Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2: First impressions

Are foldables mature enough for 2020?

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When the Samsung Galaxy Fold was launched late last year, it was merely a conceptual product. It brought a unique design and packed the absolute latest technology, especially when it came to foldable smartphones. But, it still had durability issues among other things. With the Galaxy Z Fold2, Samsung aims to fix a lot of its predecessor’s flaws and it does so remarkably well.

Bigger and better

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 comes with a much larger 6.2-inch HD+ Super AMOLED cover display. This makes the device more usable when closed in its 25:9 aspect ratio form factor. Additionally, the display features an Infinity-O dot design with a 10MP selfie camera. Opening up the smartphone, you find a 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel inside. This sports a QXGA+ resolution with another Infinity-O cut-out once again. Combined with its 27 per-cent reduction in bezels, you not only get a more immersive experience but also a much smoother one thanks to the phone’s 120Hz adaptive refresh rate technology. Unfortunately, the crease on the inner display still remains visible.

The Galaxy Z Fold2 boasts a more streamlined look, with no notch on the top right

In the hand, the phone feels a lot more premium than last year’s Fold. There is a robustness to it and this may be due to Samsung’s new 3rd generation hinge technology, which features the sweeper technology from the Galaxy Z Flip and a CAM mechanism. By using the latter, Samsung is able to make the Galaxy Z Fold2 rest at a 75-115 degree angle like a laptop. Combined with some great software and Flex Mode, you can truly take maximum advantage of various applications in this fashion. If you are more the type of person to use the smartphone in its tablet orientation, the ability to run up to 3 split-screen applications makes things more convenient.

Smooth performance backed by powerful hardware

Despite spending only an hour with the Galaxy Z Fold2, its performance has left a good impression. In the UAE, this is the only flagship smartphone from Samsung with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ processor coupled with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage. The only real drawback may be the primary camera unit on the smartphone. Instead of opting for the 108MP setup as found on the Galaxy Note20 Ultra, the Fold2 sports a triple-12MP camera setup similar to what we saw with the Galaxy Note10 series.

Given the smartphone’s CAM mechanism, having the phone stay in this orientation can be incredibly useful

But even so, you can record up to 4K 60fps video and benefit from Samsung’s Pro Video, Night Mode and Single Take. One of the more interesting features is its Auto Framing option, allowing the camera to frame subjects automatically. Samsung has also added stereo speakers to the smartphone to complete the package and made the power button and fingerprint scanner one. But, some sort of IP-protection may have been the cherry on top. As for connectivity, the smartphone packs an e-SIM and nano-SIM slot capable of 5G connectivity accompanied by a 4,500mAh battery split into two parts, supporting fast wired, wireless and reverse wireless charging.

Pricing and availability

While much of the above impressions have come from a brief hands-on with the device, we will surely learn more about it once we have it for review. That way, we can truly assess long-term build quality, performance, camera and battery life. For now, the Galaxy Z Fold2 is up on Samsung’s USA website for pre-order with shipping slated for September 18 at a starting price of $1,999.99 (Dh7,345.86). We will keep you updated on local pricing and availability as we learn more.