It’s been almost a year since Samsung announced the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and many flagship smartphones have arrived and wowed since then.
This foldable stood out, however, since it had a tall order to fulfill: to be more than just a gimmick, especially since its predecessor, the first Galaxy Fold, had its share of hinge issues.
So how does this year-old phone fare in 2021?
Design and specs
Specs-wise, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is still pretty impressive. It might not have the Snapdragon 888 chip that flagships of today tout, but the Snapdragon 865 chipset powering the foldable holds its own as a workhorse, especially with 12GB of RAM to back it up.
The most graphics-intensive games like Genshin Impact and Life is Strange run smoothly and lag-free. And multitasking is a piece of cake for this device, too. I didn’t encounter any snags while I was watching YouTube and browsing through social media at the same time.
Now let’s talk design. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 is one tall boy—opened, the 7.6-inch Super AMOLED display greets you, and closed, the device shrinks down to a 6.23-inch outer display. When opened, you can’t feel the folding part of the screen. The crease can be seen at certain angles, but it’s not bothersome. It’s a pretty heavy phone and surprisingly, the folded version isn’t as thick as I imagined.
Unlike the first Fold, this one does not have a gap by the hinge when folded. That was one of the problems with the earlier device as specks of dirt could easily get in between it, but this isn’t the case with the Galaxy Z Fold 2. The hinge feels sturdy, too; the device did not feel fragile while I was folding and unfolding it.
The Galaxy Z Fold 2 comes with a simpler camera array (compared to other Samsung flagships), which I like. We’ve got a 12MP wide, 12MP telephoto, and 12MP ultrawide setup, which might not sound as impressive compared to the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s 108MP rear cameras, but the Galaxy Z Fold 2 shoots high-quality photos and videos (up to UHD 60fps).
The folding gimmick serves a lot of functions while taking photos. For instance, you can split the screen to show your previously taken photos to compare shots. One of my favorite features, however, has to be being able to use the rear cameras for selfies. For this feature, I just had to use the camera app on the outer screen, tap on the Selfie icon on the top right corner, and unfold the phone. Then voila! High-quality selfies.
Time to get nitpicky about the image quality. While I was snapping photos of my puppy one morning, I tested the portrait mode to see how the blurring looks. The camera produced creamy, natural-looking bokeh, but I did notice that the blacks in the photo get very dark. It’s nothing a little tweaking of the highlights can’t fix.
I tried my best to treat the Galaxy Z Fold 2 like a smartphone and not some novelty piece of tech. I had to get used to the weird ratios while watching videos on YouTube and Netflix but I enjoyed watching my favorite shows on a bigger screen. The speakers are found on the left fold, which sometimes I accidentally covered.
In terms of battery life, the 4,500mAh battery of the foldable lasts about a day before needing a charge. And when it needed a fill, it took around two hours to get from 20 percent to 100, even with the 45W fast charger.
The fingerprint scanner is a hit or miss. Sometimes it would say fingerprint doesn’t match during first tries at unlocking. My pro tip, have facial recognition on, too, because it works better and faster.
Answering phone calls with the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is hilarious when it’s unfolded. You’ll be using every muscle in your hand to hold this square phone up to your ear single-handedly. Both screens also don’t have earpieces so you’ll be hearing the other person’s voice through the upper speaker grille.
The verdict: Are we foldable ready?
I imagined the different ways to use this phone in the wild (although it might not be as safe to do just anywhere since it will definitely catch eyes) but I feel like the Philippines isn’t at the point where more people will have foldables in their pockets yet.
That being said, I’m not stopping those who can shell out cash for this neat piece of tech—it’s worth it. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 has all the bells and whistles of a flagship device plus the foldable gimmick that’s just as functional as it is cool—even one year later.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 is available for P99,990 or for ₱8,333.25 for 12 months at 0% interest. To learn more, visit www.samsung.com/ph.