Testing Galaxy Z Fold2 (Song Su-hyun/The Korea Herald)
As a Galaxy Z Flip user, the technological improvement of the Galaxy Z Fold2 looks to be short of jaw-dropping.
But the 7.6-inch main screen, supported by the highly touted Hideaway Hinge and flexible ultrathin glass technologies, definitely felt different.
When unfolded, the Galaxy Z Fold2 worked more like a tablet PC than a smartphone.
It seemed to have come a long way since the first Galaxy Fold, since the Fold2 is almost bezel-less. With no interruption from a notch, except for a tiny single hole cutout for the selfie-camera, the full screen experience became real.
Exploring the Fold2 got more exciting as I tried the Multi-Active Window feature to experience its multitasking capabilities.
The large screen made perfect sense for multitasking, which splits into three smaller views that enable users to run different apps on the single screen.
I pondered ways to maximize productivity and efficiency by using this luxury $2,000 gadget -- or to rationalize why we needed to buy one.
First, I dragged Chrome onto the left half of the main screen from the Multi-Window tray, which enables the user to set multiple apps that are frequently used. Then I opened The Korea Herald homepage to check out the top headlines.
For the top right side of the screen, I opened YouTube, and played the latest news broadcasts.
And lastly, I opened the Samsung Note app to jot down any notes I wanted to take from this concoction of news monitoring.
Only a few minutes into it, this setup proved helpful, so I set them up on the App Pair, which enabled me to open all three apps at once with a single touch. This was, and continues to be, extremely convenient.
Another convenient feature of the Z Fold2 came from the Flex Mode that makes the two sides of the main screen stay open at angles between 75 and 115 degrees. The Flex Mode was the killer feature of Z Flip, which had introduced the hands-free experience to the mobile world for the first time.
With the bigger Z Fold2, such a hands-free standing mode made more sense, considering that the 282-gram device is pretty heavy to hold for binge watching and multitasking for long hours.
It would definitely be useful for video calls or shooting photos.
One downside is that with the Flex Mode the phone should be placed horizontally, which makes the screen configuration quite unfamiliar -- too wide horizontally and too short vertically.
Last but not least, there is the cover screen.
The 6.2-inch cover display when the phone is folded made me feel as if I owned two different phones.
The external screen was big enough to open all the apps with no need for two hands to carefully open the expensive device.
Since I had to open up my Z Flip every minute to check text messages and emails -- which was quite annoying -- the bigger cover display seemed to be adding much convenience for foldable phone users.
Compared to the 6.7-inch main screen of the Z Flip, the cover screen can look a bit narrower and the smaller keyboard tends to be more vulnerable to typos.
I had bought my Z Flip for 1.65 million won ($1,390), partly for the awe factor of its sleek exterior.
I wouldn‘t be able to spend $2,000 for the same reason, but perhaps for the reasons above. After all, it could make my daily grind of working from home in a pandemic more productive, right?
Preorders for the Z Fold2 begin from Friday and go through Tuesday ahead of its official launch, slated for Sept. 18.
By Song Su-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)