If you're a 90s kid like me you probably grew up in the golden age of flip phones which lasted till the mid 2000s. From the indestructible ones made by Nokia to the the stylish Motorola Razr released in 2004, flip phones were the pinnacle of mobile technology.
The rise of the smartphone pretty much killed this trend thereafter but thankfully there has been a resurgence in recent years with big industry players like Apple and Samsung jumping back on the foldable phone hype train.
In recent years, Samsung released not one but two foldable phones, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip (both of which are available for purchase with a Circles.Life Combo Plan here). I wrote briefly about the Z Flip briefly in my last article on the best 5G phones that aren't the iPhone 12 but it essentially keeps the nostalgic form we know whilst adding on cutting edge processors and cameras.
The Z Fold on the other hand is slightly more innovative since it opens horizontally rather than vertically - more like a book than a clamshell. There's already been 2 iterations of this model with the first Z Fold debut back in 2019. Since then, Samsung has made dramatic improvements to this series with the Z Fold2 packing in a bigger screen, larger battery capacity and overall better design.
Here's a quick rundown of why the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 is paving the way for the next generation of flip phones.
A whole lot of Screen
How the Z Fold works is that it has an external screen you can interact with like any phone but you can also flip open the phone; much like you would flip open a book to utilize a bigger screen for you to work and play on.
The entire concept is centered around Samsung's Infinity Flex Display (also used in the Z Flip series) which claims to allow for their phones to fold hundreds of thousands of times without breaking (200,00 times to be exact).
Looking at the displays themselves, the original Z Fold came with 7.3-inch main screen and a 4.6-inch external screen. The most recent Z Fold2 kicks it up a notch bumping the screen size up to 7.6-inches on its main and 6.2-inches for its external screen. They've also managed to minimize the notches so as to maximize screen real estate and you'll realize that the main display now offers 120hz refresh rate for that same smooth scrolling you would get on a S20 FE which I reviewed here.
The layout of certain apps has also been reworked so it looks a lot more natural rather than a simple enlargement of regular app interfaces. Apps like Gmail and Spotify will often have the bulk on the information flushed to the left side of the screen as seen above making it a more reminiscent of a tablet or desktop interface rather than that of any other phone.
Games like PUBG have also been carefully optimized to help you take full advantage of your new massive screen size. You'll be able to spot and snipe those kills you need to rank up in no time on the Z Folds high-def AMOLED display.
A Phone for the Future
We're once again going to take a quick peek at the components that make each phone tick and the Z Fold2 is definitely no slouch when it comes to performance. Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ processor (the same chip that powers the S2o series and Google Pixel), the Z Fold2 is fully 5G compatible and allows for a 10% boost over its predecessor and is specially optimized to deliver high performance gaming.
The chipset is also renowned for improving the overall battery life of the Z Fold2 not that it's going to since Samsung bumped up the battery to 4500mAh from 4235mAh on the original Z Fold. Heck it even beats out the iPhone 12 Pro Max and its measly 3,687 mAh battery.
Better yet it even boasts 3x the RAM on the iPhone 12, 12GB vs 4GB. For the uninitiated, more RAM allows you to keep apps running in the background even while you're chilling out watching Netflix. The two phones do share one common point in that they don't offer expandable storage 😂
Smile for the Cameras
Three camera's seem to be the way to go with both Apple and Samsung adopting this winning formula for their top tier flagship phones. While the Z Fold2 might not rock the same eye-popping cameras of the Note20 or iPhone 12, it's triple rear cameras are still pretty darn capable. You get a 12MP main camera, a 12MP wide-angle camera and a 12MP telephoto sensor camera.
And those are only the cameras on the back! The Z Fold packs in an additional two 10MP cameras on the front which you can use for videocalls and the like. The image above also demonstrates the most unique feature of the Z Fold2, its dual preview that allows you to see how your subject is going to look using the front display while you're taking the shot. Trust me it's easier to watch someone demo it:
Welcome to the Fold?
Of course there's not such thing as the perfect phone. The Z Fold2 comes with it's fair share of shortcomings in the form of the lack of water resistance and the fact that is is one hefty phone to carry around. The iPhone 12 Pro, Apple's largest iPhone to date, weighs about 227g. The Z Fold2 by comparison is at least 60g heavier at 280g (swap it round your pockets and call it a leg day).
But hey if anything it's more than an interesting spin on a dated concept. I say anything that can go toe to toe with some Apple in presenting something novel deserves universal praise. Once again you can check out the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 right here on Circles.Life. Oh and you can bet your bottom dollar we'll be stocking that Z Fold3 which just got leaked yesterday.