After having teased its next flagship foldable back in early August, Samsung has finally returned to fill us in on all the details about the Galaxy Z Fold 2, including its price, specs, and release date.
OK, let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first: Like the original Galaxy Fold, the Z Fold 2 is going to be quite expensive, starting at $2,000 for a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ chip, 12GB of RAM, 4,500 mAh battery, and 256GB of storage. Unlike last year, it seems there won’t be a version with 512GB of storage, which is a bit strange, because this device doesn’t offer expandable storage by way of microSD support.
That high price gets you Samsung’s second-gen foldable, with a new and much larger 6.2-inch Cover Screen than the original Fold, and a big 7.6-inch main screen, which supports an impressive 120Hz variable refresh rate (just like the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra). Furthermore, instead of the big notch for the selfie cam Samsung used on the original Fold, the Z Fold 2 now sports a significantly smaller Infinity-O hole-punch cam that should produce higher-quality images while also being way less distracting.
Unfortunately, Samsung hasn’t revealed much regarding the composition of the Z Fold 2's new ultra-thin flexible glass, aside from its top polymer layer being slightly thicker to provide extra durability.
But to ensure dirt and dust don’t get inside the device, Samsung claims the Z Fold 2's hinge takes up even less space than the one on the Z Flip while packing in even more brushes with modified fiber composition and increased density. On the Z Fold 2, Samsung says its Hideaway Hinge has been improved so that the phone can support itself at any angle, allowing for greater use of Flex Mode, which allows certain apps to use a special UI for times when the phone is half open.
For example, when using the Samsung camera app in Flex Mode, you can open the Z Fold 2 halfway while resting it on a flat surface, allowing it to record video while automatically tracking and sometimes zooming in on a subject as they move across the frame. That means there’s no need for a dedicated camera person. That said, with only a handful of apps actually supporting Flex Mode at launch, including the Gallery, Camera, Clock, Calendar, and YouTube apps, here’s hoping Samsung can encourage developers to build support for Flex Mode into more apps.
The Z Fold 2 also supports better multitasking, thanks to improved Multi-Active Window controls that allow for greater customization when adjusting the layout of open apps, especially for anyone who wants to use three different apps at the same time. The Z Fold 2 will also let users switch between different layouts, including an optimized UI designed to take advantage of the phone’s huge main display. A number of popular Google and Microsoft apps will offer a more tablet-like experience.
On the edge of the phone is a side-mounted fingerprint sensor, and in back are three cameras, including a 12-MP main camera, a 12-MP ultra-wide cam, and a 12-MP telephoto lens with a 2x zoom. It’s important to note that compared to both the Galaxy S20 Ultra and the Note 20 Ultra, the Z Fold 2 does fall short in terms of main camera resolution and zoom capabilities, which is kind of a bummer though somewhat expected considering the Z Fold 2's more futuristic design. And in back you get both wireless and reverse wireless charging along with NFC and support for MST payments via Samsung Pay.
One unusual new service that’s being rolled out alongside the Z Fold 2 is an expansion of Samsung’s Galaxy Z Premier Service, which in addition to elevated on-demand tech support also comes with VIP benefits including, and I kid you not, “membership to Founders Card, access to a prepared meal from a Michelin star restaurant, and an elite fairway golf and country club program at clubs across the U.S., with more benefits being added all the time.” Honestly, these perks sound more like something you’d get from a fancy credit card, but I guess that’s the demographic Samsung is targeting with the Z Fold 2.
However, one potentially very handy service offered through the Galaxy Z Premier Service is that in case anything ever goes wrong, Z Fold 2 owners will be able to purchase a one-time discounted screen replacement for $150. Now don’t get me wrong, $150 is a lot, but considering that paying for a screen replacement on a normal phone often costs upwards of $300, having the option for a discounted screen replacement might make some folks more willing to drop $2,000 on a foldable phone.
I also want to call out a few other tidbits that could be very important for potential buyers. As with the first-gen Fold, the Z Fold 2 doesn’t have a headphone jack or any sort of official water-resistance rating. The phone also doesn’t come with a bonus pair of wireless earbuds, because Samsung assumes anyone buying a Z Fold 2 already has a pair of wireless earphones they like, though you do get a pair of USB-C wired headphones. Finally, the while Z Fold 2 does come with a removable screen protector pre-installed, Samsung strongly recommends that anyone who wants to remove it should bring the phone to a Samsung service center instead of trying to do it themselves. You’ve been warned.
To help make the Fold’s $2,000 price tag a bit easier to swallow, depending on where you buy one, Samsung and other carriers are offering some substantial discounts. On Samsung.com, users will be able to trade in their previous phone and receive up to $650 off for eligible devices (or up to $850 for owners of an original Galaxy Fold or Galaxy Z Flip). Meanwhile, carriers like Verizon are offering up to $550 on a Z Fold 2 when you add a new line with a Premium Unlimited Plan, up to $250 off if you trade in your old phone, or a $150 gift card for anyone who switches to Verizon from another provider.
So when can get you one? The Galaxy Z Fold 2 will be available for pre-order starting Sept. 2 at 12:01 a.m. ET directly from Samsung, all the major carriers, and select major retailers online, with official sales and shipments slated for Sept. 18. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 will be available in two colors—Mystic Bronze and Mystic Black—with Samsung offering four customizable hinge colors (silver, gold, red, and blue), but only for orders made on Samsung.com.