Samsung fold 2 battery life

Samsung fold 2 battery life DEFAULT

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 battery life test: unhinged

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Battery: 5,000 mAh
Samsung Galaxy Note 20Ultra Battery: 4,500 mAh
Samsung Galaxy FoldBattery: 4,380 mAh
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 Battery: 4,500 mAh

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 Unboxing and Hands-on
Best Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G deals and prices
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 vs Galaxy Fold
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 vs Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

PhoneArena Browsing Battery Test Results

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And here comes the unhinged part. Browsing on that big flexible AMOLED screen takes quite a toll on the battery of the Galaxy Z Fold 2. The phone scores 7 hours in our browsing test which is 5 hours shy of both the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and the Galaxy S20 Ultra. Strangely, the 120Hz display mode doesn't change much. Browsing time goes down by approximately 20 minutes but the overall picture in this test is not thrilling. 

PhoneArena YouTube Video Playback Battery Test Results

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In our video playback test the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is on par with its non-foldable sibling - the Note 20 Ultra. That's not a huge achievement, however, given the fact that the Note 20 Ultra didn't perform well in the YouTube video test in the first place. When you take a look at the table and the Galaxy S20's result, it all becomes painfully obvious. 7 hours of continuous video playback time isn't a disaster but it's not great either.

PhoneArena 3D Gaming Battery Test Results

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The Galaxy Z Fold 2 is a powerful device and gaming on a foldable phone is something really interesting. Plenty of screen estate, plenty of power, plenty of grip. Sadly, battery life is far from plenty with a score of around 5 hours. Again, this result is almost identical to what the Note 20 Ultra was able to achieve at 120Hz (60Hz test results coming soon). 


Before you rush out angrily to Samsung's headquarters, demanding your precious battery life back, there's another angle to this story. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 features a secondary screen that's sufficient for many day-to-day tasks. You probably won't unfold the device as much as you might think, which will lead to better battery life during normal daily use. Furthermore, The Galaxy Z Fold 2 managed to duplicate the Note 20 Ultra's result in our battery tests. It's an achievement by itself, given the huge 7.6-inch display of the Z Fold 2. And if you're making a buying decision between the Note 20 Ultra and the Z Fold 2, the above results take battery life out of the equation. There's also the fact that nobody will buy the Galaxy Z Fold 2 for its battery life alone. Yeah, it'd have been nice to have a bit more juice in this $2000 phone but it's at least on par with other ultra-premium devices out there. In the end, it all boils down to one simple question - do you want that foldable experience? And are you willing to pay $700 on top of the already great Galaxy Note 20 Ultra to get it?


I absolutely LOVE my Z Fold2, but I’m really concerned about the battery life. My phone will never last a full day, no matter how much or little I use it.

I’ve checked the inbuilt Battery usage app and it gives no real indication of abnormal battery drain. I’ve also installed a couple of different 3rd party battery monitor apps (on different occasions!), and they also don’t show anything “alarming” as to what is draining the battery.

As an example, I charged my phone up to 100% today and, after taking it off charge, it had gone from 100% to 95% in 1 hour. I didn’t even touch the phone to use it! Now, 4 hours later, it is at 60% and I’ve used it for about 10 minutes.

Turning off WiFi and Bluetooth have no effect, and even though I put my phone into flight mode overnight (and it's therefore not communicating with anything?!), it still loses at least 10% overnight when it is effectively off!

What’s going on?! Am I the only one this is happening to?

It’s really causing me a lot of grief because when using the phone, I can literally watch the percentage drop!! I'm sure it must be something simple to fix or have I managed to get hold of a "rogue" unit?!

I’d appreciate any help or insight anyone can give me on this.


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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 battery life tested and it's not great

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 has a lot to recommend it, from its massive 7.6-inch display and improved durability to its S Pen support and enhanced multitasking features. But heading into my Galaxy Z Fold 3 review I was a bit worried that this foldable phone's battery life, partly because it has a smaller battery than the Galaxy Z Fold 2.

As it turns out, my fears were well founded. The Galaxy Z Fold 3's 4,400 mAh battery is only slightly smaller than the 4,500 mAh pack in the Z Fold 2, but its endurance was significantly less in our testing. Just as important, the Z Fold 3 trails top flagship phones that don't fold by a couple of hours.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 battery life results

Battery life (Hrs:Mins)Battery capacity
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 (60Hz/120Hz)7:52/6:354,400 mAh
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 (60Hz/120Hz)10:10/9:054,500 mAh
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 (60Hz/120Hz)6:00/5:433,300 mAh
Samsung Galaxy S21 (60Hz/120Hz)9:53/6:314,000 mAh
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus (60Hz/120Hz)9:53/9:414,800 mAh
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra (60Hz/120Hz)11:25/10:075,000 mAh
iPhone 12 Pro Max10:533,687 mAh
iPhone 12 Pro9:062,815 mAh
OnePlus 9 Pro (60Hz/120Hz)10:38/10:404,500 mAh

On the Tom's Guide battery test, which involves surfing the web continuously over 5G at 150 nits of screen brightness, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 lasted only 7 hours and 52 minutes with the display set to 60Hz mode. We saw an even worse 6:35 with the adaptive display mode on, which scale up to 120Hz.

The Galaxy Z Fold 2 endured for 10 hours and 10 minutes last year in 60Hz mode and 9:05 in adaptive mode. That's a pretty steep drop-off, but the smaller battery might not be the only culprit. We tested the Z Fold 3 on Verizon's network, and the Z Fold 2 on T-Mobile, and the carrier can definitely impact battery life.

Regardless, the Galaxy Z Fold 3's battery life trails most other flagship phones by a long shot. For example, the Galaxy S21 Ultra's 5,000 mAh battery lasted a very impressive 11 hours and 25 minutes in 60Hz mode and 10:07 in adaptive mode. Meanwhile, the iPhone 12 Pro Max lasted 10:53.

The regular Galaxy S21, which has a 4,000 mAh battery, turned in a battery life of 9:53 in 60Hz mode. That runtime dipped to 6:31 in 120Hz mode. 

To be fair, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 has a huge 7.6-inch display, compared to 6.8 inches for the Galaxy S21 Ultra and 6.7 inches for the iPhone 12 Pro. So this foldable simply has a larger canvas for its battery to power. 

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 also has a 6.2-inch cover display, and while I don't think anyone would use it for that long of a stretch, we ran our battery test on it just to see how long it would last. In 60Hz mode, the Z Fold 3's front panel lasted 8 hours and 47 minutes, and it endured for 7:57 in adaptive mode. 

The bottom line is that the Galaxy Z Fold 3's battery life is a disappointment, but overall, we still recommend this foldable phone for everything that it enables you to do. I would just make sure you bring the (optional) charger with you if you're going to be away from home for most of the day. 

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for nearly 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.

Galaxy Z Fold 2 vs Note 20 Ultra: Battery Drain Test!

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 specs

Price: ~1,799
OS: Android 11 / One UI 3.1
Displays: 6.2-inch  (2260 x 816) AMOLED 60Hz; 7.6-inch  (2260 x 1768) Dynamic AMOLED 2X 120Hz
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus
Rear cameras: 12MP wide (ƒ/1.8); 12MP ultrawide (ƒ/2.2); 12MP telephoto (ƒ/2.4)
Front cameras: 10MP (f/2.2) cover and interior
Storage: 256GB
Battery: 10:10 (60Hz); 9:05 (120Hz)
Size: 6.2 x 2.6 x 0.66 inches (closed); 6.2 x 5 x 0.27 inches (open)
Weight: 10 ounces  

It has been nine months since the release of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2, and with rumors suggesting the Galaxy Z Fold 3 could arrive by the end of the summer, we wanted to take a last look at this high-profile foldable. 

Samsung’s reveal of the Galaxy Z Fold 2 last year was nothing short of mind-blowing. For those who used the original Galaxy Fold, it felt as if the company had hopped into a DeLorean, punched it to 88 miles per hour, and come back with a foldable from years in the future. Every aspect of the phone from the overall design to the displays looked honed and polished unlike the Fold, which was all rough edges. 

I’ve spent about a month using the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and that feeling hasn’t worn off. I’m still amazed that this phone exists today and that’s the reaction you get from anyone else who sees it. When you tell them it costs $2,000 ($1,800 now), that also gets a reaction, but this leads me to the Galaxy Z Fold 3. 

The main questions I wanted to answer during my time with the Galaxy Z Fold 2 were whether foldables are worth the tradeoffs. I’ve shown my hand a bit there, but the second question is what can the Galaxy Z Fold 3 do to improve to convert those amazed reactions into foldable owners. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2: Price

For consumers, the biggest hurdle for foldables right now is the pricing. That was the consensus choice in our look at why foldables aren’t catching on and the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is the poster child for this problem with its $1,999 price point. Yes, Samsung dropped it to $1,799 in April, but that was its first price cut and still about 40% more than you would pay for a comparable Galaxy S21 Ultra

Galaxy Z Fold 2 defenders are quick to point out that you are getting two devices in one as it will replace a tablet for many users. Now, after weeks of using one, I would happily agree. The problem is that you could buy both a Galaxy S21 Ultra and a Galaxy Tab S7 with an S Pen for less than even the discounted cost of the Galaxy Z Fold 2. 

By all appearances, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 holds the answer to the pricing issue on multiple levels. Rumors suggest a price drop akin to what we saw with the Galaxy S21 lineup this year, at roughly 20%, which would equate to about $1,600 for the upcoming foldable. Durability improvements should also offer more peace of mind for those spending that much on the phone, and the rumored addition of S Pen support may also draw in former Note buyers who are already accustomed to spending top dollar on phones.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2: Design 

Over nine months since its release and after weeks of using the device, I’m still blown away by what Samsung achieved with the Galaxy Z Fold 2 design coming off of the original Galaxy Fold. After years of seeing Samsung show off its folding panels at CES and other events, the Fold was impressive in that it was a tech demo come to life and being sold to consumers. However, that’s exactly what it felt like: a prototype you were allowed to buy for almost $2,000; the minuscule cover display, the massive interior display notch, and the well-documented durability issues offered none of the polish we expect from a Samsung phone.

This made the reveal of the Galaxy Z Fold 2 all the more impressive; it is simply a gorgeous phone. It’s unmistakably the same design language seen on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra with obvious departures for the form factor. The massive glinting hinge when the phone is folded with Samsung emblazoned on the side is a defining part of the aesthetic. My review unit is the signature Mystic Bronze color, but the hinge color is customizable, allowing for many different color combinations. 

While its rectangular rear camera array projects outward like the one on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, it is much smaller on the Fold. Looking at how things will be improved upon with the Galaxy Z Fold 3, it appears Samsung will move to a more minimal oval camera array rather than follow the Contour Cut camera housing of the Galaxy S21 line. I'll need to go hands-on with the new design before giving any feedback. While I don’t love the current design, it does sit reasonably steadily due to the narrow width of the Z Fold 2.

Turning briefly to the side of the phone, it features a volume rocker and a multi-function button that also houses a fingerprint scanner. The sensor works flawlessly; I can place my thumb properly to unlock the phone as I open the display or as I pick it up to use the cover display. I’ll get into more specifics on the display below, but the cover display is one of the most notable upgrades from the previous model, taking up virtually the entire front of the phone except for a bezel on the left.

The most critical element of the Galaxy Z Fold 2 design is that it unfurls it to reveal a massive interior display. While I resist the urge to do it too often, simply opening and closing the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is remarkably satisfying. The hinge offers solid resistance that reassures it isn’t going to snap on you and will hold perfectly in place at any angle. Folding and unfolding have distinct noises, which can be a bit paranoia-inducing, but after nine months on the market, there are no widespread reports of issues. 

There is little that I would do to enhance the design for the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the leaks so far indicate that Samsung in large part agrees. The overall design will be largely the same except for an IP rating against dust and water resistance. That would be a massive win for the Galaxy Z Fold 3l durability is far less of a concern than people would believe now, but the assurance that a splash of water wouldn’t spell disaster for your phone would ease many nerves.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2: Displays 

The Galaxy Z Fold 2 features a 7.6-inch, (2260 x 1768) AMOLED 120Hz Samsung display on its interior, while the exterior cover display is 6.2 inches (2260 x 816) at 60Hz. Again, the delta between the Galaxy Fold and these displays is astounding. 

The cover display, while far less impressive, is still a transformational difference from its predecessor which, at 4.6 inches, felt positively tiny and looked ridiculous surrounded by massive bezels. While the 60Hz display is still quite narrow given the dimensions of the phone, it doesn’t take long to adjust to its dimensions and I don’t feel dramatically less productive using it. Swipe typing is the way to go on the cover display unless you have small fingers, but the narrow display makes one-handed use a breeze. While things can feel a little pinched, apps mostly adjust to the unusual aspect ratio.

Of course, when the claustrophobia kicks in, just open the interior display and you’ve got that vast 7.6-inch expanse to roam around in. As someone who has tried and failed multiple times to incorporate a tablet into my tech life, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 achieves everything that I would want from such a tablet without me worrying about carrying a  second un-pocketable device around. 

Dedicating the entire display to a single app is fantastic. The split-screen modes are phenomenal for multitasking, whether you're reading content or handling work in spreadsheets or a presentation. Using three apps is too much, but side-by-side, you essentially have two standard full-screen phones to work on. Watching a video and taking notes is one of my favorite use cases, but there are countless options that a standard phone can’t come close to matching.

Going to the full display is great for content consumption and while the aspect ratio means dealing with black bars at the top and bottom, the inky blackness of the Dynamic AMOLED 2X means you won’t be too bothered by it.

While it’s mostly great, there are a few things I would like to see addressed for the Galaxy Z Fold 3. My least favorite thing about the phone is the screen protector on the interior screen, it gives the screen a slightly mushy feel. Smoothing out the crease in the interior display would be great. That said, after a month, you stop noticing the film. Finally, the cover display getting a boost to 90Hz or 120Hz would be nice; I’ve been spoiled by high refresh rate displays and the difference is noticeable.

The rumors of S Pen support are giving me hope that there will be improvements on my first two issues as I think the stylus experience will demand a firmer and more even surface. I don’t expect either to be perfected, but another step forward would be enough for now. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2: Performance 

The Galaxy Z Fold 2 features the Snapdragon 865 Plus processor, which is the same found in the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. This is paired with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage. While the Snapdragon 888 has since eclipsed it, the Z Fold 2 has enough speed to churn through any task you can throw at it, including split-view with three apps running simultaneously.

Gaming on the gigantic interior display can feel like cheating at times in games like PUBG where your targets are now roughly 2x the size of a normal phone. I wouldn’t push it to Ultra settings on the most intensive games, but it comes close to running those. This is certainly one area that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 will address with a move to the Snapdragon 888, but given the expected launch date, a Snapdragon 888 Plus could be ready. Given the pricing rumors, I would expect Samsung to stick to 12GB of RAM. 

As you would hope for a phone as expensive as the Galaxy Z Fold 2, its network connectivity is future-proofed with full 5G mmWave and sub-6GHz coverage on the major networks. Samsung also included Ultra Wide Band in the Galaxy Z Fold 2, which allows for Nearby Share to send and receive files along with support for Galaxy SmartTags.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2: Battery life and charging 

The Galaxy Z Fold 2 relies on a 4,500mAh battery and it’s equal to the task most days. I have never killed the Galaxy Z Fold 2 in a day, and typically end with around 15-25% juice left when I set it on the wireless charger at around 10:30 p.m.

The challenge in considering the battery life on the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is that your usage is going to swing things wildly, even more so than on a standard phone. If you are constantly utilizing the interior display, particularly at its 120Hz setting, that will almost assuredly lead to less than a full day of battery life. Once I’d moved beyond the pure novelty of it, I found that I stuck to the cover display for most tasks, like checking Twitter, messaging, or taking photos. I only moved to the interior display for longer or more involved tasks. 

In our battery test, which has the phone continuously web surfing at 150 nits until it shuts down, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 held on for 10 hours and 10 minutes with the interior display at 60Hz. That dropped to 9 hours and 5 minutes when setting it to 120Hz. That’s not enough to place it among the phones with the best battery life, but considering you won’t always be using that interior display, those are excellent results. 

The Galaxy Z Fold 2 supports 25W wired charging and fast wireless charging. I’ve gone full Johnny Appleseed with wireless chargers planted around my house so that’s what I typically lean on, but the wired charging is undeniably faster, getting the phone to 46% in 30 minutes. OnePlus has really spoiled me on fast charging with the OnePlus 9 Pro capable of 65W that will top it up completely in 30 minutes, but I suspect 30W would be the most to hope for with the Galaxy Z Fold 3. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2: Cameras 

The Galaxy Z Fold 2 cameras are excellent, but not quite up to the standards of the Galaxy S21 line or the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. All three sensors on the back are 12MP with a wide-angle, ultra-wide and a telephoto with 2x optical zoom. 

Here are some samples of a sunset captured with each of the lenses; they all reproduce the rosy-tinted clouds well and the HDR is doing a great job of exposing the foreground despite the dwindling light. 

Image 1 of 3

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 - Ultra-wide

Image 2 of 3

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 - Wide-angle

Image 3 of 3

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 - Telephoto

Turning to the mural on a local restaurant that I like to use for testing, I did note a couple of issues with the ultra-wide lens. It produces distortion at the edges; you can crop to eliminate it, but that’s defeating the purpose of an ultra-wide lens to some degree. The color is also slightly muted compared to the other two lenses, but this was unique to this scene, so I wouldn’t consider it a problem with the sensor, perhaps just a misfire.

Image 1 of 7

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 - Ultra-wide

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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 - Wide-angle

Image 3 of 7

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 - Telephoto

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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 - Ultra-wide

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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 - Wide-angle

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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 - Telephoto

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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 - Wide-angle

While both the cover display and interior display have hole-punch cameras, the most fun method for capturing selfies with the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is with cover screen preview, which allows you to use those superior rear camera sensors. This is both a fun trick and means you get to use the best sensors on the phone for your selfies. 

The other handy feature I alluded to earlier is the ability to set the phone down in Flex Mode and capture photos that way. It’s a bit like having a built-in tripod. The only thing I don’t love is setting the phone down on the cover screen; it has a screen protector, but that's still taking a risk depending on the surface.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2: Software 

The Galaxy Z Fold 2 is running Android 11 with OneUI 3.1, the Android skin from Samsung. While it has a slightly different look and some modified behaviors from stock Android, I don’t find it's not difficult to switch between them. Whether you are coming from stock Android or Oxygen OS From OnePlus, you should adapt quickly.

The main software features I want to address are those specific to the Galaxy Z Fold 2. The aforementioned three app split-screen is among the most useful. You won't always use it, but if you are trying to work on scheduling, for example, and can simultaneously have your calendar, a web page and even a video call open. The One UI 3.1 update added a nice extra that lets you bring back a trio of apps from the Recents tab without having to reassemble them. 

Flex Mode is roughly on a par with multitasking in terms of both utility and that you can’t achieve something similar on a traditional phone. If you have the phone half-folded for a video call, for example, it will present the image above and the controls below. On YouTube, you can watch the video in the top screen while scrolling through the description or comments below. If you want to take a selfie or a stable tripod shot with your phone, you can set it down in Flex Mode and you’ll have the camera controls below and your viewfinder above.

The biggest software problem the Galaxy Z Fold 2 faces is third-party developers not offering support for the large and unusual aspect ratio. Instagram is the poster child for this as it puts vertical black bars along the sides. This is only going to be resolved by foldables becoming a larger part of the market to the point that developers need to account for them, but for now, it is an irritation. 

Bottom line

The Galaxy Z Fold 2 is one of my favorite phones ever.  This is partly because it is unique, but it's different in a way that is compelling and useful. I can appreciate a weird phone like the LG Wing (RIP) but that isn’t going to sway me to spend money unless it meets my needs in some way that a traditional phone can’t. 

The Galaxy Z Fold 2 undeniably achieves that goal. From the software to the hardware, it offers a variety of features that others can’t match. The screen size, whether you are using it for full-screen apps or for multitasking, gives me what I would want from a tablet without me needing to carry a second device or a bag with me. The cameras, while not the best of the best, offer solid results and have many fun extras that make using them a joy to use.

That is the essence of what’s so compelling about the Galaxy Z Fold 2: not only does it offer practical advantages, but it is just fun to use. I kept expecting that novelty to wear off but it still hasn't after a month of use. I'm still thrilled to unfold the display and surf the web, watch a video, read a book or even work on an article. 

I would be hard-pressed to tell someone to buy a Galaxy Z Fold 2 today because the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is simply too close to launch, but this phone has set the bar high for its predecessor. The rumors are hitting all of the right notes at the moment with price and durability improvements as two of the clear frontrunners when it comes to consumer concerns about foldables, so I’ll be following along and eagerly awaiting the next generation Galaxy Z Fold.

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more. 


Life 2 battery samsung fold

Foldable Dynamic AMOLED 2X display

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 takes its display game to the next level in more ways than one. Compared to its predecessor, the screens are now bigger - both on the inside and the outside of the phone. The selfie cameras are less obtrusive. And most importantly, the large 7.6-inch screen has 120Hz refresh rate support. The external 6.23-inch one is capped at 60Hz.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 review

We already mentioned the surface of the large screen is not ideal in terms of traction and finger-gliding. There is also a visible crease in the middle and there is probably no going around that with any sort of foldable panel tech. At least not any time soon.

The crease is, of course, noticeable to the touch, especially while swiping. That unfortunate drawback remains.

However, it's a lot less prominent on our Z Fold2 review unit than on the old Galaxy Fold. On the other hand, we had the Fold 1 for longer, and the crease there did get worse over time, so we can't compare the two directly.

Image distortion along the crease is still a thing at some angles. However, it's not noticeable when looking at the Z Fold2 straight on. In fact, in this use case, it becomes invisible and you only feel it your fingers.

Display test100% brightness
Black,cd/m2White,cd/m2Contrast ratio
Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G (Max Auto)01024
OnePlus 8 Pro (Max Auto)0888
Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max0820
Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra (Max Auto)0811
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 (cover display, Max Auto)0741
Asus ROG Phone 3 (Max Auto)0719
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 (Max auto)0714
Samsung Galaxy Fold (cover) (Max Auto)0623
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip (Max Auto)0596
Samsung Galaxy Fold (Max Auto)0.00655792833:1
Sony Xperia 1 II (Max Auto)0538
OnePlus 8 Pro0538
Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G0504
Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra0498
Asus ROG Phone 30464
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold20461
Huawei Mate Xs0448
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 (cover display)0425
Huawei Mate Xs (Unfolded)0413
Samsung Galaxy Fold (cover)0380
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip0377
Samsung Galaxy Fold0.002370185000:1
Sony Xperia 1 II0333

We found that both panels on the Z Fold2 hold their own very well in terms of brightness amid a flagship crowd. They are not quite on top of the food chain, but are truly impressive, given the differeces between the two displays, especially the odd nature of the main one.

We were surprised by how similar Samsung has managed to make the experience across the pair.

In manual mode, the bigger, foldable 7.6-inch panel managed to shine a bit brighter at full blast (461 nits) compared to the cover screen (425 nits), but they are quite close nonetheless.

In bright light and with auto-brightness switched on, we got close results out of the two panels as well. It was 714 nits for the large one and 741 nits for the cover display.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 review

In more practical terms, both panels remain perfectly usable outdoors, even in direct sunlight. Each display has its own ambient light sensor, concealed underneath the panel.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 review

The contrast ratio is, again, excellent on both screens, thanks to the marvels of the OLED tech and its inky blacks.

Both panels look perfectly sharp as well. The main 7.6-inch panel has a resolution of 1768 x 2208 pixels and a pixel density of around 373 ppi.

The cover display has a resolution of 816 x 2260 pixels, which translates into an excessively-tall 25:9 aspect ratio. Even so, the increase in usability this panel provides over the 4.6-inch, 21:9 one in the old Galaxy Fold is massive. The cover display is now perfectly capable of handling any task or app without any compromises. Even those involving tiny images and text, like browsing maps and navigation.

Display settings and color profiles - Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 reviewDisplay settings and color profiles - Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 reviewDisplay settings and color profiles - Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 review
Display settings and color profiles

The two Galaxy Z Fold2 panels left us pleasantly-surprised in terms of color-reproduction, too.

In keeping with Samsung's current norm of a more straightforward approach to color profiles, there are just two options on the Display settings - the default "Vivid" mode and an additional "Natural" one. Plus, advanced sliders for custom white point tuning for anything beyond that.

In the default Vivid mode, the main 7.6-inch foldable panel managed an average dE2000 of 4.6 and a maximum of 10.2, while the cover display scored - 5.1 average and 11.4 max. In both cases, the color-tuning was very-consistent between the two screens.

Switching over to Natural mode and, once again, measuring against our standard choice of a DCI-P3 color space, we got an average dE2000 of just 1.4 (max 2.4) from the main display and 1.5 (max 2.3) on the cover one. These are truly impressive results and well expected from Samsung's factory tuned AMOLED screens.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 review

Like any recent Samsung flagship, the Galaxy Z Fold2 has HDR10+ support - alas, only on the large screen as the cover screen is not listed as HDR10+ capable. The device also has Widevine L1 certification, meaning that you can take full advantage of HDR sources, like Netflix and Amazon Video.

High refresh rate and adaptive refresh rate behavior

Speaking of things only the large panel supports, we also have 120Hz high refresh rate. The cover screen is limited to 60Hz.

To turn on the high refresh rate, there is an option for Display Smoothness, with two states - Adaptive and Standard. It is worth noting that One UI is smart enough only to show this option on the main display of the Z Fold2 and hide it while using the cover display where it is not relevant.

Display Smoothness options - Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 review
Display Smoothness options

Standard is the straight-forward 60Hz option with all of the battery-savings that can net you.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 review

The Adaptive option is the only way you can make use of the 120Hz refresh rate of the main Z Fold2 display. Unlike on the Note20 Ultra or the S20 line, you don't need to drop to a lower resolution on the Z Fold2 to make use of the extra refresh rate. Its native resolution is low enough to handle apparently.

Just like on the Note20 Ultra, however, instead of providing a forced 120Hz toggle that simply locks the refresh rate at that level, Samsung has the so-called Adaptive mode which employs an automatic switching behavior, so that the effects of high refresh rate on battery endurance can be mitigated.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 review

Going into the Z Fold2, we expected the Adaptive mode to have the same behavior we observed on the Note20 Ultra and described in great detail in its review. Basically, there, the refresh rate was adjusted based on whether the phone - or rather its screen - was actively used or not. Additionally, certain apps like video players or games that don't support high framerates, always ran with the screen at 60Hz or less.

However, as our review process progressed, we observed that the Adaptive smoothness mode forced 120Hz most of the time. Dropping down to 60Hz was extremely rare and based on specific apps rather than actual touch input logic.

Updated 12 Sep 2020: As it turned out, one of the factors the Adaptive mode takes into account is the ambient brightness. While the screen brightness remained set by us manually to 200nits, the Adaptive refrresh rate mode continued to monitor the ambient light levels, and would only decrease the refresh rate in bright surroundings.

Before we realized that, the phone would always work in 120Hz refresh rate regardless of whether you are touring the UI and system menus, or reading a static web page, viewing images in the gallery, playing a local video, or streaming video through YouTube and Netflix. That's really not how you save battery, we thought. But the logic behind the Adaptive refresh rate was more complex than expected.

But once the ambient light was bright enough, you could enjoy the granular refresh rate variability we observed on the Note20 Ultra. Here are the basics of how it works.

For starters, if you're actively tapping and swiping on the screen, it'll maintain 120Hz. Leave it on a table or even just stare blankly at it while holding it for a few seconds and it'll go down to 60Hz, only to crank the refresh rate back up once you touch the screen. That's the usual behavior you can expect across the UI, as well as in most apps including Instagram, Facebook, and browsers (we checked Chrome, Firefox, and Samsung's own).

Then there are app-specific peculiarities. Games are neither here nor there or, as we put it while reviewing the ROG Phone 3, 'High refresh rate gaming on Android is still the Wild West.'

Games that support 60fps+ framerates will be allowed to run at 120Hz, but the phone would not bother with the high refresh rate for the other titles which are capped at 60fps.

It is worth noting that the built-in Samsung Game Booster feature does include an optional toggle to force an even lower refresh rate and hence fps cap while gaming - 48Hz. It seems to work as advertised and consistently.

Samsung's Adaptive refresh rate system shows great promise and we're glad it's not 'stuck at 120Hz' as we initially thought. The system involves numerous triggers and we somehow missed that high ambient light was one of them, making us think it's quite random. you should be able to enjoy the same battery benefits it brings to the Note20 Ultra.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 battery life

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 packs a 4,500 mAh battery. Or, more accurately, two separate batteries that roughly total that rated capacity. That's a respectable amount for a modern device, but when you take into account the massive 7.6-inch panel with a 120Hz refresh rate and things don't look too promising anymore.

First, we tested the Z Fold2 unfolded with the tests running on the large screen at its max refresh rate of 120Hz. Consider this to be the worst-case scenario in terms of battery endurance. All things considered, however, the Z Fold2 still performed admirably.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 review

Then we switched the "Standard" or 60Hz mode, while still using the main screen. You might call this 'the best case scenario' for using the Z Fold 2 as a tablet. We see a pretty significant improvement in video endurance of about three hours.

The boost to web browsing is not as significant, which can be explained by the fact that the biggest power draw in this scenario is due to the predominantly white page contents rather than the high refresh rate itself.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 review

Last and probably least, we decided to see what kind of endurance we would get if we only stick to the secondary, relatively low-resolution (816 x 2260 pixels) OLED panel, which works at a standard 60Hz refresh rate, further helping it along with endurance. We can see that all of these things quickly add up.

Honestly, if you can get used to the extra-tall 25:9 aspect ratio, the 6.23-inch cover display on the Z Fold2 is amazingly usable. Much more so than the 4.6-inch unit on the old Galaxy Fold.

For most frequent every-day task, like checking notifications, changing songs, even the odd short reply to an IM, we felt perfectly content with using it, instead of involving a second hand and the main display.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 review

Since a lot of mixed-use will likely be the case for many Galaxy Z Fold2 buyers, as well, you can probably expect a realistic, real-world battery endurance number somewhere in the middle of the scale of numbers we provided.

Our battery tests were automated thanks to SmartViser, using its viSer App. The endurance rating above denotes how long a single battery charge will last you if you use the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 for an hour each of telephony, web browsing, and video playback daily. We've established this usage pattern so that our battery results are comparable across devices in the most common day-to-day tasks. The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you're interested in the nitty-gritty. You can check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we've tested will compare under your own typical use.

Charging specifics

Charging on the Z Fold2 can be done at up to 25W wired and 11W wireless. Both hardly chart-topping numbers, but perfectly respectable. Not to mention, potentially better for battery longevity in the long run.

The Z Fold2 charged from 0 to 30% in half an hour, then 57% at the hour mark, with a full charge taking just shy of two hours. That's oddly slower than the rate achieved by the Galaxy Note20 Ultra, which shares both the charging rate and battery capacity. However, the Z Fold2 does have its battery split in two. With no official info on a special concurrent-charging standard, we can only assume that the slower overall charging is down to having to charge two smaller batteries, each with their own charging curve and trickle cycle.

30min charging test (from 0%)

  • Oppo Find X2 Pro
  • Huawei P40 Pro
  • Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G
  • OnePlus 8 Pro
  • Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • Sony Xperia 1 II
  • Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G
  • Galaxy Z Fold2

Time to full charge (from 0%)

  • Oppo Find X2 Pro
  • Huawei P40 Pro
  • Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G
  • Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G
  • Sony Xperia 1 II
  • Galaxy Z Fold2
  • Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max

You can also charge the Z Fold2 wirelessly. Samsung says it supports around 11W this way, which is a bit lower than, say the Note20 Ultra and its 15W.

Reverse wireless charging is about the same, though, rated at 4.5W and only available if you have at least 30% charge in the phone.

Speaker test

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 has a pair of dedicated speakers on either side. The Z Fold2 earned itself a "very good" mark in our loudness test.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 review

In real-world terms, the Z Fold2 is a true delight for media consumption.

If we have to be picky, we'd say that the speakers are quite easy to cover up in landscape use due to their lower position. Of course, you can just flip the unfolded Z Fold2 around and the problem is gone.

Use the Playback controls to listen to the phone sample recordings (best use headphones). We measure the average loudness of the speakers in LUFS. A lower absolute value means a louder sound. A look at the frequency response chart will tell you how far off the ideal "0db" flat line is the reproduction of the bass, treble, and mid frequencies. You can add more phones to compare how they differ. The scores and ratings are not comparable with our older loudspeaker test. Learn more about how we test here.

Audio output quality

We've recently discontinued our audio output quality test.

The reason for that is that most phones that arrived for testing were already excellent in this regard and whatever difference there was, it was marginal and probably indistinguishable to anything but our lab equipment.

Next Page »4. Software, Flex Mode and special features

3. Lab tests: displays, battery life, charging speed, speakers

  1. 1. Introduction, unboxing
  2. 2. Design, materials, controls, ergonomics and Flex mode
  3. 3. Lab tests: displays, battery life, charging speed, speakers
  4. 4. Software, Flex Mode and special features
  5. 5. Performance benchmarks
  6. 6. Camera: hardware, app and modes, photo quality
  7. 7. Camera: video quality, low-light quality
  8. 8. Alternatives, pros and cons, verdict
  10. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G specification
  11. User opinions and reviews
  12. Review comments (64)

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G - How good is the battery life?

Update: Samsung has unveiled the Galaxy Z Fold 3 with a more durable design, water resistance S Pen support and improved multitasking. See our Galaxy Z Fold 3 review in progress. 

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 is a quantum leap better than the original Fold. And it needs to be for the high price. The front display is a lot bigger, 5G is standard, and the unsightly notch on the inside is gone. Plus, this foldable is more durable than the first Fold.

Samsung has further innovated to make this phone-tablet hybrid a lot more versatile, thanks to a new Flex Mode. Plus, the multitasking is better for running up to three apps at the same time, and several apps have a dual-pane view for enhanced productivity.

The Galaxy Z Fold 2’s cameras are not as advanced as what you'll find on the Galaxy S21 Ultra (especially the zoom) and the design is pretty hefty. Plus, Samsung is reportedly prepping the Galaxy Z Fold 3 for a launch that's tipped for August, a sequel that may offer S Pen support along with other upgrades.

But if you're in the market for a foldable phone now, the Z Fold 2 does a very good job of justifying Samsung's high asking price. It's no wonder why we named this the best foldable phone in our Tom's Guide Awards 2021 for phones.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 review: What I like 

  • Bigger front display makes a huge difference: The cover display has grown to 6.2 inches, which means you don’t have to use the internal display to get stuff done. The exterior screen is narrower than typical phones, though.
  • Apps finally make the most of tablet-size screen: For example, in Gmail you’ll see your list of emails on the left and the body of messages on the right, and Slack will display contacts on the left and messages on the right. The iPhone can't do this.
  • The multitasking is better: It’s pretty easy to create app pairs to launch three apps at once. I also like that you can drag and drop content from one window to another in certain apps.
  • Flex mode adds versatility: Thanks to the cam mechanism in the hinge, you can open the display at various angles. Flex Mode is there to take advantage of that. For example, in the camera app, you’ll see the live previous up top and controls down below.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 review: What I don't like

  • The main display is smudge prone: Although the Ultra Thin Glass on the 7.6-inch screen is more durable and has a better feel, it picks up smudges quickly. And, yes, the crease is still noticeable.
  • Limited zoom: I can live without the Galaxy S21 Ultra's 108MP sensor, but having just 2x optical zoom on a $2,000 phone when you can get 10x on the Note is a bummer.
  • No water resistance: When it started to drizzle outside I took the Z Fold 2 indoors because there is no water resistance promised for this device.
  • This is a hefty device: At 9.9 ounces, the Z Fold 2 is heavier than the original Galaxy Fold (9.5 ounces) and I felt a bit of strain after several minutes of typing. Then again, you are getting a phone and tablet in one.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 review: Price and availability

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 specs

Price: $1,799
Android 10
Main display: 7.6 inch inches 120Hz (2208 x 1768 pixels)
Cover display: 6.2 inches 60Hz (2260 x 816 pixels)
CPU: Snapdragon 865 Plus
Storage: 256GB
Rear cameras: 12MP wide, 12MP ultra-wide, 12MP telephoto (2x optical/10x digital zoom)
Selfie cameras: 10MP (cover), 10MP (main display)
Battery: 4,500 mAh
Battery life: 10 hours 10 minutes
Size: 6.2 x 2.6 x 0.66 inches (closed); 6.2 x 5 x 0.27 inches (open)
Weight: 9.9 ounces

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 release date was September 18, 2020. It's available for sale through multiple carriers as well as unlocked.

When it debuted the Galaxy Z Fold 2 cost $1,999 for 256GB of storage and 12GB of RAM. Note that a microSD card slot is not included and there are no other capacities available. These days, after a permanent $200 price cut, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 sells for $1,799. (That could be a sign that Samsung is looking to clear out stock in advance of the anticipated launch of the Galaxy Z Fold 3 later this year.)

To put the Z Fold 2's price in context, Microsoft charges $1,400 for its Surface Duo phone. To see how similar these two foldable devices are, check out our Microsoft Surface Duo vs. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 face-off.

If you're looking for Galaxy Z Fold 2 deals, the phone has been discounted as low as $999. So it can pay to look for sales on this foldable phone. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 is available through all of the major carriers, including AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile (Sprint), as well as unlocked. 

Samsung offers the Galaxy Z Premier Service for the Z Fold 2, which includes on-demand concierge support from dedicated experts. In addition, Z Fold 2 owners can get a membership to FoundersCard, access to a prepared meal from a Michelin star restaurant and access to a various golf clubs.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 review: Design and durability

The Galaxy Z Fold 2 immediately makes a better impression than the Galaxy Fold because of its larger exterior display. You no longer feel like you're operating Android through a peep hole, and that's because the cover screen has grown from 4.6 inches to 6.2 inches.

The interior display is also bigger at 7.6 inches for the Galaxy Z Fold 2, compared to 7.3 inches for the previous model. Even better, the ugly notch on the main screen is gone, replaced by a small cutout for a selfie camera.

Samsung also made several enhancements fo the Galaxy Z Fold 2 to improve durability and usability. This includes a sturdier new Ultra Thin Glass display, which is designed to provide a better touchscreen feel than the plastic screen Fold, and a Hideaway hinge that uses sweeper technology to prevent dust and dirt from entering the phone.

In a third-party test by YouTuber JerryRigEverything, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 survived having dirt thrown on it, which suggests that the new hinge works better than on the original model.

Similar to the Galaxy Z Flip 5G, the Galaxy Z Fold 2's hinge uses a CAM mechanism that allows you to position the screen in multiple positions. And while there's still a gap between the two sides of the phone when closed, it's narrower than before.

The Galaxy Z Fold 2 comes in two colors: Mystic Bronze and Mystic Black. But you'll be able to add some flair in the form of four hinge color options if you order through Options include Metallic Silver, Metallic Gold, Metallic Red and Metallic Blue.

Measuring 6.2 x 2.6 x 0.66 inches when closed and 6.2 x 5 x 0.27 inches when open, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is slightly shorter but wider than its predecessor. It's also heavier, as the Z Fold 2 weights 9.9 ounces, compared to 9.48 ounces for the original model. I definitely felt a bit of strain after using the phone several minutes and typing out messages.

Another bummer: The Galaxy Z Fold 2 doesn't offer water resistance, so you can't get it wet as you can with other flagship phones.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 review: Display

In addition to a larger size, the 7.6-inch main display on the Galaxy Z Fold 2 boasts a 120Hz refresh rate, so you should enjoy smooth scrolling and overall performance compared to the 60Hz rate on the Galaxy Fold. Plus, because the panel is adaptive, it's smart enough to dial the rate down or up based on the content on screen.

The cover display on the Galaxy Z Fold 2 does not offer a 120Hz refresh rate, but it's still a heck of a lot better than what the first Fold featured. Measuring 6.2 inches, this OLED screen is big enough to perform pretty much any task, and you can still instantly resume what you were doing on the main display when you unfold the device.

Just keep in mind that the aspect ratio on the Z Fold 2's cover display is narrower than most phones, so typing can feel a bit cramped.

Galaxy Z Fold 2 review: Software and Flex Mode

One of the complaints we had about the Galaxy Fold is that many of the apps just felt like blow-up phone apps in tablet mode. But Samsung is addressing this drawback with the Galaxy Z Fold 2. 

For example, in Gmail I could see my messages on the left and the body of emails on the right. And in Slack my contacts were on the left and messages on the right. You need to flip the Galaxy Z Fold 2 display's orientation to landscape mode to see these changes, but it makes a huge difference in productivity. And it makes the Galaxy Z Fold 2 feel more laptop-like. Samsung also promises an optimized viewing experience in Microsoft Office and YouTube.

The Galaxy Z Fold 2's Flex Mode gives this foldable phone a lot of versatility. The idea is that you can have controls or settings on one side of the display and content on the other for maximum productivity. 

I really enjoyed using Google Duo in Flex Mode, as it lets you set the phone down in a laptop-like position and have a video call with the other person without having to hold the device. It's something I immediately wished my iPhone could do.

Samsung says that Flex Mode is supported by several Samsung apps, including Camera, Video call, Gallery, Video player, Clock and Calendar. And Google is supporting Flex Mode with YouTube as well as Google Duo. Samsung is working with third-party developers as well to create Flex Mode optimized apps.

Another key Galaxy Z Fold 2 upgrade is multi-tasking. With the improved Multi-Active Window feature, you can open up to three apps at the same time and can quickly create presets called App Pairs that you launch with just a tap.

I tried this with Slack, Twitter, and Spotify as well as YouTube, Photos and Messages, and it was very cool to launch three apps at once.You can also quickly re-arrange the layout with a tap or drag an app from one window to another.

Even cooler, you can also drag and drop content from one window to another. I had no problem dropping a photo from the Gallery app into an outgoing message. However, it didn't work with the Google Photos app. Multiple Samsung apps support Drag and Drop, as does Microsoft 365, Gmail, Chrome and Google Maps.

Samsung's App continuity feature is also on board from the original Galaxy Fold. The idea is that you can start an app on the cover display, open the main display and pick up right where you left off. This worked in most apps, but the Sky Force 2 game forced to me restart the app when moving to the bigger canvas.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 cameras

It's a bit strange to say this, but the $2,000 Galaxy Z Fold 2 represents a step down from the $1,300 Galaxy Note 20 when it comes to the cameras. You don't get a 108MP main sensor, a 5x optical zoom or a 50x Space Zoom, but you do get three capable shooters you can use in a variety of ways.

The Galaxy Z Fold 2 features a 12MP main wide-angle camera, a 12MP ultra-wide angle camera with a 123-degree field of view and a 12MP telephoto lens with a 2x optical zoom and 10x digital zoom.

The fun really starts with the camera features that are unique to the Galaxy Z Fold 2. For example, Dual Preview lets subjects see how they're going to look using the front display while you're taking the shot. You can also take higher quality selfies with the rear cameras.

All you need to do is fire up the camera on the cover display and then press a button in the top right corner, then the Z Fold 2 will invite you to unfold the device and you'll see a live preview. 

Another perk: you can prop up the Galaxy Z Fold 2 in what looks like laptop mode and it will keep your subject in focus when shooting video using a feature called Auto framing. Thanks to Flex Mode, you can also review recent pictures on the bottom half of the screen while maintaining the live preview in the top half.

The Z Fold 2's camera did a fantastic job capturing a close-up of these yellow and violet flowers. You can make out fine details in the petals and even fine droplets of water when you zoom in.

I also took this selfie using the rear 12MP camera and the Z Fold 2's cover screen as the viewfinder. The blue in my shirt pops, and the surrounding trees and grass look vibrant. You simply can't do this on an iPhone.

Image 1 of 2
Image 2 of 2

As expected, the 10x digital zoom proved disappointing compared to the more powerful Space Zoom on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. As we zero in on the tree and hanging flower baskets, there's a fair amount of grain. It's certainly passable, though.

The Galaxy Z Fold 2 did a fairly good job in this portrait shot, artfully blurring the photos in the background. The bokeh effect is better on the Z Fold 2 than the iPhone 12. However, my face is a bit more blown out in Samsung's shot. 

In this shot of fall decorations, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 delivers a brighter overall image, and you can make out lots of detail in the turkeys. The iPhone 11 Pro Max does a better job rendering the hay but overall I give the edge to Samsung here.

The Galaxy Z Fold's 2 Night mode worked well in this shot taken in near darkness of a wall hanging. However, the iPhone 11 Pro Max's Night mode captured a considerably brighter image of the scene.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 review: Performance

The Galaxy Z Fold 2 sports a Snapdragon 865 Plus processor along with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage (UFS3.1). So we would expect similar performance to the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

On Geekbench 5, which measures overall performance, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 scored 3,193 on the mult-core portion. The Note 20 Ultra with the same chip scored a slightly higher 3,294 and the Asus ROG Phone 3 hit 3,393. The iPhone 11 Pro was fastest with 3,500.

On the GFXBench graphics test, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 scored 1,461 frames on the Aztec Ruins (High Tier) off-screen benchmark, compared to 1,455 for the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and 1,657 frames for the iPhone 11 Pro.

Overall, the Z Fold 2 offers smooth performance, but I noticed minor software glitches at times. The YouTube app view didn't change I switched screen modes at one point, but restarting the app resolved the problem.

In terms of 5G, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 supports both mmWave and sub-6GHz flavors, so you should have no problems tapping into 5G networks where there is coverage. I didn't see the best results in central New Jersey. On AT&T's network the Galaxy Z Fold 2's download speed hit only 22 Mbps, but on T-Mobile it was a much higher 122 Mbps in the same location.

Because the Z Fold 2 also supports Ultra Wide Band technology, you can leverage Samsung's Nearby Share features to quickly share files with other compatible devices, which thus far only includes the Note 20 Ultra.

Galaxy Z Fold 2 review: battery life and charging

The Galaxy Z Fold 2 packs a 4,500 mAh battery, which should be able to get you through most of the day. The Galaxy Fold had a slightly smaller 4,380 mAh, so this is a step up. 

On our battery test, which involves continuous web surfing at 150 nits of screen brightness, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 lasted 10 hours and 10 minutes on the 60Hz display setting. That's not enough to make our list of best phone battery life, where are the handsets last longer than 11 hours. But given the size of the Z Fold 2's display that's pretty good endurance.

As expected, the battery life dropped on the Z Fold 2 with the display set to 120Hz (adaptive), with the phone lasting 9 hours and 5 minutes.

Anecdotally, the battery life on the Z Fold 2 is pretty solid. I started using the phone at 10 am and after a day of heavy usage it had about 18% juice left at 10 pm.

The Z Fold 2 supports 25W fast charging, as well as fast wireless charging and PowerShare reverse charging. But we didn't see the best results in our testing. After 30 minutes the Z Fold 2 was at 46% and we would expect 50%.  By comparison, the Note 20 Ultra hit 56% in the same amount of time.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 review: Verdict

Note that a Galaxy Z Fold 3 is rumored to launch this summer. It's expected to include a faster processor, S Pen support and perhaps an under-display camera, among other upgrades. So you'll probably want to hold off until mid-August until you make a move.

Overall, though, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 is the quintessential example of a company listening to its customers and delivering a wide range of improvements they asked for. Even at its reduced $1,799 price, this is a phone that's still very much for early adopters. At least the Z Fold 2 seems a lot less like a prototype and more like a viable product.

The front display on the Galaxy Z Fold 2 alone is a huge upgrade. I also really like Flex Mode and the versatility that gives this phone. Being able to prop up the device at various angles really makes the Z Fold 2 feel like a brand new type of device. And while the Mult-Active window multitasking requires a bit of a learning curve, it maximizes productivity.

If you want a more powerful phone and better cameras, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is the better option, but Apple doesn't have anything nearly as innovative in its lineup to take on the Z Fold 2. An iPhone Flip could be on the way at some point, but we doubt it will be anytime soon.

Overall, I am really impressed with what Samsung has accomplished with the Galaxy Z Fold 2. This is clearly the best foldable phone yet and a sign of great things to come in the category.

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for nearly 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.


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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 review: a £1,800 folding phone-tablet that works

Following a bit of a false start with the original Fold last year, Samsung has hit a home run in its second attempt to make cutting-edge folding phone-tablets a reality – as the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is something really quite special.

The new device costs £1,799, which makes it a super luxury purchase. Make no mistake, this is absolutely not a smartphone for the masses, but it is a very important device.

It follows the success of the Galaxy Z Flip phone launched in February, which introduced two key things: ultra-thin glass for the flexible screen and a laptop-like hinge that could hold itself open at a variety of angles.

Four months of solid use of the Z Flip proved that the troubles plaguing the original Fold could be solved.

Everything about the Z Fold 2 is better made than the original. It is still bleeding-edge technology, but it looks, works and feels like an ultra-premium device actually worth the best part of £2,000, not a prototype.

The Z Fold 2 is a two-in-one device unlike anything else on the market. When folded, it is a chunky but regular smartphone with a long, thin display on the outside. Open it up like a book and you’ve got a tablet that’s about the same size as Apple’s popular iPad Mini.

The outside screen is crisp, bright and useful for the sorts of things you use a smartphone for: messaging, checking the weather, quick Google searches, loading Spotify playlists and checking the Premier League scores.

It is easy to hold with lots of edge to grip. In two weeks of use not once did I feel I could drop the phone using it in one or two hands despite weighing a not inconsiderable 282g – Samsung’s massive Galaxy Note 20 Ultra only weighs 208g, while Apple’s iPhone 11 Pro Max weighs 226g.

After using hand-stretching big phones for years, using the Z Fold 2 when folded was surprisingly refreshing and its thickness wasn’t a problem fitting it in jeans or jacket pockets.

But for those things that demand a big screen, you simply unfold it and away you go. The inside display is fantastic; big, bright, colour-rich and crisp. It runs at 120Hz, which eliminates any potential problems around scrolling lag. A selfie-camera pokes through the screen at 25mm in from the right edge and blends into the background just fine.

The crease in the middle of the screen is a compromise necessary to have it fold in half. While you can see it when the screen is off or with glare on the screen at certain angles, it totally disappears when you’re actually using it.

The screen is made of ultra-thin glass, but that glass is sandwiched between multiple layers of hi-tech adhesive and plastic, including a screen protector on top that is replaceable by a service centre. It feels solid like glass when you tap or run your finger over it, but just like any common plastic screen protector it can be marked by a nail if you try and is ultimately softer and less durable than a traditional glass display.

There are two zoom modes available for the inner screen. By default it acts like a blown up phone screen making everything bigger, but I switched it to the tablet mode, which made text, icons and the user interface smaller so you could fit more on screen at once.

In this mode some apps give you more than one pane similar to a tablet or desktop layout, such as showing a list of emails on the left and the current open email on the right.

The back is frosted glass with an attractive camera lump that looks like the Note 20 Ultra but only sticks out about half as far. The bronze colour, as tested here, varies between looking purply brown in some lights to matt pink in others.


  • Main screen: 7.6in QXGA+ Dynamic Amoled 2X Infinity Flex Display

  • Cover screen: 6.2in HD+ Super Amoled

  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+

  • RAM: 12GB of RAM

  • Storage: 256GB

  • Operating system: One UI 2.5 based on Android 10

  • Camera: Triple rear: 12MP wide angle, 12MP ultra-wide angle, 12MP 2x telephoto; two separate 10MP selfie cameras

  • Connectivity: 5G, single nano sim + esim, USB-C, wifi 6, NFC, Bluetooth 5, UWB and location

  • Water resistance: none

  • Dimensions folded: 159.2 x 68 x 16.8mm

  • Dimensions unfolded: 159.2 x 128.2 x 6.9mm

  • Weight: 282g

Top performance and 32-hour battery

The Z Fold 2 has Qualcomm’s latest top Snapdragon 865+ processor. Other Samsung phones such as Note 20 Ultra have the firm’s own Exynos 990 chip in the EU, which is slightly inferior on raw performance and energy efficiency.

That means the foldable has the highest performance available in an Android smartphone or tablet. With 12GB of RAM available it can run any number of apps simultaneously without breaking a sweat, which is something you may actually want to do with the solid split-screen experience – more on that later.

Battery life is surprisingly good considering the number and size of the screens. The Z Fold 2 lasts about 32 hours between charges with the screens on for a total of five hours. That matches the OnePlus 8 Pro and is two hours longer than the EU version of the Note 20 Ultra. It lasts long enough to get you through even the hardest of use days or about two days if used a bit lighter.

During the 32 hours the Z Fold 2 was used on 4 and 5G for three hours, the rest on wifi. I spent about one third of the time using the small outer screen and two-thirds using the big inner screen, often with two or more apps open at the same time.


Samsung declined to provide an estimate for the expected lifespan of the battery in the Z Fold 2, which is typically 500 full charge cycles while maintaining at least 80% capacity for other rechargeable batteries. The device is generally repairable and the battery is replaceable by authorised service centres. Battery replacements will cost no more than £59. Smashed screens will be replaced at a cost of £119 for the first repair within the first 12 months arranged through the Galaxy Z Premier service. Repair specialists iFixit awarded the Z Fold 2 only three out of 10 in repairability.

Samsung declined to comment on the use of recycled materials in the Z Fold 2, but does offer trade-in and recycling schemes for old devices and fits its devices with bioplastic screen protectors.

One UI 2.5

The Z Fold 2 runs Samsung’s latest One UI 2.5, which is based on last year’s Android 10, not the recently released Android 11. An update to One UI 3 and Android 11 is expected in the next six months. Samsung has pledged three years of major Android updates and monthly security patches, which is good for Android devices, but is still some way behind Apple’s five-plus years of software support for its phones and tablets.

Like the Z Flip, One UI has some customisation to take advantage of the folding screen.

It has two different home screen layouts for the cover and internal screens, which appears odd at first, but is actually very handy. All the apps I want to use when the phone is closed go on the outside home screen, such as messaging apps, the calculator, smart home controls, Spotify and so on. Big-screen apps went on the inside home screen.

This split rammed home that this is two devices in one, not just a giant phone. It forced me to relearn how I set up and use a device for the better for the first time in about five years of testing phones and tablets.

Multi-window you may actually want to use

The Z Fold 2 also has an enhanced version of Samsung’s powerful multi-window software that, according to the company, only 4% of users actually use on its other smartphones, including the large Note series.

While smartphone screens are just too small to make more than one app on screen useful, the big internal tablet display of the Z Fold 2 is perfect for it. It allows up to three apps to run in a split-screen configuration, plus any number in pop-out windows. It’s all very slick using either the recently used apps menu or, better, Samsung’s slide-out edge panel to deploy the apps and you can save layouts for quick redeployment.

I ended up using a whole bunch of apps in pairs such as the Premier League app next to WhatsApp or the calculator app next to Evernote. Most apps can be used in some sort of split-screen mode. Notable exceptions are Signal and Instagram, the latter of which notoriously doesn’t have any tablet support across Android or on an iPad.

The only downside is that if you switch to an app that’s full-screen you can’t just switch back to your multi-window layout, meaning you have to manually set it up again.

The two screens are also linked. The app you have open on the cover screen automatically opens full-screen on the inside when you unfold it. It is very slick. The reverse can be set to happen on an app-by-app basis too. But it is actually very nice to be able to shut the Z Fold 2 to turn it off just like the Z Flip, so I limited it to just a handful of apps.

The Z Fold 2 has a “flex mode” like the Z Flip too, which allows apps such as YouTube to display different things on the upper and lower halves of the screen when it is open at less than 180 degrees, such as a video up top and comments down below. You can play videos on the cover screen and prop it open like a kickstand or an A-frame.


The Z Fold 2 has five cameras in total. It has two 10-megapixel selfie cameras that are on par with Samsung’s others, one positioned in the cover screen and one in the internal screen.

The back features three 12-megapixel cameras, one ultra-wide angle, one normal wide angle and one 2x telephoto. The cameras are good but not class leading, and no match for those on the Note 20 Ultra. That’s partly down to size and cost. As such they can produce some really good photos and low light performance is pretty good. The 2x telephoto camera is the weakest of the three, matching good ones from last year, not the significantly improved 3, 4 or 5x telephoto cameras on the best phones of 2020.

Simply put, you don’t buy the Z Fold 2 for the best cameras on the market. But it does have a few fancy tricks. Using flex mode, the camera can display controls and previous image previews on the bottom half, with a view finder on the top half. You can also prop the phone up for longer-exposure shots and set it up to automatically track and zoom in you when shooting video.

My favourite feature turns the cover screen into a preview pane when shooting with the tablet screen open. This means the person having their picture taken can see the image in real time while the photographer is looking at the same image on the larger screen. The model can even trigger a photo themselves by putting up a palm to set off a countdown timer. A selfie mode does the same thing so you can take far superior images of yourself using the main rear cameras.


  • The hinge will hold the device open between 75 and 115 degrees for flex mode.

  • The two halves close with a satisfying snap.

  • The stereo speakers are very good for a smartphone or small tablet.

  • A list of warnings comes with the device, including to not press too hard on the screen, don’t fold anything in the screen, don’t remove the screen protector yourself and keep away from liquids and dust.

  • Samsung’s Keyboard app remembers different layouts for each screen, such as condensed on the outside and split for easier typing on the inside.


The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 costs £1,799 and ships on 2 October.

For comparison, the original Galaxy Fold cost £1,900, the Galaxy Z Flip costs from £1,300, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra costs £1,179, the OnePlus 8 Pro costs £799 and the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max costs £1,149.


The Galaxy Z Fold 2 is an absolute triumph for Samsung, cementing foldable screen devices as not only a possible novelty but as an actually good, useful device worth buying right now.

I am by no means suggesting everyone should run out and buy one – £1,799 is far too much to spend on a phone when you can buy really good ones for under £350. No, this is a phone for wealthy people – for people who buy luxury cars or watches. Or those who must have the very best piece of technology for being on the bleeding edge and drawing attention in public.

But at the same time you are getting a lot of device for the money, more so than other £1,000+ phones. The Z Fold 2 is exciting, useful in ways you may not expect and proves that the future of smartphones, tablets and computers is one unified adaptable device. One day relatively soon folding screen devices will be mainstream and we need devices like the Z Fold 2 to make that happen.

Of course the Z Fold 2 is not perfect. The cameras could be better, so could app support for the larger screen, the cover screen could be wider and it could be water and dust resistant, although I’m not sure that’s actually physically possible yet with this type of hinge.

There’s also a durability question over the internal screen. I’ve used it for two weeks and it is still perfect. I’ll use it for another couple of months to see how it holds up, but if the Z Flip is anything to go by, as long as you treat it with the care that a super expensive phone deserves it should be fine. It is well protected when closed.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 is the most exciting new device I’ve used in a very long time. If you’re bored stiff by the monotony of traditional smartphones with minor improvements and don’t just want a £379 good budget phone, this is the device for you. It defies expectations and makes me smile every time I open it.

Pros: a phone and tablet in one, split-screen apps actually useful, good cover screen, fantastic tablet screen, 5G, great performance, plenty of RAM, good battery life, fast charging, good cameras, head-turning design

Cons: super expensive, no water or dust resistance, no 5x optical zoom camera, internal screen can be marked more easily than traditional glass, heavy, thick, not all apps support multi-window

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