Samsung’s Galaxy Fold phone-tablet hybrid finally ships this week

Samsung is certainly no stranger to smartphone blunders — the tech giant’s “exploding” Galaxy Note 7 resulted in a global airline ban in 2016, and, most recently, the company’s phone-tablet combo, the Galaxy Fold, was hit with a months-long delay after sample devices began breaking after only a few hours of use. Now, the Fold is back, though — Samsung’s finally ready to ship the hybrid handset to consumers.

This Friday, September 27, early adopters will have an opportunity to “unfold the future” — in Samsung’s words — with a pocketable tablet of their own. While Samsung likely wouldn’t be releasing the device without being certain that the initial durability issues have been corrected, $1,980 is a large sum to drop on any first-generation device, let alone one once known to have significant manufacturing defects.

Still, for deep-pocketed travelers looking for a handy alternative to carrying two devices — a 4.6-inch smartphone for regular use and a 7.3-inch tablet for consuming content, browsing the web and playing games — it might be worth giving the Galaxy Fold another go.

Samsung’s also launching a program called “Galaxy Fold Premier Service,” presumably to help give new device owners a bit more peace of mind. Here’s how the company explains its new program:

Galaxy Fold Premier Service gives anyone who purchases a Galaxy Fold access to Samsung experts who can provide tailored guidance and support any time, any day. Accessible via a dedicated phone number, video chat through Samsung members or by scheduling in person support, Galaxy Fold owners will have the opportunity to consult with a specialist to walk you through the device and all of its accessories – including the Galaxy Buds and the custom aramid fiber cover. The specialist will walk consumers through the key Fold features, best practices to care for the foldable device and (if needed) support with Smart Switch to transition contacts, photos, apps and more from their existing mobile device to their new Galaxy Fold. After onboarding, Premier Service specialists are still available to connect with consumers in a way that’s most convenient for them for support anytime.

An AT&T version of Samsung’s $1,980 Galaxy Fold will be available at AT&T stores this Friday, September 27, while an unlocked version will be available to purchase at Samsung Experience Stores and Best Buy — this Friday, as well.