Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 review

GSMArena team, 11 Sep 2020.

Introduction

It's that time of the year again, Samsung has put out yet another Galaxy Fold device. It's once again the epitome of elaborate design - but this time around, the hinge is as smooth as butter, the external display is larger and the finishes are amazing to look and touch. The Galaxy Z Fold2 is one of the most over-the-top devices the industry currently has to offer and it's got the price tag to match.

The Z Fold2 is a third-generation product depending on how you decide to count, making it clear that Samsung is not backing down on the foldable display form factor.

It is safe to say that foldables are no longer conceptual devices and judging by the name change, they will have their own product family within Samsung's portfolio - the Galaxy Z.

Of course, they are far from becoming mainstream, but the product category is maturing quickly and we'll get there eventually.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G

  • Body: 159.2x128.2x6.9mm, 282g; Corning Gorilla Glass Victus front (folded), plastic front (unfolded), Corning Gorilla Glass 6 back, aluminum frame; Samsung Pay (Visa, MasterCard certified); Colors: Mystic Bronze, Mystic Black, Thom Browne Edition.
  • Display: 7.60" Foldable Dynamic, 1768x2208px resolution, 11.24:9 aspect ratio, 373ppi; HDR10+, 120Hz refresh rate, Cover display: 6.23", Super AMOLED, 816 x 2260 pixels (25:9).
  • Chipset: Qualcomm SM8250 Snapdragon 865+ (7 nm+): Octa-core (1x3.09 GHz Kryo 585 & 3x2.42 GHz Kryo 585 & 4x1.8 GHz Kryo 585); Adreno 650.
  • Memory: 256GB 12GB RAM, 512GB 12GB RAM; UFS 3.1.
  • OS/Software: Android 10, One UI 2.5.
  • Rear camera: Wide (main): 12 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/1.76", 1.8µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS; Telephoto: 12 MP, f/2.4, 52mm (telephoto), 1/3.6", 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 2x optical zoom; Ultra wide angle: 12 MP, f/2.2, 123-degree, 12mm (ultrawide), 1.12µm; LED flash, HDR, panorama.
  • Front camera: Wide (main): 10 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide) - identical ones on the outside and inside of phone; HDR.
  • Video capture: Rear camera: 4K@60fps, 1080p@60/240fps (gyro-EIS), 720p@960fps (gyro-EIS), HDR10+; Front camera: 4K@30fps, 1080p@30fps, gyro-EIS.
  • Battery: 4500mAh; Fast charging 25W, Fast wireless charging 11W, Reverse wireless charging 4.5W.
  • Misc: Fingerprint (side-mounted), Stereo speakers, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer; NFC; ANT+, Bixby natural language commands and dictation, Samsung DeX (desktop experience support).

The Z Fold2 is more than anything an embodiment of technological, product, and design maturity. The Z Fold2 is a more polished iteration of the form factor in every conceivable way.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 review

The design itself has been greatly refined. The updated curves and edges in the design and the new surface finish all create the perception of a more polished product compared to Galaxy Fold 1.

But there are also a few major mechanical improvements, like the new Hideaway hinge with Flex mode support and the significantly tighter display r-curve when closed.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 review

Our favorite upgrade is the much larger secondary display which makes the device shine in single-handed use. There are also numerous other hardware and software tweaks, which we will get to in more detail on the following pages. But first, let's see what comes in the box.

Unboxing

Just like its predecessor, the Z Fold2 arrives in a large, lavish box - a necessity, since the phone ships unfolded.

Right out of the gate, you are reminded just how different of a device this really is. A tablet-sized display, just waiting for you to gently squeeze it closed and put it inside your pocket for the first time.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 review

And if that doesn't convey the futuristic vibe well enough for you, there is also a handy pamphlet included, titled - "Change the shape of the future". It tries its best to convey a sense of just how paradigm-shifting of a device you might just be holding.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 review

Following that Samsung-fueled daydream about the future of technology, we have a rather abrupt, but necessary reality-check, with a huge "Care instruction" sticker on the display of the Z Fold2. Despite continued improvements in the field, foldable displays and their supporting folding mechanical structure remain fragile.

Samsung warns against applying too much pressure to the display. Especially with sharp objects. All it takes is a quick trip on YouTube and a good stomach to see how puncture-prone the foldable panels are and the kind of gory consequences that has.

Also, we get a good reminder that the Galaxy Z Fold2 does not have any official ingress protection rating. Not really possible with current manufacturing and tech.

Another important note, harkening back to scandals with the pre-production units of the original Galaxy Fold - there is now a pre-applied protective film on top of both displays of the Galaxy Z Fold2.

Removing the outside one is a simple affair, but Samsung specifically warns against tampering with the inside one. It's a screen protector alright and not a an integral part of the large foldable panel. It can be removed safely and even potentially replaced, though we are yet to find out if Samsung is offering this service.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 review

The accessories bundled with the Galaxy Z Fold2 are far less impressive than those that came with the old Galaxy Fold. Here, you only get a 25W wall charger with a cable with USB-C plugs on either side and a pair of corded, Type-C AKG earbuds. These are clearly a downgrade from the Galaxy Buds that shipped with the Galaxy Fold.

Perhaps what stings the most, though, is the lack of a case in the box. On a device requiring more care and attention than any other, having to source a case separately from Day 1 is a bit of a bummer.

For a price tag of 2000 bucks, the contents of this retail box are anything but lavish. Perhaps that's a sign that the Z Fold2 is maturing and Samsung expects it to be a high volume product. We can only guess, of course. But follow us on the next page to see what else the device has to offer.

Reader comments

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