More than a year ago, the foldable smartphone was still a concept device. By end 2019 it had progressed from drawing boards to a device that consumers could actually buy off the shelf. Cut to 2020, foldables have suddenly become more sorted and functional than ever. Samsung is clearly in pole position in the foldable race. The brand rushed its first foldable – the Galaxy Fold, to the market and it ironed out some of the initial glitches in a second iteration. And then the Z Flip. – that we enjoyed reviewing for MW, happened. The Z Fold 2 is a whole new beast but just like its predecessors it doesn’t come cheap.
Most reviews pit the device in question against the competition. In this case, the Z Fold 2 is in a league of its own and its current benchmark is the first edition Fold. The Z Fold 2 takes a significant leap over the Fold; it all begins with the form factor. This device opts for a 6.2-inch cover (front) Super AMOLED display (2260 x 816 pixels / 386 PPI / 25:9 aspect ratio) vis-à-vis the smaller 4.6-inch display on the Fold. It’s way more functional and is reinforced with Gorilla Glass Victus. I tended to use this display a lot more while doing most of my daily tasks like responding to emails. This wasn’t the case with the earlier Fold where I ended up flipping open the phone to access the main display.
The main screen on the Z Fold 2 is a gorgeous 7.6-inch QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity Flex Display (2208 x 1768 pixels / 373 PPI / 22.5:18 aspect ratio). Samsung has shaved off the bezels from the original Fold for a more immersive experience. It’s almost like using a tablet display; one that you can fold and slip into your jeans. But don’t expect to slide right in, unless you have deep pockets. This is a longish device. The device is also thinner than the original Fold (just 6 mm thick); the thinner gap between the displays, also makes it easier to slip into your pocket. There’s also a reimagined hinge; it’s not just more durable but also features what Samsung calls a ‘sweeper’ that employs elastic fibres to flush out dust or debris from the hinge.
The primary display is great for Netflix or even flipping through E-books on the Kindle App. I also enjoyed the twists and turns on Asphalt 9 – this display also offers a 120Hz refresh rate. However, I tended to prefer the cover display for videos. The unique form factor allowed me to prop the display on a table in a folded position and catch videos without having to hold it in my hands when it was in an open position. At 283 gm, it’s no lightweight. The AKG-tuned surround sound speakers with Dolby Atmos add that extra zing to your binge watching sessions. There’s a 4500 mAh battery under the hood that comfortably took me through a whole day with multi-media usage. Battery life could vary depending on which display you tend to use more.
The Z Fold 2 is packed with best of breed hardware – at its core is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ processor that’s backed by 12GB of RAM and 256GB of Internal Memory. The device blazed through our gaming and Geekbench tests; it notched an impressive 3098 score (multi-core). There’s no room for external storage and the device doesn’t have the same water or dust resistance credentials as Samsung’s other flagships. It’s the same case with the rear cam where the triple rear cam doesn’t offer you the same Zoom capabilities as the Note 20 Ultra. But aside from the Zoom lens, the Z Fold 2 is a terrific camera package with excellent lowlight capabilities. The large screen allows you to compose your images better too. The unique design allows you to use the triple rear cam as an alternative selfie shooter aside from two other sharp 10MP selfie lenses located on the cover and the main display.
Ultimately the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 is more than just display specs or the hardware under the hood. If that’s what rocks your boat, you might be better off with the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. This one’s for the prosumer who likes to keep one foot in the future and stay ahead of his peer group. While that early adopter had to make more compromises with the original Fold, Samsung has refined the foldable experience with the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and widened the gap with the competition.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 is available in Mystic Bronze and Mystic Black. It’s priced at Rs 149,999