Galaxy Z Fold 2 review: This spectacular foldable phone demands attention

    LikeRefined look and feelSits open at a number of anglesFixes almost each flaw from the unique

    Don’t LikeInner display screen nonetheless fragileFingerprint unlock errors too quite a fewTyping can really feel cumbersome

    The Galaxy Z Fold 2 isn’t just a foldable cellphone. It’s a motion ready to start. Samsung’s profitable redesign of its first foldable cellphone improves on the unique Galaxy Fold in almost each method — from the brand new 6.2-inch outer display screen to the 7.6-inch interior show — delivering a tool that for the primary time attracts a full-size foldable cellphone from the realm of fantasy and grounds it in actuality.  Samsung’s unique Galaxy Fold was a daring idea with horrible execution. Besieged by issues and pitfalls at almost each flip, Samsung needed to redesign the gadget after assessment fashions broke in a number of methods, inflicting the model to lose distribution companions, drop shade choices and ship the foldable gadget 4 months late. 

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    The Z Fold 2 could hold the identical form as the unique, but it surely exudes confidence and competence that the primary design lacked — with one exception. CNET Section Editor Juan Garzon’s assessment unit has a bubbled inside display screen, which might clearly fall underneath Samsung’s guarantee if a bought product arrived broken. The assessment unit I’ve been utilizing hasn’t skilled any points. CNET has reached out to Samsung to report the issue.

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    Galaxy Z Fold 2: The new foldable cellphone king


    When I take a look at the Galaxy Z Fold 2’s giant outer show (6.2 inches), sturdy hinge and upleveled multitasking abilities, I see a foldable cellphone striving to outline the intersection of smartphone luxurious and technical innovation, however with a utility that banishes the suggestion of gimmick. For instance, the Z Fold 2 changed my laptop computer for 28 hours and did almost all the things I wanted, although writing and enhancing admittedly took longer tapping out on a display screen than typing on keyboard squares. The Z Fold 2 is not a cellphone for everybody — its $2,000, £1,799 and AU$2,999 value places it out of vary for a lot of — but it surely’s a tool that deserves, and calls for, your consideration. Read on for one of the best and worst Z Fold 2 options, and all the things you should find out about digital camera, battery life and Samsung’s VIP therapy. You’ll discover the total specs comparability with the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, Galaxy Fold and Microsoft Surface Duo on the finish.
    Galaxy Z Fold 2: Samsung’s most luxe foldable cellphone but
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    X finest enhancements to the Galaxy Z Fold 2 Premium appear and feelHinge mechanism is sturdy and clean as you open and shut the gadgetNo gaps between the display screen and physique (I attempted with my fingernail. All sealed.)6.2-inch exterior display screen takes up a lot of the exterior footprintUltraskinny glass on the interior display screen as an alternative of plastic adhesive aloneSupport for 120Hz refresh fee (interior display screen)No notch on 7.2-inch inside showApps seamlessly swap between interior and outer shows How the Z Fold 2 could possibly be even higher Inner display screen is not waterproof, requires particular care instructionsReflection on the display screen crease is noticeable when hinge stays open Heavy, with sharp edges. Grows wearisome to carry throughout long-term useBetter cameras, together with a 5x optical zoomA extra correct fingerprint reader (extra under)Apps can increase the bar on conforming to the display screen (extra under)Support for Work Profile apps within the multitasking view (extra under)Taken with the Galaxy Z Fold 2’s 2x optical digital camera.
    Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
    Z Fold 2 cameras are good, however Note 20 Ultra’s are higher Photography on the Z Fold 2 leaves little to complain about, except you have simply used the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra as your main cellphone, like I’ve.  That gadget, which prices $1,300 retail, has 5x optical zoom that the Z Fold 2’s 2x optical zoom needs it could possibly be, and some different fancy options that I may often take or depart. Zooming into architectural options on a day journey to San Francisco, or seeing animals in nature, was lots much less satisfying on the Z Fold 2 in comparison with the Ultra. A ravishing view of San Francisco’s iconic Ferry Building on a wonderful day, however the Z Fold 2’s 2x optical zoom is not any match for 5x if we needed to get a bit of extra shut and private.
    Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
    Photos are nonetheless good — superb, even — however this is not essentially the most superior digital camera cellphone that Samsung makes. There are professional photograph and professional video modes, which carry it updated, and I do like with the ability to unfold the gadget to take a higher-quality selfie with the rear cameras.  The Z Fold 2’s outer display screen serves as a viewfinder in case you faucet the proper onscreen management, but it surely’s awkward to carry the cellphone this manner whereas taking a photograph, and all the things seems to be barely off-kilter in case you’re your self onscreen and never the digital camera sensor. I additionally observed that a variety of my commonplace images appeared ever so barely askew. Reviewing footage on the 7.6-inch display screen, although, is a dream. San Francisco avenue, utilizing evening mode.
    Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
    Flex Mode: Highs and lows of the self-supporting hinge  I genuinely thought Flex Mode can be the Z Fold 2’s killer function, but it surely did not fairly work out as anticipated. Flex Mode is Samsung’s method to describe the state of the Z Fold 2 once you bend the 2 screens in between completely closed and totally open, and the 2 “sides” keep the place they’re. The advantages are lots actual. The cellphone can prop itself open from a spread of a minimum of 75 to 115 levels, which suggests it may change into its personal stand vertically or horizontally, and a few apps can shift to reap the benefits of the brand new dimensions. That basically splits the interface in order that, for instance, you may see a video on “top” and different navigation choices on the “bottom.”  The Z Fold 2’s hinge can hold its form from 75 to 115 levels with out snapping shut or flopping open.
    Angela Lang/CNET
    But there aren’t sufficient apps but that acknowledge the lengthy, slim dimensions and know methods to use them effectively. And the pure display screen ratios once you bend the cellphone in half work extra cohesively on the smaller Galaxy Z Flip than they do on the Z Fold 2.  For instance, when the Z Flip bends in half, it kinds two squares. The backside creates a stand and the highest has a centered video digital camera that is intuitive to make use of for video calls, studying, watching movies and framing images from entrance and rear cameras.  Meanwhile, the angles on the Z Fold 2 by no means felt fairly proper for many of these. Samsung says there are extra apps coming to reap the benefits of the split-screen design — I actually hope that is the case. Battery life higher than I feared I nervous in regards to the Z Fold 2’s means to ship all-day battery life with its 4,500-mAh battery capability. Note that these are two separate battery cells that collectively create the identical whole capability because the Note 20 Ultra, a cellphone I believed had middling battery efficiency due to its resource-hungry 120Hz display screen. Now, add into the equation two battery cells which are typically considered much less environment friendly than one huge battery (due to battery chemistry) and a extremely huge 7.6-inch display screen that refreshes at twice the speed of a typical display screen (utilizing extra battery) and you may perceive the skepticism. The power-hungry 7.6-inch interior display screen helps a 120Hz refresh fee, which ought to drain battery quicker the extra you utilize it. However, the Z Fold 2 ought to nonetheless final a day on a full cost.
    Juan Garzon/CNET
    However, the day I exchanged my laptop computer for a Z Fold 2, I used resource-hungry stay maps navigation for two hours in a 28-hour interval, browsed and messaged nonstop, watched hours of Netflix, took dozens of images and so forth. Even on this heavy day, I nonetheless managed to get from morning to night on a single cost.  Part of that’s as a result of the 7.6-inch inner display screen solely makes use of 120Hz display screen refresh fee on an “adaptive” cycle, which suggests it robotically flicks on once you’re doing one thing intensive sufficient to warrant the ultrasmooth scrolling, gaming and extra. The remainder of the time it reverts to 60Hz (just like the outer display screen, which I used a minimum of 60% of the time), and which held reserves in test.  Battery life is not superb, but it surely’s greater than doable, and for a tool like this, I contemplate {that a} optimistic. You can even manually swap the interior display screen’s refresh fee to 60Hz and in case you enter battery-saving mode, 120Hz will fall away. You can use the outer display screen as a viewfinder for taking selfies from the primary digital camera — neat trick.
    Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
    Multitasking, typing, app continuity: A blended bag Multitasking: I like Samsung’s new multi-window app function — largely — as a result of it makes it a lot simpler to separate the 7.6-inch display screen into two or three zones to make use of apps on the similar time. Dividing the display screen this manner felt pure and useful for intervals of time.  In this iteration, when you could have one app open, you are in a position to swipe out from the aspect menu, choose an app and drag it into one in every of three areas: to the proper or left pane, horizontally, backside (a vertical place under the primary window), or a pop up in the course of what you are . This is nice flexibility right here. Unfortunately, not each app you could have put in works with this format, together with apps sandboxed within the “Work Profile” part of Samsung’s Knox safety that works with company apps. It’s a disgrace, because the productiveness apps are among the many ones I wish to multitask with essentially the most. Any app you begin on the outer display screen seamlessly picks up the place you left off once you open the Z Fold 2.
    Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
    App hand-off: I cherished the liquidity with which apps from the interior and outer display screen slid over to the opposite after I opened or closed the Z Fold 2. Any app you open the 6.2-inch outer display screen, any app you could have loaded will soar to the interior display screen as you unfold the gadget — seamlessly. It’s a bit of labor to dig into the settings to pick which apps you wish to go the opposite method when closing the bigger interior display screen, like a video (it would robotically work for calls). I’ll say, it is fully well worth the effort to set this up. Typing: Once once more, I’ve to commend Samsung for making a break up display screen keyboard for the inside Fold display screen. The objective is to make typing extra comfy on a wider-than-usual gadget that is most useful when it is totally unfolded into pill type.  However… my palms are on the smaller aspect, which signifies that even on the split-screen keyboard my paws really feel stretched. There actually aren’t third get together apps to interchange the default keyboard, which suggests I wind up collapsing the unfolded cellphone — bending it barely towards the middle — to get the 2 sides collectively and acquire some typing aid. If your palms are bigger, chances are you’ll not thoughts as a lot, but it surely’s not a design for everybody. Apps that work for the display screen: Samsung is slowly however absolutely engaged on apps to reap the benefits of the Z Fold 2’s bendable design in any formation. For instance, there’s drag and drop between Gmail, Chrome, Microsoft Outlook and Samsung native apps. Other apps, like YouTube video, will play good with the configuration. But till this catches on for all, count on some bootstrapping to get all of it how you want. The fingerprint reader (on the backside proper of this photograph) is difficult to precisely hit when the cellphone is closed.
    Angela Lang/CNET
    Fingerprint reader not a deal breaker, however wants a repair In the closed place, each new and unique Galaxy Fold units seem like two telephones stacked on prime of the opposite in a scrumptious cellular sandwich. The draw back — and weirdness — is that the fingerprint reader on the Z Fold 2’s energy/lock button (on the proper backbone) is each fully smart and likewise irrational. Here’s what occurs. You enroll as much as 4 fingerprints when the cellphone is totally flat, unfurled (not folded in half), however in case you attempt to unlock the gadget when it is closed, your thumb has to search out the exact angle and divot within the backside portion of the stacked display screen sandwich to unlock it with out error or delay.  Despite this very handy placement and setup, I needed to punch in my backup credentials extra instances than not. Should you get the Galaxy Z Fold 2? A $2,000 cellphone is not a paltry affair, particularly when 50% of the screens are fragile and finicky at finest. But I’ve a very totally different viewpoint than I did of the primary Galaxy Fold — to the advantage of the successor. The Galaxy Fold was a mesmerizing beta cellphone, a blueprint, meant for essentially the most devoted of tech advocates residing on the sting whereas Samsung and the remainder of the business labored out the small print. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 is not for everybody, but it surely does lots to carry the way forward for foldable telephones inside attain.
    Angela Lang/CNET
    I nonetheless do not suppose this $2,000 Z Fold 2 with its fragile display screen is price it for many, but it surely’s lots nearer to the sort of gadget on a regular basis individuals may need and need than final yr’s inchoate version. As an ultrafancy cellphone, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 affords status and superior marksmanship for a do-everything cellphone of this kind. As a tech-lover’s dream, it presents a grounded risk that did not exist earlier than.  Samsung’s VIP foldable Z Premiere therapy Samsung has expanded its VIP membership for foldable telephones. Anyone who buys a Z Fold 2, Fold or Z Flip (together with the brand new Z Flip 5G) will get entry to this system. Galaxy Z Concierge program for on-demand customer support and consultationFirst-time display screen alternative of $149Six months of LinkedIn PremiumFoundersCard advantages: 12-month membership once you preorder. After launch, you get six months freeA ready meal from a Michelin starred restaurant by TockFairway Pass Elite by ClubCorp, which supplies you entry to golf clubsSix months of Obe Fitness on-line exercises$50 off Glamsquad in-home hair serviceGalaxy Z Fold 2 vs. Microsoft Surface Duo vs. Galaxy Fold vs. Galaxy Z Flip

    Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2

    Microsoft Surface Duo

    Samsung Galaxy Fold

    Samsung Galaxy Z Flip

    Display dimension, decision

    External 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED; nternal: 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED; External: 2260 x 816 pixels Internal: 2208 x 1768

    Dual 5.6-inch AMOLED; 1,800×1,350 pixels / Combined: 8.1-inch AMOLED; 2,700×1,800 pixels

    Internal: 7.3-inch Dynamic AMOLED; 2,152×1,536-pixels (plastic) / External: 4.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED; 1,680×720-pixels (Gorilla Glass 6)

    Internal: 6.7-inch FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED; 2,636×1,080-pixels / External: 1.1-inch Super AMOLED; 300×112-pixels

    Pixel density

    386ppi + 373ppi


    362ppi (inner display screen)

    425ppi (inner) / 303ppi (exterior)

    Dimensions (Inches)

    Folded: 2.67 x 6.26 x 0.6 in (Hinge) ~ 0.54 in(Sagging), Unfolded: 5.04 x 6.26 x 0.27 in(Frame) ~ 0.23 in(Screen)

    Folded: 5.72 x 3.67 x 0.399 in / Unfolded: 5.72 x 7.36 x 0.19 in

    Folded: 6.3 x 2.5 x 0.6 in / Unfolded: 6.3 x 4.6 x 0.3 in

    Folded: 2.99 x 3.44 x 0.62 ~ 0.68 in / Unfolded: 2.99 x 6.59 x 0.27 ~0.28 in

    Dimensions (Millimeters)

    Folded: 68.0 x 159.2 x 16.8mm (Hinge) ~ 13.8mm(Sagging), Unfolded: 128.2 x 159.2 x 6.9mm(Frame) ~ 6.0mm(Screen)

    Folded: 145.2 x 93.3 x 9.9 mm / Unfolded: 1,145.2 x 186.9 x 4.8 mm

    Folded: 62.8 x 161 x 15.7mm ~ 17.1mm / Unfolded: 117.9 x 161 x 6.9mm ~ 7.6mm

    Folded: 73.6 x 87.4 x 15.4 ~17.3 mm / Unfolded: 73.6 x 167.3 x 6.9 ~ 7.2 mm

    Weight (Ounces, Grams)

    9.95 oz; 282 grams

    8.8 oz; 250g

    9.7 oz; 276g

    6.46 oz; 183g

    Mobile software program

    Android 10

    Android 10

    Android 9.0 with Samsung One UI

    Android 10


    12-megapixel (foremost) + 12-megapixel (extensive angle) + 12 megapixel (telephoto)


    12-megapixel (wide-angle), 16-megapixel (extremely wide-angle), 12-megapixel (telephoto)

    12-megapixel (wide-angle), 12-megapixel (extremely wide-angle)

    Front-facing digital camera

    10-megapixel, 10-megapixel

    Uses foremost digital camera

    Two 10-megapixel, 8-megapixel 3D depth


    Video seize



    4K (HDR 10+)

    4K (HDR 10+)


    Snapdragon 865 Plus

    Qualcomm Snapdragon 855

    Qualcomm Snapdragon 855

    Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ (64-bit octa-core)



    128GB, 256GB








    Expandable storage






    4,500 mAh




    Fingerprint sensor


    Right aspect

    Power button

    Power button






    Headphone jack





    Special options

    Foldable show, 120Hz refresh fee, wi-fi charging help,

    Dual-screen show; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM)

    Foldable show, wi-fi charging, quick charging

    Foldable show; wi-fi PowerShare; wi-fi charging; quick charging

    Price off-contract (USD)





    Price (GBP)


    Converts to £1,088



    Price (AUD)


    Converts to AU$1,918



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