Galaxy Z Fold 2 rumors and leaks so far: Buh-bye, ugly screen notch


The Galaxy Z Fold 2’s screen could get a makeover.


Ice Universe

With less than one week left until the Aug. 5 Samsung Unpacked event, the rumor mill is abuzz with photo leaks. One recent leak confirms that Samsung’s follow-up to the Galaxy Fold will indeed be called the Galaxy Z Fold 2, as previously speculated. Next week, Samsung is expected to reveal not only the Galaxy Z Fold 2 but also two new Galaxy Note devices (presumed to be called the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra) and the Galaxy Watch 3. The $1,450 Galaxy Z Flip 5G was also confirmed earlier this month. 

It’s noteworthy that Samsung could release two phones expected to cost more than $1,400 during a global recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Global device shipments are expected to dip by 14% in 2020 as a result of the downturn, according to Gartner. 

Perhaps Samsung is counting on the hype machine — and a possible second stimulus check for the US — to stoke interest in the speculated Galaxy Fold 2? We’ll find out soon enough. This story updates frequently with the most important rumors. 

http://www.cnet.com/


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Could Samsung drop the ugly screen notch?

A notch the size of my thumb on the original Galaxy Fold’s 7.3-inch internal screen was one of the phone’s most enduring drawbacks. According to one rumor from prolific leaker Ice Universe, that’ll go away for good.

The July 28 leak also seemed to confirm the rumored hole-punch display, though it’s difficult to see in the image. 

A second photo leak, first reported by MySmartPrice, showed the Galaxy Z Fold 2 design in more detail and higher resolution, revealing not only a hole-punch camera but also a much larger cover display, slimmer bezels compared with the original Galaxy Fold and a triple camera setup. The photos showed two color options for the Fold, Mystic Black and Mystic Bronze.

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A leaked image of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G.


MySmartPrice

Samsung Unpacked trailer

Last week, Samsung released a trailer in advance of its Aug. 5 Unpacked event, which gave a shadowy look at its rumored five new devices (including the Tab S7 Android tablet and the Galaxy Buds Live). The teaser image can be seen at around the 23-second mark of the 30-second Vimeo trailer, originally posted to Samsung’s Mobile Press website.

Galaxy Z Fold 2 coming in Mystic Bronze?

First came the rumors and leaks that the Galaxy Note 20 would arrive in a bronze or copper finish. Then came Samsung’s official invitation for Unpacked, which pretty much seals the deal. A leak from frequent Twitter leaker Evan Blass later showed the Galaxy Z Flip 5G in a color called — you guessed it — Mystic Bronze.

If Samsung is embracing this shade for two phones expected at Unpacked, could we see a Mystic Bronze Z Fold 2, too?

Aug. 5 launch. Now what about Z Fold 2 sale dates? 

We know Samsung Unpacked 2020 will take place Aug. 5 online, starting at 7 a.m. PT (10 a.m. ET, 3 p.m. BST). Samsung will livestream the event, which CNET will also cover in a live show. Since the first Galaxy Fold was introduced in February 2019 during the same Unpacked event that brought us the Galaxy S10, it’s likely we’ll see the Z Fold 2 at this event.

The rumors agree on that much. But the sale date is still up in the air, with rumors ranging from Aug. 20 (the same speculated sale date as the Note 20) to September, as suggested by Korean outlet ET News and Twitter leaker Riccolo.

Notably, Samsung’s Galaxy S20 Unpacked event was the last time the mobile industry congregated in full before concern over the spread of coronavirus put a stop to dozens of events within and beyond the tech world… including Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest mobile-focused show, and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (now 2021, we hope). 

5G for the US, and will sell on Verizon

Frequent Twitter leaker Max Weinbach tweeted an image of firmware said to belong to the Galaxy Z Fold 2, which cites a version for Verizon. That could indicate that the Galaxy Z Fold 2 could support 5G, specifically Verizon’s mmWave version of the ultrafast data standard. The original Fold was released with 4G carrier support in the US, but was sold as 5G in Korea and the UK.

Galaxy Z Fold 2 sale price: $2,260?

Twitter leaker Riccolo cited a 2,000-euro price tag, which converts to roughly $2,260, £1,790 or AU$3,230 — or about $1,880 if you knock off European sales tax, which is always baked into the price there. While Samsung may adjust prices per market, it would be surprising to see a more advanced Galaxy Z Fold 2 come in at less than the original Galaxy Fold’s $1,980 asking price. For reference, the ultraportable Galaxy Z Flip costs $1,380, and the 5G version will cost $1,450.

Trade-in deals, bundles and freebies are more likely than a cheaper Galaxy Z Fold 2. Although Samsung has been known to cut prices a few months after a launch, at least on its own website, the brand usually prefers to bump up the value of its premium products with bundled deals instead, like a buy-one-get-one or a free set of earbuds.

Will the Galaxy Z Fold 2 be waterproof?

Water resistance is standard fare among premium smartphones, but the nature of the hinge and the price made it impossible for the first wave of foldables to take advantage of waterproofing technologies, Samsung told us at the time the original Galaxy Fold launched.

That could change with the Galaxy Z Fold 2. Earlier this month, a patent for a water-resistant foldable phone design that looks awfully similar to the Galaxy Fold appeared, Let’s Go Digital reported. The patent (PDF) for “Electronic device including waterproof structure” details exactly how and where the waterproofing material would go inside the phone housing. 

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Samsung’s waterproofing patent for a foldable phone like the Galaxy Fold published in May.


Samsung/WIPO

Square ‘periscope’ camera, ticker notification on cover screen

The same Samsung patent application mentioned above also reveals two interesting design changes, Let’s Go Digital pointed out. First is the camera array, which shows three rear lenses, one of them square. That’s the same design Samsung’s Galaxy S20 Ultra (and other phones) use for a periscope camera designed to enhance optical and digital zoom. 

The second detail is a long, narrow ticker seen in the image above all the way to the right on the device cover screen. It’s clear that Samsung is at least experimenting with the idea of removing the original Fold’s 4.6-inch cover display — where you could open and use any Android app — with a ticker-style window for basic information like the date, time and notifications. 

Such a move would mean you need to use the phone in its open position and could potentially improve battery life from the original model. It’s also possible that — if there are multiple Galaxy Fold models for 2020 — one of the cheaper devices could see a smaller outer screen.

Is there a cheaper Galaxy Fold E or Fold Lite in the works?

What if there isn’t just one new Galaxy Fold headed our way, but two or even three? Weinbach tweeted a rumor that Samsung could be making a Galaxy Fold E or Galaxy Fold Lite in addition to the more premium Galaxy Z Fold 2.

Weinbach’s tweet even named a potential price: $1,100 for the cheaper model — or models — which could use a plastic screen compared to the Galaxy Z Fold 2’s ultrathin glass, or UTG. Weinbach’s uncertainty (“and keep in mind this is a rumor,” he wrote) leaves room for doubt, but it does suggest that Samsung’s experiment with cheaper models won’t stop with the $1,380 Galaxy Z Flip.

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Renders for the Galaxy Fold 2, based on leaks and rumors.


Ben Geskin via Twitter

Read: Galaxy Z Flip: 3 months later, I love it but still don’t recommend it

The Galaxy Z Fold 2 could have a stylus. The original couldn’t

Nearly a year ago I proposed that the Galaxy Fold’s killer accessory would be a stylus, just like on the Galaxy Note family. The S Pen would make the Fold much more like a tablet and multitasking tool, and help distinguish Samsung’s foldable phone from the rest.

There was just one problem with that. The original Fold’s plastic screen was too soft and infamously damage-prone to sustain the pressure from a fingernail, much less a stylus. But with enough structural support and a flexible glass screen (ultrathin glass, or UTG) — which was first used with the Z Flip — the rumors of a Z Fold 2 with a stylus are possible.

Other rumors have at times suggested that Samsung would abandon its plans to include the S Pen. We’ll see how it all comes together.

2 screens, 1 with a 120Hz refresh rate

There’s little doubt that the Galaxy Z Fold 2 would follow in the footsteps of the original with two screens — one on the outside to start short tasks, like launching a phone call or responding to a quick text, and the larger screen inside that does all the heavy lifting of video watching, multitasking and longer email composition. 

The larger screen is said to follow the Galaxy S20 with a 120Hz screen refresh rate, while the smaller screen will top out at the default 60Hz screen (see below). The faster refresh rate makes scrolling, navigation and some games run extremely smooth, but it can also drink up battery life at a faster rate. It’s likely that the Z Fold 2’s 120Hz screen setting would be an option, with the typical 60Hz rate the default, as it is on the S20 phones.

Galaxy Z Fold 2 cameras

The original Galaxy Fold took its camera cues from last year’s Galaxy S10 Plus, so it stands to reason that the Z Fold 2 would do the same, drawing from the Galaxy S20 Plus’ camera array and design. That’s the content of a rumor from Weinbach.

If true, you could expect to see:

  • Front cover: 10-megapixel camera
  • Rear cover: 12-megapixel (wide-angle), 64-megapixel (telephoto), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), time-of-flight 
  • The periscope lens shape mentioned above

http://www.cnet.com/


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And what about the inner screen? Good question. The original Fold included a big thumb-shaped cutout that included two camera lenses and other sensors, and detracted from the overall look as well as took up screen space. 

I originally wagered that Samsung would minimize the camera look on the inner screen, shrinking the space down to a single sensor for selfies and video chats, and using a more minimalist hole punch design. That said, the patent above (which may not reflect the final design), shows a similar internal notch as the original Fold. This is looking increasingly unlikely, however, now that we’ve seen the sneak peek of the phone’s boot screen and leaked photos of its design.

Weinbach, in his February tweet, suggested that the “main” camera could include a V-shaped notch or an underscreen sensor. 

Battery size and battery life

Battery life is a sticking point for any phone, but on a foldable device like the original Galaxy Fold, with power-thirsty screens and a promise to be the everything-device in your life, it has to deliver. 

If rumor prevails, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 could top the Fold’s 4,380-mAh battery with a 4,500- or 5,000-mAh battery, according to a source cited by XDA Developers. You can also expect Samsung to stick with reverse wireless charging, which Samsung calls PowerShare, and fast charging to align with the Galaxy S20 phones — likely at a rate of 25 watts. 

The Galaxy S20 Ultra, for example, supports even faster 45-watt charging, but keep in mind that there’s often a trade off between how fast a phone can charge and how much heat it generates and holds onto as a result. If the Z Fold 2 comes to life without support for 45-watt fast charging, that’s likely why.

Screen size, storage and other specs

Display consultant Ross Young tweeted a long list of specs in late April, unsurprisingly related to the screen size, resolution and technology. That, combined with other rumors circulating about the Galaxy Z Fold 2’s storage capacity, 5G variants and colors (from XDA Developers, SamMobile, ET News and others), paints a picture that concept artists can use to sketch out renders of how the Galaxy Z Fold 2 could look.

http://www.cnet.com/


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  • Main display: 7.59 inches; 2,213×1,689-pixel resolution
  • Cover display: 6.23 inches; 2,267×819-pixel resolution (original Fold outer screen was 4.6 inches)
  • 256GB and 512GB storage capacities
  • 5G and 4G variants
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 or 865 Plus processor
  • Android 10 software
  • Materials: Ceramic, stainless steel
  • Colors: Blue, silver, gold, pink, black, bronze

We’ll keep an eye and an ear out for new and credible Galaxy Z Fold 2 rumors. In the meantime, here’s every phone that we know of for 2020, eight apps to vastly improve your phone photography and a good look at the OnePlus 8 Pro phone that wants to take down the Galaxy S20.





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