Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2: the new foldable smartphone costs $1,999
Simply teased during its official launch at the Unpacked keynote last August, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 is finally launched this Tuesday, September 1st.
The price, release date, spec sheet,… everything is now known. We take stock of all the information unveiled around the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2. Has the future dreamed up by Samsung finally come to fruition?
A large, very large 120 Hz display
In addition to its weight of 282 grams, the first thing that stands out from the presentation of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 is the maturity of its design. We see the technological steps that Samsung has taken since the first Galaxy Fold.
The main screen, the inner screen that folds has grown from 7.3 inches to 7.6 inches and adopts the Infinity-O display design with a small hole-punch centered in the top right half of the screen. We are still on UTG or Ultra-thin Glass technology as on the previous model.
The screen of the Fold 2 unfolded is almost borderless and free of the nasty notch of the original Fold. / © Samsung
It’s night and day compared to the huge notch in the first Galaxy Fold. So we find an AMOLED dual-screen in a QXGA definition, 2,208 x 1768 pixels with a 120 Hz refresh rate by default.
The cover screen is also unrecognizable and has grown from 4.6 to large 6.3 inches. It’s in Full HD+, or 2260 x 816 pixels.
The cover screen is unmatched between the two generations of Fold. / © Samsung
That’s the size of a “normal” smartphone these days and it’s a big improvement over the previous generation that could be summed up as a simple notifications screen. Here too, the Infinity-O design with a central hole-punch at the top of the screen now occupies almost the entire surface.
The evolution of the screens between the two generations of Fold is obvious. / © Samsung
No Exynos but a Snapdragon 865+, phew!
Logically, you’ll find a fully-fledged spec sheet, which is the least you can expect for such an expensive smartphone.
The Galaxy Z Fold 2 will only be sold in a single configuration of 256GB or storage and 12GB of RAM. In the documents to which Samsung gave us access before the keynote, the name of the processor was not indicated.
Specifications: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2:
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ 5G
256 GB / 12 GB RAM
Main: AMOLED 7.6 inch, QXGA (2208 x 1768 pixels)
Outer: 6.2 inch Full HD+ (2260 x 816 pixels)
Fast and wireless charging
Rear: 12 MP (ultra wide) F2.2 + 12 MP (wide) F1.8, OIS + 12 MP (telephoto) F2.4
Secondary: 10MP F2.2
Outer: 10 MP F2.2
Unfolded: 159 x 128 x 6.9-6.0 mm
Folded: 159 x 68 x 16.8-13.8 mm
“7 nm 64-bit Octa-Core”, the manufacturer did not say more. But as Roland Quandt revealed for WinFuture. The Fold 2 will be equipped with a Qualcomm SoC: the Snapdragon 865+, as on the Galaxy Z Flip 5G and even in Europe.
We are waiting for confirmation from Samsung at the keynote but it would be very good news when we know the performance concerns of the Exynos proprietary SoCs that Samsung generally imposes on its consumers in Europe.
For the rest of the hardware, it’s only the relatively small 4,500 mAh battery that really worries me, otherwise the Fold 2 ticks all the hardware boxes.
Less crazy on the photo side
Contrary to what one could expect, Samsung did not talk about a 108-megapixel sensor and Space Zoom feature in the presentation of the photo module of the Fold 2.
At the rear is a triple sensor featuring a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle, a 12-megapixel wide-angle, and a 12-megapixel telephoto lens. On the front (of the foldable screen), there’s a 10-megapixel selfie camera and exactly the same on the outer screen.
It’s clearly less crazy than the technical flights of fancy that Samsung has gotten us used to, but it’s still, on paper, worthy of a flagship. As with its other high-end smartphones, Samsung has even kept the HUGE rectangular island that proudly sticks out from the back of the Fold 2.
The rear photo module of the Fold 2 is massive. / © Samsung
The photo module combined with the Flex mode and the large outer screen will allow a good versatility for taking pictures. For example, Samsung has shown a mode that allows the photographer as well as the subject of a photo to see a preview of the shot in the inner and outer screen.
The Flex mode is supposed to turn the Fold 2 into a 2-in-1 tripod, which would be useful for night time or low-light shots to capture more detail and avoid motion blur. We will see during our tests if it goes beyond the gimmick stage.
An improved hinge, building on the Galaxy Z Flip’s foundation
After having significantly improved the technology of its hinges on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, making them more durable, the Korean giant has applied these advances on the Fold 2.
So we find the mechanical cam technology or “CAM mechanism” that is supposed to be stronger, firmer, and hold the folding screen in place at any angle. Samsung has also re-integrated its “sweeper” system of mini brushes that prevent dirt from becoming embedded in the hinge.
Samsung assures to have miniaturized the hinge and its mechanism. / © Samsung
Logically many software features will be available to fully exploit this form factor allowed by the hinge. So we will have the Flex mode, to transform the Galaxy Z Flip into a 2-in-1 tripod, like the Galaxy Z Flip.
Samsung promises that several third party applications will offer a display that fits the screen, whether folded or unfolded. In the presentation, applications such as Youtube, Google Maps, or the Microsoft Office suite were seen to offer an adapted interface.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 with Flex mode. / © Samsung
Samsung wants to make the transition between the outer screen (Folded Fold) and the double inner screen (Unfolded Fold) even more seamless or intuitive. Some applications will therefore allow you to switch from one screen, and therefore from one mode (folded or unfolded) to the other without transition.
There will also be three modes of use depending on the screen fold angle. A fully folded mode with the cover screen only. A mode unfolded between 80 and 160 degrees. All the essential information is displayed on the top and the additional elements on the bottom. Finally, there’s a third mode, below 80 degrees of folding with the Flex mode we talked about earlier.
Price and availability
The official price of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 is $1,999 in the United States. We’ll let you know the prices for Europe as soon as we have them. In the UK, the price is £1,799.