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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G Review: Just The Right Amount Of Flex

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G Review: Just The Right Amount Of Flex 18

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 is the Korean giant’s third generation foldable device, but the second iteration of the Galaxy Z Fold series. With an attractive price point and improved overall build, is the Z Fold2 worth the price of RM7,999? We find out, but first, the specs.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 – Specifications

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 Review
SpecsSamsung Galaxy Z Fold2
DisplayMain 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
Dimension and WeightFolded: 68.0 x 159.2 x 16.8mm (Hinge) ~ 13.8mm(Sagging), 282g

Unfolded: 128.2 x 159.2 x 6.9mm(Frame) ~ 6.0mm(Screen) , 282g
Camera (Cover)10MP Selfie Camera : F2.2, Pixel size: 1.22μm, FOV: 80˚
Camera (Front)10MP Selfie Camera : F2.2, Pixel size: 1.22μm, FOV: 80˚
Camera (Rear)12MP Ultra Wide Camera : F2.2 ,Pixel size: 1.12μm, FOV : 123˚
12MP Wide-angle Camera : Super Speed Dual Pixel AF, OIS, F1.8, Pixel size: 1.8μm, FOV: 83˚
12MP Telephoto Camera : PDAF, F2.4, OIS, Pixel size: 1.0μm, FOV: 45˚
Dual OIS, 0.5x out and 2x in optical zoom, Up to 10x digital zoom, HDR10+ recording, Tracking AF
APQualcomm Snapdragon 865+
Memory12GB RAM with 256GB internal storage (UFS3.1)
Battery4500mAh (typical) dual battery
ChargingFast Charging compatible on wired and wireless*
Wireless PowerShare
OSAndroid 10
Network [LTE]*: Enhanced 4X4 MIMO, 7CA, LAA, LTE
Cat.20 – Up to 2Gbps Download / Up to 200Mbps Upload [5G]: Non-Standalone (NSA), Standalone (SA), Sub6 / mmWave
Connectivity[Wi-Fi] 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax HE80 MIMO, 1024QAM [Bluetooth]* Bluetooth® v 5.0 (LE up to 2Mbps), USB type-C, NFC, Location (GPS, Galileo, Glonass, BeiDou)[Ultra Wide Band]
SIM CardOne eSIM and one Nano SIM
Payment(Samsung Pay)Credit & debit cards: supports MST and/or NFC
Membership cards, Gift cards, Transit cards, Reward point service
SensorsCapacitive Fingerprint sensor (side), Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro sensor, Geomagnetic sensor, Hall sensor, Proximity sensor, Light sensor
AuthenticationLock type: pattern, PIN, password
Biometric lock type: Side-mounted Fingerprint sensor*, Face recognition
AudioStereo speakers
Surround sound with Dolby Atmos technology (Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus included.)
SecurityKnox protection: real-time monitoring and protection.
Virus, malware prevention. (Powered by McAfee)
Secure Folder: a secure space on the device to keep content such as apps, photos and videos, secured by fingerprint scanning.
ColorsMystic Black, Mystic Bronze
In the BoxGalaxy Z Fold2, Data Cable, Travel Adapter, Ejection Pin, Quick Start Guide, Earphones (USB Type-C) with sound by AKG, Galaxy Z Premier Service Leaflet, Brand Story Leaflet

What’s In The Box?

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 Review
  • Galaxy Z Fold2
  • Data Cable
  • Travel Adapter
  • Ejection Pin
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Earphones (USB Type-C) with sound by AKG
  • Galaxy Z Premier Service Leaflet
  • Brand Story Leaflet

As you can see, there isn’t any casings included within the box. This is the same with the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 series, as the company’s effort to reduce wasted plastics. That being said, for a phone this exclusive and one-of-a-kind (literally), a simple casing should’ve been provided. Otherwise, you’ll need to buy the official ones sold by Samsung Malaysia, because you definitely won’t find them easily at your local smartphone accessories store.

Design

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 Review

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 obviously uses a foldable design, but instead of a clamshell approach, the device has a book unfolding design. The curved edges are made to be a little more flat this time around, and all the bezels have been minimized to give the device a higher screen-to-body ratio. This also translates to a more immersive screen. Personally, I love the Mystic Bronze colour on the Z Fold2. Not only does it elevate its overall elegance, it also gives the device this uber luxurious aura.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 Review

When it comes to build quality, the Z Fold2 is one of the best built phones I’ve ever held in my hands, as the overall build quality has been bumped up quite a bit from the first-gen Fold. The CAM mechanism feels tighter and more secure, the chassis is capable of enduring drops, and the smartphone just feels like a tank in your hands. Partially, the thickness is also due to the two layers of screens when it’s folded. It is also heavy, so it does add a little bit of weight to your pocket or handbag. That being said, you do get used to it after a while and you’ll come to appreciate the heft you’re carrying with the device.

When the phone is unfolded, on the bottom you will find the first speaker grille, a microphone, and the USB Type-C port. On the left, there’s the SIM tray slot, while the right has the volume buttons and the power button that has the fingerprint sensor integrated in. On the top, you will find another microphone, with the second speaker grille.

Display

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 Review

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2’s display is split in two, known as the cover display and the main display. Both displays have the Infinity-O notch which houses the 10MP selfie camera sensor. Out of the two, I spend a lot more time on the main display because of its larger screen and the 120Hz refresh rate it has. Also, because it uses the Adaptive Sync features, it also helps in saving battery.

On the outside, I only use the 6.2-inch cover display when I need to quickly reply to a text or quickly take a peek at the notifications that I have. I almost never use it to browse on apps, or do work because of the lower 60Hz refresh rate and lower HD+ resolution. Another reason I don’t use it is because the screen is too narrow and tall for my liking.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 Review

However, I will say that I appreciate Samsung for making full use of the front real estate on a Super AMOLED panel. On the original Galaxy Fold, the cover display had these huge black bezels on the top and bottom that were wasted real estate. So, I’m glad Samsung put them to full use this time.

As for the main display, the 7.6-inch QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display is an absolute marvel to look at and navigate with. I’m really impressed with how immersive the square-ish screen is. The colours really pop with the AMOLED panel, and the 120Hz refresh rate just takes the whole experience to another level. Navigation is smooth, and the display is crispy clear when viewing high resolution content.

User Experience

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 Review

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2’s weight and thickness needs a little getting used to. But after a while, honestly, it feels like any other smartphone out there. At most, it just feels like you’re holding two Galaxy S20’s at the same time.

The Z Fold2’s foldable mechanism is a real novelty that can get the attention of anyone looking your way. I remember I was at my car maintenance appointment, once I opened up the Z Fold2, the clerk’s eyes were wide open and she asked me “You can fold your screen? That’s a Samsung? How much was it?” That feeling of having a piece of tech that was so new is nostalgic, which reminds me of the Nokia and Sony Ericsson era back in the day.

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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 Review

As mentioned earlier, I’ve been using the main display more than the cover display. The larger screen just makes all your apps more satisfying to work and navigate on.

When I close the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2, it also provides this very reassuring and satisfying thud. The thud feels really solid, and gives me that feeling that the phone isn’t going to break anytime soon.

Another thing I love about the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 is that I can seamlessly continue with my app, no matter when I fold or unfold the phone. For example, I’m checking my emails on the cover display, and I unfold the phone to reply. There is no delay or glitch at all when transitioning between the cover and main display, the app just switches over very smoothly and I am a big fan of that.

When it comes to typing, I admit it took a while for me to get used to it because my hands are split so far apart compared to what they’re used to. But once I got the hang of it, I was typing a lot faster and more accurate than conventional smartphones. It kind of feels like I was typing on a Dactyl Manuform keyboard.

One thing I find annoying with the phone is that when it’s folded, it’s really hard for me to find the USB Type-C port in the dark. More often than not, I constantly find myself plugging the Type-C cable into the small hollow crevice between the two folded halves, instead of the Type-C port. If you can’t be bothered, you can always use wireless charging.

Performance

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 Review

There’s nothing I can complain about the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 when it comes to performance. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ processor paired with 12GB of RAM does an amazing job at juggling all the tasks I throw at the device. Apps launch fast, they run smooth, and I especially like it when I multi-task switching between apps. The main display is extremely responsive, and it reacts immediately as I make every swipe.

Here are some of the benchmarks that we ran using 3DMark and GeekBench 5:

Camera

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 Review

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2’s triple camera system all uses 12MP sensors, so you won’t find any large 108MP or 64MP sensors on here. That being said, the device actually takes great photos and videos, and the experience is further complimented with the added functionalities of the Samsung Flex Mode.

What the Flex Mode does is essentially shifting the camera’s UI layout when you fold the screen at a 90-degree angle. The viewfinder is placed on the top half, while the bottom half will show the last picture taken, along with the modes, controls, and shutter button. At family gatherings, I could easily fold the screen, place the Z Fold2 on a table, and take a family photo with either a timer or my palm gesture.

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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 Review

Not only that, the camera system also takes advantage of the cover display. You can use the rear camera system to take selfies, where the cover display would show the viewfinder. From there, all you need to press is the volume buttons to take a shot. The cover display can also act as a preview screen for your subjects to pose properly and be in place before the shot is taken.

These are some really great and practical features for the Z Fold2 to really take advantage of its dual display foldable setup. Kudos to your development team, Samsung.

Here are some of the photo samples taken with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2:

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Audio

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 Review

When it comes to audio, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 obviously has space for a dual stereo speaker setup. The audio quality depends on how you’re using the phone.

  • Cover Display – Portrait Mode: Audio sounds good.
  • Main Display – Portrait Mode: All audio sounds too far to the left.
  • Cover Display – Landscape Mode: Sound gets bounced back to you, reflecting off of your palm.
  • Main Display – Landscape Mode: Sound is muffled because your palm would be covering the speaker grille, especially when you’re gaming.

In general, what you get is a crispy and clear sound, complete with stereo effects. Highs are bright and doesn’t sound tinny, mids are decent, and the bass has a fair bit of thump in every song.

Battery

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 Review

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2’s battery system uses two 2,250mAh batteries, and it just won’t die. Okay, it will die, but after about two days. On casual days, I can get through the entire weekend without charging the device. When I’m working and using the phone more heavily, it can still get me through the entire day, with around 40% battery left to spare. Charging the 4,500mAh battery back to full takes about an hour and 40 minutes, which is rather quick.

I’m really impressed with the battery management on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2, and I think it’s mostly thanks to the main display’s adaptive sync refresh rate.

Conclusion

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 Review

With an RRP of RM7,999 that is lower than the Galaxy Fold‘s RM8,388 launch price, I would say the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 is a worthy investment for a foldable smartphone. You know how some people would say to not buy first-gen products? They’re right. The 2nd generation Fold is a much better device, that is more polished and well-built.

Having a foldable smartphone like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 is a whole other kind of experience. The novelty of the foldable mechanism, the beastly specs, and elegant exterior packed into this one device. As a regular consumer, for Samsung’s asking price, I would happily save up and purchase one for myself when I can afford it.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 Review

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Written By

Chief Content Developer at The AXO

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