Pablo Escobar’s brother Roberto has topped off a busy and eccentric year with a surprising announcement: His company Escobar, Inc. has released a foldable smartphone in both 128 GB and 512 GB models. The 512 GB model retails for $499, the same original price as a signed copy of his autobiography—now on sale for just $99!
Foldable phones may seem silly, but the use cases are surprisingly robust. Like the slide-out keyboard on a Samsung Rant or the second (or third!) monitor at your cool computer job, the goal is to have more space when you want it. Instead of the large, static display of a tablet, a foldable phone turns from regular to extra large at your convenience, and it still fits in your back pocket.
But the Galaxy Fold announced earlier this year had an introductory price of nearly $2,000. That’s the same price as the 13” Macbook Pro’s Cadillac trim package. The foldable phones also still have major caveats—not because of shoddy design or inattention to detail, but because any brand new technology will need to iterate and get better. Even the iPhone has yo-yo’d in size.
Escobar touts his new foldable phone as the answer to your prayers, including a price that’s more proportional to the experimental nature of the foldable phone. His model also includes a fully flexible display rather than a rigid fold, but that means instead of a Nintendo 3DS silhouette, the Escobar Fold 1 has one very thick, rounded edge. It’s more like a pocket-size Trapper Keeper with an asymmetrical profile. And at 320 grams, it’s fully twice as heavy as the Samsung Galaxy S10 or Google Pixel 4, and 60 grams more than the competing Galaxy Fold.
On the Fold 1’s NSFW website, very scantily clad women bite down on the phone while someone off camera points guns into their cheeks. Truly, this is the foldable phone you’d expect to find at the bottom of Tony Montana’s mountain of cocaine, and the price is so low that it might be worth checking out for novelty alone.
Roberto Escobar is best known as the Billy Carter of the Pablo Escobar empire, and his business has been as wild and quality-variant as a 12-pack of Billy Beer. Earlier this year, Escobar Inc. sued Elon Musk’s The Boring Company over what it claimed was a stolen idea for a consumer flamethrower. The level of danger and legal strife of a foldable phone might suit the average consumer better.
Is the Fold 1 a true foldable in the spirit of the term? It’s more like a rollable, with the rounded line of a shawl collar sweater, not the sharp edges of a starched and stayed dress shirt. But it offers one contiguous display with a truly flexing joint, which would be interesting even if it didn’t cost just one-sixth of what the Galaxy Fold costs. Hey, throw in a copy of Escobar’s memoir and you’re still at just $449.