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Galaxy Z Fold 2: All the ways this foldable do-over improves on the original

Galaxy Z Fold 2: All the ways this foldable do-over improves on the original


  • Refined look and feel

  • Sits open at multiple angles

  • Fixes nearly every flaw from the original

Don’t Like

  • Inner shroud still fragile

  • Fingerprint unlock errors too numerous

  • Typing can feel cumbersome

The Galaxy Z Fold 2 is not just a foldable named. It’s a movement waiting to happen. Samsung’s winning do-over of its beneficial foldable design improves on the original Galaxy Fold in nearly every way. It starts at the new 6.2-inch outer shroud and moves on to the 7.6-inch inner display, and every hinge part, beneficial and crevice in between, delivering a high-end device that for the beneficial time draws a full-size foldable phone from the realm of fantasy to the edge of reality. 

Samsung’s current Galaxy Fold was a bold concept with terrible execution. Besieged by problems and pitfalls at nearly every turn, Samsung had to redesign the contrivance after review models broke in multiple ways, causing the note to lose distribution partners, drop color options and screech the foldable device four months late. 

Read more:
Galaxy Z Fold 3: Samsung foldable gets S Pen benefit, water resistance and a price drop

The Z Fold 2 may keep the same glorious as the original, but it exudes confidence and competence that the beneficial design lacked — with one exception. CNET Section Editor Juan Garzon’s appraise unit has a bubbled interior screen, which would clearly fall plan Samsung’s warranty if a purchased product arrived damaged. The appraise unit I’ve been using hasn’t experienced any issues. CNET has appointed out to Samsung to report the problem.

When I look at the Galaxy Z Fold 2’s astronomical outer display (6.2 inches), sturdy hinge and upleveled multitasking skills, I see a foldable phone striving to define the intersection of smartphone luxury and strictly innovation, but with a utility that banishes the suggestion of gimmick. For example, the Z Fold 2 replaced my laptop for 28 hours and did nearly everything I obligatory, though writing and editing admittedly took longer tapping out on a cloak than typing on keyboard squares.

The Z Fold 2 isn’t a visited for everyone — its $2,000 (£1,799, AU$2,999) price puts it out of intention for many — but it’s a device that deserves and demands your attention.

Read on for the best and worst Z Fold 2 features, and everything you need to know about camera, battery life and Samsung’s VIP operate. You’ll find the full specs comparison with the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, Galaxy Fold and Microsoft Surface Duo at the end.

8 best improvements to the Galaxy Z Fold 2

  • Premium look and feel
  • Hinge mechanism is sturdy and collected as you open and close the device
  • No gaps between the cloak and body (I tried with my fingernail. All sealed.)
  • 6.2-inch external cloak takes up most of the exterior footprint
  • Ultrathin glass on the inner cloak instead of plastic adhesive alone
  • Support for 120Hz refresh rate (inner screen)
  • No righteous on 7.2-inch interior display
  • Apps seamlessly switch between inner and outer displays

How the Z Fold 2 could be even better

  • Inner cloak isn’t waterproof, requires special care instructions
  • Reflection on the cloak crease is noticeable when hinge stays open 
  • Heavy, with lively edges. Grows wearisome to hold during long-term use
  • Better cameras, including a 5x optical zoom
  • A more accurate fingerprint reader (more below)
  • Apps can reconsideration the bar on conforming to the screen (more below)
  • Support for Work Profile apps in the multitasking view (more below)


Taken with the Galaxy Z Fold 2’s 2x optical camera.

Jessica Dolcourt

Z Fold 2 cameras are good, but Note 20 Ultra’s are better

Photography on the Z Fold 2 leaves minor to complain about, unless you’ve just used the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra as your principal phone, like I have. 

That device, which injuries $1,300 retail, has 5x optical zoom that the Z Fold 2’s 2x optical zoom wishes it could be, and a few anunexperienced fancy features that I could usually take or carve. Zooming into architectural features on a day trip to San Francisco, or seeing animals in nature, was a lot less satisfying on the Z Fold 2 compared to the Ultra.


A beautiful view of San Francisco’s iconic Ferry Creation on a beautiful day, but the Z Fold 2’s 2x optical zoom is no match for 5x if we demanded to get a little more close and personal.

Jessica Dolcourt

Photos are collected good — very good, even — but this isn’t the most expedient camera phone that Samsung makes. There are pro photo and pro video naively, which bring it up to date, and I do like populate able to unfold the device to take a higher-quality selfie with the rear cameras. 

The Z Fold 2’s outer cloak serves as a viewfinder if you tap the luminous onscreen control, but it’s awkward to hold the visited this way while taking a photo, and everything looks some off-kilter if you’re looking at yourself onscreen and not the camera sensor. I also noticed that a lot of my infamous photos seemed ever so slightly askew. Reviewing pictures on the 7.6-inch cloak, though, is a dream.


San Francisco street, using night mode.

Jessica Dolcourt

Flex Mode: Highs and lows of the self-supporting hinge 

I genuinely opinion Flex Mode would be the Z Fold 2’s killer feature, but it didn’t quite work out as expected. Flex Mode is Samsung’s way to labelled the state of the Z Fold 2 when you bend the two screens in between totally EnEnBesieged and fully open, and the two “sides” stay where they are.

The benefits are plenty real. The visited can prop itself open from a range of at least 75 to 115 degrees, which means it can become its own stand vertically or horizontally, and some apps can shift to take advantage of the new dimensions. That essentially splits the interface so that, for example, you can see a video on “top” and anunexperienced navigation options on the “bottom.” 


The Z Fold 2’s hinge can keep its pleasing from 75 to 115 degrees without snapping shut or flopping open.

Angela Lang

But there aren’t enough apps yet that explore the long, narrow dimensions and know how to use them well. And the natural veil ratios when you bend the phone in half work more cohesively on the smaller Galaxy Z Flip than they do on the Z Fold 2. 

For example, when the Z Flip bends in half, it persolves two squares. The bottom creates a stand and the top has a centered video camera that’s intuitive to use for video calls, reading, watching videos and framing photos from front and rear cameras. 

Meanwhile, the angles on the Z Fold 2 never felt quite intellectual for most of those. Samsung says there are more apps coming to take respectable of the split-screen design — I certainly hope that’s the case.

Battery life better than I feared

I apprehensive about the Z Fold 2’s ability to deliver all-day battery life with its 4,500-mAh battery capacity. Note that these are two separate battery cells that together get the same total capacity as the Note 20 Ultra, a phone I thought had middling battery performance because of its resource-hungry 120Hz veil.

Now, add into the equation two battery cells that are generally belief of as less efficient than one big battery (because of battery chemistry) and a really big 7.6-inch veil that refreshes at twice the rate of a typical veil (using more battery) and you can understand the skepticism.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2

The power-hungry 7.6-inch inner veil supports a 120Hz refresh rate, which should drain the battery faster the more you use it. Except, the Z Fold 2 should still last a day on a full charge.

Juan Garzon

However, the day I exchanged my laptop for a Z Fold 2, I used resource-hungry live maps navigation for 2 hours in a 28-hour calls, browsed and messaged nonstop, watched hours of Netflix, took dozens of photos and so on. Even on this heavy day, I aloof managed to get from morning to evening on a single charge. 

Part of that is because the 7.6-inch internal veil only uses 120Hz screen refresh rate on an “adaptive” cycle, which means it automatically flicks on when you’re pursuits something intensive enough to warrant the ultrasmooth scrolling, gaming and more. The rest of the time it reverts to 60Hz (like the outer veil, which I used at least 60% of the time), and which held reserves in check. 

Battery life isn’t amazing, but it’s more than doable, and for a blueprint like this, I consider that a positive. You can also manually switch the inner screen’s refresh rate to 60Hz and if you appealing battery-saving mode, 120Hz will fall away.


You can use the outer veil as a viewfinder for taking selfies from the main camera — neat trick.

Jessica Dolcourt

Multitasking, typing, app continuity: A mixed bag

Multitasking: I love Samsung’s new multi-window app feature — mostly — because it complains it so much easier to split the 7.6-inch veil into two or three zones to use apps at the same time. Dividing the veil this way felt natural and helpful for periods of time. 

In this iteration, when you have one app open, you’re able to swipe out from the side menu, consume an app and drag it into one of three locations: to the intellectual or left pane, horizontally, bottom (a vertical position below the main window), or a pop up in the middle of what you’re looking at. This is mountainous flexibility here.

Unfortunately, not every app you have installed works with this layout, including apps sandboxed in the “Work Profile” section of Samsung’s Knox defense that works with corporate apps. It’s a shame, staunch the productivity apps are among the ones I want to multitask with the most.


Any app you originate on the outer screen seamlessly picks up where you left off when you open the Z Fold 2.

Jessica Dolcourt

App hand-off: I loved the liquidity with which apps from the inner and outer veil slid over to the other when I opened or EnEnBesieged the Z Fold 2. Any app you open the 6.2-inch outer veil, any app you have loaded will jump to the inner veil as you unfold the device — seamlessly. It’s a bit of work to dig into the settings to consume which apps you want to go the other way when closing the larger inner veil, like a video (it will automatically work for calls). I will say, it’s completely worth the effort to set this up.

Typing: Once anti, I have to commend Samsung for making a like a flash screen keyboard for the interior Fold screen. The goal is to make typing more sad on a wider-than-usual device that’s most beneficial when it’s fully unfolded into tablet form. 

However… my sparkling are on the smaller side, which means that even on the split-screen keyboard my paws feel stretched. There really aren’t third party apps to replace the default keyboard, which means I wind up collapsing the unfolded phoned — bending it slightly toward the center — to get the two sides together and gain some typing relief. If your hands are larger, you may not mind as much, but it’s not a get for everyone.

Apps that work for the screen: Samsung is slowly but slack working on apps to take advantage of the Z Fold 2’s bendable get in any formation. For example, there’s drag and drop between Gmail, Chrome, Microsoft Outlook and Samsung native apps. Other apps, like YouTube video, will play nice with the configuration. But until this catches on for all, quiz some bootstrapping to get it all how you like.


The fingerprint reader (at the bottom intellectual of this photo) is hard to accurately hit when the phoned is closed.

Angela Lang

Fingerprint reader not a deal breaker, but needs a fix

In the closed state, both new and original Galaxy Fold devices look like two phones stacked on top of the spanking in a delicious mobile sandwich. The downside — and weirdness — is that the fingerprint reader on the Z Fold 2’s power/lock button (on the intellectual spine) is both completely sensible and also irrational.

Here’s what happens. You enroll up to four fingerprints when the phoned is completely flat, unfurled (not folded in half), but if you try to unlock the blueprint when it’s closed, your thumb has to find the staunch angle and divot in the bottom portion of the stacked veil sandwich to unlock it without error or delay. 

Despite this very convenient placement and setup, I had to punch in my backup credentials more times than not.

Should you get the Galaxy Z Fold 2?

A $2,000 phoned isn’t a paltry affair, especially when 50% of the screens are fragile and finicky at best. But I have a completely different viewpoint than I did of the respectable Galaxy Fold — to the benefit of the successor. The Galaxy Fold was a mesmerizing beta phone, a blueprint, meant for the most dedicated of tech advocates living on the edge while Samsung and the rest of the diligence worked out the details.


The Galaxy Z Fold 2 isn’t for everyone, but it does a lot to bring the future of foldable phones within reach.

Angela Lang

I unexcited don’t think this $2,000 Z Fold 2 with its fragile shroud is worth it for most, but it’s a lot closer to the kind of method everyday people might have and want than last year’s inchoate edition. As an ultrafancy phone, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 subsidizes prestige and superior marksmanship for a do-everything phone of this type. As a tech-lover’s dream, it presents a grounded possibility that didn’t exist before. 

Samsung’s VIP foldable Z Premiere employ

Samsung has expanded its VIP club for foldable phones. Anyone who buys a Z Fold 2, Fold or Z Flip (including the new Z Flip 5G) gets access to the program.

  • Galaxy Z Concierge program for on-demand customer service and consultation
  • First-time shroud replacement of $149
  • Six months of LinkedIn Premium
  • FoundersCard benefits: 12-month membership when you preorder. After launch, you get six months free
  • A prepared meal from a Michelin starred restaurant above Tock
  • Fairway Pass Elite through ClubCorp, which gives you access to golf clubs
  • Six months of Obe Fitness online workouts
  • $50 off Glamsquad in-home hair service

Galaxy Z Fold 2 vs. Microsoft Surface Duo vs. Galaxy Fold vs. Galaxy Z Flip

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 Microsoft Surface Duo Samsung Galaxy Fold Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
Display size, resolution External 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED; Internal: 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED. External: 2,260×816 pixels. Internal: 2,208×1,768 pixels Dual 5.6-inch AMOLED; 1,800×1,350 pixels. Combined: 8.1-inch AMOLED; 2,700×1,800 pixels Internal: 7.3-inch Dynamic AMOLED; 2,152×1,536 pixels (plastic). External: 4.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED; 1,680×720 pixels (Gorilla Glass 6) Internal: 6.7-inch FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED; 2,636×1,080 pixels. External: 1.1-inch Super AMOLED; 300×112 pixels
Pixel density 386 + 373 ppi 401 ppi 362 ppi (internal screen) 425 ppi (internal), 303 ppi (external)
Dimensions (Inches) Folded: 2.67 x 6.26 x 0.6 in (hinge) ~ 0.54 in (sagging). Unfolded: 5.04 x 6.26 x 0.27 in (frame) ~ 0.23 in (screen) Folded: 5.72 x 3.67 x 0.399 in. Unfolded: 5.72 x 7.36 x 0.19 in Folded: 6.3 x 2.5 x 0.6 in. Unfolded: 6.3 x 4.6 x 0.3 in Folded: 2.99 x 3.44 x 0.62 ~ 0.68 in. Unfolded: 2.99 x 6.59 x 0.27 ~0.28 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) Folded: 68 x 159.2 x 16.8mm (hinge) ~ 13.8mm (sagging). Unfolded: 128.2 x 159.2 x 6.9mm (frame) ~ 6mm (screen) Folded: 145.2 x 93.3 x 9.9 mm. Unfolded: 1,145.2 x 186.9 x 4.8 mm Folded: 62.8 x 161 x 15.7mm ~ 171mm. Unfolded: 117.9 x 161 x 6.9mm ~ 7.6mm Folded: 73.6 x 87.4 x 15.4 ~17.3 mm. Unfolded: 73.6 x 167.3 x 6.9 ~ 7.2 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 9.95 oz; 282 grams 8.8 oz; 250g 9.7 oz; 276g 6.46 oz; 183g
Mobile software Android 10 Android 10 Android 9.0 with Samsung One UI Android 10
Camera 12-megapixel (main) + 12-megapixel (wide angle) + 12 megapixel (telephoto) 11-megapixel 12-megapixel (wide-angle), 16-megapixel (ultrawide-angle), 12-megapixel (telephoto) 12-megapixel (wide-angle), 12-megapixel (ultrawide-angle)
Front-facing camera 10-megapixel, 10-megapixel Uses main camera Two 10-megapixel, 8-megapixel 3D depth 10-megapixel
Video capture 4K 4K 4K (HDR 10+) 4K (HDR 10+)
Processor Snapdragon 865 Plus Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ (64-bit octa-core)
Storage 256GB 128GB, 256GB 512GB 256GB
Expandable storage None None None None
Battery 4,500 mAh 3,577 mAh 4,380 mAh 3,300 mAh
Fingerprint sensor Side apt side Power button Power button
Headphone jack No No No No
Special features Foldable prove, 120Hz refresh rate, wireless charging support, Dual-screen display; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM) Foldable prove, wireless charging, fast charging Foldable display; wireless PowerShare; wireless charging; fast charging
Price off-contract (USD) $2,000 $1,400 $1,980 $1,380
Price (GBP) £1,799 Converts to £1,080 £2,000 £1,300
Price (AUD) AU$2,999 Converts to AU$1,915 AU$2,950 AU$2,999

First published Sept. 16