Technology

Galaxy Z Fold 2’s hinge lets it do something only one other foldable phone can do





The Galaxy Z Fold 2 cellphone folds out right into a pill and boasts a gifted hinge.


CNET/Samsung

I bear in mind my precise feeling of pleasure the day Samsung introduced its first foldable cellphone. A 12 months and a half after the Galaxy Fold’s dramatic reveal and subsequent fall from grace, I used to be shocked to really feel the identical sense of anticipation when Samsung unveiled its third foldable cellphone, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G, throughout a virtual launch hosted on-line to showcase the brand new Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra.

I had adopted the leaks for months, however one thing clicked when all of the items got here collectively on display, official for the primary time. There’s the bigger 6.2-inch outer display, the 7.6-inch internal show with no eyesore of a notch like the primary time and only a pinprick of a front-facing digital camera as an alternative. There’s the mystic bronze shade (to go together with primary black) and a heady mount of cameras on the again that may definitely flip heads if utilizing a foldable cellphone does not try this first. 

There’s additionally the sheet of ultrathin glass on the internal display, which debuted with the Galaxy Z Flip and which — hopefully in contrast to the Fold’s first rodeo — will not be a necessary display part that peels off and renders the device unusable.

All of those are good and good, possibly even nice, for the following iteration of a futuristic gadget outdoors the attain of mere mortals. However the one function that is almost definitely to be a game-changer is the hinge. Or relatively, the truth that the hinge is sturdy sufficient to carry itself upright, like a corset, so you possibly can bend it at any variety of angles earlier than its magnetic corners snap shut or the hinge springs open.

Nothing has bought the promise of a foldable cellphone to me fairly like that freestanding hinge, first seen within the Z Flip. Day-after-day I used it, I discovered myself naturally propping it partially open to learn the information whereas consuming (sure, I splashed it with soup), take a selfie or stabilize the cellphone and act as a viewfinder for a typical photograph. Partially open, the cellphone was additionally terrific at turning into its personal stand for video calls. Samsung calls this Flex Mode.

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Just one problem: The Z Flip, being a clamshell shape, has a tall, narrow 6.7-inch screen that feels small when folded in half. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 (and mind you, there never was a Z Fold 1 to begin with) could change that perception of smallness. Not only is its full size 7.6-inch internal display reminiscent of a tablet, you’d be able to use Flex Mode in both landscape and portrait configurations and at enough angles to either partially bend it enough so it can stand upright while you read a news story or scroll your social media feeds, to acting as its own stand during your Zoom meeting in the park.

I’ll admit that right now this is purely conjecture. Samsung dribbled out enough information to stir up enthusiasm, but not enough to rile critique before the device has a chance to breathe. The company says it’ll share more information, including the Z Fold 2’s price and preorder details, on Sept. 1. Until then, here’s a little more we know about the Galaxy Z Fold 2.

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The Galaxy Z Fold 2’s 7.2-inch inner screen, with a front-facing camera, but no notch in sight.


Samsung

Galaxy Z Fold 2 screen, camera, more

For me (though I haven’t yet seen it in the flesh), the Z Fold 2 is off to a stronger start, using the same ultrathin glass as on the Galaxy Z Flip, a large-enough cover screen that could make typing and using apps more practical than it was on the cramped Galaxy Z Fold and two Infinity-O displays that make the eyesore notch of the original Fold a shudder from the past. It also has a thinner body than last year’s model, with fewer gaps, which is to be expected.

The Galaxy Z Fold 2 looks like it has the same camera setup as the Note 20 Ultra, which features a main camera capable of taking 108-megapixel photos, 5x optical zoom (and 50x Space Zoom) and 12-megapixel sensors for ultrawide-angle and telephoto shots. It has two front-facing cameras as well, one on the inner screen and one on the cover display, which should each be 10 megapixels, same as on the Galaxy Note 20 phones.

You’ll find the fingerprint reader on the right spine, so it’s on the bottom of the screen sandwich when the phone is folded up. 

Although you can reserve the Galaxy Z Fold 2 right now on Samsung.com, it isn’t clear from Samsung’s site how much it costs. For reference, the first Galaxy Fold cost $1,980.

Consider this announcement one big tease. 

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Author

Jessica Dolcourt