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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 Long Term Review - The best foldable phone for those who can and can't afford in PH

OPPO
Huawei
After almost a year since its launch, we're sharing our thoughts about the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 Long Term Review - The best foldable phone for those who can and can't afford
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2

Before we meet the rumored Galaxy Z Fold 3, let's see how this smartphone has performed for the last 10 months.

Read on.

Multimedia Experience

Folded display
Folded display

Compared to its predecessor, the Galaxy Z Fold2 has a huge improvement in terms of display. It has two displays of a 22.5:18 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED, 2X Main Screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, and a 25:9 6.2-inch Super AMOLED Cover Screen with a 60Hz refresh rate HD+ resolution. 

Both screens have slimmer bezels and center-aligned punch-holes "Infinity-O" to house a 10MP f/2.2 selfie camera each. The main display comes with an 11Hz to 120Hz Adaptive refresh rate tech.

Dynamic AMOLED ftw!

As expected, texts and images are crisp and the maximum brightness allows the display to be readable even under direct sunlight.

It supports 10 points of multi-touch and has been quick, responsive, and accurate with every tap or gesture we make on the display.
Immersive display!
Immersive display!

Other features like system-wide dark mode, eye comfort, and the ability to manually select the screen temperature from cooler to warmer are present.

There's also the Flex Mode that gives us extra controls when half folded. When folded, we get an improved Cover Screen mode which now looks like a normal but longer smartphone.
Half folded
Half folded 

Samsung also boasts a new hinge technology called "Hideaway Hinge" and a CAM mechanism that folds from 75 to 115 degrees. It also has a sturdier base when unfolded and an improved sweeper technology to remove dirt and dust on the hinge.

In our experience, the Hideaway Hinge does its job. But as an OC person, I like my protective case on it. *wink*
Sturdy hinge
Sturdy hinge

One thing that's kind of "off" for us is when playing Netflix video using its fullscreen, there are black areas on both the top and bottom of the display. I hope this is something Samsung can fix through an update. The same goes when I use Instagram, the black areas are visible on both sides.

There are two speakers placed on the top and bottom of the device. When tilted, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 produces a solid sound. I'd like to note that this feature is one of my personal favorites on this smartphone.

Solid sound experience!

Note that the speakers of this handset support surround sound with Dolby Atmos (Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus included) and UHQ 32-bit/DSD audio. 

According to Samsung, this feature, "along with support for digital recordings up to 32 bit/384kHz, ensures that the smartphone can reproduce the full range of sound from recordings that have been mastered better than CD quality music sources.

In other words, the Galaxy Z Fold2 does not downsample (or compress) audio files, so the user can experience music and sound much closer to the original recording." We agree with them.
Top with first speaker
Top with the first speaker
Bottom with second speaker
Bottom with the second speaker

Equipped with Bluetooth 5.0, the wireless connection is stable using our wireless headphones. When we watch videos, the audio and the mouth movements are in sync.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 comes with USB-C AKG earphones plus interchangeable ear tips. Upon insertion, the isolation it provides is excellent in my opinion. As expected, it produces a solid sound. By far, these are the best in-box earphones I've reviewed. 

The call quality is excellent. This early, it is safe to say that the overall multimedia experience we had is far greater than expected.

Camera

Rear cameras
Rear cameras

At the back, it has a trio of 12MP sensors. It has a 12MP f/1.8 with Super Speed Dual Pixel AF, OIS + 12MP f/2.2 with 123-degree ultra-wide-angle + 12MP f/2.4 with PDAF, OIS, 2x optical zoom + LED flash. 

It also has an auto-framing feature with machine learning and AI that tracks your movement and frames users automatically.

The default camera app offers several camera modes such as photo, video, AR doodle, pro, panorama, food, night, portrait, portrait video, pro video, super slow-mo, slow motion, Hyperlapse, and dual recording.

Of course, Bixby vision and AR Zone are present as well. 

It also has this single-take feature where the camera automatically captures a wide variety of pics and clips from any scene. The following are the type of shots it can capture: filtered videos, filtered photos, speed effect clips, portraits, wide or cropped shots, and highlight videos. 

This feature automatically takes photos as you pan around your camera, cool, right? 

Rear Camera Samples

Outdoor daylight
Outdoor daylight
Outdoor wide
Outdoor wide
Indoor
Indoor
Indoor 2
Indoor 2
Indoor wide
Indoor wide
Indoor normal shot
Indoor normal shot
Indoor zoom 2x
Indoor zoom 2x
Food
Food 
Indoor 3
Indoor 3
Lowlight
Lowlight
Night mode
Night mode

In daylight, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2's rear cameras all produced images with good sharpness, plenty of detail, strong contrast, and accurate colors.

It can digitally zoom up to 10x but we don't recommend using it as even in daylight.

For indoor shots, Galaxy Z Fold2's cameras do great as well. Even with artificial light only, the photos still have plenty of details and accurate colors. 

In close-up shots, the detail on the subject is plenty while the color is accurate. If you look at the fall-off, the transition is smooth and natural-looking.

In low light, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 performed well. The images have retained most of their sharpness, detail, and color.
Folded selfie camera
Folded selfie camera

For the front camera, it has a 2x punch-hole for the 10MP cameras. The default camera app has the same camera modes being offered in the back camera.
Full screen selfie camera
Full-screen selfie camera

It has a beautification feature up to intensity 3. Part of the selfie enhancement feature is making our jawline visible! It also offers a variety of filters. 

Selfie Camera Samples

Daylight selfie
Daylight selfie
Moving car daylight selfie
Moving car daylight selfie
Indoor selfie 2
Indoor selfie 
Indoor selfie with beautification (intensity level 1)
Indoor selfie with beautification (intensity level 1)
Portrait selfie (bokeh)
Portrait selfie (bokeh)
Lowlight selfie with screen flash
Lowlight selfie with screen flash

Both in daylight and indoors, the selfie camera performs amazingly well. The selfies are sharp with plenty of detail, while the colors pop and the white balance is accurate.

We love how its selfie enhancement features don't overdo selfies. 

While in low light, the selfie camera was able to produce great selfies with the help of the screen flash. 

I'd like to note how I personally loved taking videos on this smartphone. When it's half-folded, taking selfie videos is a breeze because it eliminates the need for a stand when placed on a safe, flat surface. 

Overall, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2's cameras are flagship-worthy. Although of course, we can't expect it to beat smartphones with higher camera hardware like the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G.

Performance

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 benchmarks
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 benchmarks

Inside, it features what most expect from premium flagships. It has a 3.09GHz 7nm Snapdragon 865 Plus octa-core processor, Adreno 650 GPU, 12GB LPDDR5 RAM, 256GB UFS 3.1 storage, and 4,500mAh battery with 25W fast charging, 11W wireless charging, and reverse wireless charging.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 scored 647,568 in AnTuTu and 951 single-core & 3,085 multi-core scores in Geekbench benchmarks. As expected, it has beastly performance.

In terms of gaming, the Galaxy Z Fold2 lets us play with max settings! Take a look at the default setting we got on Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.
Mobile Legends: Bang Bang default settings on Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2
Mobile Legends: Bang Bang default settings on Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2

We love how the smartphone keeps itself cool despite hours of playing. 

The 4,500mAh of battery was able to endure 19 hours and 5 minutes of PCMark's Battery Benchmark. Meanwhile, in real-life usage, the battery goes down to 96 percent from full after a full game in Mobile Legends: Bang Bang. When used over casual calling, texting, and surfing, the battery can over a day and a half. 
Stellar battery life!
Stellar battery life!

It is equipped with 11W wireless charging which charges the 4,500mAh battery from flat to full in just 60 minutes.

Stellar battery life despite having two displays!

It also has dual-band WiFi, 5G, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, OTG, NFC, GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou, face unlock, and a side-mounted fingerprint sensor.
One UI 2.5
One UI 2.5

Out of the box, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 runs on the Android 10 w/ One UI 2.5. But in January 2021, it has received Android 11 and One UI 3.0 updates

It also has a screen-to-screen transition experience and Dual Preview where the second screen acts as a preview screen.

Feature-rich smartphone!

As a quick recap, the device is available in Mystic Black and Mystic Bronze colorways and you can customize the hinge color to Metallic Silver, Metallic Gold, Metallic Blue, and Metallic Red.

Pros - HUGE screen, impressive display, beautiful design, sturdy hinge, long battery life, good main and selfie cameras, overall performance, Dolby Atmos support
Cons - Pricey for some, visible black areas on some apps while using fullscreen 

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 Specs

Display: 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X screen w/ 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10+, QXGA+ 2208 x 1768 at 373 ppi, 6.2-inch Super AMOLED screen w/ 60Hz refresh rate HD+ 2260 x 816 resolution at 386 ppi
CPU: 3.09GHz 7nm Snapdragon 865 Plus octa-core processor
GPU: Adreno 650
RAM: 12GB LPDDR5
ROM: 256GB UFS 3.1
Back Camera:12MP f/1.8 w/ Super Speed Dual Pixel AF, OIS + 12MP f/2.2 w/ 123-degree ultra-wide-angle + 12MP f/2.4 w/ PDAF, OIS, 2x optical zoom + LED flash
Selfie Camera: 2x 10MP f/2.2
Battery: 4,500mAh w/ 25W fast charging, 11W wireless charging, reverse wireless charging
OS: Android 10 w/ One UI 2.5
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax (2.4/5GHz), 5G, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, OTG, NFC, GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou, dual SIM (nano + eSIM)
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic, pressure
Others: Side-mounted fingerprint sensor, face unlock, stereo speakers, UHQ 32-bit/DSD audio, Dolby Atmos, USB-C, Colors: Mystic Black, Mystic Bronze, Hinge Colors: Metallic Silver, Metallic Gold, Metallic Blue, Metallic Red
Dimensions: 159.2 x 128.2 x 6.9 mm (unfolded), 159.2 x 68.0 x 16.8 mm (folded)
Weight: 282 g
Price: PHP 109,990 (PHP 99,990 new SRP)

Verdict

The best foldable smartphone in PH
The best foldable smartphone in PH

Of course, for its whopping price of PHP 109,990 (PHP 99,990), some would say it's too much. But, believe us when we say Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 is still the best foldable phone your hands can get now—even after almost a year.

This extravagant success is made possible by its highly improved screen, better hinges, beastly performance, cameras, and features.

We can't wait how the rumored Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 will beat the success of the Galaxy Z Fold2. 

What do you guys think?

Build/Design - 4.75
Multimedia Experience - 4.5
Cameras - 4.5
Performance - 4.75
Average - 4.63/5
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