Galaxy Z Fold 2 Review: Fun You Shouldn’t Buy

by birtanpublished on October 2, 2020

My expectations were pretty low after using the surface duo and using the galaxy z fold 2 actually surprised me in a lot of ways there were a lot of things i ended up liking about the device that i was not anticipating and i dare say it's even changed my mind a little bit on foldables there's certain things that i haven't been convinced of but overall that's the singular word i would use to describe the z full two it's fun and i want to talk more about it let's begin so yeah i've been pretty doubtful on foldables in the past i've been negative

Towards them saying that i don't really see the point and i should probably preface this review from the beginning by saying that i think there's two different ways to look at the z full two on one hand you can look at it as a product today and say whether or not the price warrants the extra features you get out of it and then you can talk about the future of foldables in general i see everyone kind of touching on both parties where on one hand we look at what it's become today and we say okay

Kind of expensive and maybe not worth it but in the future maybe this will become more worth it or in the future the prices will get better or the features will get better and the hardware overall in time will get much much better which is why products that necessarily don't feel like a good deal today might eventually become the next generation so i'm going to start off today's video just by talking about the product itself and we'll save the future talk of this is where foldables could be

Someday we'll save that for later okay let's just talk about the z-fold two as it stands coming out at the end of 2020. and also keep in mind guys this is samsung's third foldable they've released okay we're coming up on the second maybe third year of foldables now that the z full two is going to be competing in so i think we have to die down a little bit on the use of the it's a beta product or it's a prototype it's the early first generation stage not really anymore guys it had its first generation prototype product that

Did you know that kind of fell apart for a lot of people and then they had their z flip which some would argue is an entirely different thing but i still class it as part of the z series because as we all know when we look at the shape of the z fold we all see the same letter z right it's z for sure good naming samsung that makes a whole lot of sense and all that to say that i think samsung has made some pretty decent hardware here the materials feel premium the device

Doesn't feel too cheap with the hinge it feels very rigid and it's able to hold on its own when you want to use it in laptop mode or whatever for some reason you want to watch youtube videos with giant black bars on the side you can do that to build quality of it feels nice and it is absolutely riddled with cameras which is awesome three cameras on the back one camera on the inside and then another camera on the front so surface duo one camera galaxy z full two five cameras to choose from and the

Cameras aren't amazing i should also preface that they're not like the same flagship kind of cameras you would see on something like the s20 i know they say they're the same cameras as the note 20 but just compression wise and especially with the telephoto i noticed them just not being quite as crisp as something you would get out of a pixel or an iphone but still fairly good cameras nonetheless i'm not saying they're bad they're just not you know top tier and this is a 2 000 product but thankfully on the interior display we

Actually have 120 hertz and it looks so smooth it looks so buttery i love using the internal display the full size keyboard is nice you know using it in the folded up position i cannot find a lot of use cases for i get that this is just for immediate use you know you just want to check a notification real quick or do some light scrolling but as soon as the keyboard pops up in this configuration i i i it drives me nuts i cannot stand typing on a keyboard that incredibly narrow that pretty much

You can use this display for things that don't involve typing okay and even then it's very smooshed the text doesn't look very good it's only 60 hertz on the outside so can't really say this is an enjoyable experience especially considering you're basically holding two phones because of how thick and clunky it is and the hinge also is very lopsided when using it in this configuration but i barely used it in folded up mode to be honest i was always unfolding this thing and using the interior display which is

Great very rich colors a very bright display and also apps did not crash on me happy to say that the snapdragon 865 has been somewhat reliable apps open quick i can take pictures and videos very quickly and games run fairly decently and it comes with 256 gigs of storage by default which is awesome and also the speakers on this thing are really really impressive as well when watching youtube videos i could get quite a whole lot of sound out of this thing which you should

Obviously expect from a product of this price point of course 5g modems if you care about that type of thing the biometrics were a little clunky i mean i think fingerprint reader built into the power button is all right you know it's kind of awkward when the phone is kind of like two phones taped together on the side so you kind of have to feel for it a little bit differently than a typical touch id power button where you don't have many sides of steel to compete with whereas this one you kind of kind of find the right spot

And obviously i would much rather have in-display touch id or face id would be much more reliable and faster but it gets the job done it's pretty fast and responsive which i appreciate and the camera bump on the back is a little clunky so you're gonna get a lot of wobbling if you drop this thing on a desk and it does support wireless charging but of course when you're using this thing unfolded it's kind of awkward to try to charge that wirelessly though you can do

It obviously i think you're meant to wirelessly charge it when it's folded up which i did do quite a bit though i must say that the glass they chose for a lot of the z-fold ii is very very fingerprinty and i noticed it a lot on the back i just cleaned this thing like a couple minutes ago and it's already collected all the oils and fingerprints off of my hand and you kind of notice the same thing with the internal display and this is where i start to get into some of my drawbacks obviously when you're buying such a

Innovative and next-generation product like the z-fold 2 you're gonna have to deal with some compromises and the glass thing on the back i feel like they could have fixed you know they could have made this a matte finish so it doesn't collect fingerprints as much but with the internal display i mean if you want to make a foldable like this there's really not too much you can do in the first place so having this plastic display that is again covered with a screen protector that samsung asks you not to remove some youtubers online have decided to

Remove it for themselves but i don't trust myself and i don't want samsung getting mad at me so if the company is telling you not to remove it then i take their word for it and i have not removed the screen protector but the truth is that's how samsung expects you to use the product and because of that it's actually pretty hard to clean you can't exactly just wipe it off like a glass phone and get back to you know near perfect conditions whereas this even if i wipe it off you're still going to get a lot of smudges and a lot of spots

And it's very hard to ignore and the plasticky feel of that screen protector is kind of sticky compared to what you would experience with most tablets and of course the crease i noticed quite a bit when scrolling or doing things that involve swiping across the display it's just kind of a inconsistency you're not really used to seeing that much and definitely not something you experience when using an ipad or an iphone so that's just something else you have to put up with when you take the portability factor into account which i must say is

Something that i probably underrated in previous videos once i started using this glorious 120 hertz display folded out and in split screen multitasking i started thinking to myself okay this is kind of nice i could kind of get used to this and the fact that i can fold it up and fit it in my pocket all right i get the use case i get why so many people were excited about this thing and i apologize in the past for acting like that wasn't that

Big of a deal because after using it for a while now i can say it is kind of nice being able to split screen apps like that and before you all think that i'm no longer an apple sheep or that i'm absolutely in love with the z full 2 there is still a lot of problems here and there's a certain reason i still don't necessarily believe that foldables are the future but i do think that they will be a part of it i think there will be a subsection of the market a small niche a sector that likely samsung will continue to

Dominate similar to the note series but that's probably a good example of how the z-fold will age in time you know most of the best-selling phones globally do not have a stylus built into them but year after year after year samsung keeps releasing a version of the galaxy note series sometimes more than one because there are certain people out there that like to have a stylus with their phone for either taking notes or drawing on a smartphone display i don't really get it

And as we've seen with the rest of the market it's not that common of a thing it's kind of just a uniquely samsung thing at least samsung is the only company that can do it in a somewhat popular way but still the note series in sales is much much lower compared to the rest of the smartphone industry and personally i feel like that's what foldables might become they're going to be a sector of the market that sticks around for people who do care about having a tablet display that they can

Fold up when they're done and put in their pockets and certain people i think are always going to love that and always want to flock to that but i don't think it's the average everyday consumer i think it's the tech enthusiast i think it's the youtuber i think it's the type of person that collects smartphones year after year and are willing to pay and put up with the compromises and also put up with the higher price tag because let's be honest long-term future this could change if foldable prices get a little bit better

But as the z-fold 2 currently stands i cannot recommend any of you buy it it's really fun as a tech journalist that samsung is able to release these beta prototype designs and sell it to people so that we can enjoy it and play around with it but it's clearly something that's not been ironed out entirely and it's clearly something that software developers for sure have a hard time understanding because i've been using lots of third-party apps on the z full two and they are so obviously designed to be

Running on a smartphone that once you blow them up to an aspect ratio like this it just you can tell it's not really working very well either app just straight up won't support the entire display at all or you're only able to see one tweet or one video at a time it's not running really on a tablet like display despite samsung constantly advertising it's a tablet and it's a phone at the same time software i would say is the biggest drawback to the z full two there are some hardware choices

That i find questionable especially the aspect ratios because no one would buy a one thousand dollar phone that was you know this thick and this tall with these specs you wouldn't spend a grand on a phone if it was just like this and you also wouldn't spend a grand on a tablet that was made of plastic with a crease that was only this big and sure it had 120 hertz but it's kind of a small tablet to charge a thousand dollars for so sadly yeah just because you take two products that no one would have interest

In and combine them into one that doesn't necessarily make it worth it you know two wrongs don't make a right and sadly we do have to compare this foldable to other two products you could buy and no you can't combine them and they might not be as pocketable but the fact is the software here and the way third parties and android especially handles tablet displays does not justify the portability and the extra cost so you could buy you know ipad air 4 in an iphone 12 and probably spend less

Money and get a way better hardware experience plus get way more years of software support and ipad os is just so many miles ahead of android when it comes to tablet optimization and i'm not just talking about what apple does i'm also talking about how third parties are able to optimize their apps to run on ipad displays and that's why i think it would be so interesting if apple were to make a device like this yeah you can make all your memes now you would love it if apple made it yeah i

Would you know why because apple's a company that actually knows how to handle tablet displays there's a reason samsung tablet sales are not that good and there's a reason that ipad is kind of dominating the tablet market it's because apple gets how to write tablet software and they know how to make developers optimize for their aspect ratios which samsung doesn't and they know how to get the ipad os app store really really rich with solid productivity apps and optimized ones

That samsung just can't rival so yeah for software reasons i would love to see apple attempt a device like this personally i don't think they will if you're asking me just from a prediction standpoint apple is the type of company to see the compromises here like the plastic display and the crease and how thick and chunk it is and how expensive it is and just say you know what this technology seems premature and we can't really make a compelling product that we're proud to put our name on

So simply from the fact that you know you can press your fingernail on this display and permanently damage it i think that will steer apple away from seeing it as worth it i know they have prototypes i'm not doubting that i know they have patents for foldable phones or foldable ipads and that kind of thing there's all kinds of moonshot projects internally at apple i totally get that but that does not necessarily mean it's coming out you know 80 of the patents we see from apple don't actually end up coming out into real

Products and i have no doubt in my mind that somewhere deep in cupertino they have some foldable iphone that they're experimenting with doesn't surprise me at all i'm sure apple works on all kinds of weird products like that but i do however doubt they will actually make something that they see is worth it and compelling to actually release to the market because apple is the type of company to skip out on market trends like displays curving over the side of a phone or touch screen laptops or

Adding nfc or wireless charging when the rest of the industry had already done it apple is the type of company to skip out and say no on certain market trends and this absolutely seems like one of those trends apple would just say nope not worth it we can't make it work in a way that we're proud of but at the same time as a tech enthusiast and as someone who had a lot of fun using the z full 2 i think it would be really cool for apple to make some kind of ipad mini slash iphone 11 pro max if you

Mix those two products together and have ios when folded up and ipad os when unfolded you'd have a really interesting product there especially depending on how they price it and it would have apple silicon in it so it would still be really powerful and probably take great pictures in that kind of thing but anyway i'm just dreaming here but z full 2 in its current state i mean there is so many cheaper android i mean just the s20 fan edition that came out that is such a better use of money than something like this

And if you want a tablet experience that you can take around with you i can't justify the compromises that the full two makes with its internal display and in the way it handles software you know with foldables you kind of have to pick do you want a normal smartphone display or a normal tablet display but you can't really have both there's not really a way at least with one hinge to make a normal phone when folded and normal tablet when unfolded so samsung bizarrely decided to have bizarre phone when folded up and bizarre

Tablet when unfolded because this aspect ratio it's not 4×3 and when you do split screen on it it mainly works but it's still kind of crunched together and i would not even try doing three apps at once i know samsung says you can do that but it just looks so clunky it looks so scrunched together that there's never been a functional use case i've seen of having three apps open at once maybe two and then one picture in picture i could kind of get behind that but

Frankly like the ipad mini is great i enjoyed using that device but that's about as small as i'm comfortable getting a tablet display 7.9 inches is pretty tiny for a 4×3 aspect ratio once you start doing split screen and the keyboard comes up that's when things start feeling a little bit crammed and this is even less of a display than the ipad mini is it's even smaller and that's why things feel very crammed despite having you know elongated phone display and i think that's how android handles the software

For the z full 2 a lot of the time it's just like oh this is a phone that's extra chunk so i'm going to stretch out the text this way and i'm going to stretch out the display this way and because the z full 2 is going to sell in such incredibly small scale i doubt that a lot of these third-party devs are going to prioritize apps that are not scaling or optimizing very well on this display especially with the android play store not being as well optimized to run on different hardware because every android

App has to scale for literally thousands of different phones so they can't be as specific as the ios app store with different iphone displays or with ipads as well because there's only so many different displays they have to optimize for it's a lot easier for something to feel simple and streamlined whereas on the full two uh man stuff just has to be blown up and technically you know it does fill the display for a lot of apps but it's just clearly not designed to work

On a display like this and that's why the experience does not justify the extra one thousand dollars just because you can fold it up and fit it in your pocket so i'm sure samsung is going to keep trying to make it better in time and my hope is that maybe next year or sometime in the future they can actually make a larger 4×3 aspect ratio that people can optimize a little better for and then maybe instead of folding it tall so that you have this really really skinny display on the outside we can actually fold it

The other way and maybe have a short stocky display but at least it would be better for one hand use because trying to use this thing with one hand is ridiculous you can't open it with one hand and even if you don't want to open it trying to reach things at the top of the display just like settings and notifications even that's really difficult to do with one hand so it just kind of feels awkward in both experiences even though again it's really fun to use

And i think it makes for great demo if someone goes to a best buy and tries one of these things out they'll get a load of fun out of it but the fun does wear off after a certain amount of days and eventually you just want a product to take around with you and that's why i think most people who buy foldable phones typically have more than one phone you know they have a backup they have something else they can go with if they need to and this is more of just kind of a collector's piece as a tech enthusiast

And as someone who really is interested in latest greatest technology yeah this kind of stuff is impressive but i went to a small gathering recently don't worry we were all massed up and i showed this foldable to six or seven people there and yeah i mean they were somewhat interested for the first couple seconds but then they pretty much go wow okay that that's that's cool here and then they give it back to me by the way they were not coming up to me asking about it

You know no one was like whoa what kind of phone is that no i had to bring it up in conversation every time i was like hey have you seen one of these what do you think what do you think and pretty much everyone i showed it to was just like okay pretty cool all right moving on they would definitely not drop two grand on this and i don't even think foldables are going to be able to drop their prices that much similar to smartphones over the years they've gotten cheaper and better value but at the same time

The most popular phones the ones that are selling the best globally are still more expensive than they were 10 years ago and as foldables age and get better and hopefully thinner and become more practical i still think that the price is going to be somewhat high because you won't have the same economies of scale that regular smartphones do and because of that and how samsung you know keeps pushing thomas brown edition you know this is going to be more of a luxury segment for the foreseeable future they could try to get the price down but it's been two

Years now and so far when it comes to this form factor it's only gotten more expensive it was 1980 and 2019 and now it's 1999 in 2020 so not exactly sure what they can do to make this device better and improve it while at the same time dumb down the price without compromising massively on the functionality like turning off this whole exterior display which we saw some rumors of a few months back and i don't think that's a necessarily great idea but you know if samsung is bored and i think samsung

Is the only company that can actually make displays like this at scale because they are a display manufacturer whereas other companies probably can't even afford to do this samsung's the only one that can really make it work so i think that's why samsung is going to have a market dominance on the foldable thing for a while and i don't think it's going to replace all of our phones or all of our tablets but still interesting tech and impressive nonetheless and i got a real kick out of using it and while i don't see the fun

In keeping it i highly encourage if any of you out there have ordered the z-fold 2 or do want to use this as your daily driver for the next few years go through the process of trying to return it on samsung's website because they will literally give you a hundred dollars back just if you ask to return it you don't have to go through with the return they'll just give you a hundred dollars for saying that you would like to return it which i've never seen a company do

But the truth is if samsung is doing that and they're offering you a hundred dollars when you try to return it it's probably because there's a very very high return rate on z full twos there's a lot of people buying them and playing around with them for a little bit and then sending them back and i think that's going to be a continuous issue with foldable phones because they're cool they're fun but they're something that most people don't want to keep around as their daily driver anyway hope that was somewhat interesting or informative

To some of you yes i've changed my mind in some ways because before i used to think that foldables were gonna die out and samsung would just flat out stop making them now i feel like no they're gonna be here they're gonna be around but still though using a display that's this big that i can fold up and fit in my pocket that was cool that was fun not two thousand dollars fun but still fun thank you all for watching this is your sheep here i'll see you in the next one


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