This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.
Samsung Electronics, which held its Unpacked Part 2 product launch event on September 1, has officially announced the Galaxy Z Fold2 folding smartphone. The model was given an overview-level glimpse at the Unpacked event in August, but the details of the model, including features and specifications, have been revealed.
Unpacked is where Samsung Electronics launches its flagship models, and is held roughly twice a year. Up until now, the mainstream Galaxy S series has been announced in February or March, and the larger Galaxy Note series has been unveiled in August or September, with the U.S., Germany, Spain and other countries being chosen to host the event.
However, at Unpacked in August, after announcing the Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra, the company showed a glimpse of the Galaxy Z Fold2 and then teased today's Unpacked Part 2. It's unusual for one of the twice-yearly Unpacked events to be split into two more.
Since last year, Samsung's lineup of foldable smartphones has increased, so it's likely that they can no longer be contained in one event. It seems that the company is also aiming to impress the Galaxy Z series of foldable smartphones as its flagship model, and this series is an area that Samsung is focusing on.
Samsung surveyed South Korean and U.S. users who purchased the company's previous generation Galaxy Fold and found a trend specific to the model. While only 4% of users on a typical smartphone split the screen to display two apps at the same time, a whopping 34% of Galaxy Fold users are making full use of multiple apps on a single screen. The frequency of video and game usage has also increased significantly.
The Galaxy Z Fold2 has been repositioned in the Galaxy Z series as a foldable phone, but the functionality has evolved in the direction of enhancing the user experience mentioned above. This is supported by the newly developed hinge, which incorporates a structure called CAM mechanism and can be fixed between 75 and 115 degrees. With the Galaxy Z Flip, it was suggested that you can use it on your desk. You can do the same thing with the large screen of the Galaxy Z Fold 2.
What would you be able to do if you could fix it half-open? The easiest way to find out would be the camera. When it is fixed in a half-open position, the shooting screen is divided into two halves, with the viewfinder at the top, and the shutter button and preview at the bottom. It eliminates the need to hold the phone in your hand, allowing you to use it for things like taking videos while it's fixed on your desk or using night mode without camera shake.
You can also watch videos while it's still on your desk; if you use a foldable-optimized app, like YouTube, the screen is split up and down along the centerfold. This allows you to use the top half of the screen to watch a video while selecting the next video on the bottom half. Not only does it allow you to keep it open and on your desk without the need for a stand, but it's also very well thought out in terms of ease of use, which is a necessity for a foldable device.
The multi-window feature, which enables you to open three apps on one screen, has also been enhanced, allowing you to view the same app at the same time. For example, it's useful for opening two browsers to compare information, or opening separate files in Word or Excel to copy and paste data. It also supports drag and drop, which makes editing documents a breeze.
Of course, the hardware itself has evolved as well as the user experience. One of the easiest to understand is the cover display, which is used when closed. This one has been enlarged in one fell swoop, increasing in size from 4.6 inches to 6.2 inches. Whereas the original Galaxy Fold had a lot of dead space at the top and bottom of the screen, the Galaxy Z Fold2 looks as if it's a standard smartphone when closed.
The display, when opened, is also 0.3 inches larger, from 7.3 inches to 7.6 inches. This is due to a 27% slimmer bezel compared to the previous model. The notch is also gone, and like the Galaxy S20 and Note20 series, the display has an "Infinity-O" punch hole in the display.
The display is QXGA+ with the same refresh rate of up to 120Hz drive as the Galaxy Note20 and Note20 Ultra. Depending on the content being displayed, the refresh rate can be varied between 11Hz and 120Hz, ensuring both battery life and smooth movement. The higher refresh rate is easier to feel the larger screen size, and it makes sense that this was used on the 7.6-inch Galaxy Z Fold2.
The main cameras are triple-lens, all with 12 megapixels. It doesn't have an ultra-high pixel camera like the Galaxy S20 or Note20 series, but the three cameras have a consistent pixel count, so it looks like it will be seamless to use. One pixel size is 1.12 μm for the ultra-wide angle, 1.8 μm for wide-angle (standard), and 1.0 μm for telephoto, with f-stops of 2.2, 1.8, and 2.4, respectively. Only the wide-angle camera will have high-speed dual-pixel AF support, and it will also have optical image stabilization.
Other specs are as follows. 256GB of storage (ROM), 12GB of memory (RAM), and a 4500mAh battery. The chipset is a 7nm 64-bit octa-core processor, no details have been disclosed, but it will probably be a Snapdragon 865 (+ or not) or an Exynos 990.
At the time of the Galaxy Fold, there was a separate 4G and 5G version available, but the Galaxy Z Fold2 has supported both from the beginning; 5G supports millimeter-wave as well as Sub-6.
If we wanted to, we feel that the localization for Japan would be a step in the right direction. This is because unlike the Galaxy Fold, which didn't have much time to launch due to the release postponement and other flurries of problems, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 seems to have enough time to prepare for it. It will be interesting to see if it improves on things that were lacking in the Galaxy Fold, such as compatible bands and mobile wallet support.
This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.