Samsung has a new foldable Android phone, and it thinks you’re really, really going to be convinced by the Galaxy Z Fold 2. If the original Fold felt like a prototype-made-real – complete with rough edges – then the Galaxy Z Fold 2 feels ready, maybe not for mass-market primetime, but certainly more in keeping with what you’d expect from its $2k price tag.
The original Galaxy Fold’s launch was not, of course, smooth sailing. Screen issues forced Samsung back to the labs to improve the hinge design, among other tweaks: even so, when the dust settled on the subsequent relaunch, there were still some frustrations about the core design.
They’re mostly addressed with the new Galaxy Z Fold 2. The name may have adopted the same “Z” nomenclature as the Galaxy Z Flip, but this is absolutely the original Fold refined as Samsung finds its feet once more. Headline features are a more streamlined folding mechanism and a much larger outer display, rather than the paltry panel the original Fold made do with.
The concept remains: a decent sized smartphone phone that opens out into a small tablet. Everything about the Galaxy Z Fold 2’s design looks to have been elevated in some way, however, from the Mystic Black and Mystic Bronze finish up.
On the outside there’s a 6.2-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen: that’s actually the same size as the Galaxy S20’s display, in fact. It has a hole-punch camera for selfies, and should make using the foldable when it’s closed up much more practical. That’ll pay dividends if you’re trying to quickly browse for something one-handed, and experience the original Fold’s much smaller outer screen hardly made easy.
Inside, meanwhile, is a 7.7-inch display with a 120Hz refresh rate, that as before can crease down its center as the Galaxy Z Fold 2 clamshells closed. The old Fold’s big camera notch has been replaced with a much smaller hole-punch camera, which trades fewer lenses for a more discreet look. It also uses Samsung Ultra Thin Glass, as on the Galaxy Z Flip, for a glass-like feel. Underneath, it’s been reinforced to make it feel more resilient, and hold up better to everyday use.
The main cameras are on the back, a Galaxy Note 20-esque rectangular cluster of three sensors and an LED flash. Inside, there’s a 4,500 mAh dual battery.
Like the Galaxy Z Flip, the hinge can now be left opened at multiple angles, with a new double-cam mechanism. There are over 60 components in the hinge, Samsung says, and it means you’ll be able to prop it up for selfies, stand it for video consumption, or basically leave it at whatever angle you please.
Beyond the sheer sci-fi-geekery appeal of a folding screen, there are some legitimate reasons why you might want a phone like this. Android tablet sales haven’t exactly been igniting in recent years, as users discover larger and larger smartphones do the job; the Galaxy Z Fold 2, though, should be a nice reminder of why a slightly bigger screen can be more productive.
Then there are Samsung’s integrations with Microsoft, something we’ve seen the company double-down on with the new Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra. That includes tighter synchronization with the Your Phone tool on Windows, which should allow you to access more phone apps on your desktop, simultaneously. Samsung DeX, meanwhile, is getting a fully-wireless upgrade, connecting without cables or docks to a Miracast-enabled smart TV.
Like the original, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 will not be a cheap device. Exact pricing for entry into Samsung’s foldable club hasn’t been confirmed yet – the company says those details will come on September 1, as will full specifications and preorders opening – but we’re expecting it to be basically the same as the first Fold, just shy of $2,000, but for a device that feels a lot more grown up. Folding phones may still not be quite the preserve of the mainstream, but they’re definitely getting closer.
You can reserve the Galaxy Z Fold 2 now.