Samsung galaxy z fold 2 review

Samsung’s cutting-edge phone-tablet hybrid is not just a proof of concept, standing the demo of time and proving the case for folding-screen devices in our near future. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
Samsung’s cutting-edge phone-tablet hybrid is not just a proof of concept, standing the demo of time & proving the case for folding-screen devices in our near future. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Are phones that unfold into tablets really the future of mobiles? & is flexible screen technology really ready for prime time? I spent four months with the £1,800 Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 khổng lồ find out.

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The second iteration of Samsung’s điện thoại cảm ứng thông minh that unfolds into a tablet was impressive on first inspection, reinventing what it meant to lớn be a premium, cutting-edge device.

But as with any piece of brand-new technology, particularly those that involve delicate moving parts, durability is a worry.

After four months of folding & unfolding it about 30 times a day, I can report that the screen is still pristine và everything still works as well as it did fresh out of the box. But I’ve also learned more about what works & what doesn’t, & how Covid-19 has changed the way I use devices.

The screen


There’s still something quite magical about having an uninterrupted screen that simply folds in half. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The GuardianThe screen has survived four months of use without a scratch, despite being made of softer, potentially scratch-prone material. I didn’t leave it open on a table in the same way I might a tablet, as shutting it away felt satisfying và natural. Closed, it is fully protected on a table or in your pocket. The lips around the edge of the screen prevent any ingress of dirt or fluff, despite the USB-C port attracting the usual pocket lint just like any other phone.

The internal screen is a fingerprint magnet và requires frequent cleaning. That’s because unlike the screen on the outside of the Z Fold 2 or that on a regular smartphone, the internal display isn’t constantly being cleaned the fabric of a pocket or similar. A quick buff-up with a lens cloth was enough lớn restore the tablet screen’s pristine look.


The crease remained the same: it’s visible when the screen is off or when viewing dark content with overhead glare from lights, but was easily forgotten even when touched with your thumb. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The GuardianApart from Samsung’s & a few third-party apps, not many have a full tablet-sized interface on the internal screen when held in portrait. However, many more websites and apps do resize properly lớn the big screen when the device is held in landscape. That’s because the screen is taller than it is wide. When flipping it on its side, many apps and sites, including the Guardian, recognise the width as being beyond phone-size và give you a larger display meant for a tablet or laptop.

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General use


With the device closed it works just lượt thích a regular phone. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The GuardianI used the Fold 2 as a standard phone with the big screen closed more often than expected. The outside screen is large enough khổng lồ get most phone things done, from messaging people khổng lồ checking my abysmal Fantasy Premier League performance. I often started searches on the outside screen & then opened up the Fold 2 to see an image or bản đồ on the inside screen.

But using it closed highlighted an issue with the fingerprint scanner. It is small và suffers more from getting dirt và grease on both it and your fingers than larger sensors. I often had to lớn clean it with my jumper for it khổng lồ recognise my thumb. The issue is compounded by the fact you cannot register a fingerprint when the main screen is closed, only when it is open. Given that I almost always unlock the device before opening it, I have to try lớn guess roughly where my finger would naturally land when registering it. Recording my thumbprint twice helped, but the fingerprint sensor is a weak point of the phone.


Keep the fingerprint scanner clean & it works a treat, but frequent alcohol hand gel applications và grease quickly gummed it up. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The GuardianThe continuing Covid-19 pandemic is also changing the way I use devices. Being stuck at home means I open the internal screen less, primarily because there are larger screens in the khung of tablets, laptops và TVs always within reach. Even though foldable devices are clearly the future, the two-in-one benefit of the Z Fold 2 is somewhat lost at the moment.

Frequent but careful cleaning of the device with Dettol wipes has yet lớn cause an issue, despite the lack of water resistance. You need a good, strong car mount lớn hold it on a dashboard; the phone’s 282g weight will be too much for some.

Using two apps side-by-side on the internal screen proved to be useful for chats và watching the football scores, but less so for watching đoạn phim as the picture was just too small. The battery holds up well, comfortably still outlasting the day. Samsung recently released One UI 3 (Android 11) for it, which is good.

All in all, after four months, the novelty of the Z Fold 2 has yet to lớn wear off. It still feels lượt thích an incredibly special device, as it should when it costs £1,800, but one you can easily live with day khổng lồ day & use to its full extent.

Nothing else quite has the wow factor. I’m not saying everyone should buy one – this is a device purely for the well heeled – but if you do, you’ll be richly rewarded. & for the rest of us, it proves that devices lượt thích the Z Fold 2, which can fill more than one role and still fit in your pocket, can and will be in our futures once the price comes down lớn more acceptable levels.


Fluff might collect in the USB-C port like a regular smartphone, but nothing got stuck in between the two halves of the screen. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

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