As I sit here today with the new Samsung Galaxy Fold in my hands, I can’t help but think about how Samsung is enabling new smartphone use cases while everybody else is cranking out improvements and incrementalism to its smartphones.
After taking the new and improved Fold for a spin, I feel like it is much more robust than the original design, even though I personally never had any display issues. As I believe the most valuable reviews come after a week or two of personal use, I’m not going to crank out a review yet after a few days, and I will rather be talking about some of the new commercial vertical and horizontal use cases.
This is by no means research-grade material, but hopefully gives you a quick glimpse of what the Fold can do in business environments. I will be providing more analysis over the next few months.
While the Galaxy Fold is being positioned as a super-premium consumer device, its attributes are very much designed to improve productivity.
I believe the top productivity booster, as it helps every worker, is the giant, 7.3” Infinity Flex Display when unfolded. I can just see more real estate for Microsoft Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Chrome, Edge, and yes, even Excel. For me, this means I go from viewing documents to editing them. Excel is a stretch, but I’d recommend a stand and Bluetooth keyboard if you want to crunch many numbers. As PDF files and Docusign documents notoriously don’t scale well and can’t be viewed well on smaller displays, I can actually review contracts on the Fold’s 7.3” display. While a pen would have helped facilitate signing contracts, we’ll have to wait for a future design.
The larger 7.3” screen also helps with enterprise remote desktop and VDI or remote desktop environments like VMware Horizon One, Citrix Workspace, and Microsoft remote desktop. Enterprises can have field reps who don’t have to pull out their laptop to add or retrieve that critical enterprise data on legacy applications.
The Fold is a multitasking beast. I can perform three tasks at the same time, and one of those tasks can be a floating window. My favorites multitasking scenarios so far are Zoom-Twitter- Mail, Phone-Twitter-Chrome, Chrome-OneNote-Phone, and Maps-Mail-Calendar. I can change the size and orientation of those three apps as well by touching a bar above the app. I can also have a “minimized,” third floating app that presents itself as an icon which after pressing, instantly, and I mean instantly, pops up a floating version of the app. I found this great for apps that should minimize but don’t, and I need immediately. Google solved a lot of this with PIP and floating Google Maps and YouTube, but little else.
DeX takes productivity to another level. Some use cases and applications are just better with a larger display, keyboard and mouse. You know, that spreadsheet example or writing a report like I am right now. With DeX, the Fold can become a desktop computer by plugging it into a PC with its own display, keyboard, and mouse/trackpad or by using an HDMI display and Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.
Private Banker scenario
While there are hundreds of vertical business scenarios I can envision the Fold excelling in, I thought I’d touch on a financial services private banking use case. Private banking is the arms of banks who deal with high net worth individuals with special services and care. These customers want special services like you coming to them to execute any financial transactions, not them coming to your bank branch.
This means the private banker could be doing millions of dollars in transactions at a golf club café or even on the golf course’s 9th tee. You can imagine how awkward it would be if the private banker showed up with a notebook. I could imagine a small tablet or tablet computer at lunch, but some could find those too large and offensive and maybe too bulky. This is where the Fold shines as it can unfold into a 7.3” tablet. I can imagine the private banker taking important notes from their client, then showing their client a new product via a flashy video or even a financial returns crawl chart. Given the Fold’s VDI and RDP capability, there’s no reason the private banker couldn’t securely execute a financial transaction and get a signature right on the spot. Some private bankers would opt to perform the transactions back at their home office using DeX, but I think doing it on the spot is most impressive as it’s a differentiator.
Another idea for the bank to consider for those super high net worth companies is to give their best clients a Galaxy Fold with custom-branded apps using Knox Configure. Not only do those best clients look cool with their space-age and phone “no one else has”, those bank-branded, private banking apps are front and center.
With all this talk about secure, financial transactions, I thought I’d remind everybody about Knox security.
As I have said before, Samsung takes security seriously. With Knox security, Samsung differentiates itself from the rest of the Android pack The Samsung Knox platform is built into the Fold’s hardware for immediate protection with its multiple authentication methods. Knox has received two updates since the Note9 and S9 that further its already robust security platform. Samsung has added Dual DAR (Data-at-Rest), Knox on DeX with management, and other root improvements. Dual DAR gives the Fold two layers of encryption, even in a powered off or unauthenticated state. Knox on DeX puts controls for security in the DeX platform. Both of these new Knox features are good for enterprises that need extra security and take advantage of DeX in everyday business workflows.
This is just a quick taste of some of the Fold’s enterprise and productivity worthiness and adds to Samsung’s Galaxy Note, Galaxy S, and Galaxy A smartphone lines for business. While the new Galaxy Fold won’t be for every business, I believe it’s perfect for many businesses where enhanced productivity is of the utmost importance. The larger display alone should be a great motivator to evaluate it for your smartphone fleet.