Samsung earlier this month unveiled the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2, a folding phone with a high price point—nearly $2,000—but with two screens, five cameras, and a look and form factor very much unique at a time when there’s been little innovation when it comes to the look of smartphones.
Now, the first major reviews have been published for the 5G-capable Galaxy Z Fold 2, which are positive but not unanimously so.
The Verge calls the new device “an extravagant success.” The review praised the device for its “big, high refresh rate glass screen,” its cover display and its “improved, but not yet great, tablet interface.” The listed negatives included the price, cameras not quite up to the level of other recent Galaxy devices, and what the author deemed an “awkward form factor when closed.”
“And yet, with all of those things stacked against it, I still think the Z Fold 2 is pretty great,” the Verge review concluded. “I’d never recommend that anybody buy one, given the price. But unlike the first Fold, when I say the Z Fold 2 is an extravagant luxury most people shouldn’t even consider, I also have to admit that big screen is genuinely luxurious.”
Tom’s Guide stated that the “Galaxy Z Fold 2 already beats iPhone 12 Pro in three big ways,” referring to what’s expected to be one of Apple’s more higher-end iPhones this year. These include the bigger screen, flex mode, and the ability to multitask with three apps at once.
“Is getting a tablet and phone in one device worth another $350 more? If you like the idea of having one device that can do it all, I would say yes. And you can bet that Apple is studying the Galaxy Z Fold 2 to see how it can outdo Samsung should it decide to go the foldable route. For now, though, Samsung has the most innovative and productivity-enhancing phone around.”
In its review, Android Central called the Galaxy Z Fold 2 “a staggering improvement in just a year’s time.” The site rated it 4.5 stars out of 5.
“The Galaxy Z Fold 2 improves upon nearly every aspect of its predecessor, with a firmer hinge and a much larger cover display. It’s an outstanding device for multitasking, and its three rear cameras make it great for photography, as well,” the review said.
Meanwhile, one piece published Wednesday was more skeptical. The piece, at OneZero, was not a review, but chided Samsung for putting out a $2,000 phone in the middle of a pandemic.
“It’s almost as if Samsung didn’t hear that tens of millions of people in the United States alone have lost their jobs in the worst pandemic to hit the planet in generations… So, even though announcing a $2,000 phone might seem tacky during a pandemic when millions are out of work and even more need to save every dollar possible, Samsung might still believe its best option is to stay the course. Eventually the pandemic will end, and (hopefully) the economy will bounce back. And when that happens, Samsung will probably want consumers to still believe a foldable phone is worth two grand.”
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver. Image: Reuters