My last experience with a foldable phone was the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, and I quite enjoyed it, albeit its oddly long shape.
Of course, that was so that it could be both foldable and functional.
While I never had the chance to review Samsung’s earlier attempts at foldable phones, from what I could gather of other people’s reviews, the Z Flip was definitely the best of its attempts thus far.
With the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2, however, I’m confident that the Z Flip has been dethroned.
I’ve spent about 3 weeks with the Z Fold 2 by now, and I must say that it’s an incredibly enjoyable phone to use.
I’m really trying to hold in my praise here, but after all this time, I’m still not bored by what it has to offer.
For this phone, I suppose it’s only right that I first mention its foldable nature.
The Function Of Its Foldability
Its hinges are firm, but at anything more than a 120-degree angle, the Z Fold 2 couldn’t stay flat on a surface.
Because each half of its screen was so heavy (the one with the camera is heavier), it just would topple over with a slight touch.
If you fold it slightly with the camera side as the base, it’s more stable.
This made it less useful when I wanted to be hands-free, but I rarely found myself needing to use the phone that way, anyway.
I preferred holding the phone, but that came with its own little challenges too.
The phone weighs over 280g, significantly heavier than your average smartphone.
Holding it when it’s folded is fine, as its 6.2-inch cover screen is long but narrow, and thus fits in my hand nicely.
However, when unfolded, it would get tricky to hold the heavy phone (or mini-tablet, really) with its 5-inch wide screen for an extended period of time.
Without a phone cover, there’s just not enough friction to keep it from slipping after a while, so even holding it up gets tiring sooner or later.
Screen & Performance
Like most current-generation Samsung smartphones, this one comes with a great AMOLED display too, but its 120Hz capability is only available on the main screen.
Nonetheless, I extremely enjoyed gameplay on this phone, if only because of its size as a mini-tablet.
It’s powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+, and as expected, it held up really well for my usage.
I’ve been playing several games on it, most notably Genshin Impact, and after this experience, I can’t imagine playing the game on any screen that’s smaller than the unfolded Z Fold 2’s.
One thing that I noted was that the area by the camera would somehow heat up after an hour or two of straight gaming, which I usually took as a sign to take a break.
Video-watching is just as enjoyable, and I experienced no lag in what I was seeing versus what I was hearing.
The difficulty of holding up the unfolded phone for an extended period of time still applied though, but despite that, it was fun to use.
Your Standard Phone Audio
I don’t feel like loudspeaker audio is ever really that great regardless of what smartphone you have, and I felt this way for the Z Fold 2 as well.
I’ve got no complaints about how it sounds or its volume capacity, but if you’re expecting it to sound like an actual speaker, you’re going to be disappointed.
It’s all about managing your expectations wisely.
The phone lasts for at least 1.5 days if I have it a quarter brightness and game for about 4+ hours on it per day.
By lasts, I don’t mean it’s drained by that duration, but it’s probably left with around 20% of its juice.
It operates by the usual standards of Samsung’s 4,500mAh phones, so if you already own one with such a battery, you won’t be surprised or disappointed by how this one works.
Once Again, Average Cameras
To be honest, the cameras on this phone don’t shine. They’re painfully average, considering the price you’d pay for the Z Fold 2, which is RM7,999.
So far, I’ve yet to be blown away by any of Samsung’s cameras for someone who uses them like a regular person would (I mean, who else but a creep would need the 100x zoom like on the S20 Ultra?).
For objects that are more distant, the camera struggles to make them look as crisp as the eye would perceive them, but it functions fairly decently for more close-up shots.
One thing that was pretty cool was how you could project what the camera is seeing onto the cover screen, which means the subject you’re shooting will be able to preview what they look like before the photo is taken.
However, with its size and rather awkward shape to hold, I can’t see myself using this phone much for photo-taking, anyway.
The Galaxy Z Fold 2 is a pleasure to use, especially since I’ve grown so attached to it for my gaming needs.
Its mini-tablet size is perfect for you to get a great view of your game without being too big of a screen.
Being the bigger phone compared to the Z Flip and the first version of the Fold, it also offers a better experience of split-screen multitasking, though of course not as good as an actual tablet like the Tab S7 would allow.
One thing that felt like it was missing from a phone this big was actually a S Pen stylus. Having a screen this big but no stylus to draw on it was just wrong.
Thankfully though, Samsung has hinted that an upcoming version of the Z Fold series would be able to support the S Pen.
As good the Z Fold 2 is, however, I just cannot justify its price tag.
Its capabilities are little to no different than Samsung’s other flagship, high-end spec phones; its main difference is what its foldable nature allows it to do.
At the end of the day, unless you’re looking for a phone that’s more fun than function (or just to show-off, nothing wrong with that), I don’t think the Z Fold 2 would be a mass-friendly phone.
And one last thing, if you do buy it anyway, I’d really recommend a phone cover so as not to scratch either the cover screen or the camera.
|Large screen mimics a mini-tablet||Features and functions do not fully justify high price tag|
|Great display and performance makes gaming a joy||Phone is heavy|
- You can read more of our VP Verdict series here.
VP Verdict is a series where we personally try and test out products, services, fads, and apps. Want to suggest something else for us to try? Leave a comment here or send the suggestion into our Facebook page.