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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 in the test: A high price – in two respects

Last updated on March 9, 2021

Is it working better now? The Galaxy Z Fold 2 succeeds Samsung's first folding smartphone, which struggled with some initial difficulties. The test of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 clarifies what has changed besides the name and whether you should pay the high price of almost 2,000 euros.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 in the test: conclusion

Samsung has done its homework: The Galaxy Z Fold 2 presents itself as a clever further development that consistently eliminates the many smaller and larger defects of the predecessor. This includes, above all, the larger cover display, the elimination of the asymmetrical and annoying notch on the folding screen and a refined design that looks more valuable and no longer gives the impression of a prototype. Top-level performance, the buttery soft 120 Hz display and excellent cameras are the icing on the cake.

Despite the various improvements, Samsung's latest folding smartphone does not provide an answer to the simple question: “Why?” The Galaxy Z Fold 2 also looks like the solution to a problem that 99 percent of users do not have. The combination of smartphone and tablet may sound tempting in theory, but in practice the price for such a combination device is high – in two respects. With an MSRP of 1,950 euros, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is anything but a bargain. Due to the heavy weight and bulky housing, it is not a particularly comfortable smartphone, the lack of tablet apps and the mini-screen also ensure that it does not cut a particularly good figure as a tablet.
So should you buy a Galaxy Z Fold 2? Anyone who can live with all these restrictions, has around 2,000 euros lying around and wants to experience first hand how the category of foldable smartphones is growing and prospering can easily access it. Everyone else, on the other hand, is still waiting before Samsung has perfected the formula in the third or fourth generation.

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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 in the test: We liked that a lot

  • Higher quality processed than its predecessor
  • Improved hinge
  • Cover display bigger
  • 120 Hz mode on the folding screen
  • Removed asymmetrical notch
  • Top level performance
  • Excellent cameras

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 in the test: We didn't think that was so great

  • Heavy and bulky case
  • Display errors in apps
  • Few tablet apps available
  • Screen protector sticks quickly
  • Black bars in widescreen movies and videos
  • No IP certification
  • Memory halved compared to its predecessor
  • Screen small for a tablet
  • Fingerprint sensor in the power button could be more reliable
  • Expensive

Note : Due to the extraordinary nature of the Galaxy Z Fold 2, both in terms of shape and price, GIGA does not use the classic scoring.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 in the test: Improved in every corner

It's hard to find even a small corner on the Galaxy Z Fold 2 that Samsung has not improved compared to its predecessor. The folding cell phone has become thinner and also smaller. But it still feels clunky, like two smartphones stacked on top of each other. The quality of workmanship has also increased; the Galaxy Z Fold 2 looks much higher quality than the first generation.

Above all, Samsung has improved the hinge, which is now more solid and enables stepless angles. With the so-called “Flex Mode” there is even software support that adjusts the user interface accordingly. When the Galaxy Fold Z Fold lies on the table like a mini notebook, the YouTube app, for example, shows the video window at the top and the comments at the bottom. Most apps don't support this mode, however.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 in the test: Achilles heel software

The software support is anyway the biggest Achilles heel of the Galaxy Z Fold 2. The test not only showed display problems with individual apps, even popular services like Instagram were not immune to them. Some applications also repeatedly jumped from portrait to widescreen format and vice versa. Apparently, some apps don't know what the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is: a smartphone or a tablet? Multitasking with two apps side by side worked well, but was only moderately fun due to the small width of the screen. And the Galaxy Z Fold 2 also suffers from the well-known problem that there are hardly any tablet-optimized apps on Android. Android 10 including Samsung's One UI serves as the software basis.

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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 in the test: Both screens have grown

On the other hand, the screens were more fun. The folding display on the inside has grown slightly to 7.6 inches. But that's still a bit too small for a tablet. More important than the plus on the display diagonal, however, is the 120 Hz mode, which means that all content is displayed as smoothly as possible. The fact that Samsung does without the asymmetrical notch and instead installs a discreet camera hole is an additional icing on the cake. Thanks to Ultra Thin Glass (UTG), the screen now feels almost like a classic smartphone, as long as you remove the sticky screen protector. The crease in the middle can of course still be seen, but that is in the nature of things with a folding smartphone. As with the predecessor, the "kink" is no longer noticeable after half a day at the latest. Surfing, gaming, reading e-books – everything is more fun on a large display. With films and videos in 16: 9 or even 21: 9, the cinema format, however, you have to live with large black bars above and below. The stereo speakers produce a good sound, but they warp at maximum volume.

The cover display on the front has grown significantly to 6.23 inches and extends almost over the entire front. With this, Samsung eliminates one of the biggest shortcomings of its predecessor. Now you can use the folding mobile phone a little longer on the front screen without getting hand cramps. However, due to the narrow screen width, it is still not really comfortable. And: unfortunately there is no 120 Hz here. Too bad.

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Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 2 in the video:

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 in the test: performance, camera and battery life without defects

Samsung has installed the Snapdragon 865 Plus and a full 12 GB of RAM under the hood. The performance of the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is beyond any doubt: Even complex 3D games or fully exhausted multitasking with several apps and windows don't make the smartphone sweat. 256 GB of internal memory are available for user data, there is no memory expansion. However, compared to its predecessor, Samsung has halved the memory.

When it comes to the cameras, Samsung did nothing and installed a quadruple notch with a maximum of 12 MP and several focal lengths. In good lighting conditions, the results are on par with the Galaxy 20, but it is not enough for the absolute top in smartphone photography. However, that is likely to be a minor matter with a folding smartphone.

There were no surprises in terms of battery life. The 4,500 mAh energy cell brought us safely through the day even with heavy use, and with light use it was also possible for 1.5 days. Fast charging, both wired and wireless, are also part of the game, as is reverse wireless charging. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 can also be used as a wireless charging station for other devices.

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