Samsung was not technically the first company to unveil a foldable phone, but the Galaxy Fold was the first device to show what could be foldable. And then we, the critics, broke them. After that, Samsung seemed to tighten its belt. He recognized his shortcomings, fixed the key elements of the fold design and followed with the impressive Galaxy Z Flip earlier this year. Now, amid a lot of turmoil, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is coming to 2.000 Galaxy — and that’s at least a bit ridiculous.
After all, it is an extravagant and expensive continuation of an uneasy first attempt. Many people can not buy this phone, and many others almost certainly do not need it. If nothing else, the Fold 2 offers a closer look at the future of our phones and what people need to expect once these devices become more affordable and mainstream. That’s because it’s the best foldable I’ve used yet, and Samsung deserves the credit for solving many of the problems that have affected the original. The thing to keep in mind, however, is that although the hardware is miles better than before, the ecosystem that surrounds it still has a long way to go.
In the US, the Z Fold 2 is available in a single configuration with 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of internal memory. What the Fold 2 lacks flexible storage options, but it tries to compensate with flair. The phone is available from AT & T, T-Mobile or Verizon in standard black and bronze finishes, but if you order one directly from Samsung, you can customize the color of your phone’s hinge. Red, blue, gold and silver are up for grabs just know that if you plan to pre-order a Fold 2 soon, choosing a custom hinge color may delay the arrival of the phone.
What you get, what you don’t get
The first Galaxy Fold was marketed as an embodied innovation, a taste of the technology of tomorrow if, when it is only available to wealthy people. This time, Samsung is looking more at the angle of luxury, but not always in the way you expect.
As part of the Fold 2’s” VIP ” experiment, you get access to service staff specially trained to handle the foldable and its quirks. Although certainly welcome, this is not new Samsung Samsung has extended the same courtesy to the owners of the original model. What’s new is the multitude of eye-catching benefits that accompany Fold 2’s estate, including Michelin-starred take-away meals through a service called Tock, a free golf party, a 50 toward credit for home hairdressing service (which seems like a terrible idea to me, but whatever), and a one-year membership to FoundersCard, which offers travel and lifestyle benefits for entrepreneurs and now for phone nerds.
The message here is clear: you are not just the owner of Fold 2. You are an important person. It’s a clever way for Samsung to justify the phone’s price tag, but most people would probably have preferred to get more goodies in the box. While the first fold came with a carbon fiber cover and a pair of Samsung Galaxy Buds matched AKG, this year’s model comes with… Charger. Oh, and one of those SIM removal tools. The rarity of the pack-ins here is a little surprising given Samsung’s earlier spreads. For what it’s worth, you can request a pair of wired AKG headphones, although it seems clear that Samsung hopes they won’t mind.
Despite Samsung’s best intentions, the first Galaxy Fold has left us with many questions about the viability of foldable phones. Even if you put the whole thing aside “do not remove this screen protector”, the fold still had problems. The original hinges had large enough spaces to leave dirt inside. Its large flexible screen was not very well protected. And our second review unit has developed a group of Dead Pixels. This year things are different.
The first Galaxy Fold was clunky anyway, and this year’s version is technically even clunkier. It’s a little wider and a little heavier than the original, and it still looks like a great remote when it’s closed, but the positive side is that it should be much more durable. The gaps on both sides of the hinge are thin, which should prevent dirt from getting inside. And there are tiny brushes in the two halves of the phone, so when you open fold 2, scrape along the outside of the hinge to move away from the peril zone. You can even hear them at work sometimes when you start to unfold the phone.
The hinge itself is also much tighter this time, to the point where you can press the 2 open fold onto a table like a pseudo laptop. Samsung calls this Flex mode, and I know what some of you are wondering: yes, you can type it like a laptop, but it’s not very nice, and yes, you can always open the Fold 2 with one hand. It’s just a lot harder this time, which if nothing else means I can’t treat this thing like a toy like I could with the old one. I wouldn’t recommend trying it unless you like the worrying feel of your miniature digging into the screen. Once opened, you will also notice that the small gaps at the top and bottom of the screen remain limited to prevent objects from slipping under the thin display layer.
All of this should help the Fold 2 work reliably, but we’ve had our revision unit for less than two weeks and can’t make any promises. Actually, you should always treat this thing with kid gloves. As last time, the Fold 2 does not have an IP rating for water or dust resistance, so they can not be as light as other phones. And while the internal screen was enriched with a layer of ultra-thin glass from Samsung, I still shuddered to think about what it would look like after an asphalt facade. Unfortunately, I cannot offer a permanent guarantee for the durability of the Fold 2, as we have had our revision unit for less than two weeks. (Don’t worry: we’ll keep you posted as we continue testing the thing.)