The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 went official this week, we did a video on it and shared some early impressions. Now that the dust has finally settled and we got to spend some quality time with the phone we can close out the week with some early thoughts on the ground-breaking device. This won't be a specs-driven retrospect, mind you, but more of a reflection on what the Galaxy Z Fold2 is and what it can do for you.
Samsung have kitted the Galaxy Z Fold2 with less accessories than its predecessor. The Galaxy Fold's original retail package came with Galaxy Buds truly wireless earbuds and a complimentary case. This year's Galaxy Z Fold2 comes with a cable, 25W charger and wired USB-C AKG earbuds in Europe and only a cable and a charger in the US.
Now, Samsung's decision to include fewer accessories with the Galaxy Z Fold2 is likely meant to reduce the device's carbon footprint.
Samsung does make a leather case and a case made with aramid fibers, but those cost €77.88 and €58.38, respectively. Given the Galaxy Z Fold2's price, Samsung could have bundled either one in the box.
Back to the price. In Europe the Galaxy Z Fold2 costs €1949, while in the US it's $1,999 (full price list here). To put things into perspective, the brand new Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra starts at €1,266/$1,299, while the iPhone 11 Pro Max is €1,217/$1,099 and they're thought of as overly expensive.
Then again those two can't unfold into a proper tablet so it's certainly an unfair comparison. Galaxy Z Fold2 packs five high-end cameras, a Snapdragon 865+ chipset, 12GB of RAM, two AMOLED screens, one of which massive and foldable, stainless steel frame, a high-tech hinge mechanism and much more - all of that leads to an expensive package.
Thanks to its new hinge design, the Galaxy Z Fold2 feels impressively sleek and sturdy. Samsung calls the new hinge a hideaway one and when the device is unfolded the hinge disappears under the outer frame.
The hideaway hinge employs a dual CAM mechanism that enables the Galaxy Z Fold2 to stand on its own from 75 to 115 degrees. There's a sweeper structure in the gap between the body and the hinge filled with fibers that keep dust and debris from entering under the folding display. Samsung rates the Galaxy Z Fold2's hinge to be good for 200,000 folds.
The main display of the Galaxy Z Fold2 stretches to a broader 7.6-inch canvas, over the Galaxy Fold's 7.3-inch. It's a noticeable difference that Samsung achieved by reducing the selfie camera notch to a punch hole and trimming the bezels.
The main screen feels truly massive when you're holding the Galaxy Z Fold2 in your hand, but it's the cover screen that makes the biggest difference. It was nothing more than an auxiliary display on the Galaxy Fold but on the Z Fold2 it's usable all on its own.
It feels like you're using a very tall and narrow, but also very thick smartphone. However when you're on the go and want to snap a photo, check a notification, open Google Maps or do any of the thousand little things you'd do on a smartphone, you can use the 6.2-inch cover display of the Galaxy Z Fold2.
When you have time to unfold the Galaxy Z Fold2 and use the massive canvas that is its 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED, you get to do some things your regular smartphone can't.
Triple-tab multitasking is not only possible, but usable. Each individual app has enough space to display its content and for your finger to act on it.
When using just two apps things get even better. Imagine watching a video playthrough of that one difficult level in a game, while simultaneously playing said game - you can on the Galaxy Z Fold2.
And the Galaxy Z Fold2 might be one of the best devices to read CBR (comic book reader) files on.
Achieving the folding of a display and fitting it into a consumer device requires a lot of time, work and know-how and it's very expensive. At the same time it leads to compromises that are hard to swallow at this price - no dust or waterproofing, the main screen isn't made of regular glass and can be dented or scratched with a fingernail and it has a crease, etc.
But those are all conventional drawbacks. The Galaxy Z Fold2 is an unconventional device and you should think of it as one. It can do most anything a regular phone can do and most anything a typical Android tablet can do. And it can change from one to the other in a split second.
Using the Galaxy Z Fold2 gives you a unique experience and what's more - a unique perspective. It's the only device of its kind currently selling in the global markets.
So whether you're a tech enthusiast or not - you should try and get your hands on a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 - go to the nearest Samsung store and try out something you haven't seen yet.