Share on:

Phone review: The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 is a head-turner

We spent two weeks with Samsung's lastest folding phone.

We previously spent 24 hours with Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip – its pocket-sized version of the original Galaxy Fold – and found a stylish, functional piece of hardware that recalled the clamshell phones of yore. This time, we got to spend 2 weeks with the new Galaxy Z Fold2, its shinier, upgraded big brother.

The new Z Fold’s value proposition remains the same: a phone-sized device that, thanks to some engineering wizardry, can unfold into something tablet-sized. The main magic here is an ultra-thin, flexible piece of glass that allows the device to boast one continuous screen that can fold in on itself. With any new category of hardware, kinks are to be expected. The original Galaxy Fold had its fair share of problems, many of which have been addressed in the Fold2.

(Related: Can these earphones from Bose help you to sleep better?)

For one, the Galaxy Z Fold2 has removed the unsightly notch (where the front-facing camera was placed) that was much-maligned with the Galaxy Fold, instead opting for a front camera that is set directly on the screen. 

There’s also an upgrade in size. The Galaxy Z Fold2’s main screen opens up to an impressive 19cm by 15.5cm; although this comes with an increase in weight at 282g, up 19g from the Galaxy Fold. It’s considerably heavier compared to most conventional phones on the market, although the weight feels closer to a “reassuring heft” rather than “inconveniently heavy”. One issue though might be the phone’s thickness when folded. It feels like two phones back to back, – it technically is in terms of physical dimensions – which might prove a problem for smaller pockets.

All these feels like worthwhile trade-offs. We’ll be honest: it’s a showy phone. In the two weeks we had it, whipping out the Galaxy Z Fold2 never failed to elicit curiosity – sometimes envy – about its size and foldability. One of the default colours, a satiny, metallic coral they call “Mystic Bronze” certainly helps too. 

(Related: Tech in luxury: suits that do not require dry cleaning)

The Samsung Z Fold2’s two available colours: Mystic Black and Mystic Bronze

Functionally, the folding features are much-improved from the original Galaxy Fold, including a sturdier screen and improved dust resistance. The folding mechanism feels fluid yet stable, allowing the phone to sit upright when it’s folded between 75 to 115 degrees. . This also means that the Fold2 is its own tripod – cue great selfies, watching shows hands-free, and – with some practice on the tiny keyboard – using it as a mini laptop.  

(Related: Samsung collaborates with Thom Browne for its new devices)\

Then there’s Samsung’s multi-window function, which has been around for some time – but rarely used. We’ve tried this out with various Samsung phones in the past, but this is actually the first time that the function actually felt useful. While normal phone screens have always felt too small to properly display two apps simultaneously, the Z Fold basically gives you the screen real estate of two phones.

This supports up to three apps at the same time; and includes nifty functions like dragging and dropping files, images, and text from one app to another. We warmed up to this quickly – replying WhatsApp messages while watching Netflix soon became the norm. 

Verdict: 

If the hefty price tag is not an issue, the Galazy Z Fold2 is a slick, impressive piece of hardware that will turn a few heads while working as a great productivity tool.  

Specs:

Weight: 282g

Dimensions (Folded): 68.0 x 159.2 x 16.8mm

Dimensions (Unfolded): 128.2 x 159.2 x 6.9mm

Display size: 19cm by 15.5cm

Refresh rate: 120Hz

Storage: 256GB or 512GB

RAM: 12GB

Rear cameras: 3x12MP (wide angle, ultra wide angle, telephoto)

Front cameras: 2x10MP

Battery: 4,500mAh