As a professional engineer who completed machine design and mechanical engineering classes, I find the details behind the hardware of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 fascinating. You must watch the Z Fold 2: Untold Stories video embedded below to appreciate the engineering behind this new foldable mobile device. I’ve viewed it four times so far.
A sample device was sent to me for a 14-day evaluation period and after less than 24 hours with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 I placed an order for my own model, Mystic Black with Metallic Red hinge. You would be hard-pressed to find another mobile device today with such an elegant fit, finish, and engineering prowess.
If you open up a book, you see the pages create a layer effect at the edge opposite of the spin. This slip was dealt with by Samsung through the innovative Hideaway Hinge that creates two virtual axes down in the ‘spine’ of the Z Fold 2.
Thanks to the new quad CAM system used in the Hideaway Hinge of the Z Fold 2 you can now open up the phone and prop open the top to use with apps in unique ways. The new hinge system lets you use free standing Flex Mode through a range of angles as friction in the CAM supports the weight of the phone. There are four CAM hinges in the Z Fold 2 and more than 60 total pieces make up the components of the hinge.
Another improvement in the hinge is the sweeper system with fibers that keep out particles. In the video Samsung states that the inspiration for this came from a vacuum cleaner commercial. Sometimes the simplest ideas help us solve complex engineering problems.
One of the most significant improvements on the Z Fold 2, compared to the Galaxy Fold, is the Cover Screen size increase from 4.6 to 6.2 inches. I was able to use the original Fold screen for some apps, but entering text was definitely a chore on such a small display.
With the Z Fold 2, 6.2 inches pushes the display out in all four directions so there is a very small bezel around all four sides. The Super AMOLED display boasts a resolution of 2260 x 816 pixels, 386 ppi. It’s all about the size on the outer display and it is now close to what you find on other smartphones.
In addition to the size increase, the Cover Screen also incorporates Gorilla Glass Victus, the most durable glass available on a Galaxy phone. The back of the Z Fold 2 is made with Gorilla Glass 6 material.
The real magic takes place on the Main Screen, but it has little to do with the size increase from 7.3 inches to 7.6 inches. The size increase is great, especially with the removal of the large sensor/camera block in the upper right corner and the 27% decrease in side bezels.
This Main Screen has a Dynamic AMOLED boasting 2208 x 1768 pixels and the dynamic refresh rate that automatically switches between 11Hz and 120Hz to provide you with a flawless display experience. Once you use a display with a high refresh rate you just can’t go back to a standard 60Hz display.
There is innovation in the display with the integration of Samsung’s UTG, Ultra Thin Glass, layer. The display consists of two bottom layers, the AMOLED display panel layer, the UTG layer, a protective layer, and a Samsung-installed screen protector. Engineering also went into designing the adhesive that holds layers together and that alone is an amazing feat.
You may have seen some people online removing the installed screen protector, but Samsung advises buyers to call Samsung to find out where a Samsung authorized representative can remove this for you for free if you no longer want it installed. Since you are not going to touch the glass layer directly after removing the screen protector, I don’t understand why one would want to remove the screen protector and I personally have no plans to remove it when my own Z Fold 2 arrives.
The display has about the same soft feel as the orignal Galaxy Fold, but I never had an issue with that first display and this one has performed flawlessly over the past week too.
There are five cameras on the Z Fold 2; one embedded in the Cover Screen, one embedded in the Main Screen, and three found on the back. While there is no high resolution 108MP shooter like we see on the new Note 20 Ultra, the cameras perform very well. One reason the cameras do so well on the Z Fold 2 is the innovative software and hinge that enhances the ways you can capture content.
The three rear 12MP cameras work well together with advanced Samsung camera software. There is an ultra-wide angle 123 degree shooter, F1.8 aperture super speed dual pixel lens, and a telephoto camera capable of 2x optical and 10x digital zoom.
Precision control zoom, Bluetooth microphone support, and auto framing work to help you capture your best video content with a smartphone.
I’ve read some opinions that the stereo speakers are oddly placed with one firing out the top of the Cover Screen and the other firing out the bottom. However, when you rotate the Z Fold 2 to watch video content, these two speakers are now firing out the left and right sides in perfect stereo form.
The AKG tuned stereo speakers sound amazing and I would argue are the best I’ve heard on a phone. That said, opening up the Z Fold 2 makes it more of a tablet than a phone so maybe it should really be compared to Samsung tablets and iPads for audio performance.
Other hardware details
While many may miss this detail, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 also incorporates LPDDR5 RAM that improves power efficiency and significantly improved data rates, up to 30% higher than LPDDR4x.
The Galaxy Z Fold 2 also has 256GB internal storage with UFS 3.1 technology. Some select markets may offer 512GB too.
While we can’t yet take full advantage of this new technology, the Z Fold 2 has ultra-wideband (UWB) support for faster file sharing.