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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 Review: Foldable Smartphone To Buy In 2020
'Foldable Smartphones' are a long way from being a mainstream but that doesn't stop smartphone manufacturers from launching new and improved iterations. At present, Samsung has the widest portfolio of foldable smartphones with three devices available for purchase in the Indian market, i.e. Galaxy Z Fold, Galaxy Z Flip and the new Galaxy Z Fold 2 handset- the one we've been playing around with lately.
- Innovative Foldable Display
- Premium Aesthetics & Sturdy Design
- Bigger & Better Cover Display
- Joyful Multitasking Experience
- Capable Cameras
- Good Audio Performance
- Swift Performance
- No IP-Rating For Water-Dust Protection
- Camera Lacks Optical Zoom
- Third-Party Apps Lack Optimizations For New Screen Type
Motorola offers two devices but both lack flagship specs and mostly play on the nostalgia factor, thus offering very less value for the fortune you pay. Huawei and Microsoft are also in the race but there's no scope and sense of buying their foldable smartphones in the Indian market for various reasons, but that's a topic for another day.
Today, we are focusing on the Galaxy Z Fold 2, the second-generation foldable device from the house of Samsung which costs a whopping Rs. 1,49,999. Here's how it performed in our review.
Bigger And Better Cover Display
The first gen Galaxy Z Fold lacked a big cover screen which made things difficult in daily routine because you just cannot use a foldable phone in its unfold state all the time. You have to have a good front display which should serve all important tasks of a modern smartphone. That said, I am glad to see a full-blown workable display on the front of the new Galaxy Fold 2 device.
It's a big 6.23-inch full HD+ AMOLED panel with a resolution of 2260 x 816 pixels and a rather unconventional 25:9 aspect ratio. The odd aspect ratio means the screen is extremely tall and it requires some efforts to reach corners. Also, you might take some time to get used to the odd form-factor due to app-scaling issues which will only be rectified with time.
Nevertheless, it works just fine and is going to be your go-to screen for most of the phone related tasks.
With a new bigger and taller front screen, you can scroll your Facebook and Twitter timeline, browse web pages, capture full-screen selfies, and perform all phone-related jobs in a much efficient manner. The front screen can also be used to watch videos on YouTube and OTT apps in cinematic aspect ratio in any given angle as the sturdy hinge holds the phone firmly in its position.
7.6-Inch Foldable AMOLED Display, 120 Hz Refresh Rate, 1768 x 2208 Resolution
The ‘Foldables' are all about big hidden displays that come alive when you need them. Samsung being the pioneer in the respective space has done a great job. The second-generation Galaxy Z Fold flaunts a 7.6-inch tablet-size Super AMOLED no-notch screen to meet all your multimedia requirements. I had a great time watching videos, browsing the internet and playing games on this device despite some shortcomings, which are mostly induced by the software part. For instance, the videos in YouTube plays with thick black bars on top and bottom and you cannot pinch in/out to fill the spaces. Same is the problem with most of the content on other streaming applications. Honestly, you can't do much about it as foldables are introducing new aspect ratios and the most widely used apps will take some time to adapt to new form-factor.
Galaxy Z Fold 2 Is Meant For Multitasking
Moving on, the big screen is a delight for multitasking as it allows you to place two apps side-by-side. You can also have up to 5 apps open at a time in pop-up window format plus one app running in the background. The Multi-Active Window mode is very helpful. Browsing web pages and reading is sheer joy on the tablet-size screen. Also, app continuity works seamlessly on the Galaxy Z Fold 2. You can continue using the same app from the cover display to the big screen and vice versa without any stability issues.
And as it is a Samsung-made AMOLED screen, the colors are vivid and viewing angles excellent. The 120Hz refresh rate also makes the user-experience fluid and modern. The crease still makes you feel its presence, especially on light color backgrounds. It's not annoying, but it's there. Overall, the foldable display on the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is stunning and truly innovative. It's there when you need it and stays hidden when you don't want it.
Super Sturdy Construction
The Galaxy Z Fold 2 screams quality and class. It's built like a tank and its luxurious design raises eyeballs everywhere you take this device. However, the ergonomics takes a big hit along the course. The foldable is a heavy slab of metal and glass which demands proper care and attention. It is much thicker and heavier than any other traditional smartphone available in the market. This is one disadvantage of the foldable mobile devices that you have to live with if you plan to buy a foldable handset.
The one-hand use is only limited to the front display. You would need two hands to unfold the Galaxy Z Fold 2 because the study hinge requires some force to unfold the big screen. You can do it with one hand with some efforts but there's a possibility that you might drop the device on a hard surface which is something you don't want, trust me.
Redesigned Hinge For Flex Mode
This brings me to the redesigned hinge which is by far the sturdiest hinge construction I have seen on a foldable handset. It feels more assuring and is touted to offer better protection to the screen from dust particles. Importantly, the free-stop hinge allows you to keep the phone's cover display at any desired angle in the 180-degree space making the new Fold a great device to consume multimedia content.
Samsung has offered two speakers, one on top and the other on the bottom to create a stereo sound setup. The dual speakers produce loud and clear audio and are easily one of the best sounding speakers on a phone in the market. The phone has a single SIM card tray on the left edge, power button and volume rockers on the right edge and a Type-C charging port at the bottom.
No Water-Dust Resistance
The most expensive Galaxy phone without an official rating for water and dust resistance comes as a surprise, especially when Samsung Galaxy smartphones are well-known for their best-in-class IP-ratings. You cannot do much about is as it has to do something with the foldable nature of the mobile device. I am sure Samsung will soon find a way to make its foldable devices dust and waterproof. For now, you have to take proper care of your Galaxy Z Fold 2 as dust and water can cause some serious damage to this premium foldable phone.
As far as the hinge is concerned, it uses sweeper technology within the gap between the body and hinge housing to repel dust and undesirable particles. This should offer the required protection from foreign particles which can damage the hinge mechanism.
Typical Samsung Cameras With Good Overall Performance
The dual-screen form-factor makes it fun to use the Galaxy Z Fold as a camera device. The foldable has a total of five cameras, three at back panel and one on each display to be used as selfie cameras. While using the front camera on the cover display, you can tap on the selfie toggle on the top-right corner of the camera app to use the triple-rear cameras as selfie shooters. Simply tap on the selfie toggle and unfold the device to capture high-resolution selfies. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 has a triple-lens rear camera setup featuring three 12MP sensors and 10MP selfie shooters on both cover display and the main foldable screen.
Crisp Images/Videos With Vibrant Colors & Excellent Dynamic Range
The rear cameras capture crisp shots with vivid colors. The dynamic range is excellent, both in images and videos. The primary camera on the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is a 12MP f/1.8 sensor with PDAF and OIS. It allows you to capture steady videos and decent low-light shots. You can also capture crisp 2x zoom shots, thanks to the 12MP f/2.4 telephoto lens; however, Samsung should have at least offered 5x zoom on the premium flagship device. The telephoto lens also supports OIS and PDAF. The third lens in the configuration is a 12MP wide-angle sensor that captures impressive 123˚ landscape shots with lively colors and good details. For videos, the foldable allows you to record 4K@60fps videos, 1080p@60/240fps videos and slow-motion videos at 720p@960fps.
Flagship Hardware- Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+, 12GB RAM+256GB ROM
Thee Galaxy Z Fold 2 feels snappy and super responsive with multimedia playback, multitasking with more than 5 apps running at a time on the big screen and while using the phone for usual day-to-day tasks. Playing graphics-intensive games like Asphalt 9 and COD Mobile was a joyful experience on the foldable device. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ and 12GB RAM ensures swift performance with whatever you throw at this device. I wish we could give you a long-term review of the Galaxy Z Fold 2 as such a device demands a long-term usage to evaluate the true potential.
As far as battery life is concerned, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 can easily last one full day with light to moderate usage. The 25W bundled charging brick takes around 90-minute to fully refuel the 4,500 mAh battery cell from flat to 100%. I think Samsung should have offered a slightly bigger battery on the foldable as it's really hard to stop streaming videos and perform multitasking on the big-screen which takes a toll on the battery life.
Most Widely Used Apps Need Optimizations
The Galaxy Z Fold 2 has the right hardware and Samsung has also done its bit in the software department to make the new Foldable worth your time and money. Samsung's very own apps and the app transition works flawlessly on the new foldable. However, the most widely used apps are still not optimized for Samsung's foldable marvel which hampers the user experience. Apps like Instagram, YouTube, etc. still haven't been modified for the unconventional square-shaped 5:4 aspect ratio. Some apps show too much-unused space on the big screen. It will take some time for developers to make the required modifications but otherwise, the software experience is smooth and hassle-free.
Should You Buy The Galaxy Z Fold 2?
If you have made up your mind to invest in the innovative foldable smartphone ecosystem, there's no better option in the market than the Galaxy Z Fold 2. The Moto Razr comes nowhere close, even the new one, and just forget about spending a fortune on Huawei and Microsoft's foldable devices. You can either go for the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip or the Galaxy Z Fold 2, depending upon your requirements from a foldable screen. Both are the most refined and workable foldable mobile phones out there in the market making Samsung the king of the hill in the foldable ecosystem. The Galaxy Z Flip 2 goes one step ahead of the Z Flip with the latest hardware, 5G connectivity, capable camera hardware and a stunning foldable screen that's a sheer joy to use.
To sum it up all, the Galaxy Z Flip 2 is the foldable to go for in the year 2020 if you have the kind of money to spend on a foldable device. Some shortcomings you must know- ‘No IP rating, No expandable storage and Lack of app optimization.' The Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G is priced at Rs. 149,999 in the Indian market and is available in Mystic Black and Mystic Bronze color variants across leading retail stores in India.