Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo! After reviewing the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 for greater than two weeks, I’m overcome with the Cinderella syndrome and want that the clock would by no means strike midnight. Here is my full evaluation of one of the best folding smartphone in the marketplace for NextPit.
- ✓Optimized for one-handed operation
- ✓Solid hinge
- ✓Unfolded display screen is classy and virtually bezel-less
- ✓The a lot bigger cowl display screen
- ✓Intuitive multi-tasking potential
- ✓The energy of the Snapdragon 865+ chipset
- ✕The value
- ✕The extraordinary digital camera module
- ✕The common battery
- ✕Flexible mode might be improved
Who is the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 for?
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 has been obtainable since September 18 from Samsung and its e-merchant companions on the insanely excessive value of £1,799. This package deal will include a Snapdragon 865+ chipset mated to 12GB of RAM, a triple rear digital camera module (12MP + 12MP + 12MP), a twin 7.6-inch AMOLED display screen, a 6.23-inch cowl display screen, and a 4,500 mAh battery
I might contemplate this smartphone to be a glass slipper (within the Cinderella context), the place I dread the day when I’ll should half with it. Over the course of the previous few weeks spent with the Galaxy Z Fold 2, I’ve felt nothing however a way of privilege and thankfulness. I assumed I used to be residing in a dream world, the place I’m the star of the ball, to be swept off my ft, and to understand that I didn’t need the romance to finish.
I might say that this ultra-premium smartphone isn’t one thing that each one customers ought to choose up. Rather, it stays throughout the area of a choose few – maybe as small as 1% of the smartphone market. This makes excellent sense, for the reason that Galaxy Z Fold 2 continues to be too costly and out of attain for a lot of, considering the buying energy of the common Joe. It stays a technological showcase although that we watch from afar, understanding that we are going to by no means be capable of decide one up for ourselves.
It has critically made me remorse my profession decisions and ponder the potential for changing into a YouTuber with the hope of buying such a product down the street. However, what makes the Galaxy Z Fold 2 stand out is that this: it has the benefit of being a mature and completed product, not like the primary Galaxy Fold that premiered final yr.
It’s like testing a Ferrari on the street for 30 minutes once you go to Monaco one summer time, when your buddy’s son or daughter invited you to his or her mother and father’ villa to play on his or her costly PC, or once you pop open a bottle of Magnum in a nightclub with out having to fret about how a lot the tab will run up on the finish of the night time.
Using your fingertips, you enter a world from which you’re usually excluded, and also you take pleasure in each second understanding that the phantasm will disappear in the future or one other. If this expression hasn’t gotten drained due to a guide that was printed in 2014, I might have titled this evaluation “Thank you for this moment.”
A design that breathes maturity (and a bit of extra solidity)
The design of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 exudes maturity, if solely visually when in comparison with the unique Fold.
In quick, here is why I like it:
- One-handed when the Fold 2 is folded
- The strong hinge
- Improved design
In quick, I did not like:
- The weight and thickness when folded…
- The generally inconsistent fingerprint reader
The smartphone/pill hybrid format is an ideal match
When folded, the smartphone contains a considerably bigger cowl display screen than the primary 6.2-inch model (in comparison with 4.6 inches on its predecessor).
Once unfolded, its 7.6-inch principal display screen is nearly bezel-less. You instantly discover the removing of the big notch on the primary Fold in favor of a way more discreet punch that’s situated proper smack within the heart on the high of the proper flap of the foldable display screen.
The smartphone stays thick although, with dimensions of 68.Zero x 159.2 x 16.Eight mm when folded and 128.2 x 159.2 x 6.9 mm when unfolded, the place it suggestions the scales at 282 grams. This doesn’t make it a simple smartphone to slide right into a denims pocket. At the identical time, what is the level of stuffing such a jewel in your pants pocket? This is one thing that you’d need to exhibit to everybody (and in addition proves to be an particularly tempting proposition to subway pickpockets, however this can be a story for one more time).
One-handed operation is clearly unthinkable in pill mode. But the bigger cowl display screen permits greater than sufficient common use, even with a single hand. I discovered that it delivers good readability of the displayed parts and the keyboard isn’t too small for my huge fingers, both.
As on the primary Fold, I needed to change the keyboard structure as a result of Samsung “cuts it” in half by default. It’s means too counter-intuitive for my liking. You can set all that up within the settings (or simply go for the Gboard keyboard possibility).
On the right-hand aspect of the dual-screen lie each the quantity and energy button. The energy button doubles up as a fingerprint reader to unlock the smartphone. While it is fairly responsive and correct, it may be fickle as soon as the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 is folded.
On the left flap, once you take a look at the Fold 2 unfolded from the entrance (which finally ends up on high as soon as the smartphone is folded), it might intervene with the position of your thumb on the biometric reader. The biometric reader is situated on the proper flap. Your thumb will generally have a tendency to the touch the sides of the 2 overlapping flaps concurrently. But this shouldn’t be thought-about to be a very critical defect, and I attribute it extra to my morphology than to the design of the Fold 2.
Overall hybrid facet of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 could be very properly user-friendly when it comes to design. Unlike the primary model, it looks like an actual “normal” (thicker) smartphone when folded. And the pill format, as soon as unfolded, is classy to make use of because of an virtually bezel-less dual-screen setup.
The a lot stronger hinge
But let’s come to a very powerful aspect: the hinge. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 builds on the great foundations of the Galaxy Z Flip, which my colleague David had already famous in his evaluation at that cut-off date. Samsung has apparently discovered from its previous, and the teachings picked up might be felt within the design of the Fold 2 which is taken into account to be a extra mature gadget.
The hinge has a steel cowl and disappears fully when the telephone is totally unfolded. I actually just like the absence of “seams” on this design. The hinge can even lock itself in at any angle between Zero and 180 levels, which is essential for the Flex mode that I’ll talk about beneath.
Nothing protrudes in an unpleasant method and every thing is clear. Samsung has additionally reintegrated its “sweeper” system of mini brushes that stop dust from getting caught within the hinge. You can see, from sure angles and underneath the sunshine, the slight traces of their location on the hinge cowl. On the opposite hand, no IP certification is supplied by the producer as a result of design of this gadget.
But other than the noticeable crease within the heart of the display screen, the mechanism of this hinge is extraordinarily discreet, the place opening and shutting it doesn’t end in friction or squeaks. Without any irritating mechanical squeaks, the opening and shutting motions are buttery easy. It’s extraordinarily satisfying, though I want I might open the smartphone with only one hand.
The magnetic closure on the Fold 2 is just too sturdy for that to occur. And possibly it is a good factor, as a result of I may need damaged it if I’d been fiddling round with all of it day lengthy, folding and unfolding.
But total, it is a near-flawless design for me. Obviously, the excellent ergonomics when folded take successful as soon as the Fold 2 is unfolded. But when it’s unfolded, if it was not designed particularly for moveable use, it might very properly be used as a shelf – in my opinion. That’s an enormous sure for the Galaxy Z Fold 2 at this level!
With three OLED screens, you may shortly get the grasp of it!
The display screen, or fairly the screens of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 finest illustrates the enormous technological step taken by the South Korean producer ever because it rolled out the primary model of its foldable smartphone.
In quick, I appreciated:
- The virtually borderless unfolded display screen
- The a lot bigger cowl display screen
- Removing the ugly notch from the primary technology Fold
In quick, I did not like:
- Some video content material decision is questionable throughout playback when unfolded
- The crease on the principle display screen could be very seen
As I discussed earlier, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2’s exterior display screen now spans the overwhelming majority of the facade. One thus strikes from 4.6- to six.23-inches for an OLED panel in 816 x 2216 decision with a pixel density of 379 dpi within the 25:9 format.
The folded Galaxy Z Fold 2 is subsequently nonetheless a bit of thinner than the display screen of a “normal” smartphone, however it’s day and night time in comparison with the primary model. The display screen’s refresh fee stands at 60 Hz (no have to dream both), and I discovered it to be very vivid even when utilizing it open air.
It’s the display screen I used probably the most when utilizing it on public transport or whereas I’m strolling alongside the road for the reason that smartphone would clearly be simpler to make use of with one hand. I might admit that I used to be a bit of embarrassed to unfold it in public at first, as a consequence of being a very good tech journalist, geek, and hermit in remission, the place I felt that it was higher to keep away from curious appears.
This cowl display screen additionally contains a entrance digital camera that’s housed in a punch-hole that’s centrally situated on the high. So you could have a few sensors for selfies on the Galaxy Z Fold 2. The cowl display screen will also be used as a viewfinder when snapping selfies, however I’ll discuss extra about that within the Flex Mode part.
Once unfolded, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 gives a 7.6-inch OLED display screen with a refresh fee of 120 Hz and a 22.5:18 format, sporting a decision of 1,768 x 2,208 pixels for a pixel density of 373 dpi. I haven’t got subtle measurement instruments to help my opinion, however this gadget is classy in its efficiency, as Samsung has already made us accustomed to such situations.
But I can solely salute the removing of the ugly and big notch on the primary Fold in favor of a smaller punch-hole. With 7.6 inches of area, it offers yet one more dimension to the video content material that we devour on the Fold 2, whereas I’m not often keen on watching YouTube movies on my common smartphone.
However, the format isn’t probably the most appropriate for sure conditions. It is nearly inconceivable to place a YouTube video or a Netflix collection fully in full display screen, the place enlarging the picture will make the black borders on the high and backside disappear. For sure video games, their graphics engines weren’t made to cater to this decision, and graphics, even at most degree, take their toll.
Concretely, the show of some video games when performed in unfolded mode widens the picture, which logically additional underlines the boundaries of the graphics engines of in the present day’s cell video games. It’s fairly annoying for me however I totally perceive that gaming utilization is clearly not a precedence for such merchandise.
These are flaws that go means over the heads of just about all potential customers of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2. The solely actual black spot regarding the display screen is the more-than-noticeable crease within the heart. Obviously, this crease will develop into extra pronounced with use.
I’ve been utilizing the Fold 2 each day for greater than two weeks on the time of writing and I’ve not observed any injury to the crease. But there is no denying that you would be able to really feel it when touching and see it on the display screen the very first time you unpack.
It’s actually the one precise flaw that I can discover regarding the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2’s screens. And I do not see how, because it stands, Samsung might have provided a foldable display screen with none crease.
Promising Flex mode and OneUI 2.5 folds in half
After OxygenOS, OneUI is my favourite Android pores and skin. I examined the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 with OneUI 2.5 and Samsung introduced some options which might be notably attention-grabbing to this foldable kind issue. We will deal with three factors: Always-on show, multitasking, and Flex mode.
In quick I appreciated:
- The full interface
- The most optimized multitasking expertise in the marketplace
- Flex mode for video
In quick, I did not like:
- The Flex Mode is nothing greater than a photo-taking gimmick
- Lack of third get together purposes that work with Flex Mode
Always-on show and app continuity
This is without doubt one of the first experiences that you will have with the interface. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 gives an always-on show on its cowl display screen. You can select from totally different clock types and totally different font colours, brightness (automated), and notifications to show. It can also be attainable to show the music participant with out having to show on the display screen.
In quick, mixed with Fold 2’s bigger outer display screen measurement, you’ll be able to really use the smartphone with out unfolding it. This one-handed mode is one thing that the producer appears to encourage, whereas facilitating the transition between the 2 codecs: folded and unfolded.
Samsung has for instance carried out an “App continuity” function that enables most apps launched on the quilt display screen to change virtually seamlessly to the twin principal display screen once you unfold the Fold 2.
This function doesn’t work on video games, which you must restart to suit every show. But it turns out to be useful once you’re on Google Maps. On-screen data switches from single-screen to dual-screen within the blink of a watch.
Multitasking with out having to bend over backward
This is a function that’s not in any respect consistent with my utilization sample. But the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 is designed for “power users”, a extremely elite group who need to do every thing on the similar time on their smartphone.
Using both the Recent Applications View or the Application Panel, you’ll be able to start a multi-window session by dragging and dropping every suitable app.
Rest assured, the Apps menu permits you to kind suitable apps inside a number of home windows. You can create a number of home windows the place you’ll be able to modify their respective sizes to be impartial of one another. Once you could have chosen the proper structure, it can save you it and launch it in a single go.
You can have as much as Eight apps open concurrently: three in multi-window by default and 5 further apps within the type of flying pop-up home windows which might be then grouped by folder. To open a flying pop-up app in these folders, a small widget is displayed on the display screen: simply press it and select the app involved.
Samsung calls this function the “pop-up view” and I discovered it notably intuitive. Of course, there’s not a lot level in having Eight apps open on the display screen. But having the ability to handle the scale of every pop-up individually, having the ability to shut them, transfer them, and so forth, allows the Fold 2 to get probably the most out of its pill format when unfolded.
Personally, I assumed it was nice.
The Flex mode and its chocolate abs
Much much less gimmicky than Google’s Soli, Samsung’s Flex Mode is a software program innovation that we have already seen on the Galaxy Z Flip. And frankly, whereas it is handy for consuming video content material, it is nonetheless not matured sufficient for my style.
We talked about it at first of this infinite evaluation, the place the hinge of the Fold 2 locks in any respect angles between Zero and 180°. But between 20 and 75°, you should utilize the Fold 2 in Flex mode. This Flex mode can work with the Fold in “tent” or “laptop” mode.
It’s means too boring to elucidate, and our 1995 CMS does not enable us to combine GIF for instance the method so I redirect you to the image beneath.
Basically, you’ll be able to half-open the Fold 2 and place it on a flat floor like a tent. The video is then performed on the surface display screen, and the smartphone turns into its personal tripod.
And that is nearly the one sensible facet of this Flex mode. OK, I’m exaggerating a bit of bit. But the shortage of compatibility with third-party purposes makes this function hardly a must have. You can use it within the photograph utility. For instance, the quilt display screen can be utilized as a viewfinder, not for the photographer, however for the topic being photographed.
A surefire solution to be sure you’re all the time stunning, a function I might have appreciated to have for my LG Wing video, however it’s too late for regrets. In Flex mode, you may as well lay the smartphone flat to show it right into a tripod, with the controls residing on the decrease a part of the foldable dual-screen, and the viewfinder on the higher half. This makes the Galaxy Z Fold 2 appear like a dual-touchscreen Nintendo DS.
You can even apply it to YouTube: to show video playback on the higher half whereas feedback seem on the decrease half. A helpful function if you’re watching stay and permits you to react extra simply within the chat with out having to take your eyes off the streamed video.
There’s additionally the power to show the Fold 2 right into a mini laptop computer, transferring data from phrase processing, messaging or electronic mail apps to the highest half and whereas making certain the underside half is reserved for the keyboard. I’m not certain that that is very best when it comes to ergonomics. However, the Fold 2 does develop into a considerably small laptop computer that works fairly properly on WhatsApp, Gmail, Notes, and so forth.
Samsung defined that you would be able to set the Flex mode in addition to its sensitivity, in different phrases, the vary of angles in keeping with which will probably be activated. But I could not discover any of the settings to take action. By the way in which, it is a disgrace that the Flex mode does not have its personal devoted menu within the settings.
So Samsung has made a titanic effort to benefit from the hybrid smartphone/pill format of its Galaxy Z Fold 2. And, in 80% of instances, it is a success. The Flex mode deserves to be extra refined and extra simply customizable. But as for the remainder of the person expertise, this foldable model of OneUI 2.5 could be very nice to make use of.
The energy of the Snapdragon 865+, we all know the track
It’s the least you are able to do for a smartphone that sells for greater than £1,799, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 comes with the Snapdragon 865+ chipsetThere’s not a lot distinction between the essential model and the overclocked model of Qualcomm’s newest SoC.
But this Snapdragon 865+ mated to 12GB of RAM in the Fold 2, and this makes it probably the most highly effective Samsung flagship mannequin in Europe, with the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy S20 providing solely the much less highly effective Exynos 990 chipset. The Fold 2 is thus ranked proper on the very high of the basket of the assorted benchmarks to which it has been subjected to.
I be aware nonetheless that the scores recorded on the Fold 2 are decrease than these obtained by the Asus ROG Phone 3, which is supplied with the identical processor and offered at half the value. But are these merchandise in any other case comparable? Absolutely not.
Benchmark comparability of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2:
Galaxy Z Fold 2
|Asus ROG Phone 3
|OnePlus 8 Pro|
|3D Mark Sling Shot Extreme ES 3.1||7570||7736||7724||7122|
|3D Mark Sling Shot Vulkan||6638||7052||7079||6613|
|3D Mark Sling Shot ES 3.0||8783||9687||9833||8864|
|Geekbench 5 (Single / Multi)||964/3059||902/3232||977 / 3324||887/ 3313|
I did not have any lagging issues on any of the video games I performed on this evaluation. From FPS video games resembling Call of Duty Mobile to journey video games like Sky: Children of the Light to massively multiplayer administration video games like Eve Echoes, every thing works seamlessly. The most resource-hungry titles launch with the default graphics choices at most and run with none issues.
Only the show glitches talked about above are associated to the scale of the display screen as soon as the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is unfolded, and this generally tarnishes the in-game expertise. As for the remaining, the interface could be very easy and for a Samsung, overheating is surprisingly properly managed – which is a notable level.
Whether it is after lengthy video streaming periods, an intensive digital camera taking session, or the set up of an replace and/or a number of apps, the smartphone does not heat as much as the contact. Yet this can be a criticism that most of the model’s flagships have suffered prior to now.
I’m not going to dwell on praising a processor that a lot of you already know. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 is quick and highly effective. And that is nice contemplating its value (maybe even anticipated).
The sadly commonplace digital camera
I’m actually not going to dwell on the digital camera module of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 as a result of it is the least thrilling a part of the smartphone.
While the Galaxy Z Fold 2 might current itself as Samsung’s technological flagship par excellence, it’s fairly shy on the photograph aspect for an ultra-high-end gadget. You is not going to discover any 64- or 108-megapixel sensor right here, however a trio of wide-angle, ultra-wide-angle, and telephoto lenses of 12 MP every.
- wide-angle 12 MP, f/1.8, 26 mm
- ultra-wide-angle 12 MP, f/2.2, 13 mm
- telephoto lens 12 MP, f/2.4, 52 mm
Great pictures are the benchmark for the Galaxy S collection at Samsung, however at £1,799 for the Fold 2, you would have all of it. Apparently not. We are entitled to roughly the identical photograph module as on the S20 and Note 20, besides that the telephoto lens is 12 MP and never 64 MP.
By day, photographs taken with the principle module are fairly good, the place the colours all the time stand out a bit of greater than these taken by different producers, however it’s a alternative I admire. We have a reasonably large dynamic vary and the extent of element is greater than passable.
The photographs are very vivid, whatever the lens used, and there’s a consistency from one sensor to a different when it comes to colorimetry.
As for the zoom, the 12 MP lens permits for a hybrid x3 zoom with out lack of element, a minimum of in keeping with Samsung. In sensible phrases, I discovered that the promise was saved properly. But as quickly as you transcend the boundaries of “optical” magnification, issues begin to go mistaken.
At night time, the principle 12 MP sensor does fairly badly by itself, however the night time mode does make for an honest compensation. From a photograph that’s drowned out by digital noise with zero spikes, you get a way more legible rendering which is a bit of easy, the place the smartphone lights up the scene very properly.
The good factor is that the night time mode works properly on all three lenses of the photograph module. And it isn’t too aggressive within the post-processing, both. Yes, it smoothes the picture out, however it does not need to present what the attention is unable to see – not like a few of its opponents. It illuminates the shadows and material, however with out burning out the brilliant areas. It retains the impression of an evening shot, and doesn’t make it look as if it’s a photograph taken in broad daylight.
Overall, the photograph module of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 is sort of correct. But at £1,799, I’m sorry to say this however I have to drive dwelling the purpose once more: I might have appreciated higher sensors. Why did not you implement the digital camera system discovered on the Galaxy S20 Ultra?
Quite actually, I’ve seen little or no distinction when it comes to photograph rendering between the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and the Galaxy Note 20 and even the Galaxy S20 or S20 Plus. It’s fairly a disgrace.
Battery life is surprisingly not ridiculous
With two screens, and even three when you contemplate that the foldable display screen is a double AMOLED panel, an imposing format, and a battery of “only” 4,500 mAh, I did not have excessive hopes for battery life relating to the Galaxy Z Fold 2.
When used primarily based on a daily utilization sample, the result’s surprisingly respectable. You cannot say that the battery life is one of the best in the marketplace, however it’s also not the worst. However, on common, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 has all the time lasted all the day of use.
I’ve tried to take screenshots of heavy, average, and lightweight utilization with eight, 5, and three hours of display screen time respectively. In addition to that, this knowledge reveals the extent of my unhealthy sleep cycle, you’ll be able to see that the Fold 2 lasted between 10 and 12 hours earlier than dropping to beneath 20% of remaining battery life.
It’s clearly not loopy, however it’s removed from ridiculous. Especially when you think about that the “small” battery powers three OLED shows, a Snapdragon 865+ chipset, and a power-hungry multitasking interface.
The PC Mark benchmark that NextPit makes use of for its battery exams confirmed this pattern, draining the battery of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 in simply over 12 hours with the display screen unfolded.
On the opposite hand, utilizing the smartphone when folded makes it final a complete lot longer, a lot in order that the identical benchmark used on the folded Fold 2 lasted for near 20 hours! There isn’t any should be alarmed then, however you must bear in mind that the usage of the pill format and the consumption of video will drain lots of battery life.
Look on the third screenshot above. My display screen time was solely lower than Three hours. And but the battery ran out far before on the primary screenshot which had a display screen time of just about Eight hours. The 50 minutes of YouTube considered in pill mode have been sufficient to make a stark distinction.
The result’s surprisingly acceptable, however it’s undoubtedly not a spotlight of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2. But you may inform me that is the case with a lot of the producer’s different flagships.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 is undoubtedly one of the best foldable smartphone in the marketplace (not that there are too many choices to select from within the first place), taking full benefit of its hybrid kind issue, however with no direct competitor worthy of the identify, it is a fairly straightforward title to flaunt, if not all too straightforward.
This is just because it isn’t one of the best smartphone in the marketplace – removed from it. Its value stays completely out of attain for a lot of and disconnected from our financial actuality. And its yawn-inducing digital camera module, in addition to the simply sufficient battery life, are fairly troublesome to miss contemplating you would need to fork out £1,799 for the gadget.
But that is what I’ve to let you know as a journalist, reviewer, and above all as a client who earns lower than what the Galaxy Z Fold 2 prices per 30 days. However, you must step out of actuality for some time, even when it’s only for 5 minutes. We’re not speaking a few shopping for information right here, however fairly a evaluation primarily based on a sense, on the feelings conveyed by a short-lived tech product, an object that has a narrative to inform.
The Galaxy Z Fold 2 made me dream. These few weeks of reviewing it have been sufficient to make me need to undertake it each day. I actually do not need to give it again to Samsung though I do know it is an inevitable consequence. Of course, it isn’t a product I might purchase on the spot, with my personal cash since I haven’t got it. But what do I would like it!
That’s why I kicked off this evaluation by singing the fairy godmother track in Cinderella. The Fold 2 is rather more than a technological showcase, fairly not like its predecessor. It’s a high-tech gadget that transported me to a world of luxurious, making the smartphones I’ve reviewed to date appear like unhappy previous pumpkins.
I’ve hardly ever been so impressed by a evaluation. And I do know nobody goes to learn this text as a result of she or he is hesitant to purchase the gadget. Those who can afford it do not learn NextPit or our opinions usually. And I additionally know that costly flagships are sometimes criticized, and I’m the primary one to criticize them.
But for the primary time in a protracted whereas, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 has made me really feel like I’ve discovered the proper match. My glass slipper, my precious one which I’m going to lose when the clock strikes midnight.
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