Foldable smartphones have landed in South Korea, with Samsung Electronics releasing its Galaxy Fold 5G phone on Friday.
The first pre-order customers unwrapped their boxes at a launch event in downtown Seoul.
“It is lighter and its screen is bigger than I expected. I need smartphones and tablet PCs for work, so I decided to get a Galaxy Fold which has both functions.”
The launch event also attracted the attention of nearby shoppers, who walked in to check out the new device.
“The concept of the device is very new to the market, which makes it very expensive and risky for consumers to easily buy.
"Samsung's latest release is the world's first-ever 5G folding phone to hit the shelves, streaking ahead of its rivals, notably Huawei."
The Galaxy Fold boasts a 7.3 inch display, which is reduced to 4.6 inches in size when folded, allowing consumers to easily hold the phone with one hand.
One of its key features is an enhanced multi-tasking system, which enables consumers to use more than one application at the same time by dividing the screen between apps.
This is a revamped model, with Samsung delaying its plan for an April launch of a previous design in the U.S., due to a number of screen defects reported by early reviewers.
After months of delays, the company redesigned the phone by adding a protective layer of film on the inner screen, making it difficult to remove it by hand.
Protective caps have also been added to the top and bottom of the hinge to prevent dust from entering the device.
However, analysts say it is too early to tell whether the new device will succeed given its high price, with the phone selling for around 2-thousand U.S. dollars.
The Galaxy Fold will also be available in 4G when it's launched in other markets worldwide.
Choi Jeong-yoon, Arirang News.