The Galaxy Z Fold 2 experience: Here's how videos look, games play, and more!
Before actually having the Z Fold 2 in my hands, I had some specific questions which I can now answer for you, such as: "How good are the Galaxy Z Fold 2 speakers?", "How do videos look on it?", "How's gaming on the Galaxy Z Fold 2?" and other such entertainment-related inquiries. I also wanted to know how the Galaxy Z Fold 2 compares to a conventional tablet for some of those tasks, and if you too were curious – you'll now find out!
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But first, a quick summary of why this smartphone is special (and costly). The Galaxy Z Fold 2 is Samsung's newest and most refined foldable phone, sporting a large 7.6-inch flexible display. Thanks to that display, you can unfold the smartphone into a tablet when you need a large screen, then when you don't, close it back like a book and it's now in a form factor you can pocket. Really cool!
How do videos look on the Galaxy Z Fold 2?
When watching Netflix on the Galaxy Z Fold 2, you get a notably larger viewing experience than on a smartphone, but also black bars on the top and bottom of videos, due to the Fold 2's square-ish screen aspect ratio.
You can pinch-to-zoom on Netflix, which fills the display, but then some of the content on the sides gets cut out. You'll have to either settle for black bars or this, so it's not perfect. But if you watch mostly stand-up comedy on Netflix like I do, where the subject is normally in the center of the screen – it's actually a really good experience!
One eyesore you have to put up with when watching Netflix on the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is that even after doing pinch-to-zoom, the portion of the screen where the punch hole camera is remains unused (see photos). Netflix won't fill the screen beyond where the punch hole camera begins, so you end up with a slightly off-center video that could have been a bit larger. But it's reasonable to expect that Netflix will fix that with an update eventually.
The display on the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is bright and with great contrast, meaning I immediately noticed how washed out black shades look on my iPhone 11, in comparison. No complaints about the display quality here.
The speakers on the Galaxy Z Fold 2 are not too shabby either, great for watching videos and movies. They get very loud while remaining clear, and have solid highs and mids, even if there aren't any hints of bass, which is common on smartphones. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 has two speakers – one speaker on the top and another one the bottom side of it, so you get true stereo separation when holding it in landscape.
Another downer I noticed while using YouTube with the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is that 720p is the highest resolution you're allowed to play videos at. I would've liked the option of at least 1080p. Videos still look very sharp and crisp, though.
How do videos look on the Galaxy Z Fold 2's front cover display?
The display you're going to use when the Z Fold 2 is closed is a very tall 6.2-inch one. Like the main display, it's AMOLED and looks great, but this one is also glass-covered.
This front cover display itself is more than competent to be used for most phone tasks, but how would videos appear on it? Well, check out the pictures shown – obviously watching YouTube on this tall (or wide, in landscape) display means black sidebars. But the rest is great, in terms of colors and clarity. You still get the same stereo sound separation too, of course.
Oddly enough, even though YouTube does not allow pinch-to-zoom on the large folding screen, it allows it on this one. Needless to say, if you pinch-to-zoom on the front cover display, a whole lot of content in the top and bottom of the video you're watching gets cropped. But it does look aesthetically pleasing, because this is some edge-to-edge display! Remember how small the front cover display of the original Galaxy Fold was? This is a massive improvement!
Is the Galaxy Z Fold 2 good for gaming?
Before we discuss the actual gaming experience, I must say that the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is just so nice and comfortable to hold! This form factor is kind of perfect. Plus, the fact that its weight is far below the weight of a tablet can't be overstated. Holding the Galaxy Z Fold 2 will likely not tire your arms even after a while. Which, of course, is important for gamers.
Anyways, let's play some PubG Mobile on this folding beast. By default, the graphics were set to HD, while the frame rate was at High. I switched to Ultra HD, which made things sharper and did not appear to impact the frame rate at all (which is good).
So PubG is running smoothly, and it's optimized to fill the screen entirely (unlike Netflix). Thanks to the large screen, comfortable-to-hold, light design, and stereo speakers – playing games like PubG on the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is a joy. You can clearly hear where explosions and gunshots are coming from, and landing shots is way easier than it is on a tiny smartphone.
I tried Asphalt 9 next, which is a gorgeous game with easy controls, so the gameplay here was never an issue on smaller screens, but you can really enjoy the visuals better on the Z Fold 2. And an enjoyable experience it is – the vivid, detailed graphics and pumping electronic music of Asphalt 9 are quite the spectacle on the Galaxy Z Fold 2. And this game too is optimized to fill the entire screen. The visual quality is set to Default by… default. So I switched it to High Quality and again it had no impact on the performance, which is fantastic. And the Galaxy Z Fold 2's 120Hz adaptive display means this game feels extra smooth.
It's safe to say that the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is arguably the best smartphone a mobile gamer can own right now, as screen size, performance and good stereo speakers are important for gaming, and this phone excels in all three. Plus, when you're done gaming, fold it up, put it in a pocket! Why carry a tablet?
How good are the Galaxy Z Fold 2 speakers?
I already mentioned the speaker performance earlier, but this deserves a more thorough answer. Speaker quality is so overlooked on smartphones sometimes, and it's baffling to me. If you're paying $2,000 for a smartphone that unfolds into a tablet, you're likely interested in watching some content on it, and that experience could be lackluster or perfect, depending on the speakers.
I'm happy to report that the stereo speakers on the Galaxy Z Fold 2 are so loud and full, that you can easily fill a room. In terms of high and mid frequencies, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 easily outperforms even most large tablets. As for the bass, it's not quite as punchy as you'd find it on an iPad or a flagship iPhone, it's actually almost non-existent. But that's the case with most other smartphones. If you're into bass-heavy music, you'll likely prefer to grab a pair of headphones, and those better be wireless, because there's no headphone jack.
Overall, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 produces fantastic sound for what it is – a folding smartphone. Watching movies or listening to podcasts, you'll be happy with those speakers.
Minor nitpick – if you hold the Galaxy Z Fold 2 as you would hold most other tablets and phones in landscape orientation, meaning with the side that has the volume keys upwards, you'll likely block the speakers with your hands a bit. They're placed on the lower halves of the phone (as we show in the photo above). So you'll have to get used to flipping Z Fold 2 upside down, for the speakers to be above where your hands are... But then the volume keys end up facing downwards... Neither way is perfect.
Is the Galaxy Z Fold 2 easy to carry around?
If you're someone who's used to thin and light flagships, you'll definitely feel the difference, but I wouldn't say it's a huge one. It's a tall and thick phone when folded, but it fits just fine in pockets, so long as you're not wearing tight pants. If you can fit two slim phones in your pocket, you can fit the Galaxy Z Fold 2. And do keep in mind that its width is noticeably smaller than the width of an average phone, so this doesn't need to be a wide pocket, just deep enough.
Can the Galaxy Z Fold 2 hinge be positioned like it's a tiny laptop?
This is a fun one. When I heard that the Z Fold 2 comes with a sturdier hinge over its predecessor, my first thought was to try this position! And as you can see, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 does look and feel like a tiny little laptop when half-unfolded.
You get a touch keyboard on one screen half, while the other is free to display your writing. I thought that was cool. If you're an Android enthusiast, you can definitely find fun use cases for that!
So in addition to gamers and those who enjoy watching content, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is arguably among the best smartphones for Android power users who could think up new, fun ways to make use of this unique form factor.