Samsung got a big reaction when it revealed the Galaxy Fold back in February of 2019 as one of the first truly foldable smartphones. But it had a difficult path to launch with multiple delays as Samsung worked to correct durability concerns that arose with the original hardware sent to reviewers. This final hardware did appear to fix those problems, but at $1,980, it was still a tough sell, particularly after that rough first impression.
Fast forward to today and Samsung is ready to wipe the slate clean and start over with the Galaxy Z Fold 2, which has adopted a bit of the name from the more well-received Galaxy Z Flip that launched back in February of this year. Samsung went point by point, addressing every complaint about the original Galaxy Fold with one notable exception.
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Given that it was the source of so much trouble with the Galaxy Fold, let's take a look at durability first. The display now uses the more resilient ultra-thin glass (UTG) technology that debuted with the Galaxy Z Flip; this will prevent the scratching issues prevalent with the Galaxy Fold.
The hinge was completely revamped for the Galaxy Z Fold 2 so it can hold in multiple positions like the Galaxy Z Flip. The new hinge uses multiple cam mechanisms to provide a stable and strong folding action and uses a new brush technology to keep dust and debris out of the device.
Samsung also touched on the thickness of the device, which is particularly relevant for something that you are going to fold in half. It is now just 6mm thick down from the 6.9mm of the original. Samsung didn't offer a folded measurement but we expect at least a 2mm savings from the 15.5mm of the Fold given the decreased thickness and minimized gap when closed. It's still not pocket friendly compared to a traditional modern smartphone, but getting more manageable.
The screens both inside and out have been dramatically upgraded as well. On the exterior, what was a bizarrely narrow and heavily-bezeled 4.6-inch display is now a fairly modern-looking 6.2-inch Infinity-O display. The interior got a similarly stunning makeover with the elimination of the prominent notch on the upper-right side of the display in favor of an Infinity-O display that is now 7.6-inches in size, up from 7.3 inches. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 also joins the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra with support for a 120Hz refresh rate.
Samsung is promising all-day battery life and while the battery is now 4,500 mAh, up from 4,380, the larger screens and particularly that 120Hz mode sound like a bit of a battery nightmare, so we'll have to see how it fares in tests.
The Z Fold 2 uses a triple-camera array similar to that of the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, but the company wasn't ready to share the specific details just yet. Similarly, we didn't hear about the processor, RAM, storage and perhaps the most burning question that I suspect Samsung can't fix: pricing.
Samsung is holding another event to reveal all of the remaining details regarding the Galaxy Z Fold 2 on September 1, but for now, you can place a reservation for at Samsung.com.
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Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more. Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.