A bronze Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G smartphone angled open and fully open.

Samsung promises the new Galaxy Z Fold2 5G will deliver a more refined and powerful vision of the manufacturer’s first foldable phone, using bigger displays, a sleeker design, and multitasking tools optimized by Google and Microsoft to capitalize on the device’s unique format.

With a starting price of $2,000—making it the most expensive smartphone on the market—it may need to do all that and more.

After teasing the new device last month, the South Korean tech giant officially launched the Fold2 on Tuesday. The model is available for preorder starting Wednesday and officially goes on sale Sept. 18.

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While the original Galaxy Fold was late to market because of durability problems with the hinge and folding screen, it turned out to be a pretty good device, scoring high enough in Consumer Reports’ testing to receive a Very Good overall rating.

In the end, though, it was big and clunky, with a cramped front display, which, combined with the $1,980 starting price, kept a lot of consumers from considering it.

On paper, the Fold2 appears to fix some of those problems. And, as the name implies, it includes the hardware needed for 5G connectivity.

We’ll be testing all the Fold2’s features and hardware after the phone goes on sale to the general public and we get it into our labs. Unlike others in tech media, CR buys all the products it tests at retail, ensuring that we’re getting the same device you are.

In the meantime, here’s a closer look at what the Fold2 has to offer. 

Two Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G smartphones
Photo: Samsung

Promised Improvements

Bigger (and better) displays: The phone’s outer display fully covers the front side of the device when closed, spanning 6.2 inches when measured diagonally. That’s a big improvement over the 4.6-inch display on the original fold, which was basically good only for notifications.

The flexible inside display is a bit bigger, too. Thanks in part to smaller bezels, it now measures 7.6 inches instead of 7.3 inches.

The front display features Corning’s new Gorilla Glass Victus, billed by its creator as the toughest Gorilla Glass yet.

The inner display has gotten an upgrade, as well. It’s now made with an ultrathin glass instead of the easy-to-scratch plastic used on the original Fold.  

The back of the phone is sheathed in Gorilla Glass 6, which set the industry standard for toughness when it was rolled out in 2018.

Redesigned hinge: Samsung says the new “hideaway hinge” will improve durability and reduce the gap between the two sides of the closed device, providing more protection against the invasion of dust and debris. And, as with the Galaxy Z Flip phones released earlier this year, you can now open the phone to different angles, letting you raise the screen like the mirror on a makeup compact for hands-free photos or video chatting.

Smoother transitions: Samsung says it’s easier to preview a photo or video on the front screen, then seamlessly shift to watching it on the larger inner screen and vice versa. The earlier model let you shift from the outer to inner screen relatively simply but not the reverse.

New camera tricks: Like the 2019 Fold, the new device’s main camera setup includes wide, ultrawide, and 2X lenses. It also has two selfie cameras—one in the front cover and another in the larger inner display.

This allows you to take better advantage of the Fold2’s unique design. If you open it to a 90-degree angle, you can set the phone on a table and take a selfie, using the top half of the inner screen as a viewfinder, just like with the Z Flip phones.

The same split-screen technology can be used for Google Duo chats. And, unlike with the Z Flip, the video on the Flip2 will be in full 1080p high-definition resolution.

You’ll also be able to open the Fold2 up to let multiple parties preview images shot with the main camera. While the photographer uses the inner screen to stage the shot, the subject can view it on the outer screen.

Better multitasking: Samsung says it has been working with Google and Microsoft to optimize their apps for the Fold2’s various screen configurations.

That means you should be able to capitalize on the vast real estate to edit an Excel spreadsheet on the go or view an individual email opened up next to your inbox.

You can even open three apps at once and create shortcuts featuring your most used trios. (Think email, Chrome, and Twitter.) And if you like to have them laid out in a certain way, you can save those custom configurations, too.

More color: One thing lacking in the original Fold’s design was a sense of fun. And who wants to pay two grand for a phone that’s not fun? While the Fold2 comes in just two colors—black and the bronze hue Samsung rolled out earlier this year—you can personalize it with a custom hinge in one of four colors: silver, gold, red, or blue.

More from Thom Browne: For those with a little extra cash, Samsung has again partnered with fashion designer Thom Browne on a limited-edition package. This time around, it features a custom-designed Fold2, a Galaxy Watch3, and a pair of Galaxy Buds Live headphones.

All come in a distinct gray color with the designer’s multicolor stripe. The phone has a unique lock screen and photo filter, as well. The $3,300 package will be available starting Sept. 25. The supply is limited to 5,000 worldwide.