Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 vs. Galaxy Fold: Should you upgrade?

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 cover display
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 cover display (Image credit: Hayato Huseman / Android Central)

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2

The Galaxy Z Fold 2 improves upon its predecessor in almost every possible way. The cover display on the outside is substantially larger, the inner screen gets upgraded to 120Hz and has a smaller notch, and the hinge is a lot sturdier. Combine that with better specs and it's a no-brainer upgrade.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2

Better in every way

Larger cover display
Inner screen is 120Hz
Higher-quality cameras
Sturdier, more functional hinge
Matte glass back
Very expensive

Samsung Galaxy Fold

Samsung Galaxy Fold

The original Galaxy Fold is the device that paved the way for the Fold 2, and it deserves an enormous amount of credit for doing so. That doesn't diminish the fact that it's just not a great buy anymore in 2020, and even if you already own the phone, upgrading to the Fold 2 is a smart move.

Samsung Galaxy Fold


Still a futuristic design and concept
Cameras are very good
Same great software features
Excellent form factor for productivity
Cover display is tiny
Less impressive tablet display
Worse specs across the board

The Samsung Galaxy Fold will go down in history as the folding phone that started it all. However, as a product, you should still buy or hold onto in 2020, the Z Fold 2 has taken away its luster. Samsung's latest foldable improves upon the first Fold in every single way, whether it be the displays, hinge, or cameras. Plus, thanks to some generous trade-in offers from Samsung, upgrading from the Fold to the Z Fold 2 is more affordable than you might think.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 vs. Galaxy Fold Price and availability

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 in Mystic Bronze

Source: Hayato Huseman / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Hayato Huseman / Android Central)

The Galaxy Z Fold 2 is the newest folding phone in Samsung's lineup, and as such, buying it is very easy. Pre-orders are open right now with regular sales beginning September 18, with Samsung asking $1,999 for the privilege of owning it. You can buy the Z Fold 2 unlocked, or get a carrier model from AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon.

If you don't already own the first Galaxy Fold and are curious about picking it up, finding one to buy is pretty difficult. Samsung is no longer officially selling the phone, meaning you'll need to rely on finding a refurbished or international model online.

For folks that do own the Galaxy Fold and want to upgrade to the Galaxy Z Fold 2, Samsung's made doing so as easy as possible. If you trade-in the Fold on Samsung's official website, you can get an instant $800 discount on the Z Fold 2 — bringing it down to just $1,200. That's still a lot of money, but it's considerably less than the full retail price.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 vs. Galaxy Fold The Z Fold 2 is a seriously great upgrade

More often than not in the modern smartphone space, new versions of the existing best Android phones aren't all that exciting. The Galaxy Note 20 isn't a massive upgrade over the Note 10, the OnePlus 8 is very similar to the OnePlus 7T, and so on. That's been the case for a few years now, but with folding phones being such a new thing, the year-over-year improvements are a lot more exciting.

In the case of the Galaxy Fold to the Galaxy Z Fold 2, that's incredibly evident.

The original Galaxy Fold isn't a phone we'll forget anytime soon, as it was the first foldable to be readily available for purchase in the U.S. However, when compared side-by-side with the Galaxy Z Fold 2, it's no question as to which is the better device. One of the biggest reasons for this has to do with the displays, with both the cover and inner displays seeing massive improvements on the Z Fold 2.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 camera software

Source: Hayato Huseman / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Hayato Huseman / Android Central)

On the Galaxy Fold, the 4.6-inch cover display is so small that it's barely useful for anything outside of quick interactions — such as taking phone calls, replying to text messages, or clearing out emails in your inbox. It gets the job done, but it's not enjoyable to use. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 completely changes that, stretching the cover display to the top and bottom for a total screen size of 6.23-inches. It functions a lot more like a "normal" smartphone screen, allowing you to run any app or game with ease.

Then there's the inner display, which has plenty of upgrades. It's a bit larger at 7.6 inches, it features Samsung's Ultra-Thin Glass for improved durability, and the refresh rate is boosted from 60Hz to 120Hz for smoother animations. Speaking of durability, Samsung's also made the hinge better on the Z Fold 2. Not only does it feel nicer to use, but it can now be propped up in any position between being fully opened and closed — allowing you to fold the hinge halfway and use the phone as a sort of mini laptop.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Galaxy FoldGalaxy Z Fold 2
Cover Display4.6-inchSuper AMOLED1680 x 72021:9 ratio6.23-inchSuper AMOLED2260 x 81625:9 ratio
Inner Display7.3-inchDynamic AMOLED2152 x 153660Hz refresh rate7.6-inchDynamic AMOLED 2X2208 x 1768120Hz refresh rate
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 855Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+
Rear Camera 112MP primaryf/1.5 - f/2.4OIS12MP primaryf/1.8OIS
Rear Camera 212MP telephotof/2.42x optical zoom12MP telephotof/2.42x optical zoom
Rear Camera 316MP ultra-widef/2.212MP ultra-widef/2.2
Battery4,380 mAh4,500 mAh
Charging15W wired charging15W wireless charging4.5W reverse wireless charging25W wired charging11W wireless charging4.5W reverse wireless charging

Other upsides to the Galaxy Z Fold 2 aren't quite as impressive, but they're important nonetheless. You get a faster Snapdragon 865+ processor, 5G connectivity for all models, a larger battery, faster charging speeds, and improved cameras. Another cool touch with the Z Fold 2 is how you can personalize it. Along with Mystic Bronze and Mystic Black colors, Samsung also gives you the option to add a custom hinge color — including silver, gold, red, and blue.

All of that is to say that the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is better than the original Fold — like, a lot better.

Bottom line: You should just get the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2

Samsung Galaxy Fold refresh

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

The Galaxy Fold isn't completely worthless or unusable all of a sudden if you own one, but for newcomers that are looking to buy their first foldable, there's no situation in which we'd recommend getting the Fold over the Z Fold 2. As for whether or not you should upgrade, it all comes down to your budget.

The user experience offered by the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is much improved, offering the usual spec bumps in addition to major design tweaks. It's one of the most substantial new smartphone releases we've seen in a while, making it an enticing purchase even for first-gen owners. Factor in Samsung's excellent trade-in offers for that $800 discount, and the Z Fold 2 becomes hard to ignore.

You're fine to wait a little while longer if your budget doesn't allow for that kind of purchase, but if it does, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is worth it.

Joe Maring

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.