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Foldable smartphones like Samsung’s Galaxy Fold point to a bright future for the mobile world. But that doesn’t mean you should hop on the bandwagon now.

Samsung finally offered a longer, closer look at the Galaxy Fold, a smartphone that unfolds like a book to reveal a second, larger display. It’s the stuff of sci-fi magic, and it opens the door to a whole new world of different designs and devices. Most notably, it leaves Apple’s iPhone franchise, which hasn’t had a major facelift in more than a year, in the dust.

The Galaxy Fold may be impressive, but there might not be a more perfect illustration of the hazards of being an early adopter. Credit goes to Samsung for getting a foldable phone to market before rivals, but it’s clear from our short first look at the device that a lot more polish and development needs to happen before this is ready for the average consumer. After all, the gadget was actually show on stage for a few minutes and wasn’t available for demos despite Unpacked being the phone’s launch event.

“The Galaxy Fold is not intended to be a mass-market product, at least not yet,” said Avi Greengart, an analyst at Techsponential. “It’s a halo product for Samsung, aimed at early adopters.”


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