Sun. Sep 27th, 2020

From the moment I slid off the sleeve and opened the box, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 hasn’t disappointed. I’ve only spent a day with Samsung’s third foldable phone and sequel to the original Galaxy Fold, but already it’s delivered on its promise of demonstrating that a foldable phone isn’t just a $2,000 tech toy (£1,799 in the UK, which is about AU$3,270), but a device that has real-world value beyond a status symbol for wealthy technocrats.

Before we get into that, let me make one thing clear — this is not a device for the everyday user. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 is a niche, aspirational foldable phone that opens into a tablet. it isn’t water-resistant. It comes with a long list of care instructions, and when I gripped its 7.6-inch ultrathin screen to take a selfie using a special feature (more below), I worried my nails were clawing into the fragile glass. (It seems fine.)

But here’s why I’ll give the Z Fold 2 some leeway that I didn’t give to the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, which is a powerhouse phone I nevertheless find overpriced for what it is. The Z Fold 2 is a unique phone on the cutting edge of technology that addresses and overhauls every major Galaxy Fold flaw. If the Fold was a beta device, a blueprint for a risky product that could royally bust, the Z Fold 2 is just as radical in its attempt to realize the dream. It may not wind up proving that foldable phones should be mainstream, but from what I’ve seen in my short time with the device, it has demonstrated that foldable phones should at least be taken seriously.

The fact that the Z Fold 2 costs just about the same as the first Fold helps, even though there aren’t any other bundled goodies in the box (more at the end). On the one hand, a $2,000 luxury device feels out of place in the coronavirus pandemic and global recession. On the other hand, even if most people would never dream of buying it, it’s exciting to follow along.

Galaxy Z Fold 2 preorders are open now and the phone goes on sale Sept. 18. Read on for everything I love so far and all the specs, hands-on photos and more. Since this is a developing review, keep in mind that opinions are subject to change as the review period progresses.

Day 1: The 5 best Galaxy Z Fold 2 features

An external screen you can actually use. A larger, 6.2-inch display that takes up the entire outer screen looks great in closed position and makes the phone easier to use when you want to type quick replies one-handed or snap and immediately share a photo. I’ve already used it a lot this way in one day. Since the dimensions are tall and narrow, the keyboard is tiny, but it works.

Flexible hinge could be the killer feature. I’ll be the first to agree that screen technology literally makes or breaks a foldable phone, but for me, the Z Fold 2 is all about the hinge. Using carryover technology from the much smaller Galaxy Z Flip, the Z Fold 2 is stiff enough for the two sides to stay open at a variety of angles (Samsung calls this Flex Mode), which means it can prop itself while you take a video call, watch the screen hands-free or shoot photos. This was the most stellar part of the Z Flip and could very well be the Z Fold 2’s most valuable and identifying feature.

Read more: https://www.cnet.com/news/samsung-galaxy-z-fold-2-5-new-features-we-love-the-most-so-far/

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