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Unboxing the Galaxy Z Fold 2: Hands-on with the year's most luxurious foldable

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

Reviewing flagship slabs like the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has been fun, but I can't remember the last time I was more excited to get into a phone than when the Z Fold 2 showed up at my doorstep this morning. After getting to spend a short time with the original Galaxy Fold last year (and subsequently hearing my friend Michael Fisher sing its praises year-round), I've been anxiously awaiting my chance to daily drive one.

Sadly, this review unit comes to me on just a two-week loan, so I shouldn't let myself get too comfortable with it, lest I start to think up ways to justify its prohibitive $2000 price tag. But in the mere hours since it's arrived, the Galaxy Z Fold 2's myriad of design improvements over the original Fold have me feeling extremely optimistic about the future of foldables.

It's hard to quantify what makes a product's packaging feel "premium," but the Z Fold 2's box is nice. There's a sleeve over the box that displays the new Z branding that Samsung bestowed on its foldables starting with the Z Flip, and underneath is a bisected package that opens from the center, revealing a small sheet welcoming you to "the new mobile era."

Samsung rightfully wants you to think of the Z Fold 2 as a luxury product.

Deeper into the box, you also get a USB C-to-C cable, along with a 25W Fast Charging brick and a pamphlet explaining Samsung's Z Premiere concierge service (which entitles Z Fold 2 owners to premium perks like Michelin meals pre-packaged and delivered to your door, along with one-year memberships to ClubCore and FoundersCard). It's a little like the bonuses you get with a premium credit like the Amex Centurion, and speaks to Samsung's positioning of the Fold as a luxury product — though I have to wonder if they could've shaved a Benjamin or two off of the total price by ditching those perks.

The phone itself comes wrapped in a plastic label containing some care instructions; namely, don't press too hard against the inner screen or front-facing camera, don't try to close the phone with objects sandwiched between the screens, and don't get the phone too wet (since it isn't IP-certified).

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 box

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

We've already written plenty on the Z Fold 2's specs and features, but it's good to finally have the phone in hand to be able to comment on its hardware. This is a massive improvement over the original Galaxy Fold in just about every meaningful way. The hinge is remarkably more sturdy and rigid than on the previous generation, and it holds its position at nearly any angle. This means you could use the Fold as a sort of mini-laptop, or have it act as its own kickstand while you take photos.

The hinge can hold its position at nearly every angle, and the cover display is a massive improvement over last year's Fold.

The new displays also look fantastic, thanks in no small part to the massively reduced bezels on the cover display, and the shrinking of the ultra-wide-notch-turned-hole-punch camera cutout on the inner display — both very welcome improvements. Moving between the cover and inner displays also means moving between 60 and 120Hz, which can be a little jarring if you're paying close attention but otherwise doesn't really bother me.

One thing I'm quickly realizing is that I already have to reevaluate how I use certain apps on my phone, and when it's advantageous to use them in large or small formats. Social and messaging apps work just fine on the cover display, but for info-heavy apps like Google Sheets or StreetEasy, having the massive inner display is delightful.

Most of my apps can switch between form factors seamlessly, but I'm a bit annoyed at Instagram and Adobe Lightroom, neither of which scale up to the larger screen and instead resort to pillar boxing.

There's so much to talk about with the Galaxy Z Fold 2, and I'm excited to spend more time with it. In the meantime, you can pre-order it on Samsung's website starting tomorrow, September 2nd, and nab up to an $800 discount if you're willing to trade in your existing phone, with the highest incentives for Samsung's previous foldables like the Galaxy Fold and Z Flip.

Hayato was a product reviewer and video editor for Android Central.

23 Comments
  • $2k. Wow. It better make coffee too. 🤦
  • CLEARLY this is not for you.
  • These devices feel like a solution in search of a problem.
  • People say this alot, but so what? Some things only need to be good at what they do.
  • I think many, myself included, would disagree in folding devices hits a lot of positive notes not addressed by non-folding counterparts. Larger available screen against pocketed size, better protection (for internal screen) when pocketed, 'laptop' style for typing for people with incredibly small fingers :D, etc. It's found and addressed some real problems - it's just too new to be affordable or reasonably priced to the vast majority of users.
  • What about a case?
  • Samsung has a leather case for $80.00.
  • Waiting to see how many who just jumped to the Note 20 Ultra, will be jumping to the Z Fold 2. 😉
  • How many times is massive used in the article? I lost count.
  • You lost count at 3??
  • Yeah I wasn't good in Math, or English for that matter :)
  • Hahaha lol! Too funny
  • "Don't take that off"...."but I did anyways"
    What a moron . . . . .
  • Yeah my thoughts exactly! Next thing...Oh the screen scratches really easily, well guess what? THATS WHY THEY PUT A PRE INSTALLED SCREEN PROTECTOR ON IT!!! Not everyone likes screen protectors on their phones but one of the biggest complaints last time was how easily the screen got scratched so Samsung address the issue with some protection only for some folks to simply ignore the advice NOT to take it off! Hope when the review comes out there's no complaint of the screen getting scratched easily. Sorry for ranting but I think I've got a bit of OCD when it comes to protecting 2 grand pieces of brand new technology. And I'm no Samsung fan, I can't stand their software so wouldn't buy any of their phones. Anyway rant over, peace ✌
  • According to another site, the Z Fold 2's screen can be dented with a fingernail. A fingernail. That and no IP eating for 2 grand just seems ridiculous to me. People were complaining the Pixel 4a didn't have an IP rating at $350, but no one bats an eye at $2k?
  • Ugh... I'd buy this over everything else out there. But it's way outta my price range. See you in 2 years Samsung.
  • It's nice but I don't really need a foldable tablet.
  • I'm waiting for one with an S pen.
  • Glad I skipped on the Note 20 Ultra. Can't wait for my black and red hinge to get shipped!
  • Wonder will there be an Escobar version this year 😂
  • I still can't believe that crap LOL
  • I'm gonna wait till someone buys this for me lol.
  • Verizon wants 84.00 bucks a month? My 1969 Z-28 was 84.00 back in the olden days, gee-whizz, how things have changed? I'd rather have the Z??