The Galaxy Z Fold 2.
The front display is way bigger.
The inner display loses the notch, opting instead for a hole-punch display.
The black version.
The bottom edge has a USB-C port and speaker.
The two-handed opening procedure.
The spine of the phone, which is still very thick.
The front and back.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G was sort of half-announced alongside the Galaxy Note 20 last month, and today Samsung made it the rest-of-the-way announced with a second event, an official spec sheet, and a price. Between the first half of the announcement and various leaks, we already knew nearly everything about the Fold 2 except a price and a ship date. So the big news today is that the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is $1,999—a whole $10 more than the original Fold—and it ships September 18 in the US.
The rest of the event is official confirmation on specs that were already leaked. The Fold 2 has a Snapdragon 865+, 12GB of RAM, 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage, and a 4500mAh battery. The phone supports wireless charging, it has a side-mounted fingerprint reader, it runs Android 10, and if you can get it, supports sub-6GHz and mmWave 5G. There is no Exynos version internationally—all Folds in all regions will run the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+.
The giant screens are the star of the show. The inside is a folding 7.6-inch, 2208×1768 OLED display, which, this year, gets a major upgrade to a 120Hz refresh rate. The outside screen is a 6.2-inch, 2260×816 OLED display, which is dramatically bigger than the 4.6-inch display on the Galaxy Fold 1. The display has way smaller bezels compared to the ridiculous front of the Fold 1, but with a 25:9 aspect ratio, it’s one of the tallest, skinniest displays we’ve ever seen. This screen is still 60Hz , so you’ll be quickly switching between a 60Hz outer display and a 120Hz inner display, which will be odd.
The Galaxy Z Fold 2 is serving as a bit of a do-over for the Fold line after the disastrous Galaxy Fold 1 launch. Samsung wanted the Fold 1 to be a revolutionary device, but instead, the delicate plastic display and strange construction meant it died in the hands of Samsung’s early hand-picked reviewers. Samsung ended up delaying the launch for five months while it reworked the device. Samsung Electronics CEO DJ Koh called the whole fiasco “embarrassing,” and when the reworked Fold finally did come to market, it was with a whimper. This was not the triumphant release Samsung wanted.
The Fold 2 is learning from some of the mistakes of the Fold 1. Instead of the all-plastic interior screen cover, the phone now ships with Samsung’s “Ultra-Thin Glass” cover on the inside, just like the Galaxy Z Flip. Samsung’s “flexible glass” is actually a plastic and glass sandwich, and with the plastic on the outside, it doesn’t feel as nice as bare glass. It also isn’t scratch-resistant. The inner glass layer does give the display cover some rigidity, though, which is better than a shishy all-plastic display.
Samsung has done away with the huge notch on the interior of the device, and instead the Fold 2’s interior uses a single hole punch camera that is a lot less noticeable. Just like the Fold 1, the Fold 2 overall has a whole bunch of cameras. There’s a 10MP hole-punch camera on the outside, that 10MP hole-punch camera on the inside, and three cameras on the back: a 12MP wide angle, a 12MP main camera, and a 12MP telephoto.
The hinge is different this year, too, and the new design again borrows from the Z Flip. Instead of a spring-loaded opening and closing, the hinge can stop halfway, making the phone stand up like a mini laptop. Like on the Z Flip, this means that some apps will trigger a split-screen mode and logically spread out the UI across the top and bottom halves of the display. The non-springy hinge also means you’ll need to be more deliberate when you open and close the device, since the hinge won’t provide as much help as before.
Galaxy Z Fold 2 pre-orders are going up today and tomorrow through Samsung and the three (yes there are only three now) participating major carriers.
Listing image by Samsung