Hands-on with Samsung’s $2,000 luxury foldable phone that comes with golf and a fancy dinner

Technology

Samsung’s latest phone is called the Galaxy Z Fold2 and it offers the best of both worlds: it’s a smartphone and a tablet all folded into one.

At $1,999.99, it’s also one of the most expensive smartphones you can buy.

“I think Samsung is willing to take a lot of chances,” said Mark Watson, a tech YouTuber known as Soldier Knows Best. “A big advantage they have is that they make a lot of the displays that other phones use so they have a lot of good sense of the technology and where it’s going to be.”

Tech YouTuber Mark Watson, aka Soldier Knows Best

Compared to last year’s model, the Galaxy Z Fold2 has a bigger, more useful screen on the outside and an even bigger screen on the inside. It’s like carrying a phone and a tablet in your pocket.

You might remember last year’s model was delayed after early reviewers experienced screen issues. Samsung found that debris could get into the hinge and ruin the display.

“As long as you own up to it and you can show that you made it better, I think people are willing to accept that,” said Watson in a Skype interview from his home base of St. Louis.

The hinge on the Galaxy Z Fold2 now has a sweeper mechanism to brush out any dirt that might try to get behind the screen.

The screen on the new device is now ultra-thin glass instead of last year’s plastic, but it still seems fragile. Samsung will replace the screen once for users in the first year if something does goes wrong.

A warning lets you know the device is not dust or waterproof. It’s prominently displayed both when you unbox the phone and when you first turn it on.

Samsung provided me a loaner unit to try out and it is a really unique device. There is something so satisfying about opening and closing the bendable screen. It feels substantial in your hand but it’s also a heavy and somewhat bulky phone. Still, it is comfortable to use one handed since when you fold it up it is narrower than many smartphones.

The camera on the device is just fine – if you want the best you’ll still have to go with the Note20 Ultra. Compared to last year’s model, the screens on the inside and the outside are vastly improved.

I also like how you can now position the phone into whatever degree of folding you want, which is an improvement over last year. This means you can shoot hands free videos or watch YouTube, Netflix and more without worrying about propping up your phone somehow.

Now, about that price tag: it’s a whopping $1,999.99, which is actually $20 more than last year’s model.

“If you can get past the price point, I honestly think it’s for someone who likes tablets, but they want to have a tablet with them anywhere they go,” said Watson.

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Available September 18

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The Galaxy Z Fold2 definitely isn’t a phone for the masses, but it’s easy to appreciate the engineering. For that price, you do get some additional perks, including a meal at a Michelin star restaurant and a round of golf at a country club.

Honestly, though, if you can afford this phone, you’ve probably already been there, done that.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 is on pre-order now and will arrive in stores on September 18.

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