You think of your phone as a device you use, a utilitarian device that lets you make phone calls, send text messages, and take pictures. But what if it could be more? What if it could be an entertainment hub that made no compromises — and delivered a hint of luxury, too?
That’s what you get in the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2, the latest (and greatest) of the new wave of unfolding smartphones. A year ago, Samsung kickstarted the folding-screen market with the original Galaxy Fold, a device that started as an old-school candy bar phone, then literally unfolded to reveal a massive mini tablet-sized screen. It was a triumph of tech—you know how hard it is to build a screen from foldable material?—but it also had its flaws.
One year later, Samsung sticks with it and delivers a device that redefines versatility and overall Android smartphone capabilities. It’s a phone that competes in a category all its own—luxury Android smartphone—and wins. One moment, it’s a sleek phone with a somewhat-cramped touchscreen, the kind of device you’d use to make calls and not much more. The next, it’s a massive blend of productivity goodness, perfect Kindle device, and personal cinema that you can lose yourself in for hours on end. It’s the ultimate anytime-anywhere entertainment device, and yes, it’s quite eye-catching, too.
The Galaxy Z Fold 2 Has Style
Most smartphones today make a good first impression, but the Z Fold 2 is built to make an especially lasting one. It’s available in two colors, a Mystic Black, and a Mystic Bronze, and the Mystic Bronze (how is this not rose gold?) edition in particular seems like something out of an Armani ad.
There’s a smooth matte feel (read: not a fingerprint magnet) on the back, a sturdy hinge with “Samsung” embossed across its center, and then the front of the phone features a 6.23-inch super-AMOLED screen that’s perfectly beautiful and functional, if slightly cramped to type on. Even the camera chassis on the back is stylish, three lenses housed in a rounded rectangular casing.
This is a well thought-out, refined phone body that’s dying to be shown off, even though yes, you still should shell out for a case for it. A year ago, Samsung conveniently included a two-piece shell to protect its phone, but no such luck this year.
Crack open that body and then things get even more fun. You’re unfolding (yes, it gets me every time I write that) your phone to 7.6 inches of full-bleed artistry, a bright screen that stuns no matter the situation. It’s impressive screen real estate, very nearly the same size as the screen on the original iPad Mini, except somehow, in a much sleeker package.
The screen shines in nearly every situation and, unlike last year’s edition, where the fold was visible if you looked closely, you can’t even see the spot where the screen folds over at all. All of this leaves you immersed in whatever you’re doing, whether you’re reading or watching movies—or doing both.
The Magic of the Foldable Display
Even if you’re not a technophile, it’s worth taking a moment to fathom the technological achievement that is Samsung’s foldable screen. From Microsoft’s Duo to the ThinQ LG delivered last year (a single phone with a foldable, dual-screen case), more and more companies are dabbling in foldable screens to offer you more screen real estate and a more versatile phone experience.
But most of those other devices give you two separate screens adjacent to each other. Samsung stitches them together into one panel, and that has distinct advantages. Movies like Avengers: Endgame and animated TV shows like DC’s Young Justice get to stretch across both screens, holding your attention that much more.
The same goes for Amazon’s Kindle app. If you’re someone who enjoys reading graphic novels or highly visual books, you’ll be in heaven on the Z Fold 2, where pages stretch across the 7.6-inch display, making for easy reading and allowing art to pop. The vast range of colors and a high 120-Hz refresh rate complete the package.
And all of that is just the beginning. Stadia, Google’s up-and-coming cloud gaming platform, can use the Z Fold 2 as a screen for gaming, meaning you can play titles like Baldur’s Gate 3 and Red Dead Redemption 2 as long as you have a Stadia controller. Suddenly, an entire universe of entertainment options are at your disposal.
If there’s a shortcoming to the entertainment experience overall, it’s sound quality, which simply isn’t stellar. Then again, a pair of Bluetooth headphones can solve that problem quite efficiently.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 Is a Multitasking Powerhouse
All that screen real estate doesn’t have to be monopolized by one app, either. Much like a tablet, the Z Fold 2’s screen can handle multiple apps at once. Imagine watching a YouTube video on the top half of the screen while typing out emails on the bottom half. Or pay attention to a key football game on Sling TV while also surfing the web.
The possibilities are endless, and the redesigned hinge that drives the folding screen makes this all work. You can unfold the screen to any angle, meaning you can easily use the Z Fold 2 like a miniature laptop, using half the screen as a screen and half of it as thumb-powered keyboard. The Z Fold 2 automatically partitions many apps correctly across both screens, too, making for an easy, comfortable user experience.
The device just oozes power, too. The Qualcomm SM8250 Snapdragon is built to perform in any situation, and even when playing Stadia, perhaps the most demanding task you could find for a mere smartphone, the phone chugs along with few hint of slowdown. Battery life, meanwhile, manages to be surprisingly stellar. Despite all this screen real estate, in normal use, you can expect to get nearly a day without needing to recharge. And like all Samsung devices, it can give as well as it gets, charging other devices, too.
It’s Close to Perfect
With all this entertainment nirvana in a smartphone, it’s easy to forget that this is still only the second generation of Samsung’s folding-screen tech. Samsung’s already flirting with near-perfection in this second go-round though, with just a handful of weaknesses. The biggest issue here: In an era when every phone touts its IPX waterproof rating, Samsung’s tech marvel can’t.
This doesn’t mean it’s not durable, though. From the redesigned hinge to the extra-refined body, this phone is solidly made, and unlike last year’s edition, which invited dust into its corners, the Z Fold 2 doesn’t have those problems. It’s ready for everyday life, even if it might not seem that way at the outset.
Samsung gets a lot of other little things right, too. Apps can work across both screens, automatically shifting to proper aspect ratios and reconfigured controls. Facial recognition unlocking is near-instant. And the cameras are a joy to use, taking clear, detailed pictures with vibrant colors. There’s fun to be had here, too: Open the phone and you can have a friend take a shot of you using the powerful main lenses and still get a view of exactly how you’re posing.
It all adds up to an exciting slice of Android phone luxury. With the Galaxy Z Fold 2, you get a glimpse into the future of the smartphone—except that future is right now.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 retails for $1,999.99 and is available now.
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io