The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is now available with enhanced multitasking, a more robust build, and compatibility for the S Pen. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 is no longer recommended by us. For our assessment of the Galaxy Z Fold 3, see our review.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 is a huge improvement over the first model. And given the enormous cost, it must be. The obtrusive notch on the inside is gone, the front display is significantly larger, and 5G is now standard. Moreover, this foldable is tougher than the previous Fold.
With the help of a new Flex Mode, Samsung has added further innovation to make this phone-tablet hybrid far more adaptable. Moreover, the multitasking is improved to support up to three programs running simultaneously, and many apps feature a dual-pane interface for increased efficiency.
The zoom on the Galaxy Z Fold 2’s cameras is not as good as that on the Galaxy S21 Ultra, and the design is somewhat heavy. In addition, Samsung is apparently preparing the Galaxy Z Fold 3 for an August release, a follow-up that might include S Pen functionality in addition to other improvements.
But if you’re in the market for a foldable phone right now, Samsung’s Z Fold 2 justifies its hefty asking price extremely well. It makes sense that we named this the greatest foldable phone in our 2021 Tom’s Guide Phone Awards.
Review of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2: Construction and Robustness
Because of its bigger outside display than the Galaxy Fold, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 immediately creates a better impact. Because the cover screen has increased in size from 4.6 inches to 6.2 inches, using Android no longer seems like using a peephole.
The Galaxy Z Fold 2’s inside display is significantly larger, measuring 7.6 inches as opposed to the previous model’s 7.3 inches. Even better, a tiny cutout for a selfie camera has taken the place of the unsightly notch on the main screen.
In order to increase the Galaxy Z Fold 2’s robustness and usefulness, Samsung also incorporated a number of improvements. This incorporates a more durable new Ultra Thin Glass display that employs sweeper technology to keep dust and debris out of the phone and is intended to deliver a better touchscreen experience than the plastic screen Fold.
The Galaxy Z Fold 2 withstood having dirt hurled at it in a third-party test by YouTuber JerryRigEverything, indicating that the redesigned hinge performs better than on the first model.
The Galaxy Z Fold 2’s hinge, like the Galaxy Z Flip 5G’s, has a CAM mechanism that lets you adjust the screen in a variety of configurations. When the phone is closed, there is still a space between the two sides, although it is now less.
Mystic Bronze and Mystic Black are the two color options for the Galaxy Z Fold 2. But if you place your order through Samsung.com, you’ll be able to add some flare thanks to the four available hinge color options. Metallic Silver, Metallic Gold, Metallic Red, and Metallic Blue are available options.
The Galaxy Z Fold 2 is narrower but broader than its predecessor, measuring 6.2 x 2.6 x 0.66 inches when folded and 6.2 x 5 x 0.27 inches when open. Moreover, the Z Fold 2 is heavier than the first model, weighing 9.9 ounces as opposed to 9.48 ounces. After using the phone for many minutes and composing messages, I certainly felt some pressure.
Another disappointment is that the Galaxy Z Fold 2 lacks water resistance, making it impossible to submerge it in water like other high-end smartphones.
Review of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2: Display
In addition to being bigger, the 7.6-inch primary display on the Galaxy Z Fold 2 has a 120Hz refresh rate, so compared to the Galaxy Fold’s 60Hz rate, you should experience smooth scrolling and overall performance. Moreover, because the panel is adaptable, it is capable of adjusting the pace dependent on the material displayed on screen.
Although the Galaxy Z Fold 2’s cover display doesn’t provide a 120Hz refresh rate, it is still far superior to what the first Fold had to offer. This device’s 6.2-inch OLED screen is large enough to handle just about any work, and when you unfold it, you can immediately pick up where you left off on the main display.
But bear in mind that the Z Fold 2’s cover display has a smaller aspect ratio than typical smartphones, which makes typing a little uncomfortable.
Review of the Samsung Z Fold 2: Software and Flex Mode
Several apps on the Galaxy Fold just seemed like blown-up phone apps when used in tablet mode, which is one of our grievances with the device. Yet the Galaxy Z Fold 2 from Samsung is designed to fix this flaw.
For instance, on Gmail, I could view the subject line of emails on the right and the text of my messages on the left. My contacts were on the left and my messages were on the right in Slack. To view these changes, you must rotate the Galaxy Z Fold 2’s display into landscape mode, although doing so greatly improves productivity. Furthermore, it gives the Galaxy Z Fold 2 a more laptop-like experience. Moreover, Samsung guarantees an enhanced YouTube and Microsoft Office viewing experience.
Flex Mode on the Samsung Z Fold 2 provides this folding phone lots of flexibility. For optimal efficiency, the concept is to have content on one side of the display and controls or settings on the other.
As it allows you to place the phone down in a laptop-like position and have a video conference with the other person without having to hold the device, I really liked using Google Duo in Flex Mode. I immediately wished my iPhone could perform it.
Several Samsung apps, according to Samsung, including the Camera, Video Call, Gallery, Video Player, Clock, and Calendar, support Flex Mode. Google also supports Flex Mode with Google Duo and YouTube. In order to design apps that are suited for Flex Mode, Samsung also collaborates with other developers.
Multitasking is another significant Galaxy Z Fold 2 update. Up to three applications may be opened simultaneously with the new Multi-Active Window functionality, and you can rapidly build presets called App Pairs that you can activate with a single press.
It was really great to run three applications at once. I tested it with Slack, Twitter, Spotify, and YouTube in addition to Pictures, Messages, and YouTube.
Moreover, dragging an app from one window to another or simply rearranging the layout with a tap are both options.
You can drag and drop material from one window to another, which is much amazing. Dropping a picture from the Gallery app into an outgoing message was simple for me. But, the Google Photos app did not support it. Drag and Drop is supported by a number of Samsung apps, as well as by Microsoft 365, Gmail, Chrome, and Google Maps.
The App continuity functionality from Samsung’s first Galaxy Fold is also included. The concept is that you may open the main display after starting an app on the cover display and continue where you left off. Most programs supported this, however the Sky Force 2 game required that I restart it after switching to the larger canvas.
Cameras from Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 2
That may sound weird to say, but the $2000 Galaxy Z Fold 2’s cameras are inferior than those of the $1,300 Galaxy Note 20. You don’t get a primary sensor with 108MP, a 5x optical zoom, or a 50x space zoom, but you do get three powerful shooters that you can utilize in different ways.
A 12MP primary wide-angle camera, a 12MP ultra-wide angle camera with a 123-degree field of view, and a 12MP telephoto lens with a 2x optical zoom and 10x digital zoom are all included in the Galaxy Z Fold 2.
The Galaxy Z Fold 2’s exclusive camera functions are where the fun truly begins. For instance, Dual Preview enables individuals to preview how they will appear on the front display as the photograph is being taken. The back cameras may be used to snap better-quality selfies as well.
The Z Fold 2 will welcome you to unfold the gadget and show you a live preview as soon as you turn on the camera on the cover display and touch a button in the upper right corner.
Another benefit is that the Galaxy Z Fold 2’s Auto framing feature allows you to hold up the device in what seems to be laptop mode while it maintains focus on your subject when recording video. Flex Mode allows you to keep the live preview on the top half of the screen while still reviewing recent photos on the bottom half.
These yellow and violet blossoms were beautifully captured in a close-up by the Z Fold 2’s camera. When you zoom in, you can see tiny details in the petals and even little water drops.
Review of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2: Performance
The Snapdragon 865 Plus chipset, 12GB of Memory, and 256GB of internal storage are all featured in the Galaxy Z Fold 2. (UFS3.1). Thus, we would anticipate performance on par with the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.
The Galaxy Z Fold 2 received a mult-core Geekbench 5 score of 3,193 for its overall performance. Using the same CPU, the Note 20 Ultra achieved a little higher 3,294 points, and the Asus ROG Phone 3 reached 3,393 points. With 3,500, the iPhone 11 Pro was quickest.
The Galaxy Z Fold 2 achieved 1,461 frames on the Aztec Ruins (High Tier) off-screen benchmark in the GFXBench graphics test, whereas the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and the iPhone 11 Pro both got 1,455 and 1,657 respectively.
The Z Fold 2 performs well overall, although occasionally I experienced a little software issue. The YouTube app view remained the same. At one point, I changed the screen mode, but restarting the application fixed the issue.
The Galaxy Z Fold 2 is capable of both mmWave and sub-6GHz 5G, so you should have no trouble connecting to networks where they are available. The outcomes I observed in central New Jersey weren’t the best. The Galaxy Z Fold 2’s download speed on the AT&T network was just 22 Mbps, but it was 122 Mbps on the T-Mobile network in the same area.
You can utilize Samsung’s Nearby Sharing capabilities to easily exchange files with other compatible devices, which as of right now only includes the Note 20 Ultra, thanks to the Z Fold 2’s compatibility for Ultra Wide Band technology.
Review of the Galaxy Z Fold 2: Charging and Battery Life
With a 4,500 mAh battery, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 should be able to last you most of the day. This is an improvement over the Galaxy Fold’s slightly lower 4,380 mAh battery.
The Galaxy Z Fold 2 lasted 10 hours and 10 minutes on our battery test, which entails continuous web browsing at 150 nits of screen brightness. It is insufficient to qualify for our list of phones with the longest battery life, which includes models that last more than 11 hours. Nonetheless, considering the Z Fold 2’s large display, that level of durability is impressive.
The Z Fold 2 only lasted 9 hours and 5 minutes on a charge when the adaptive 120Hz display was active, as was to be expected.
According to personal experience, the Z Fold 2’s battery life is excellent. The phone had roughly 18% battery life remaining at 10 pm after a day of intensive use that I began at 10 am.
Fast wireless charging, PowerShare reverse charging, and 25W fast charging are all supported by the Z Fold 2. But, our tests didn’t yield the greatest outcomes. The Z Fold 2 was at 46% after 30 minutes, when we would have anticipated 50%. In contrast, the Note 20 Ultra reached 56% in the same time frame.
Conclusion of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 review
Keep in mind that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is expected to debut this summer. Among other improvements, it’s anticipated to include a speedier processor, S Pen compatibility, and maybe an under-display camera. Therefore you should probably wait to act until about the middle of August.
Ultimately, though, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 is the perfect illustration of a business that listened to its users and provided a variety of enhancements they requested. This phone is still very much for early adopters, even at its decreased price of $1,799. The Z Fold 2 at least appears to be a far more marketable product than a prototype.
The Galaxy Z Fold 2 alone offers a significant improvement in the front display. I particularly appreciate the versatility this phone offers with Flex Mode. The Z Fold 2 truly seems like a brand-new sort of gadget because of the flexibility with which it can be propped up at different angles. Although there is a little learning curve associated with the Mult-Active window multitasking, it enhances productivity.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max is the superior choice if you want a more powerful phone and better cameras, but Apple doesn’t have anything quite as ground-breaking in its inventory to compete with the Z Fold 2. There may eventually be an iPhone Flip, but we don’t think it will happen soon.
I am quite impressed with what Samsung has done with the Galaxy Z Fold 2 overall. This is undoubtedly the greatest foldable phone available and a precursor to far better things to come for the category.