Callum BoothManaging Editor
Callum is the Managing Editor of TNW. He covers the full spectrum of technology, looks after editorial newsletters, and makes the occasional Callum is the Managing Editor of TNW. He covers the full spectrum of technology, looks after editorial newsletters, and makes the occasional odd video.
What if I said the phrases “Pablo Escobar” and “folding phone” to you? Would you be intrigued? Would you want to know more? Fantastic — because today, we’re here to talk about the Pablo Escobar foldable phone. Specifically, the Escobar Fold 2.
We’ve covered the launch of the first Escobar foldable phone (and analyzed the horrendous marketing campaign that went alongside it), but we never actual got our hands on one. Until today.
And best of all? We did this whole thing in glorious moving picture form, something you can watch at the top of the page.
[Read: The Canvia digital art frame is gorgeous, expensive, and flawed]
So… what are you doing? Scroll up and let your eyeballs soak in that sweet, sweet Escobar Fold 2 video. Go on, we’re waiting.
Are you not a fan of spicy video content? Don’t care about all the effort we put in to make something marvellous for your consumption? Fine. Because the world is filled with a wide range of people with different likes and dislikes, we’ve also summed up some of the main points about the Escobar Fold 2 below.
You’re very welcome.
We covered the rough trajectory of the Escobar Fold 1 in this piece, but let’s recap.
The company — Escobar Inc — was founded by Pablo Escobar‘s “biological” brother, Roberto De Jesus Escobar Gaviria, more commonly known as Roberto Escobar.
Now, Escobar Inc was founded to give the world groundbreaking technology (and make money off the Escobar name, of course). It’s more well known for claiming it invented Elon Musk’s flamethrower. And now, I guess, the Escobar Fold 2.
So what is the Escobar Fold 2?
Well, it’s the company’s second foldable phone. The first one was announced at the end of last year and, aside from the drug dealer connection, garnered a lot of attention for one main reason: Price.
While folding phones like the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip and the Motorola Razr are retailing for around $1,500, the Escobar Fold 1 was being “sold” for $350.
Now, the Escobar Fold 2 is the updated version of the phone and is retailing for $400. A ridiculous price, considering Huawei’s latest folding phone (the Mate Xs) will ship for $2,700.
Why do you think it’s being sold so cheaply?
There are two reasons. The first is that it’s quite likely a scam. A quick browse on the (very niche) Escobar Phones subreddit shows a number of people who ordered one of the devices and never received the damn thing.
So yeah, at best this is a dodgy scheme where they get hold of customers’ money before placing a big order (unlikely), or, at worst, a straight-up scam where they steal your cash and never send you a damn thing (more likely).
That’s a simple explanation. The other is… weirder. And that’s Escobar Fold 2 could be being sold for such a low price because it’s just a Samsung Galaxy Fold.
Sorry… the Escobar Fold 2 is just a Samsung Galaxy Fold?
Yep. To see this in action, check out the video at the top of the page.
But yeah, when you turn the Escobar Fold 2 on, you’re greeted with a Samsung Galaxy Fold splash screen. After that, you’re taken to an OS that is exactly the same as the Korean company’s foldable.
We asked Olof Gustafsson, the CEO of Escobar Inc, about this. He confirmed that the Escobar Fold 2 is just a Samsung Galaxy Fold.
Specifically, Gustafsson told us that Samsung “shut down their factory in China.” This led to them “[outsourcing] all production to third parties.” And what Escobar Inc has done, according to Gustafsson, is to buy units from these factories.
Yeah, so that means the Pablo Escobar-influenced, narco-state foldable phones we were promised are actually just Samsung devices with some adding labelling. Which, I guess, is kinda fitting?
What do you think about the Samsung Galaxy Fold/Escobar Fold 2 then?
To put it simply: It’s an exciting form with a few design issues.
When the phone is not unfolded it’s a bit too thick to be comfortable. Plus, the front screen you use in this mode is kinda crappy.
Unfolding the device is badass though. Even though the screen isn’t that much bigger than something like the iPhone 11 Pro Max in this mode, it does deliver an immersive, exciting experience. I never got tired of opening and closing the damn thing.
Honestly, I think this sort of phone is the future. It’s just that the future isn’t now.
There’s a clear crease down the middle of the phone and there are still too many question marks about the Samsung Galaxy Fold/Escobar Fold 2’s reliability to make it a must buy — especially for the price.
But… here’s the kicker. Does picking up one of the devices under the guise of the Escobar Fold 2 for only $400 make it worthwhile?
Yes — if you ever actually receive one. Which you probably won’t. At the very least, there’s enough uncertainty around the company and the Pablo Escobar folding phone that I can’t endorse you buying one. Unless you literally have $400 you don’t want to see again.
So the Escobar Fold 2 is literally just a Samsung Galaxy Fold covered in some gold foil. Oh, and selling for much, much less.
If I could guarantee you’d get one, the novelty is strong enough that makes the $400 price tag worth it. But, as I’m quite confident this is some sort of scam, I can’t in good conscience recommend you give your money to a drug trafficker’s brother to get hold of a Samsung Galaxy Fold off the back of a metaphorical truck.
Whichever way it is, at least getting my hands on a Pablo Escobar foldable phone was a great novelty. And that’s something, right?
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