Still, you shouldn’t get a foldable. In particular, Samsung’s release of the outstanding Galaxy Z Flip and, more significantly, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 in 2020 has contributed to the rapid advancement of technology. I’m very certain that this technology is the future after using the $2,000 foldable for three months, but it isn’t quite ready yet. Let’s speak.
HARDWARE | THE FOLD 2 IS AN ENGINEERING MARVEL. Without a doubt, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2’s construction is its most striking feature. Actually, there is nothing else on the market right now that comes close to what Samsung has produced. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 offers a piece of hardware that is accomplishing something really futuristic while also maintaining the same level of build quality. Standard smartphones like the Note 20 Ultra, iPhone 12 series, and others are quite well built and have a lot of polish.
The instant you take up the Fold 2, this is immediately clear. The combination of the glass back, the unexpectedly sturdy hinge, and the brushed aluminum frame is beautiful. Despite the widespread belief that no phone is worth $2,000, Samsung’s build quality feels commensurate with the price.
But there are some restrictions attached to that. Due to its big footprint, the Fold 2 has an unusual design and may feel strange in your pocket. It is also incredibly hefty and thick. My Fold 2 has repeatedly attempted to escape from my pocket. On the plus side, when using the phone, that thickness and weight feel fantastic. I’ve particularly loved using the Fold 2’s closed candybar shape. It’s convenient for using one hand to operate smart home controls or scroll through Twitter. Even though the design is problematic for apps, it feels great in the hand thanks in part to the increased grip the thickness provides on the edges. A side note: This design has a side-mounted fingerprint sensor that functions fine, but because of its low positioning, I frequently unintentionally drop my notification shade.
The weight is spread remarkably evenly when opened up as well. Additionally, the inner screen’s size is ideal. There is ample room to multitask, watch videos and games, or use apps on a larger canvas, but it is not so enormous that you must always use both hands to operate it.
Even now, months later, I’m frequently amazed that this idea still exists, and even more so that it continues to feel this good every day. I’m still in awe of what Samsung has produced, and I’m even more interested to see how it will be surpassed.
DURABILITY RETAINS A PRIORITY The essential question about foldables is how well they hold up, not if they are possible or even if they are any good. There, the original Galaxy Fold failed infamously and catastrophically, but the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is a whole different story.
I’ve been using the Galaxy Z Fold 2 for the past three months and have discovered some areas where I’m impressed and others where I’m not. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 hasn’t exactly received the best care from me. It has taken a few drips, and I have been using it almost exclusively without a case. Samsung still has a lot of work to do even though the device has shown to be far superior to the first Fold and has held up in fundamentally positive ways.
The screen is still in relatively excellent shape, which is a good start. As far as I can tell, I don’t have any problems with foreign debris behind the flexible display, which was so typical with the original. Additionally, the assembly has no dents; the screen protector just has scratches.
The hinge is also doing nicely. But it doesn’t feel the same as it did on the first day. The Fold 2’s hinge felt really rigid when I initially got it. The hinge has become looser over the past three months as it has broken in. It no longer feels constricting but rather incredibly smooth and devoid of significant resistance. That’s actually not a terrible thing because it makes opening and closing the phone more simpler, similar to how a laptop hinge becomes looser with use. I’m simply concerned because it makes me worry how the hinge will fare over the coming weeks and, frankly, over the coming years. However, the majority of people who purchase the Fold 2 won’t be in the same situation as me when the Galaxy Z Fold 3 becomes available in 2021. This hinge needs to be durable, and the fact that it has already started to loosen up so much after only three months worries me a little bit given how poorly the first Folds hinge performed over time .
It’s crucial to observe how Samsung got everything fixed. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 uses two tiny caps at the top and bottom of the display, as well as several brushes inside the hinge, to keep out dust and other particles. The improvement over the last attempt is fairly amazing.
With the exception of the screen protector, which I’ll discuss later, I’m happy with how the Fold 2 has performed after three months. Even though Samsung still has potential for development, the Fold 2 is a remarkable achievement and excellent news for all next foldables. It demonstrates that real people can use this form factor.
DISPLAYS | I REALLY LIKE THIS OUTER Display The outside display of the original Galaxy Fold was one of its major flaws. It was a little 4-inch display that was insufficient for its intended purpose. With a 6.23-inch display that is admittedly slender but still quite functional, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 addressed this. This display is useful for one-handed chores like sending a text while out and about, choosing a music on Spotify, looking up the weather, or even monitoring Twitter. One of the first things that truly made me realize how different using a foldable is when I first started using the Fold 2 was the division between the outer display and the interior display.
Up to 40% of the time I was actually using the phone, I noticed, I was utilizing the outer display. This is so that it can be the most easily accessible and practical presentation. Although it is undoubtedly not the device’s purpose, this display nonetheless serves a purpose.
This outside display still has issues even if it is a significant improvement. Some apps and games in particular are played with in extremely unique ways by the tiny aspect ratio. I’ve been using the Walmart app for pickup quite a bit throughout the epidemic, and the app consistently screws up search when on the outer display. The Wyze app shows camera feeds in an oddly scaled manner. These are only a few examples, and neither is a deal-breaker, but they are both a little annoying.
Last but not least, it’s important to keep in mind the refresh rate of outside displays. The outside screen is capped at 60Hz while the inner panel is a premium 120Hz display. I don’t think it matters much because it still serves the job well and the transitions between the two panels don’t feel abrupt.
I adore an inner display. The 7.6-inch internal display is the Galaxy Z Fold 2’s primary selling point. The bigger canvas allows you to enjoy whatever you’re doing and offers a smooth 120Hz refresh rate. The majority of people use this display to multitask, however even when it is simply showing one app, I find it beneficial. The majority of the time, I use my phone to read stories from Feedly, jot down ideas in Google Keep, or explore a website in Chrome. For me, the larger screen of the Fold 2 improves each of these use cases. However, I can tell that when I do use more than one app on this screen at once, it is definitely a better overall experience because it doesn’t feel nearly as crowded.
I also really like the internal display when it comes to playing games and other forms of material. Some native games don’t work well with the Fold 2’s unusual aspect ratio, while others do. It tends to be hit or miss. I love playing games on Stadia, so I’ve been pleased with the extra screen area the Fold 2 provides while streaming them, but I do wish Google would adjust to the aspect ratio in this case. Unfortunately, the same restriction also applies to other streaming providers. In any event, the Fold 2’s increased screen real estate alone makes gaming a pleasure, and from what I understand, emulators will run much more smoothly.
Due to its aspect ratio, the inner display unfortunately shares the same problems as the outer one, except that on the inner display, the issue is much more obvious. You will frequently notice that apps on the Fold 2’s inner display are just blown up in size rather than appropriately scaling to utilize the canvas.
YouTube is most likely the best illustration of this. When browsing through subscriptions or searching on the incredibly popular app on a Fold 2, you typically only view one video at a time. It’s a terrible use of space. However, that is only true when using the phone in portrait mode. When the Fold is turned to landscape, YouTube’s tablet-optimized user interface is pushed.
This occurs across multiple apps. Another nice example is Spotify. Furthermore, using the Fold 2 in landscape mode isn’t nearly as comfortable and emphasizes the crease that runs down the middle, which is unfortunate. I would love to see Samsung force apps into this mode even in portrait in a future software release.
Let’s talk about the crease right now. Although it could appear visible at first, after three months, I’ve very much forgotten about the small divot. I occasionally notice it, but I don’t really care right now. I really hope Samsung finds a solution to this issue eventually, but it shouldn’t be a deal-breaker for anyone.
A screen protector that I ACTUALLY DETEST as well. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 has a lot of positive aspects, but the screen protector that comes pre-installed brings things down a notch. I personally don’t mind the thin plastic screen protector that is present on the exterior display. Although it’s not uncomfortable to wear and gets scratched very quickly, I haven’t taken it off just yet because I’d rather scrape up some plastic than the glass itself. Screen protectors are my thing, and I’m not embarrassed to confess it.
On the inside, the narrative is entirely different. The screen protector is thicker and nearly rubbery on the considerably bigger interior display, and it is just dreadful. My interior display is coated in tiny hairline scuffs due to how easily it scratches. The screen protector’s oleophobic coating is likewise hardly present, leaving the screen occasionally feeling almost sticky.
If you’ve read other reviews or even spoken to a few of the crazy people who actually bought this stuff, you’ll hear some similar tales. Many of those folks have removed the inside screen protector to discover that the incredibly thin glass underneath feels better and is essentially just as durable. Sound good, yes? Yes, it does, and more than once I’ve felt tempted to take the screen cover off.
I still haven’t though. I haven’t removed the screen protector despite the fact that it has numerous tiny hairline scratches. Why? Even though it’s clear that this layer isn’t an essential component of the device, Samsung explicitly advises against removing the screen protector, and I have to assume that they have a good reason for doing so. In any event, dealing with fingerprints, grease, and hairline scratches on this rubbery plastic is more preferable to dealing with them on the display itself.
What I can say, however, is that I fervently hope Samsung doesn’t use this again the next year. Samsung made numerous improvements to the Galaxy Z Fold 2 in order to create a device that is virtually perfect. For the Galaxy Z Fold 3 to be a phone that I can truly recommend to people, it just needs to address the inside display and how it is protected.
SAMSUNG SOFTWARE ANDAMP; PERFORMANCE
S ONE UI STILL WORKS OK The One UI skin from Samsung is used by the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and other contemporary Samsung gadgets. When I’m writing this evaluation in December 2020, that’s One UI 2.5 running on Android 10. The gist of One UI is that it works fine. Samsung’s design emphasizes maintaining a balance between features and simplicity. There are many additional multitasking choices, some cool features, and a few Samsung apps that you can use or ignore entirely. The annoying issue is that Samsung ruins this otherwise excellent experience by interjecting several advertisements. They are everywhere in Samsung’s apps, and even when you believe you have disabled them all, many continue to show up in apps and via persistent push notifications.
I spent $2,000 on this Samsung phone. There shouldn’t be a single advertisement displayed on this device at all.
Putting that snark aside, I’m delighted to see that Samsung appears to be giving its 2020 foldables more attention than it did the year before. According to when the betas were first released, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is on schedule to receive its Android 11 update rather soon. When compared to last year, when the Fold’s Android 10 update behind the Galaxy S and Note series by months, this represents fantastic progress.
Software updates that Samsung made to the Fold 2 specifically to enhance the user experience feel completely integrated and don’t really stand out too much. For instance, Samsung’s enhanced multitasking tools on the Fold 2 are located exactly where they would be on a typical Samsung phone, and they function flawlessly. If I used numerous apps at once more frequently, I’d use App Pair, which is a pretty helpful concept.
PERFORMANCE IS OUTSTANDING I’m delighted that performance is comparable because the software on the Fold 2 is much the same as that on Samsung’s other flagships. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 is one of the fastest Android smartphones I’ve ever used, and it does it without crashing background apps. It feels just like using the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. Even without using the internal 120Hz display, it simply moves very quickly.
Additionally, performance hasn’t declined after three months. I frequently can’t say that about other cellphones, but this one feels just as speedy as it did the day I unboxed it. Really, it’s astonishing how Samsung has improved from having subpar phone performance over time to being among the best in the business. But a portion of that depends on the potent duo of the Snapdragon 865 processor and 12GB of RAM.
FOLDABLE ANDROID STILL HAS ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT Aspect ratios are one of the Galaxy Z Fold 2’s main issues, as I’ve already hinted at multiple occasions. Android applications often scale well to accommodate any phone, but the Fold 2 has two unusual aspect ratios. Most smartphones currently range in aspect ratio from 18:9 to 21:9. The Fold 2’s exterior display is 25:9, while the interior is 5:4. Both of those are absent from almost every other smartphone and even tablet, so software developers haven’t even tried to optimize for them. The Accuweather app is a good illustration of this, as can be seen below.
Although this isn’t exactly Android’s fault, I believe the platform could manage the distinctive aspect ratios that foldables will bring to the table better with the help of Google’s APIs and suggestions. This won’t change quickly, but Google and Samsung both have a chance to help with the solution. However, I’m not convinced Samsung is currently concerned enough. Even though this is a company-owned tablet, some of the apps are still hilariously awful. Samsung SmartThings arranges tiles into rows, which wastes space on smaller rows, especially because of advertisements. Additionally, the Galaxy Store displays apps in rows rather than using the bigger screen to display a second column. Although I wouldn’t describe these apps as offensively poor, Samsung could have done better.
BATTERY LIFE: FOR THE MOST PART, OK This phone’s 4,500 mAh battery is definitely adequate. Most days, it easily lasts all day long. I usually have between 35% and 50% of my battery left when I go to bed. However, a lot of it depends on how I utilize the gadget. The inside display quickly drains power if I use it continuously for reading, writing, or content consumption. I’ve frequently killed the Fold 2’s battery by 5 o’clock. On other days, though, when I use the outer display more frequently for smaller activities, the tank will still have more than 40% of its capacity when it’s time for bed. Because of this, using screen on time as a measurement for this device is quite poor.
However, I believe the majority of people will be happy. When it does need to be charged, 25W USB-C is quick enough, and Qi is built in for handy overnight top-ups. The battery can last long enough.
CAMERA | INCREDIBLY GOOD In just a few short months in 2020, Samsung made absolutely enormous advancements in the camera market. The Galaxy S20 lineup couldn’t have made me any less happy, but the Note 20 Ultra changed my opinion. That the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is following in the latter’s footsteps makes me very happy. Although the trio of 12MP sensors can’t quite compete with the Note 20 Ultra, they nevertheless produce extremely decent pictures in most situations.
Although Samsung’s images are still a little oversaturated and struggle to capture motion, I’m generally happy with them. Here are a couple of my favorite pictures I’ve taken with the Fold 2 recently. I’d suggest taking a look at the Galaxy Fold subreddit if you want to see some additional standout photographs, as well. Owners of the Fold have posted some very gorgeous images on social media.
Click here to view full-res shots
The selfie situation is another another benefit of the Fold 2. Although the hole-punch cameras are not particularly good, you can use the Fold 2’s rear cameras for selfies thanks to the two displays. The Fold 2 now has one of the best selfie cameras available thanks to a clever gimmick.
YOU SHOULD DELAY PURCHASING A FOLDABLE | It’s difficult to sum up the benefits of foldables in a few sentences. The usefulness of a foldable becomes clear as soon as you pick one up and use it in your daily activities for, let’s be honest, even a few minutes. The advantage of the Fold 2 is the available larger screen, which I appreciate every time I use it. For three main reasons, though, this form factor isn’t quite ready for everyone now.
First, there is the actual display. When Samsung mostly got the outside display right, there’s a persistent worry that something will break while using the interior display, which is still a little too scratch-prone. Water resistance is the second. Now that we’ve seen that as a common feature on the majority of smartphones over the past few years, it feels absurd that a $2,000 tablet lacks it. The Fold 2 has none of it. I must admit that I haven’t been very concerned about it, but that’s partly because the COVID-19 pandemic that came with 2020 kept me primarily at home rather than, you know, going out.
Support is the third area where Samsung has to concentrate. Included in that is software support, which is significantly improved over the initial Fold but still lags behind less expensive Galaxy gadgets. I want Galtaxy S and Note line updates day and date for two grand. There is also genuine support available for when issues emerge. Samsung promotes Premiere Support for the Fold 2, but I believe Ryan Whitwhams recent experience ‘s experience having UPS misplace his $2,000 phone and Samsung’s refusal to take action until he publicly embarrassed them as a journalist makes a much more compelling tale. Samsung still has a lot of room for development in this area.
In addition to assistance, Samsung offers customers who purchase this phone an experience. Samsung did not exactly treat Fold 2 purchasers well. The original Galaxy Fold came with headphones, a case, and other extras for free. When a case should have been the basic minimum of freebies, the Fold 2 simply comes with a charger in the box. Samsung makes an effort to lessen the hit with its Premiere perks, but in a year decimated by COVID-19, the majority of those have proven to be absolutely meaningless. Although it’s probably fine that Samsung won’t include a charger with the Fold 3, I’d really want to see at least a basic case included in the box the following time.
Is any of it a reason not to get a foldable yet? Really, yes. The Fold 2 is not a gadget that the typical user should use. Well, it’s for people like myself. People are obsessive about new and emerging trends. Not because the Fold is a poor device, but rather because this form factor is not yet ready, I’d suggest almost every other phone I’ve evaluated this year above it to most people.
That doesn’t imply, though, that it isn’t the future. Foldables provide a new layer of utility and functionality to the way we use our phones. Even five years ago, it appeared to be an impossibility, but the Galaxy Z Fold 2 makes it a reality.
If you’re crazy enough, you can get a Galaxy Z Fold 2 from major US carriers as well as Samsung.com , Best Buy , and Amazon .
FTC: We employ automatically earning affiliate connections. More.
over time 0