In keeping with current Samsung flagship tradition, the Galaxy Fold has a rather predictable but still plenty impressive camera setup at its disposal. What that entails is Samsung's ISOCELL, 12MP, dual aperture f/1.5-2.4 main camera module, along with a 12 MP, f/2.4, 52mm telephoto, both OIS enabled. Last, but not least, there is a 12MP, f/2.2 12mm ultrawide camera. This is more or less the same camera the Galaxy S10 and S10+ get.
We won't really be focusing too much on camera quality. That topic has been explored inside and out thoroughly on multiple occasions. Still, if that is what you are after, you can check our full Galaxy Fold review. And, indeed, any of the other Galaxy devices we mentioned and their respective camera coverage on the site.
What we will do, instead, is focus more on actual real-life usability and the camera experience on the Fold. Starting with a small complain that has more to do with the bundled two-piece case for the Fold rather than the camera itself. It simply does not cover the entire camera hump, leaving parts of it exposed. While we are fairly confident in Samsung's material of choice for the camera glass, the edges of the modules can still get scratched-up quite easily. Plus, a simple lip around the camera cut-out can go a long way in calming some of our anxiety on what is already an anxiety-inducing device.
With that rant out of the way, we can move on to one about the camera app UI. Joking aside, it's more of a general observation really and one that is applicable to Samsung's UI department. While definitely usable and far from the worse around, the Samsung camera UI is still a bit clunky in some aspects. We found the mode selection slider particularly cumbersome on both the inside and the outside displays of the Galaxy Fold. Dragging and swiping through several options is simply not fluid enough. On the plus side, Samsung does let you re-arrange the modes, which does help to some extent. Still, adding an icon or a list inside a separate interface for the growing number of modes would be greatly appreciated.
Since we are already on the topic of the displays, there is no point in praising the 7.3-inch inside panel on its superior viewfinder experience any further. However, it is worth noting that it potentially makes messing up your shot's orientation a bit too easy. With the external display, the distinction between holding your phone vertically or horizontally is pretty apparent. But, that's definitely not true for the internal display. Since the most natural way to open the phone is like a book, you can end up with a 3:4 shot, rather than a 4:3 one.
There should probably be an option to lock the aspect regardless of the camera UI. You could, of course, lock the UI itself from rotating, but that limits you to only one orientation and necessitates rotating the phone every time. Otherwise, the camera shutter ends up in a unreachable location.
These are the little details that only start to stand out with prolonged use of the Fold. Or rather, their absence starts to leave an increasingly bad taste in the user's mouth. Sure, you can work around them, but we can't help but wonder how much better the experience could have been with a few small, but carefully though-out tweaks. This is sort of a recurring theme with the Fold's UI, which we'll talk more about in the software section. It just lacks that little something to really make use of the new form factor properly and in a fluid and intuitive way all around.
And this is probably a good time to bring up the fact that the external display remains dormant while the internal one is on. We would have loved to see the external display double as a viewfinder while the Fold is open so that the subjects can look at themselves in the frame. There could have been other use case too but Samsun simply chose not enable this feature.
Otherwise, you pretty much get a full-featured camera experience on the Galaxy Fold. All the modes you would expect on a current Galaxy S or Note device are present, even some modern things like AR doodle, Live focus video, Super steady and Night mode.
To be fair, some of these were not originally present on the Fold at launch but were eventually added in with an update. In its current state, the Fold pretty much has feature-parity with its mainstream siblings. It is also subject to the same camera limitations, mostly dictated by DSP hardware limitations. These are most apparent with advanced video capture modes.
Both the main and the two separate selfie cameras (inside and outside) can capture at up to 4K resolution. The former can even do 60fps at 4K and FullHD. Electing to do so, however, disables tracking autofocus and real-time video effects. Dropping down to FullHD@30fps brings back the aforementioned options. Toggling tracking autofocus does, however, disable video stabilization. All of this, however, is equally true for the Galaxy Note10+. We just decided to double-check things and all is well, and as expected. You can rest assured.
With the software side of things out of the way, we do have a few more samples for you to check out. In keeping with long-term review tradition, these are more casual shots, different from out standard sets.
In a major surprise to nobody, the Galaxy Fold shares pretty much every aspect of its quality, reproduction, dynamic range, and color science with current mainstream Galaxy S and Note siblings. You definitely won't hear us complaining. We also did our best to pick out some challenging conditions.
We definitely enjoy the flexibility of having a regular, telephoto, and ultrawide camera on board. Plus, Samsung is getting some reliable and pretty consistent results across the board.
Here are some food mode shots for you. Probably not Instagram worthy, but a nice example of how even casual shots can look nice when taken with a capable camera.
For the sake of completeness, here are some low-light samples as well.
For more, as well as a detailed analysis on the camera quality, we are directing you, yet again, to our full Galaxy Fold review. Suffice it to say, however, that it holds no real surprises. What you get from the Fold is a predictably great Samsung camera experience. Which, to reiterate once again, we can hardly complain about. This is yet another example of a solid performance from the Fold in an area outside its clear spotlight feature. Further proof of its true flagship nature beyond the obvious tech showcase.