Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G Review
Today, foldable smartphones are evolving to be a mixed bag of possibilities for multitasking or even some awesome quirks. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G is no exception, and in this second iteration, Samsung definitely applied notes from its consumers.
We’ve had it for quite a while now, and I have a lot of thoughts. So keep on reading to see how cool this foldable phone is and if it’s worth getting—if you have the money.
Design and Construction
The revamped Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 in Mystic Bronze color absolutely defines elegance. It’s a device that you can’t ignore after the first glance.
There’s been a lot of improvements from its predecessor, but this one feels more… fragile. It’s the type of phone worth crying for if it ever falls hard or gets soaking wet.
It’s chunky, which is expected, and we get a frosted glass back with a metal frame and hinge, where the only Samsung logo is embedded. The hinge has improved, and it now allows you to position the screen in multiple styles.
Then there’s that protruding camera module that makes the phone look even thicker. It doesn’t bother me that much, but it does make the phone wobble when laid flat on surfaces.
Compared to the first Galaxy Fold, we now get a full-screen cover display with a tiny dot notch on top. There’s also a layer of screen protector pre-installed on top.
As we open the Fold2, we’re greeted with a large Infinity Flex Display with a noticeable hinge in the middle. On its right screen side, we can find an identical cutout front camera as the one on the cover display; And we like this more, compared to the large notch that we’ve seen on the first Fold. A subtle improvement, too, is the Ultra-Thin Glass layer on the flex display, so it no longer feels much like you’re touching a plastic screen.
For buttons and ports, when folded, on the right are its volume rocker, a power button that doubles as a fingerprint scanner, and a Bixby button that can be changed in the settings. There’s also some antenna bands here, as well as a single SIM tray. This is a dual SIM device, but the other one is dedicated to an eSIM.
Up top, there’s the one out of two stereo speakers and noise-canceling microphone, while at the bottom, we’ll find the 2nd stereo speaker, primary microphone, and USB Type-C port.
Overall for design, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 is a real stunner. It’s an innovation you can really flex to anyone. But then again, it does feel delicate, that it might give you that extra worry of having to maintain or take care of it. The back and the cover display isn’t much prone to fingerprint smudges, but note that the large flex display is.
Display and Media
From the Z Fold’s 4.6-inch cover screen, we now have a 6.2 inch Super AMOLED cover display that’s more relative to today’s standard smartphones. Its got a resolution of 2260 x 816 and a pixel density of 386ppi. I honestly use it more often than the bigger inner screen, but people with large hands might easily get irritated with its small keyboard for messaging. It highlights outstanding display quality and outdoor visibility with the AMOLED panel, and you can always customize the temperature and color mode in the settings if you like.
The wider, tablet-like display flexes a 7.6-inch QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity Flex screen with a resolution of 2208 x 1768 and a pixel density of 373ppi. It also features HDR 10+ and a 120Hz refresh rate.
It offers smooth scrolling and overall an immersive experience despite not having the usual glass display. There’s still a visible crease in the middle, but you’d eventually get used to it the more you use the device. And just like the outer screen, you can adjust the display temperature and mode in the settings. Both displays also offer a customizable Always-On display feature.
Audio-wise, the sound produced by its loudspeakers has excellent clarity. Something you would expect from other flagship Samsung devices. It can get loud enough for a medium-sized room, but the placement is a bit complicated. The speakers are located on the top and at the bottom, making it convenient for watching shows on landscape mode. However, if you are to hold the phone while watching or playing games, there’s a high tendency that you’ll cover the loudspeakers now and then.
At the back, its camera module is composed of a 12MP Super Speed Dual Pixel AF main, a 12MP ultra-wide, and a 12MP telephoto. For the front cameras, we get identical 10MP shooters.
Surprisingly, the Z Fold2 doesn’t have any fancy ultra-high-resolution lenses nor some 50 or 100x Space Zoom features, but its cameras don’t disappoint. With a foldable mechanism, you can use the camera app in a dual preview mode to use the left window to view your photos while the camera is open on the right side. Pretty cool. But what’s even better is that the Z Fold2 allows you to take selfies with the rear cameras, and it’s really amazing!
Here are selfies that were taken with the 10MP front shooter:
And these are with the rear cameras:
So you can really take professional-looking selfies with this one. More on the rear cameras’ photo quality, the Z Fold2 still provides flagship-level outputs. Under excellent lighting conditions, we get clear and sharp photos with good color reproduction. I like that its wide-angle mode mostly produces the same color as in standard mode, and it doesn’t have much of a fisheye effect. You can digitally zoom up to 10x and still get clear shots too. On the other hand, the night mode performs well by giving a clean and bright shot without much grain or noise. It defines the details more.
You can also play around with its other features such as Pro, Panorama, Live Focus, AR Zone, and more.
As for videos, you can shoot up to 4k at 60fps, and it has some advanced recording options, so you get a more cinematic vibe.
OS, UI, and Apps
Moving on to software, the Z Fold2 runs on Android 10 skinned with OneUI 2.5. It’s bold, familiar, customizable, and easy to go around with. You can expect some pre-installed 3rd party apps on board, together with some Google and Samsung’s own apps—which most of them you can uninstall if you like.
There’s an app drawer option, as well as navigating with gestures or the three-way buttons. Whichever you prefer. And of course, being Samsung, there’s Bixby across the interface that you can control in the settings.
By having two displays, I noticed that the Fold2 gives you two home screens per se. Meaning, most of the changes you do on the larger screen won’t reflect on the outer smaller screen and vice versa. So if you want the same arrangement of apps for both displays, you’ll have to fix it on both. On the bright side, this also means that you can have different backgrounds or lock screen styles for the two displays.
There’s also flex mode that offers more options on how you want to use the device. But something to take note of is the compatibility of the apps. Well, most of the apps work fine and enlarge on the wide inner screen, but occasionally, you might experience some software glitches, especially in photo sizes or even app views. It’s definitely a work in progress in this area, but having a vast display means more productivity possibilities.
Performance and Benchmarks
When it comes to performance, the Galaxy Z Fold2 packs the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ octa-core CPU paired with an Adreno 650 GPU, 12GB RAM, and 256GB of UFS 3.1 internal storage.
Unquestionably with this configuration, we get a smooth day-to-day performance. Apps launch fast, multitasking is a breeze, and it can pretty much handle anything you throw at it, including heavy games. As for benchmark scores, here are the results we got.
- AntuTu V8.4.5 – 567,322
- Geekbench 5 – 977 (Single-core), 2,879 (Multi-core)
- PCMark – 11,807 (Work 2.0)
- 3DMark – 7,402 (OpenGL), 5,965 (Vulkan)
- AndroBench – 1,656.92 MB/s (Seq Read), 752.1 MB/s (Seq. Write)
You can unlock the phone via face-unlock and the side-mounted fingerprint scanner. They’re both quick and reliable, especially the fingerprint scanner, and the face unlock works whether the phone is folded or not.
Connectivity and Battery Life
As for connectivity, you probably already know that this is a 5G ready device. And since 5G isn’t widely available yet, it’s nice to have if you’re lucky to have some signal in your area. Other connectivity features include 4G LTE, WiFi, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, and NFC.
Now keeping the Fold2 running is a 4,500mAh battery, which is slightly higher than the first Fold. This should last you a whole day on minimal use, such as casual messaging or browsing. But normally, given the size of this phone, you’ll most likely charge it once more or twice a day.
In the PCMark’s Work 2.0 Battery Test, we yielded a score of 8 hours and 37 minutes. Meanwhile, in our standard video loop test, the Galaxy Z Fold2 got 18 hours and 26 minutes of playback.
It features 25W fast wired charging, 11W wireless charging, and PowerShare reverse charging, which should all be convenient, considering you’ll charge it again daily.
As a smartphone slash tablet that costs PHP 109,990, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 is no gimmick. It aims to be a productivity workhorse, and I guess you can say that it’s also growing to be a status symbol.
With Samsung listening to their consumers’ feedback, the Z Fold2 really had excellent upgrades, and I’m not just talking about the 5G connectivity or the improved hinge. Undeniably, it’s a cool, futuristic, and vogue device.
But the high price tag doesn’t seem to justify the device just yet. There are still some points that need improvements, like the software glitches, lack of IP rating, and we all know that Samsung can put way more camera features on this one.
So if you are to buy this premium foldable phone, then there’s no doubt that you can enjoy the unique display setup and form factor, its beastly performance, and a good set of cameras. Yet you have to make sure that you handle it with extra care. If you’re admittedly clumsy, you might need to re-think this.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 specs:
7.6-inch QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display (22.5:18) Infinity Flex Display (2208 x 1768), 373ppi
6.2-inch HD+ Super AMOLED Display (25:9), 2260 x 816, 386ppi
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus octa-core CPU
256GB UFS 3.1
• 12MP F1.8 Super Speed Dual Pixel AF, OIS, primary
• 12MP F2.2 ultra-wide
• 12MP F2.4 OIS, telephoto
Dual OIS, 0.5x out, 2x optical zoom, Up to 10x digital zoom, HDR10+ recording, Tracking AF
• 10MP F2.2 Cover camera
• 10MP F2.2 Front camera
5G (SA, NSA, Sub6/mmWave), 4G LTE
Dual-SIM (eSIM + Nano)
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax HE80 MIMO, 1024QAM
Bluetooth 5.0 LE
GPS, A-GPS, GALILEO, GLONASS, BDS
Fingerprint scanner (side)
Stereo speakers w/ Dolby Atmos
OneUI (Android 10) w/ 3 years of Android OS upgrades
4,500mAh battery w/ fast wired and wireless charging
Folded: 68.0 x 159.2 x 16.8mm (Hinge) ~ 13.8mm(Sagging), 282g
Unfolded: 128.2 x 159.2 x 6.9mm(Frame) ~ 6.0mm(Screen), 282g