Firstly, we get software updates which help to refine the user experience. Secondly, we get to see how a phone holds up to longer durations of, wear and tear, and thirdly well, the price inevitably drops, and so with that said, i think, it’s time to revisit this phone. Six months later to see whether it’s a device worth buying in 2021 let’s do this. So, firstly, this is a really fun device to use and i will consciously try and keep using the word device as opposed to phone where possible throughout this video, which i’ll explain why, a little later on, but there’s something so captivating and so awe inspiring about being Able to physically open up a working electronic display and have it turn on and function normally and then fold it back up without it ever breaking like this is the first android phone i’ve used in a long time that my wife has actually been excited to use And try out herself, and that is saying something it does feel like a bit of a flex, though in public opening this thing up, but that’s, not really all that surprising and probably won’t change for quite some time now, aside from the fold, the design really is All the best stuff from samsung’s other flagships, so you’ve got the satin bronze finish on the back with the metallic camera unit. Much like the galaxy note, 20 ultra you’ve got the relatively small hole punches on both the outer and inner displays, and i really dig the uniformity of the inner display, in particular it’s a completely flat display, and yes, there is a lip all the way around for Protection, but the bezels themselves are really slim and consistently sized, which is so satisfying.
Can we also just appreciate how thin this thing is when opened like? That is a very slim tablet. I doubt you’d find anything quite that slim in a readily available device. Now the hinge as i’m sure you’ve all seen is a fantastic step up from their first version. It can now sit at virtually any position that you place it in, and it just has a very satisfying and smooth transition from open to close. Now. In terms of that crease, let me tell you this is something that seems way worse in images and videos and, whilst i’m not telling you that i haven’t noticed it at all. I definitely have what i am saying is that it’s actually very easy to accept when you use the device in real life. Keep in mind this isn’t a traditional tablet, it’s a tablet that folds do we get annoyed at books or magazines that have a crease no, and i think some of that leeway can be afforded to a display that folds as well it’s like asking a piece of Paper to magically remove its crease after it’s been folded. Would that be nice? Yes, would it also be impossible? Yes, now i understand that the fold is meant to be one continuous display, unlike a book or magazine, but the crease is a small price to pay for having a damn tablet that folds and i honestly don’t, think there will ever be a solution that completely removes The crease all together, whilst these devices are still folding, if anything, they’ll, need to change tacks and go with the rollable method, like what we’ve seen in some recent prototypes from oppo and tcl.
But for now, as i said, the crease really isn’t that big of an issue when using the device in person now the biggest change. Aside from the fold, of course, when comparing this device to samsung’s other flagship phones is the fingerprint sensor. This is by far and away the fastest fingerprint sensor i’ve ever used on a samsung device and even though it’ll never probably happen, i’d love for samsung to start using these in their flagships as well. In fact, it is so damn sensitive that i’ll often turn the phone on only to have my biometrics disabled because it’s been detecting other parts of my hand as i’ve been holding the device. There is a setting to disable off screen detection, but then you’ve got to always wake up the device to actually use the fingerprint sensor and that’s kind of annoying as well. So you’ve got to pick your preference there. I guess in terms of software i will say there is a bit of a learning curve to figuring out how apps will work when you close and reopen the device, and this hasn’t really been improved in the six months the device has been out. So, for example, i was at a nursery here in australia and i had a photo of my backyard open using the google photos, app ready to show one of the employees to get some advice on our yard. A couple of minutes went by we hadn’t yet spoken to the employee, so i decided to close the device and put it in my pocket now when i then saw the employee couple of minutes later and went to unlock the fold whilst it was closed and get The photo to show up google photos was no longer open and i had to relaunch it manually.
Things are a little better, the other way around, where, if i’m, using an app on the front display and then open the device it should carry over but again closing the fold acts as though i’m getting out of a nap and then locking the phone. I get the locking the phone part, but getting out of the app part. That kind of bugs me, oh, and why on earth, has the instagram app still not been optimized for the larger display? It is such an eyesore, and it kind of baffles me that instagram hasn’t gotten onto this when every other app that i use fits both displays. Just fine, oh hey, editing, sam here and after i finished filming the arrow for this video samsung finally released the android 11 update for my z, fold 2.. This was going to be another one of my complaints that it was taking so long to receive the update, but hey at least it’s. Here now right. I also forgot to mention battery life in my initial script, so i’ll just briefly mention now that it’s about what you’d expect out of a samsung flagship device, it’s decent, whilst also not being groundbreaking. There have been days where i’ve been able to get well over five hours of screen on time with a good chunk of battery remaining. But then there’s also been days where i’ve been at around 10. At the end of the day, with only around three hours of screen on time, it just depends on how you’re using the phone, but some encouragement is that i haven’t yet been able to kill it in a single day now, also at the computer may as well Quickly, talk about the cameras right so for me, the cameras on the z fold too, remind me of last year’s, s20 lineup of devices, not the note 20 ultra or this year’s s21 ultra, and what this means is that, whilst images are decent in most lighting scenarios, I still don’t love how it captures and processes photos of people, which is one of the aspects i thought was seriously improved with this year’s lineup of phones.
Videos are also very samsung esque, which is both a good and a bad thing. It means lots of sharpening is added in processing which can result in mushy videos when conditions are not as bright but look. Ultimately, you still have a nice set of 20 20 flagship cameras on this device, and i have enjoyed using the fold to take images whilst i’ve been out and about alright that’s more than enough from editing sam, so let’s cut back to the main video. The more that i’ve used this device, the less that i’ve enjoyed using this front display like i’m, all for how samsung made this the entire size of the front compared to that awful mini screen. We saw on the first generation fold, but it’s still a little too thin typing in particular, is just a bit too tricky for my liking on this thin display and even just most apps feel too small to really see anything properly. In other words, it kind of feels like a waste it’s there, but i don’t really want to use it. The other thing is it’s only 60 hertz, whereas the inner display is the full hog at 120hz and while 60hz can be okay depending on the device, if you’re, switching immediately from using a large and beautiful 120hz display to then using a thin 60hz display straight away. Well, it becomes very noticeable, oh and one more nitpick if i’m allowed. Why would anyone want super tall and super thin photos when taking images using the front display like i was at the beach one day with my fam, i was taking some snaps with the phone closed and then i get back and i’m like whoa.
All of these photos look ridiculous. Now sure it is a setting. You can change with one tap of a button, but it’s not like it’s that obvious how to change it, and i think it should be set to the standard size by default, not the other way around. Okay, now i know i’m nitpicking a lot and hear me out. These really are nitpicks at the end of the day, this is a really fantastic device and i’ve largely enjoyed using it, but, as i alluded to at the start of this review, in my opinion, this is not a phone. Hence why i’ve avoided calling it that, as best as possible throughout this video, in reality, after using this device for a solid stretch of time, i now see it as a small tablet that folds, rather than a phone that unfolds, if you will this front cover display, Is just too thin to enjoy using it as though it’s a normal phone, but opened well, whilst it’s way more enjoyable to use it in this state. It’S. Definitely then way too big to be a regular phone replacement. I think, as long as samsung sticks with this sizing, it will never be a phone first sort of device. It will always be a fantastic compact tablet device great for consuming media great for drawing up quick sketches to show clients. Perhaps all the things you love to use a tablet for this device is great at doing as well, albeit in a fairly small form factor.
I think the solution, though, is that samsung should actually make their next iteration the same width when closed as the width of their premium flagship devices make this a proper flagship phone experience on the front that then opens up to a beautiful tablet. Sized device on the inside and you have got on your hands a full time replacement for a phone, because at the moment i don’t really enjoy using this as a phone and in fact, i’ve been somewhat excited to get back to using a regular sized phone. As i near the end of this review so for now great little tablet, that is usable as a phone, if need be, but still not a fully fledged phone replacement.