Today we saw the second (and final) launch of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2. If you’ll remember, Samsung dished out some official details of the new foldable phone back at the beginning of August when it simultaneously revealed the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 family.
Now, we know (almost) everything about the second-generation version of the Samsung Galaxy Fold. From the outset, it seems that this device takes the strengths of the Galaxy Fold and makes them better while also fixing some of the big issues we had with that first-generation device.
Of course, your being on board with the Galaxy Z Fold 2 will still depend on how much you’re willing to spend to be on the cutting edge. If you’ve got the money to spare, here’s everything you should know before making a purchase!
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2: What’s changed since last time?
The first thing you’ll notice about the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 as compared to the previous model is the size of the outside display. It is much bigger, taking up almost the entirety of the closed front of the device.
You’ll also immediately notice the new rear camera module, which looks a lot like the module on the back of the Samsung Galaxy Note 20. The cameras themselves also got a nice upgrade, which should allow the Z Fold 2 to get some better-quality images than its predecessor.
Related: Download the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 wallpapers
Not so visible, though, are the subtle refinements to the interior mechanisms of the device. Ultra-thin glass covers the interior display, which should prove to be more durable than the plastic on the original Fold. Samsung’s “sweeper” technology — first introduced on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip — should prevent dust particles from settling in the hinge or making their way under the display.
Essentially, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 refines the original Fold. The Galaxy Fold already reinvented how we perceive the smartphone, so the Galaxy Z Fold 2’s job is to prove that this design is a viable alternative to the black slate.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2: Specs
|Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2|
6.2-inch HD+ AMOLED
2,260 x 816 resolution
25:9 aspect ratio
60Hz refresh rate
|CPU||Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus|
|Storage||256GB UFS 3.1 built-in
No expandable storage
Reverse wireless charging
ƒ2.2, 1.22μm, 80-degree FOV
|Connectivity||Sub-6GHz and mmWave 5G
MST and NFC
|Security||Capacitive fingerprint sensor (side-mounted)|
No headphone jack
|Operating system||Android 10|
68.0 x 159.2 x 16.8mm (at hinge)
|Colors||Mystic Black, Mystic Bronze|
Samsung is still betting you want a tablet in your pocket
As stated earlier, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 isn’t reinventing the Fold formula. Samsung is still of the opinion that people want a device that can be a “normal” smartphone experience and then instantly become a tablet experience.
As one would expect, Samsung is once again heavily pushing the multitasking features of the Galaxy Z Fold 2. App continuity — using an app on the outside display and then continuing that app experience on the interior display instantly — is still a major focal point. Running multiple apps side-by-side on the interior screen is also something you’ll see in nearly all promotional materials for this phone.
Samsung already reinvented the phone with the Galaxy Fold. With this model, it’s trying to make the overall experience better.
However, Samsung is also betting big on the photography capabilities of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2. If you look at the specs above, you can see that Samsung put a lot more thought into the cameras this time around. We’ll need to run the device through our usual tests to see how it fares, but it’s clear that Samsung now understands that a phone this expensive needs to take some great pics.
Finally, Samsung is offering a Premier Service for Galaxy Z Fold 2 buyers. This free service offers a few cool perks, but the two that buyers will be most interested in are the on-demand concierge support and the one-time fix of a Galaxy Z Fold 2 display that gets accidentally damaged.
Competition and alternatives
As far as devices that start as a smartphone and then open up into a tablet, there isn’t much competition out there against the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2. There’s the Huawei Mate XS, but that is only available in certain places and won’t come with Google Apps. It’s just not a viable alternative.
The Microsoft Surface Duo is similar in some ways to the Galaxy Z Fold 2, in that it has a hinge and folds up. The comparisons end there, though, as the device has no exterior display and the two inner displays are separated by huge bezels, making the experience truly different from using the Galaxy Z Fold 2.
Related: Here are five funky retro phones we want to see as foldables
There are also the dual-screen devices from LG that allow for a tablet-like experience, such as the most recent LG Velvet. Once again, though, the two displays are interrupted by hinges and bezels, which don’t allow for the seamless experience of something like a true foldable.
The only real competition in the foldable space so far is Samsung itself, with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip. That device, though, doesn’t have a tablet-like display. Instead, it starts as a very small, compact experience, and then folds out into a more normal smartphone experience. The Motorola Razr has a similar format, although the Galaxy Z Flip is definitely the better buy if you’re comparing the two.
The bottom line is that there’s nothing as widely available on the market like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2. It offers a truly unique experience.
Where to buy the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 is not cheap. In the United States, the MSRP of the phone is $2,000, roughly the same price as we saw with last year’s Galaxy Fold. In Canada, the phone will be a whopping $2,780 CAD.
Pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 begin tomorrow, September 2, 2020. You’ll be able to get the device unlocked from Samsung.com and Samsung.ca as well as specific carriers. At Verizon, the Fold 2 will cost $83.33 per month for 24 months on a payment plan. At AT&T, you’ll pay $66.67 each month for 30 months. US Cellular will also sell the Fold 2, but it won’t be doing pre-orders — you’ll need to wait for the general on-sale date.
On September 18, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 will go up for general sale.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 The second-gen version of Samsung’s premier foldable.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 is the direct sequel to the Samsung Galaxy Fold. It offers a smartphone-like experience when closed up and a tablet-like experience when unfolded. It’s a nifty device if you can stomach the price tag!
If you own the original Samsung Galaxy Fold, you can trade that device in to get a hefty discount on its sequel. Assuming your Galaxy Fold is in great condition, you could get up to $800 off the purchase price of the Galaxy Z Fold 2. If you don’t own a Fold, you can trade-in your non-foldable device for up to $650 off, with the amount dependent on the model and condition of the trade-in device.
Finally, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 will have a limited Thom Browne edition. This special package includes a Galaxy Z Fold 2 with a custom colorway inspired by the Thom Browne aesthetic, a matching Galaxy Watch 3, matching Galaxy Buds Live, and a range of Thom Browne accessories for those devices. That version of the Z Fold 2 will be available on September 25, but Samsung didn’t say how much it would cost.
Top Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 questions and answers
Q: Does the Galaxy Z Fold 2 support 5G?
A: Yes. Whether you buy it unlocked or from a carrier, it will come with support for both sub-6GHz and mmWave connections.
Q: Does the Galaxy Z Fold 2 have a headphone jack?
A: No, there is no headphone jack on the Fold 2.
Q: Does the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 have a microSD card slot?
A: No. You will be stuck with the 256GB of internal storage that is included with the Galaxy Z Fold 2.
Q: Does the Galaxy Z Fold 2 fold all the way back so two screens can be on the outside?
A: No, that would break the phone. The Fold 2 can close all the way up or open up into a flat state. It can’t fold further than flat.
Q: Does the Galaxy Z Fold 2 support wireless charging?
A: Yes. It also supports reverse wireless charging so you can leech power from the Fold 2 in order to charge your Galaxy Buds Plus, for example.
Q: Does the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 have a 120Hz refresh rate?
A: Yes and no. The inner display can get up to a 120Hz display refresh rate, but the outer display is locked to 60Hz only.
Q: Does the Galaxy Z Fold 2 support Dex?
A: Yes. You can use the Galaxy Z Fold 2 in a desktop experience using either a cable, dock, or a wireless connection.
Q: Will the Galaxy Z Fold 2 get Android 11?
A: Yes. Samsung’s new policy for its flagships is three years of Android upgrades. Theoretically, the Fold 2 should get Android 11, Android 12, and possibly even Android 13. However, there are no guarantees for that, just Samsung’s stated policy.
Q: Can I use an S Pen with the Galaxy Z Fold 2?
A: No. The S Pen is not supported on the Galaxy Z Fold 2, likely because of the fragile ultra-thin glass on the interior of the device.
Editor’s note: This Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 buyer’s guide is current as of September 2020. We will update it with new content regularly.