Living With the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G
By Banu Athuraliya
Foldable phones have slowly started coming out to the market and people are now getting used to the foldable phone concept. Samsung's giving it another attempt with the smartphone/tablet two in one concept with a foldable phone again this time calling it the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G which is now available in Sri Lanka. I have been using this phone for over two months now and in that time; I really enjoyed this device from the way it looks and the overall user experience.
Samsung came out with the Galaxy Fold last year but it wasn't that well-received due to many of the downfalls. However, with the boost Samsung got with the successful Galaxy Z Flip foldable smartphone, which is a foldable phone you can shrink down in size, Samsung came out with the Z Fold 2 addressing most of the issues of the First-generation Galaxy Fold making it the biggest and most premium foldable smartphone they have made yet.
I like that the Galaxy Z Fold 2 looks a lot like the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra from the back. The Mystic Bronze colour with the matte glass finish gives it an executive look. The Z Fold 2 5G has a 6.2-inch outer screen and inside it packs a 7.6-inch inner display. The hinge mechanism is very sturdy this time and didn't give me any issues in the time I used this phone as my daily driver smartphone. It opens and closes smoothly with ease and this phone is a real looker because if you use it outdoors, it is guaranteed someone will come and ask you ‘What phone are you using?’ if you fold the phone in front of them!
It feels so great to expand the phone size display to be a little tablet, which is great to watch YouTube videos. It's also great to browse the web with a desktop-level experience and be more creative and adventurous. In those times you want a simpler experience like make a call, the outer screen is readily available for that and the inner screen works so smoothly thanks to the 120Hz refresh rate available on the Z Fold 2. I like that the external screen is also very much usable this time as a real phone. Samsung has made the Z Fold 2 in a way you get a different experience with the UI on the outer screen and inside the screen. I have a tablet-like setup on the inside with apps that are good with a big screen but on the outer screen, I have it very simply with things like phone, WhatsApp, and camera that I can easily access anytime with a click!
Apps also seamlessly switch from mobile mode to tablet mode when expanded which I found to be very useful. For example, if you are searching for a place on Google maps on the outer smaller screen and want to get a better look at the map, you can expand the screen by unfolding the phone and this will open the same map but in a bigger view so you can get a better look around. The same goes with YouTube videos too which will enable you to switch from a mobile view to a mobile desktop-like view with the video on the left and suggested videos on the right with the comments at the bottom.
There's more you can do with the foldable form factor because you can keep the Z Fold 2 half folded on a table and use the bottom part as a keyboard too to type messages like a laptop. Thanks to the big inner display, this might be practical for some even though I personally didn't use it in this orientation much.
Talking about the camera, I enjoyed the Camera Experience on the Z Fold 2 5G too, mainly because the experience is very much like a flagship and let me not forget the ability to take selfies from the rear camera. I used it so much in the time I used it to capture some stunning pictures. The overall camera experience otherwise is really similar in my testing to that of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra except for some minor areas. Another major plus for the Z Fold 2 is the ability to take some photos without a tripod. You can just simply set a timer, leave your phone on top of a table, set the desired angle, and viola, any photo can be captured easily! I used this technique to not only capture photos and videos but also time-lapse shots which are called Hyperlapse on Samsung phones. I'm happy to report that even after 20+ hours of non-stop recording while plugged into the charger, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 was able to put out some amazing time-lapse videos without getting too warm to the touch, which I will have on my YouTube channel if you're interested to check them out at www.youtube.com/androdollar on my in-detail video review of the Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G.
Battery life on the Z Fold 2 5G was ok most of the time. I had to plug it to charge for sure at the end of a busy day but thanks to super-fast wired and wireless charging it made my life so much easier. Battery drained if I used the bigger inner display for heavy tasks like playing COD mobile for an extended period or to shoot 4K videos, but it wasn't bad.
Having USB C at the bottom and having some of the same features from the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra made the Software experience of this foldable phone quite familiar in day-to-day activities. I was also using the Note 20 Ultra as a secondary phone in this period and in that time, there were a few times I thought how amazing it would be to be able to use the Z Fold with an S-Pen too.
One thing I didn't enjoy in the time I used the Z Fold 2 is that I have to be very careful when I take this phone out to places with water. I'm so used to taking flagship phones anywhere, even to the pool without thinking twice due to the water resistance but with this even when it is raining outside, I have to be a bit more careful just in case. The folding parts and the hinge parts make it difficult for this phone to be water-resistant, but I can't wait for that day to arrive. I hope it is as soon as next year with the Z Fold 3 or Z Flip 2. Only time will tell. If the Z Fold 2 5G was water-resistant, I would have been more adventurous with this phone without any fear in certain situations.
Another reason you have to be a bit more careful with the Z Fold 2 is because of its price because it doesn't come cheap. It is officially sold in Sri Lanka for Rs 399,999. However, customers who buy the Z Fold 2 5G will also avail of a One-time screen replacement offer which I think is a pretty sweet deal. Yes, this is not a phone for everyone because of the high price, but if you're looking for a new smartphone experience, and if you want to stand out from the crowd, this is the phone you must try! If you use this for a couple of days, it will be a bit difficult to use other phones with all the options you get used to on this! After all the phones, I personally used in 2020, I'm not hesitant to call the Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G my most favourite smartphone of 2020. Stay tuned for my full review of the Galaxy Z Fold 2 coming soon to my channel at www.youtube.com/androdollar and if you have any questions, you can find me on social media @androdollar. The choice of whether you should pay that much for a unique foldable phone is yours to decide!