Hands-On, Smartphone

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 Hands-On: More Polished, Slightly More Affordable

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 is the Korean company’s latest and most refined foldable smartphone to date. Not only does it look far sleeker now, it also feels a lot more robust and polished; all while managing to be more affordable than its predecessor.

However, retailing at RM7,999 in Malaysia, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is still a very costly smartphone. While it is easily one of the best foldable phones you can get now, you’d have to be willing to part with a huge sum of money for the experience. But then again, using such a unique smartphone is really quite the experience.

First, let’s talk about the folding mechanism of the Galaxy Z Fold 2. Compared to the original Fold, this new hinge feels far more robust. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that the previous model had a bad hinge; the Z Fold 2’s folding mechanism simply feels a lot more reassuring.

Speaking of which, the new display of the Z Fold 2 is worth a mention too. The first Fold featured a polymer screen – it’s essentially plastic – but that changes with this latest iteration. Instead of a completely plastic display, the Z Fold 2’s screen uses Samsung’s Ultra Thin Glass (UTG). I can’t say for sure if the UTG makes the display more durable, but the panel itself does feel more rigid.

That being said, you won’t actually physically touch the glass screen; there is still a plastic protective layer on top of it. Basically, the display will pick up dings and scratches like any other plastic screen protector, unfortunately enough.

Nonetheless, let’s move on to the Galaxy Z Fold 2’s screen quality, which is excellent. It’s a bigger 7.6-inch 2208 x 1768 Dynamic AMOLED 2X display now with a fast 120Hz refresh rate. So not only does this screen look fantastic with vibrant colours, wide viewing angles, and deep blacks, every single motion on this display looks absolutely fluid as well, thanks to the high refresh rate.

It’s also worth noting that the Z Fold 2 no longer has the weird cutout on the primary screen for the front-facing camera. Now, there’s only a single hole-punch cutout for the 10MP f/2.2 selfie shooter, which looks a lot cleaner and more pleasing to the eyes.

Another hardware that looks better now is the cover screen of the Galaxy Z Fold 2; it is no longer a tiny display. Upsized to a much more usable 6.2-inch 2260 x 816 Super AMOLED panel that covers almost the entire front of the phone, there’s much more screen real estate to work with. There is also a 10MP f/2.2 selfie camera in the hole-punch cutout of the display.

Even though the Z Fold 2’s cover screen is a lot bigger now, it can still be quite cumbersome to use with its tall and narrow 25:9 aspect ratio. This makes it difficult to reach for the top of the display, and it’s too narrow to comfortably type a message with two hands. If it’s any consolation, at least the screen looks great.

In the performance department, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is powered by a flagship-tier Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ chipset paired with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Needless to say, the phone feels very fast and zippy with this processor under the hood. As an added bonus, this SoC comes with 5G support as well, which will come in handy once 5G networks are widely available here.

Last but certainly not least is the camera performance of the Z Fold 2. It features a triple camera system made up of a 12MP f/1.8 primary sensor, a 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide angle lens, and a 12MP f/2.4 telephoto shooter. Not quite as sophisticated as the S20 Ultra or Note 20 Ultra‘s 108MP camera configuration, but still good enough to capture good-looking shots.

I briefly tested the foldable phone’s camera performance, and it does feel quite capable. The camera feels responsive, detail preservation is good, and the autofocus speed is (as usual) very quick and accurate. We’ve come to expect excellent camera performance out of Samsung’s flagship smartphones, and the Z Fold 2 certainly doesn’t disappoint.

But it’s worth noting that I only shot with this phone under great lighting conditions; it remains to be seen just how well the Z Fold 2 would perform in darker environments. However, as I’ve mentioned, Samsung usually delivers very good camera performance, so I reckon this foldable phone will be able to take flattering low light shots just fine.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 is an impressive smartphone that will definitely turn heads when you unfold it. It’s also a lot more refined than its predecessor with a more robust hinge, a glass screen – even if it’s covered by a plastic protective layer – and a far sleeker design. But all of these cost a whopping RM7,999; that’s a lot of money for a smartphone.

There’s no denying the unique factor of the Galaxy Z Fold 2, but you’ll be paying a premium just for the foldable nature of the phone. If that’s really what you want, then perhaps it’s worth the price of entry – that’s the RM7,999 question you have to ask yourself.