Samsung’s Galaxy Fold was one of the most exciting and disruptive smartphones of 2019, though it was also the most flawed. All of which leaves us surprisingly hopeful for the Samsung Galaxy Fold 2.
The first Samsung Galaxy Fold had a bit of a traumatic entry to the market to say the least. First there were the fundamental design flaws that saw early samples recalled, and the release postponed by five months.
Then, when the revised product finally arrived, it wasn’t especially great. We gave it a middling 3 out of 5 review, concluding that “at this stage its hard to recommend that anyone, aside from those who simply must have the first-gen of everything, actually spend nearly £2000 on it”.
Still, there was plenty of potential and ample reason for hope that the second generation Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 would be something special. Here’s what we’re expecting to see in 2020.
Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 Release Date – When will the Xiaomi Mi 10 be released?
It’s very difficult to predict when the Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 will launch. It only has one ancestor, after all, and the release date for that phone moved dramatically due to the aforementioned technical issues.
So, do we take the Samsung Galaxy Fold’s initial April release date as the basis for our prediction, or its actual September launch?
South Korean outlet ETNews suggests that Samsung is keen to restore that original launch window. This would mean an April 2020 release for the Galaxy Fold 2, with a likely February unveiling.
Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 – How much will the Xiaomi Mi 10 cost?
One of our biggest criticisms of the Samsung Galaxy Fold was its £2,000 price tag. Reports suggest that Samsung has listened to such criticisms and will lower the price of the Galaxy Fold 2 significantly.
Twitter tipster Ishan Agarwal has claimed as much, without offering any specifics.
If you want specifics, you’re probably better off turning to the South Korean report we referenced in the previous section. It quoted a cost of $1,500, which would be some $500 less than the original’s launch price.
Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 Design
It’s fair to say that the Samsung Galaxy Fold’s design was both its most interesting aspect and its downfall. Making the first phone that folds was a considerable achievement, but the execution was clunky.
Samsung itself has suggested that it plans to play with the Galaxy Fold design some more in 2020. The following brief video shows a Galaxy Fold concept that folds horizontally, rather like the recent Moto Razr reboot.
Could the Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 be a flip phone, of all things? Judging from the aforementioned Samsung concept video, we could be getting more than one kind of foldable phone from Samsung in 2020.
This is an idea that’s supported by various Samsung patents uncovered by Dutch Website LetsGoDigital. These seem to show that three different foldable phones are in the works over at Samsung HQ – though again, the flip phone design seems to be the most interesting.
Bloomberg issued a report in early September claiming that the flip phone flavour of Galaxy Fold would pack a tall 6.7-inch display. It’ll be AMOLED, of course, because this is the technology that enables such foldable designs in the first place.
Interestingly, the report also claims that Samsung is working with American designer Thom Browne in the hope of making a skinnier, sexier Fold that’s appeals more to fashion-conscious types. It’ll also carry a hole-punch selfie camera, apparently.
Basically, if you could take your Galaxy Note 10 and fold it up into a neat square, that’s the look Samsung is going for.
Galaxy Fold 2 – How can Samsung make it better than the Galaxy Fold?
1. More elegant yet robust design
The Samsung Galaxy Fold design is simultaneously clumsy and overly delicate. It’s thick and heavy (263g), yet you feel you have to treat it with kid’s gloves.
The folding mechanism feels like a prototype, and leaves a sizeable gap when you close the device. There’s also that curious screen protector-like feel to the display, while the crease down the middle is distractingly conspicuous.
There’s no water resistance rating here either, which seems to increase the sense of vulnerability.
Basically, Samsung needs to go back to the drawing board for the Galaxy Fold 2 design. Thankfully, early rumours suggest that it’s done just that.
2. Better outer display
The secondary display on the ‘outside’ of the Galaxy Fold just looks odd. We get that it’s not the headline act, but the comically huge bezels make it look curiously dated all the same.
Samsung needs to rethink the function of this secondary display, you feel. Whether that involves taking it closer to the edges and making it truly useful or scaling it right back and turning it into a simpler HUD for key information, we’re not sure.
Interestingly, there are reports that the flip phone Fold concept will contain an outer display that’s just an inch big. This would seem to adopt the latter solution.
3. Improve the camera
The Galaxy Fold had an awful lot of cameras (six in total), but for all that the phone wasn’t particularly great at taking pictures.
It’s a bit of a problem when your £2,000 phone is taking inferior shots to the £399 Pixel 3a. Samsung needs to up its camera game if it’s going to charge anything like the same money for the Galaxy Fold 2.
4. Lower the price
Following on from that last point, Samsung really needs to bring the price tag down for the Galaxy Fold 2.
Even with the rapidly inflated price of ‘normal’ flagship phones, the Galaxy Fold’s £2,000 price tag feels extortionate. You could almost get two iPhone 11 Pros for that.
Cutting edge technology always costs, of course. But the Galaxy Fold 2 won’t have the benefit of novelty when it hits shelves next year. Its price needs to be far closer to that if its rigid rivals.
5. Better app support
One of the big issues with the Galaxy Fold is actually nothing to do with Samsung. Too few third-party apps make the most of all that extra screen space.
Despite our complaints, we actually really like the idea of the Galaxy Fold. But it’s going to need greater developer support if the concept’s to really pay off.
Another year on, and with more foldable phones on the market and in the pipeline, we have high hopes that the app support will be improved for the Fold 2.