Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2: Killer specs in search of killer purpose

  
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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2: Killer specs in search of killer purpose

The original Samsung Galaxy Fold never really got a chance to make a name for itself. While it launched to a ton of fanfare, by the time it landed on shelves following a months-long delay due to design and manufacturing deficiencies, the Galaxy Note 10+ and iPhone 11 Pro were stealing the limelight and the wow factor had long faded. But Samsung persisted and now the follow-up has arrived with a new name (Galaxy Z Fold 2), a new price, and a new lease on life.

Unsurprisingly, Samsung is sticking with a very similar form factor as the one introduced with the original Fold, but every aspect of the Galaxy Z Fold 2 has gotten an upgrade, from the outside cover display to the inside screen ratio. But while the hardware is certainly improved, it’s still missing a compelling reason to spend $2,000 on a folding device.

First, let’s take a look at the specs:

Galaxy Z Fold 2

  • Dimensions (closed): 68.0 x 159.2 x 16.8mm
  • Dimensions (open): 128.2 x 159.2 x 6.9mm
  • Display (outside): 6.2-inch HD+ Super AMOLED, 2260×816, 386ppi
  • Display (inside):  7.6-inch QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X  Infinity Flex Display (2208 x 1768), 373ppi
  • Processor: Snapdragon 865+
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Front/Inside camera: 10MP, f/2.2
  • Rear camera (triple): 12MP wide, f/2.4, OIS + 12MO Ultra Wide, f/2,2 + 12MP telephoto (2X), f/2.4, OIS
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Network: 5G (mmWave and sub-6Ghz)

That’s not quite on the level of a flagship like the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, but it’s close. You get the same processor, RAM, battery, 5G support, and base storage, and a very good triple-camera system that comes with a new trick that automatically frames your subject and zooms while recording video. That’s a nice upgrade over the original Fold’s dual-camera system.

galaxy z fold 2 flat Samsung

The Galaxy Z Fold 2 is available in gorgeous Mystic Bronze with an array of customizable hinge colors.

The biggest improvements over the Fold 2’s predecessor are with the displays. The outside display gets the biggest boost, jumping to 6.2 inches from the prior-gen’s barely useable 4.6-inch display. The Galaxy Z Fold 2’s resolution is only HD quality, but you can use it just as comfortably as you would a regular phone. Plus it looks a lot better than the odd small screen floating in the center on the outside of the original Fold.

When you open the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2, you’ll be met with a slightly larger 7.6-inch display with a squarer 3.74-3 ratio (versus 4.2:3 on the first Fold) that’s got a 120Hz adaptable refresh rate and a hole punch camera that looks way better than the ugly notch on the original model. The Fold 2 also borrows Flex Mode from the Galaxy Z Flip with a redesigned “hideaway hinge” that lets the Fold be used at any angle. 

It still doesn’t quite close as flush as the Z Flip, but all in all, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 looks every bit as premium as its $2,000 price tag. The outside screen takes away the awkwardness of the original, and the move to a hole-punch camera on the inside screen does wonders for its appearance as do the thinner bezels. And the new Mystic Bronze color looks as good as it does on the Note no matter which of the new customizable hinge colors you choose (silver, gold, red, or blue). 

All dressed up with no place to go

However, while the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is a very compelling device, it still lacks a compelling reason to exist. While Samsung touted optimized apps from Google (Duo, YouTube) and its own apps (Camera, Gallery, Clock) as well as the ability to launch three apps at once, drag-and-drop, and stream to a larger display via wireless DeX, it’s harder than ever to justify the Galaxy Fold’s existence, especially with a higher price tag (that doesn’t include Galaxy Buds or a case this time around). Multitasking is still more for short tasks than serious work, and there isn’t much you can do that you can’t already do on other large-screened phones.

ATN

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