* The photos in the article are cut according to the ratio of the screen inside and outside of Galaxy Z Fold2
“Never buy first generation products” is a piece of advice that people give to each other when choosing to buy technology items. This is indeed true for the Samsung Galaxy Fold, when this product has too many ‘gen 1’ errors, such as durability issues: the screen of the first batch of machines may be ‘stuck’ in and damaged. completely, the hinge part lacks rigidity; even the design is also criticized by users in many points.
Great start, arduous but not discouraged, this year Samsung continues to return to the design table and launch Galaxy Z Fold2 to improve the weaknesses of the first version. What is ‘cool’ about this smartphone, and what are other points that are still annoying? And an even more important question: who is it for?
Worthwhile upgrade points
Unlike traditional smartphones, folding screen smartphones are in the early stages, so with each generation we see great improvements. Or at least that’s the story of the Galaxy Z Fold2!
Speaking of folding smartphones, we have to talk about the mechanism to fold and open them. Since its launch, the Galaxy Fold is said to have the most complex hinge mechanism and is also the best when compared to its competitors at that time. But ‘best’ doesn’t mean it’s good enough, the mechanism does give a ‘freeze’ feel at some point, besides, when in the half-open position, the stiffness is not high, we can also ‘Flick back and forth’ like the image below:
The first generation Galaxy Fold with the hinge part is still loose when opened at a certain angle (source: Linus Tech Tips)
With the new generation, you will immediately feel the certainty of the first opening. We need a greater force to open and close the machine, and during the process there is always an equal drag, in other words increased ‘smoothness’. This hinge is sturdy enough for the Z Fold2 to be used in any position – the company calls Flex Mode, quite similar to a vertical folding smartphone. Galaxy Z Flip.
You can put the camera in the shape of a ‘tent’ like this and watch the movie on the external screen, although it makes me feel like I’m using a lot of today’s cutting-edge technology to do one thing possible. Made with a smartphone back support worth 50 thousand Dong!
When the device is half-folded on the internal screen, some applications also change to split the screen into two halves to do different tasks. As a photo capture application, the top half will preview photos, the bottom half has a shutter button as well as shows recently taken pictures. We can place the camera standing on a surface, set a timer to take pictures without having to ask others, I don’t do this because I’m afraid the camera will be ‘picked up’.
Z Fold2 has also combined 2 power buttons and fingerprint sensor into one, can be pressed down to turn on the screen and can unlock the screen. The fingerprint sensor is indeed very sensitive and placed in an easy-to-use position, so the time from when it comes to taking the device out of the pocket to being able to use the device is quite fast, including the time to open the screen.
Besides the hinge, the biggest upgrade of the Z Fold2 is in terms of display, both on the outside and inside the screen. Its external screen size increased from 4.6 inches to 6.23 inches, filling the extra gaps on the outside in the old version. The screen is still quite narrow horizontally so typing is still a bit difficult, but the other way of working is much easier.
The internal screen also has major upgrades, with the size increased from 6.9 inches to 7.6 inches, eliminating the large cut on the edge and only one Infinity-O cut to place the front camera selfie.
This cut point is larger than the cut off of the Note20 Ultra, but when placed in a large 7.6 inch screen, it is no longer large, just use a few days and we will not notice it anymore. If I designed the Z Fold2, I would move this cut off to a complete corner of the screen so as not to cut into any content (like the Galaxy S10 / S10 +), but doing so makes the camera too far from the photographer’s face. out of an unnatural perspective.
Like the Note20 Ultra and Tab S7 +, the Z Fold2’s internal display has a high 120Hz refresh rate. The 120Hz frequency upgrade not only makes the scrolling experience smoother, but also solves a pretty big problem in the Galaxy Fold screen that is the phenomenon of bent images (Jelly Effect). When scrolling the page quickly with the old Fold version, half of the screen will be updated before the other half, so the lines suddenly turn into curves, now with 2 times more images in 1 second, Z Fold2 has solved. almost completely determined this phenomenon.
The phenomenon of the screen being bent (Jelly) on the Galaxy Tab S5e that the first generation Galaxy Fold also encountered
In terms of general design, the Z Fold2 has many similarities with the Galaxy Note20 Ultra launched at the same time, while the first version of the Galaxy Fold resembles a ‘foldable Galaxy S’. Depending on the aesthetic eye of each person, this is an upgrade or ‘downgrade’ point, men will probably like it because it is stronger, more ‘entrepreneurial’.
The points are not so good
Containing in me many commendable perfection points, on the contrary, the Z Fold2 is also not a perfect device. One weak point we still have to accept when using a folding smartphone is that this machine is very thick, up to 16.8mm when folded, so when put in the pocket of the pants is still quite good. For those who like to wear tight jeans, maybe ‘forget’, it is more reasonable to put Z Fold2 in a bag or backpack. So thick, but the Z Fold2 still has a bulging rear camera cluster, not as thick as the Note20 Ultra, but enough to make the device ‘access to channel’ when placed on a flat table.
Not only thick, the Z Fold2 is heavy too! At 282g, this machine is heavier than the first version (263g) and even Note20 Ultra (208g). This makes it more difficult to use the camera with one hand, like taking pictures with the rear camera with an external monitor. However, Samsung has also done a good job balancing the weight of the machine on both sides, so when you open the screen, you can hold it in any position with an equal weight!
With its large size, the Z Fold2 can integrate 2 quite large speakers, when used at home I do not need to connect to Bluetooth speakers or headphones to watch movies and play games. But when rotating the device horizontally in either the external display mode or the internal screen, the user’s palm is very easy to block these two external speakers, leading to volume reduction or even complete loss of sound.
When reversing the camera, this problem will be solved, but now the left and right audio channels will be reversed. If Samsung adds a software update, which allows the device to detect which way the user is holding the camera to automatically reverse the speaker (like reversing the screen), it would be good.
The internal screen of the device has been used a new material called ‘ultra-thin glass’ instead of completely plastic as the previous version, which is expected to have better durability in the long run. However, on top of this glass are two different layers of plastic, one layer below the rim and cannot be peeled off, and another layer above. I am not happy that the protective layer above is cut out in a U shape on the selfie camera, instead of cutting 1 in the same circle shape like the one used on the Note20 Ultra.
Along with that, this plastic will give a different feel to the use of Gorilla Victus on the outside, to be more ‘hissed’, seemingly undermining the premium experience of a line-up price. 50 million Dong. As you can see in the photo above, the clear screen is also very easy to dirty, fingerprints of the user and requires regular cleaning.
Hardware weaknesses after using for a while, we will get used to it, but for me the biggest problem of Z Fold2, and also what determines the success or failure of folding screen smartphones is ability. Software optimization to accommodate new screen sizes / ratios.
Lightroom Mobile’s default interface is on the home screen and when closed for use on the external monitor
When used in the opposite way, it’s much better!
As a person who often takes pictures with a camera and then transfers to a smartphone for editing, I have to ‘be silly’ when the interface of Lightroom Mobile software when used with the internal screen only sees the control bar, and the image is being I adjusted it a little bit, I couldn’t see what I did with it.
When using App continuity to use this software on the external display, we can no longer see the image! But doing the opposite means that when opening Lightroom Mobile from the external screen and then opening the device, both interfaces are ‘correct’, we just see both the image and the controls.
Interface Facebook, Instagram and Reddit on Z Fold2
Social networking applications such as Facebook, Instagram or Reddit will display content like a vertical screen smartphone, just a horizontal ‘raft’ on the Z Fold2. This means that despite having a large screen up to 7.6 inches, the Z Fold2 can display no more content vertically than Note20 Ultra.
The screen is big but the Z Fold2 doesn’t show more content than the Note20 Ultra, it’s just that everything is made bigger!
In the settings, we also find a feature to solve this problem, which allows the app to recognize the Z Fold2 as a tablet to display the interface under multiple tabs instead of just a enlarged version of the smartphone.
Smaller zoom adjustment to make the app look like a tablet (with multiple independent tabs)
The applications that have the biggest change are the default device applications (messages, calls …) and Google applications. Like Youtube for example, instead of showing only 1 video row, we have 2 rows, the interface while playing the video is similar to the computer, we can watch the video and watch the comments easily.
Youtube and Snapseed take advantage of the big screen interface
So what about the gaming experience on Z Fold2? For light arcade games like Sudoku, Doodle Jump or BBtan, the fact that the device has a different screen ratio is not an important issue, some games will not have elements on both sides, some will enlarge only up.
But with online games like MOBA or FPS shooter that need constant interaction, Z Fold2 handles a bit ‘cumbersome’. Like Lien Quan Mobile, the game interface will be cut off on both sides, causing a disadvantage because the vision has already narrowed. The large internal screen also makes the controls more distant from each other, so the operation is also noticeably slow. If you spend a lot of time playing MOBA and FPS games on your smartphone, Note20 Ultra will definitely be a much better choice than the Z Fold2.
Game experience on Z Fold2 stretches from wonderful, temporary and unplayable!
The fact that I do not play heavy online games on the Z Fold2 is also one reason why the battery life of this machine is still very good despite having a 4500mAh battery that has to ‘carry’ a large 7.6 inch internal refresh rate. 120Hz and top processor Snapdragon 865+. The machine always has screen-on time from 5 hours 45 minutes – 6 hours before having to plug in the charger, for me it is more than enough for 1 day. I lost one or the other, did not play games, so I used the device for a longer time, and also focused on studying and working rather than sitting ‘plowing rank’ for hours.
Rich people don’t play games?
After the first excitement of experiencing a new and unique device, use it more and more Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 I feel that this is not the product for me. I consider myself a pragmatist, like simple things that only have one function and do well in that function, the Z Fold2 is not such a thing. As a smartphone, it is quite large and bulky, difficult to play online MOBA and FPS games; As a tablet, the Z Fold2 has an internal screen size not as large and the application system is not fully optimized.
If suddenly a 50 million Dong suddenly ‘falls in the head’, instead of buying the Galaxy Z Fold2 we can choose one of the 2 smartphone and tablet combos: Note20 Ultra 5G and Galaxy Tab S7 (47 million VND) or iPhone 11 Pro Max (64GB) and iPad Pro 2020 (Wifi 128GB) for Apple fans. I would personally buy one Oneplus 8 Pro 5G and spend 25 million VND to buy a mid / high-end laptop to do other things.
But once you have to weigh and measure performance issues on the price, you certainly know that the Galaxy Z Fold2 is not for you. This is a device for high-income earners who are willing to pay for unique and ‘different’ devices that will use it for work rather than entertainment; And perhaps those who are more dedicated to work than playing games have money to buy real Z Fold2!
One thing we must confirm is that those who have the opportunity to own the Galaxy Z Fold2 will receive a more complete device (a lot of design, durability and a bit of software) than the Galaxy Fold version. first generation.