Welcome to Day 2 of our ongoing review of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2. In today’s episode, we look at how this laptop functions as a replacement, while in Day 1, we went through the initial thoughts around the on-screen keyboard, hinge and more!
Maybe it’s my inner work, but I always want a portable, lightweight device that I can work anywhere, anytime. In previous years that meant either a laptop or a smartphone. The former is not pocketable, and the latter lacks screen space. The promise of foldable phones and foldable devices is common, if done right, it can offer that happy medium.
For my second day with the Galaxy Z Fold 2, I decided to make it my main work machine and to see if the device upheld that promise. After a full day, I’d say it does – in fact, I’m writing this sentence on fold 2 right now.
However, I can help, albeit as a foldable hardware keyboard. Connected with it – and the on-screen keyboard is out of the way – I can type close to the same speed as if I were working on a laptop. But even if I didn’t have a hardware keyboard, I could still type on it as fast as I could a phone because of a larger, more onscreen keyboard.
During 1 impressions of my day, I mentioned the dilemma that the Gboard does not offer a split option, which makes it a bit fuzzy to use on the Fold 2’s 7.6-inch screen. SwiftKey (and Samsung’s native keyboard) gives the option of splitting, but I usually prefer to use Gboard because I think there is better autocorrect and support for Cantonese, a version of Chinese that I grew up with.
Still, the day after being forced to use SwiftKey, because I really want split keyboard typing, I must say that it has grown on me. For one, the auto-correction of SwiftKey is better than I thought (or maybe it’s improved since the last time I used it before). I also enjoy the option of changing the keyboard height independently, while the Gboard gives you six pre-set keyboard sizes.
There is also the option of laying fold 2 down on the desk, with the top half folded at 90 degrees, and is like a mini laptop. I found this typing method a bit tight because I’m using eight fingers; I prefer thumb typing on the split keyboard instead.
My morning routine consists of email, various news feeds, and messaging colleagues and contacts either through Slack, WeChat, or WhatsApp. I’m happy to state that all three apps can run in spit-screen mode on Fold 2, although Slack feels a bit cramped due to its multi-pan layout.
There is an app I use often that doesn’t work very much on Fold 2: Adobe Lightroom. For some reason, Samsung’s one UI forces Lightroom to full screen with an aspect ratio of 16: 9 with prominent column-boxing. This effectively makes editing photos nearly impossible due to editing taking up most of the horizontal space. Curiously, this app works fine on the original Galaxy Fold. I believe this Lightroom issue should be fixed as the software becomes sophisticated.
In the afternoon I had to send a review unit back to a company that kindly provided a UPS return shipping label, so that all I needed to do was bring the package to a UPS office and scan the barcode on the label.
Typically, a clerk in Asia is asking for trouble showing a large piece of information, such as a shipping label, on a smartphone screen – chances are they’re not very tech-savvy and to scroll and swipe to see the whole piece Are angry Information. Not with the fold 2’s big screen though. I handed the UPS man my device with a shipping label and he was able to scan and process shipping directly from the screen of my fold. I must admit, handing over $ 2,000 worth of equipment to a stranger made me a bit nervous.
It started raining on my way outside the UPS office, and while I know that Fold 2 does not have an official IP water resistance rating, I decided to brave it anyway to navigate to my next location for a meeting . Fold 2 did not win despite being exposed to the slight rain.
In the late afternoon, I used Fold to watch a live stream of Huawei’s developer conference on YouTube while chatting on Slack with my HDA colleagues. Then I continued to work in the back of the cab as I returned home.
Battery life has been impressive, given that I have been using the device all day. I left home at 10:05 am with a fully charged fold 2, and as of this writing time by 8:30 am I still have 38% battery life. This should be enough juice to rest overnight.
One last note: the Galaxy Z Fold 2, which has slightly wider dimensions (5.05-inch) and heavier weight (9.97oz) with a single hand grip for a bit of tired time. But it’s still a heck of a lot lighter than any of my previous portable work machines.
And this is what makes foldable or dual-screen devices like the Microsoft Duo – so exciting: it’s more than just a phone, but a mini computer that we can use to make occasional phone calls.
Join me for day three tomorrow as I explore the cameras and the unique methods you can shoot with – including selfie style vlogs with different camera modes and main camera systems.
Forget the rest of the deals – if you want to save a bundle on your unlocked Galaxy Z Fold 2 and have a recent phone, Samsung’s trade-in offer is the best. You can get a credit of up to $ 650 and if you have an original Z Flip or Galaxy Fold, you can save $ 800 on your new Galaxy Z Fold 2!
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