If you're excited by the idea of a folding iPhone and would love to know what it might be like, help is coming from an unexpected source: Samsung. Its Try Galaxy web app is designed to encourage iPhone owners to switch to Samsung's best folding phones, and it's just been updated to include the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5 – so if you have two iPhones kicking around (and who doesn't?) you can sit them together and see what it'd be like to have a folding iPhone, or a Galaxy Z Fold.
The app does this via a simple but effective split view: it takes half of the Z Fold screen and puts it on your first iPhone, and then it takes the second half and puts that on the other. The interface is Samsung's One UI 5.1.1, and it comes with all the features you'd expect from the real thing including Samsung's health and fitness app, Quick Share and the Galaxy Fold's Flex mode, which enables you to take selfies and other snaps from unusual angles.
Is the Try Galaxy app's folding phone option a gimmick?
Is this a gimmick? I don't think it is. For all it falls short of the real folding-phone experience – iPhones are slim, but not slim enough that putting them side by side doesn't leave a comparatively huge gap between the two halves of the display – it's a good way to demonstrate the difference between a standard phone and a folding one not just in terms of how the software works but in terms of its physical footprint when it's unfolded. You don't get to try the external display, of course, but it's the main display where you'll be spending the most of your time so it's not a huge loss.
It's similar to a tablet experience, as you'd expect, but it's also different from that: the double display is more square and still smaller than, say, the average iPad. And that means it's a slightly different user experience that's definitely more phone than tablet.
For Samsung, the goal here is to make you think "wow! I must have a folding Samsung phone!", although the gap between the two halves means you don't get the same seamless display as you do on the real thing. For me, it made me want a folding iPhone a little bit more.
Fancy a go? The Try Galaxy app is online here.