Aside from the best gaming phones, the biggest innovation in smartphones has been the foldable device space. Samsung is slightly the leader with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 and Galaxy Z Flip 5G, but other OEMs have brought out options of their own.
The Huawei Mate X2 looks like that Perfect Foldable with a cover display big enough to function as a phone on its own before unfolding into a massive tablet with no camera cutout on the inside. The Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold not only fascinates with its lower price, but also with the Liquid Lens camera technology. TCL and LG have shown rollable displays, but LG no longer makes smartphones, and TCL’s designs are more of a concept than something it actually brings to market.
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The problem with Huawei is obvious as it is not readily available here in the US and it still does not support Google Services due to its place on the US government entity list. Xiaomi could eventually make its way to the US after being removed from the same entity list, but you are unlikely to see the Mi Mix Fold here unless you import it. This really only leaves us Samsung and Motorola here in the US for foldable smartphones, and Motorola is still getting its foldable act together.
There are more than a few reasons why leaflets haven’t become mainstream, even though they seem to be growing in popularity. So what does Samsung need to make foldables mainstream in 2021 and beyond?
Lower the prices
Source: Andrew Myrick / Android Central
One of the biggest hurdles for the Galaxy Z Fold 2 or the Galaxy Z Flip 5G is the price. The former has been permanently reduced to $ 1,799 as a starting point, while the latter starts at $ 1,199. For the Z Flip, that seems like a more manageable price tag – until you compare it to the also $ 1,999 Galaxy S21 Ultra with its improved specs, IP rating, and better overall design.
If Samsung really wants to put its foldable smartphones in the hands of more and more users, it has to lower the price. The Z Flip series is intended for those who want to use a smartphone with one hand – and want it to fit in smaller pockets – but the Z Fold line is clearly the way of a true flagship with all the bells and whistles.
Source: Hayato Huseman / Android Central
Innovation is expensive. If you were to put the Samsung Galaxy Fold next to the Galaxy Z Fold 2, you’d probably think that these are two completely different lines of products. Samsung has made some incredible strides between its first and second generation product, but that has a cost that has since been passed on to consumers.
Even before the Galaxy S21 lineup was announced in January, there were just too many compromises to be found with the Z Fold 2. We’ll get more into these shortly, but it’s hard for anyone (without a tech enthusiast) to justify the $ 2,000 retail price when you’re in a phone that costs several hundred dollars less. find better specs across the board.
Xiaomi’s Mi Mix Fold could blow the pricing for foldable smartphones as it comes with the latest Snapdragon 888 SoC and a flagship spec sheet and costs around $ 1,500. There are still compromises to be made with the Mi Mix Fold, but this is also Xiaomi’s first attempt at creating a foldable consumer smartphone. Almost $ 1,700 is still a steep price tag, but it’s a step in the right direction, and that’s the step Samsung needs to take first.
If you recently checked Mr. Mobile’s channel, you have probably seen his impressions of both the Huawei Mate X2 and the Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold. In the Mate X2 video, Fisher reveals that the display on his Z Fold 2 has a crack in the middle. The device in question was one he bought on launch day and has been his daily driver ever since. That’s less than a year of regular phone use before showing a screen that needs to be replaced.
Samsung has made great strides in the display division between the first Galaxy Fold and last year’s model. But there’s still room for innovation, and we’re not just talking about making the display compatible with an S-pen. If the “everyday consumer” wants to consider something like a foldable smartphone at all, they have to be able to cope with everyday life.
Some users have been rude with their Z Fold 2 and have not experienced any issues at all. We’re also far from the days when removing the screen protector would completely damage the phone. However, if Samsung can further improve the display and overall durability, it could open the door to official IP water and dust resistance. Even sticking a label like IP65 or IP67 on the Z Fold 3 would be a huge benefit for Samsung.
Give us the best cameras
Source: Hayato Huseman / Android Central
The Galaxy Z Fold 2 is a giant in many ways. At the time of launch, the latest Snapdragon chipset (in the Snapdragon 865+) came with 12GB of RAM and 256GB or 512GB of storage to ensure the 120Hz refresh rate for the big screen and solid battery life. There really wasn’t much to complain about. Sure, we wish Samsung didn’t drop the microSD card (it would sure help if some of the best Android emulators were played), but that’s exactly how Samsung is moving.
The Galaxy Z Fold 2’s triple camera setup is more than useful for most people. No, you won’t find the latest and greatest sensors Samsung has to offer even by the end of 2020, but it will be able to handle most of what you try to throw at it. Part of the reason for the different sensors compared to the Note 20 Ultra, which was introduced a month earlier, is due to the manufacturing process. With such a unique and innovative design, the Z Fold 2 takes longer to manufacture, which means that Samsung had to deliver the design of this phone to suppliers much earlier than a traditional plate smartphone like the Note 20.
Source: Android Central
Compared to the Huawei Mate X2 and the new Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 seems pale in comparison. Part of this is due to the fact that Huawei and Xiaomi have spared no expense in this department, as evidenced by the high price of $ 3,000 for the Mate X2 and the different compromises on the Mi Mix Fold. Not a single phone manufacturer has managed to make the “perfect” mainstream foldable. However, we believe that with continued pressure from Samsung and its decision to focus on the Z Fold 3 and delay the Galaxy Note 21 (possibly) until next year, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 could change everything.
If you’re looking to spend $ 2,000 on a smartphone, expect it to have all of the top-notch specs. You don’t really want to “settle down” in any department, but that’s exactly what Samsung had to do with the Z Fold 2. So many other facets of the device have been redesigned from the original Fold that cuts had to be made to avoid the Mate X2’s price tag. However, as we see annually, component prices often fall so that more of the investment can be used in other areas. We just hope that with its next foldable system, Samsung can provide a camera system worthy of a true flagship.
Continue software innovation
Source: Hayato Huseman / Android Central
In the past few years, Google has developed and implemented better tools that make it easier for developers to design apps to work flawlessly with leaflets. During this time, Samsung’s foldable software implementation, especially with the help of Good Lock, was top notch. It just shows that Samsung knows what it’s doing in the software department and how to integrate the hardware and software, even if developers don’t support folding screen support.
However, if the Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold has taught us something, there is always room for improvement. With the Mi Mix Fold, Xiaomi introduced a desktop mode that practically transforms the 8-inch display in combination with a keyboard and mouse into a conventional computer. Think of those wretched netbooks from the days before the best Chromebooks wiped them off the market. However, instead of poor performance and design, you can get the same basic functionality from the same device that you use to make calls, play the best Android games, and so much more.
Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central
One questionable loophole in the Galaxy Z Fold 2 was the lack of such a desktop mode. The company has steadily improved its DeX mode over the years and finally made it possible to connect your phone wirelessly without using adapters or cables. However, we would like another mode to be accessible directly from the Z Fold 2’s 7.6-inch display. Using your smartphone as a true all-in-one computing device is a dream, and Samsung is so close. It just has to drive home the point with its next foldable one.
The best foldable
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
For the time being, still on top of the mountain
Despite competition from Huawei and Xiaomi, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 continues to be the best foldable phone out there and one of the best Android phones out there. With its unique design and fantastic software experience, it still impresses almost a year after its launch.
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