of the day. I don’t make many calls on the iPhone.

The battery in the Samsung Galaxy Fold lasts a lot longer than the battery in the iPhone. My Galaxy Fold not only gets a lot more use than the iPhone, but is used for a lot more demanding tasks. I have to charge my iPhone every day because by the end of the day, the battery is at 10%. The Galaxy Fold only needs charging once a week. I can be talking on it for over 10 hours in total a week, also using it for Zoom meetings, regularly checking my email, messaging, and photos and yet the battery just seems to last, way more so than anything an iPhone is capable of.

The Galaxy Fold is a Tablet in my Pocket!

Tablet computers are useful for some business tasks. Sometimes they are forced, I remember when the iPad came out seeing several people pulling them out at meetings. Me personally, I like them for making small website updates, the Microsoft Office suite of apps, especially Outlook, and being able to draw a quick sketch or flick through PowerPoint slides.

But tablets always have the problem of being awkward. Not a laptop you can carry in a bag. Not a phone you can put in a pocket. You end up standing around like a pretentious watzit with them. The Galaxy Fold fits in my pocket and becomes a decent size and useful tablet.

Being a Tablet, the Galaxy Fold Makes me more productive for work

The fact that the Galaxy Fold becomes a tablet you can truly use anywhere when you unfold it makes me more productive. Using Outlook, Word, even Excel on a tablet screen is remarkably better than anything a normal shaped smartphone like the iPhone can do. The Fold’s keyboard design just works, the layout positions keys exactly where your thumbs are, and makes it very easy to type on.

Security

I am a firm believer that Apple’s File Vault encryption is probably the best out there. I use it across my computers, iPhone, and at this stage it hasn’t been beaten. What happens on your iPhone, Stays on your iPhone. Without the password that only I know, not even Apple can give anyone I don’t want to have access to the content on my iPhone or iCloud account. There are valid points for both sides of that debate but that is another topic.

The open source nature of Android on my Galaxy Fold does make it technically more vulnerable to a hacker targeting it. That said, Samsung does provide Knox Security, an additional layer, a comprehensive set of security features for personal and enterprise use pre-installed in most of Samsung’s smartphones, tablets, and wearables.

Face Recognition

I think the iPhone uses a laser to recognise faces, whereas the Fold uses photo data. I can use Face recognition in any light, even darkness to unlock my iPhone, but my Galaxy Fold on the other hand needs to be in a well lit environment. And, a recent haircut or new pair of glasses seems to confuse it.

The USB C Connection

I think Apple should dump the Lightning connection on their phones. The time for the universal USB C connection across all devices for data and charging is here. I remember back in 2006-2008 working in retail, we had so many different charging cables for phones and MP3 players on the shelf and it was a hassle trying to help customers find the right one, or exchanging the cable when they bought the wrong one because all the connections looked so similar yet were so different. It makes you hold onto your charge cable like a gold necklace, never wanting to lend it incase you lost it, or it got damaged and then you’d be panicking trying to get a replacement to charge your phone when you needed it at 100% battery most.

A universal connection, the USB C makes things so much easier. It is great that the Samsung Galaxy Fold uses that. I already have multiple USB C cables at home, in the bag, at the office and can use any of them. And they are cheap to replace. Please Apple, give us USB C in the iPhone like the Galaxy. It will be beneficial to consumers and retail staff. Anyway is there any technical benefit of Lighting? Technically it is still at USB 2 speeds, whereas USB C is much faster.

Ease

I’ve gotten used to the gestures for the Android system. The universal home button, back button, and swipe up to easily switch between apps is intuitive and I like it. In the same way, I’m familiar with and can use the swipe gestures on the iPhone’s iOS easily as well.

The Galaxy Fold’s Front Screen

Often overlooked is the Fold’s front screen. It is narrow, and the bezel is too thick. I will say I find it awkward to use compared to the iPhone. So, most of the time, I just open it up to the tablet screen.

The Tablet Screen

The inside screen of the Galaxy Fold is easy to keep clean. At first I thought it would damage easily, or not last but I haven’t scratched it yet. Plus, I will say it is impossible to see the fold point of the screen. It just isn’t there.

The being able to change the font thing

I love the customisability of Android vs iOS. Being able to personalise the fonts, the themes way more than I can the iPhone. Seems trivial, but it just seems to make the phone more ‘mine’.

Useful to know both platforms

I’ve developed websites in the past that render brilliantly on iOS but not as well on Google Chrome on Android. It is useful to have both to test.

Cloud Folders

I use the Adobe Creative Cloud, Google Drive, Dropbox and iCloud. Reviewing and editing text and spreadsheet type files is easier on the fold as it makes accessing and browsing these easier. Plus, marking up an Adobe design file like a Photoshop PSD or Illustrator file is easier on the tablet like screen. Then when I am back at the laptop, my markups sync over and I can keep working and being productive.

Getting support

I think Apple’s support can be hit or miss. Helpful staff, sometimes, but they can be very bureaucratic and have long drawn out processes to help you and tend to talk down to you a lot. I often find that when you reach escalation points with Apple, things happen.

Samsung’s phone support on the other hand, wow. Very practical, down to business. My issue was the screen was dim. I don’t like auto brightness shifting on my devices and prefer to set it manually. I called up, there was no, press 1 2 or 3, no listening to music, just as soon as I called someone answered, I explained where I was stuck and they helped me. 60 second call. Solved. An easy, fast process.

When I needed to read a large PDF I’d been emailed a while back with some fairly in depth stuff I realised the true value of the Samsung Galaxy Fold for me in a work sense. I didn’t need to go and turn on my laptop. I was at home, in the evening and decided to review a document with some page designs, diagrams and tables. Not something I’d do on a phone, and I’d normally get my laptop out for. But, all I had to do was open the Galaxy Fold, and the screen size, resolution and brightness was perfect for what I needed to do. It was an easier, faster process, just like support.

I have to say, both phones are great. But for my work use, when my priority is just getting stuff done I have to say, I prefer the Samsung Galaxy Fold to the iPhone. For home use, as my faithful companion though for life’s experiences, and keeping my personal contacts, photos of memories, catching up with the latest news and my music and home automation…I prefer the iPhone.

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