Review : Samsung Galaxy Folder G1600

*Disclaimer: The Galaxy Folder G1600 is an exclusive model in China, hence Google Play are not available. The one we are reviewing is running on a rooted ROM with Google Play installed for the full Google experience if you are interested in the device.

We covered on Android Flip phones on our article previously. I got the chance to purchase it online and used it as my primary phone for the entire October. So here’s my review of the Galaxy Folder G1600.

Design

At first glance, Galaxy Folder looks like a compact Android phone that is similar in size to Samsung S4 mini. However, when you open up the phone, the length is double and it just looks gigantic compared to your usual iPhone/Galaxy devices. That being said, Galaxy Folder is still able to bring the full Android experience with its unique design.

Similar to Apple’s latest trend, Galaxy Folder does not come with 3.5mm headphone jack. The main reason for Samsung to omit the headphone jack is due to the phone being marketed as the Business phone, and users in the business segment often relying more on Bluetooth headset instead of plugging in an external headset. Samsung did bundle a micro-USB headset in the package if you are interested in listening to music on it.

Performance; Software & Battery Life

Samsung Galaxy Folder packs a 3.8″ WVGA display, running on the Snapdragon 425 along with 2GB RAM. By current standard, the minimum screen size is at least 5.0″ and trying to navigate your way through the Galaxy Folder is definitely hard to get used to. But with a little practice along with the keypad, you should be able to get used to the phone easily.

Despite its lower end specification, the overall performance is smooth thanks to its rather generous 2GB RAM. And also, its form factor also ensure that you are not going to play power-intensive games on this phone.

Galaxy Folder is running on Android Marshmallow, which isn’t the latest version of Android you might be expected. Android update to Nougat seems to be unlikely given that it being an exclusive model in China market, however, it is still on par with most of the Android phone in the current market. You are able to run most of the Android app through Google Play Store or sideloading and they work just like a typical Android smartphone. Some apps such as Facebook and Twitter would work with the D-pad on phone for scrolling but most of the time you have to rely on the touchscreen.

The battery capacity for Galaxy Folder is only 1950 mAh, far lower than the majority of the phone in the current market (in comparison, LG X Power released in the same year got 4100 mAh battery). Surprisingly the low amount did not translate to poor battery life in real life testing. On a typical day after powering it up at 7 am, it managed to stay above 30% at the end of the day most of the time with simple texting and web surfing.

Camera

Galaxy Folder comes with a F1.9 8MP rear unit and a 5MP wide angle front shooter. And to be honest, you shouldn’t expect too much from the camera performance from the low-end phone. The rear camera is OK, but the position of the camera is located at the back of the keypad hence it is awkward to hold the phone and take pictures.

Front Shooter
Rear Shooter

Pros & Cons

Pros
– Unique design
– Strong battery life

Cons
– Average camera
– Tall dimension when opened
– Lack of 3.5 mm headphone jack

Price & Availability
Galaxy Folder is China-exclusive for now, you are able to find it on Taobao for the average price of ¥1699 which is around S$350 excluding shipping cost. Do check for the reliable seller before making the purchase.

Verdict
I enjoyed using this phone for an entire month before going back to the mainstream Android phone. I would recommend this phone to people who are looking out for the unique phone in the market. Non-IT savvy user may find the keypad useful when they are trying to adapt to latest technology.

Yu Cheng

In-house IT support for everyone whenever & wherever he go. Not a typical tech geek with wide coding knowledge, but just a better 'googler' than anyone else around him.

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