Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 review: pricey, pretty… worth it?

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 review: pricey, pretty… worth it?

The latest unfoldable device from Samsung has a lot to offer, most noticeably its larger tablet display. What else does the Galaxy Z Fold2 have going for it?

Today we will just dive right into the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2; the device does not need a flowery introduction. It is pricey, flashy and comes with a host of new features… but is it worth the hype?

A major design upgrade from its predecessor, in the Galaxy Fold, bezels are thinner, the stainless steel body is sturdier, and the front screen is larger. If you are keen to be part of the brand’s chic Mystic Bronze gang, there is a variant available.

Specifications

  • DISPLAY: Main Screen : 7.6” QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display (22.5:18) Infinity Flex Display (2208 x 1768), 373ppi ; Cover Screen : 6.2” HD+ Super AMOLED Display (25:9), 2260 x 816, 386ppi
  • DIMENSIONS & WEIGHT: Folded: 68.0 x 159.2 x 16.8mm (Hinge) ~ 13.8mm(Sagging), Unfolded: 128.2 x 159.2 x 6.9mm(Frame) ~ 6.0mm(Screen) ; 282g
  • FRONT & COVER CAMERAS: 10MP Selfie Camera : F2.2, Pixel size: 1.22 micrometres, FOV: 80˚
  • AP: 7nm 64-bit Octa-Core Processor (3.09 GHz + 2.40 GHz + 1.80 GHz)
  • BATTERY & CHARGING: 4500mAh (typical) dual battery, Fast Charging-compatible

The Galaxy Z Fold2 is not pocket-friendly, quite literally. It stands out like an awkward, long brick in a typical skinny jeans’ pocket and is a tight squeeze. Weighing 282 grams, it is certainly not on the lighter side, given most recent smartphones range between 180 to 220 grams. Those using or investing in this device will know full well the weight comes out in the double screen and the hinge mechanism.

Two-faced experiences

Speaking of the screens, the front screen may take some getting used to; after all, a 21:9 aspect ratio means this device has the tallest screen on a smartphone so far.

I would recommend the front screen for quick tasks, simple browsing, checking texts, playing music — basically things that do not require much visual fuel. Texting and emailing will be a hassle as the touch keyboard keys seem too congested for a seamless typing experience.

The front screen has a maximum of 90Hz refresh rate, which makes sense as Samsung clearly aims to prioritise the fold-out screen which has a 120Hz refresh rate. The front screen comes with Corning Gorilla Glass Victus which is pretty tough but not exactly as invincible as it has been marketed. (The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra I reviewed — which debuted the Victus — got two rather noticeable scratches pretty early on.)

The fold-out 7.6-inch Infinity-O Cover main screen has Samsung Ultra Thin Glass, which does not exactly feel tough. Its design is anchored by the Hideaway Hinge (as seen in Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip), which fits seamlessly into the device body with the CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) mechanism and enables free standing capabilities that power all new Flex mode experiences. Plus, the Hinge itself comes with modified fibre composition and adjusted fibre density on the screen, so it is bendable but not weak.

I wouldn’t use the Galaxy Z Fold2 as a productivity alternative to, say, a larger tablet or a laptop, but I was impressed by the ability to multi-task with two apps on the Cover Screen, and how I was able to move it to the Main Screen, open a third app with Split Screen, which was useful during interviews and team meetings when I wanted several things thrown up on my screen.

Given there is such a heavy multitasking focus on this device, the option of including an S-Pen for this would be appreciated. Using the camera on this device is actually a surprising treat; though it is not as elaborate a camera as the S20 Ultra, it does produce great results, particularly in video. The aspect ratio can be customised before shooting so be sure to adjust that as needed.

The Galaxy Z Fold2, with this in mind, employs sweeper technology (first introduced, once again, on the Galaxy Z Flip) within the gap between the body and hinge housing to repel dust and undesirable particles. At this point of my review, I cannot say this feature works completely, but we can point out this exists and hopes to work in the long-term to avoid gross buildup that would be difficult to clean.

The 7.6-inch Infinity-O main screen on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2
 
| Photo Credit:
Divya Kala Bhavani

Unfolded, the smartphone forays into tablet territory. The 120Hz refresh rate makes for an impressive gaming experience; I played a couple of hours of Fortnite and the display kept up with the instincts of the quick-fire battle royale game. The 4500mAh battery holds up extremely well, given I was considering the main screen to be a single display instead of a double display. Paired with the Galaxy Buds Live made the experience more immersive with improved sound latency. I was able to get about a day and a half’s worth of battery from this model.

Ultimately, the Galaxy Z Fold2 is a good bucket-list smartphone for those with deep pockets — pun intended — but it is only a matter of time before similar concepts are brought out in other brand smartphones for far less. For me, though, this device takes a lot of getting used to; I do not need multiple options on a single device. I am fairly happy with my ‘so 2019’ single screen smartphone, thank you.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2, available in Mystic Bronze and Mystic Black, retails for ₹1,49,999 across major retailers and e-tailers.

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