Samsung outright teases the Galaxy Fold 2 on social media

The first Galaxy Fold had its fair share of problems, but you can’t deny that it caught the world’s attention. It’s not too surprising then that Samsung is hard at work on a Galaxy Fold 2.

Of course, the Fold 2 is not to be confused with the separate Galaxy Z Flip, which has a smaller form factor than the tablet-style Fold. The Fold 2 is expected to continue as a separate line, offering a big screen that folds down into a regular-sized phone.

We originally learnt of the Fold 2’s existence because of a quarterly earnings call revealed that the company was working on it.

The original Galaxy Fold was the company’s most expensive phone of 2019, clocking in around £2,000/$2,000, and the Fold 2 will likely launch into a far more challenging economic environment, begging the question,”Will people be willing to drop that much on a phone in 2020?”

When is the Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 coming out?

Samsung’s Q1 2020 earnings call, which took place on 29 April, shed a little light on some of the company’s plans for the latter half of the year – namely both its Note and Fold product lines.

As originally reported by ZDNet, during the call, Samsung stated, “We are preparing both new foldable and Galaxy Note models, to be released in the second half of the year, and we will showcase more competitive products” (translated from Korean).

The past two generations of Note were unveiled in August, with earlier generations launching in September each year. This year things are expected to be a little different…

Samsung since confirmed the date of the next Unpacked virtual launch, which will take place on 5 August. It’s here that we’re expecting to see the unveiling of both the Galaxy Note 20 line and Galaxy Fold 2.

On 20 July, Samsung even teased the phone’s presence ahead of its expected August Unpacked event with the following video:

As for when the Fold 2 might actually go on sale, known leaker, Ricciolo, claims that the foldable won’t arrive on store shelves until late-September at the earliest, long after the Note 20 goes on sale, which is expected to be less than two weeks after its early-August unveiling.

The leaker’s reasoning for the apparent delay in getting the Fold 2 to market comes as a direct result of the effects of the global pandemic.

That’s backed up by accurate Android leaker Max Weinbach. Taking to Twitter, Weinbach explained that the Fold 2 isn’t going to be revealed at the event in August because “the software isn’t even close to ready for a September launch” and also notes that the foldable is yet to be tested by carriers, something that traditionally happens well ahead of launch. The phone might be teased at the event, however. 

Previously, tipster IceUniverse corroborated that 5 August launch date and also claims Samsung will showcase the Galaxy Tab S7 and Galaxy Watch 3 alongside the new Note and Fold devices.

This ties into an open letter published on 20 July by Samsung’s Head of Mobile, TM Roh, who states, “At this summer’s Galaxy Unpacked, we’ll be introducing five new power devices.” He continues, “In the Next Normal, you will be empowered to live life to the fullest with these devices in your hand (and in your ears, and on your wrist).” 

We discuss the topic and more on our weekly podcast Fast Charge:

How much will the Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 cost?

There’s no escaping the cost of innovation, especially when it comes to foldable phones.

The Samsung Galaxy Fold 5G is currently available for £1900/$1980 and other manufacturers’ foldables – from the Huawei Mate X/Mate Xs to the Motorola Razr – all also carry a premium, considering what they bring to the table, besides their folding designs.

For those lusting after a Galaxy Fold 2 but also fearing for their bank balances, there is a ray of hope in that this will be Samsung’s second-generation foldable.

If the more competitive pricing of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is anything to go by, not to mention the lessons learnt from research and development on the original Fold (and it’s well-documented launch issues), this new Fold will hopefully come in at a slightly lower starting price.

That said, Ricciolo’s tweet from earlier makes mention of a €2000 price tag – making it more expensive than the existing Galaxy Fold.

What will the Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 look like?

In order to shift between a candy bar smartphone and its tablet-like form factor, the original Fold opted for a vertical hinge that resulted in a central crease down the larger of its two displays, running from top to bottom.

The Galaxy Z Flip then changed things up with a horizontal hinge that evoked a more traditional clamshell arrangement and a smaller crease along its mid-point.

The Galaxy Fold 2 will most likely follow the layout of its direct predecessor, with a smaller external display and a vertical hinge that opens to reveal a larger internal screen.

As of 20 April, Ross Young – founder and CEO of an organisation called Display Supply Chain Consultants (or DSCC) – started tweeting about expected Galaxy Fold 2 specifications, including the phone’s display and camera setups. Another user, a mobile enthusiast and concept designer, Ben Geskin, then created mockups based on Young’s figures (above and below).

Based on Geskin’s renders, the phone looks to blend design elements from both the Galaxy S20 series (like its rectangular primary camera module and hole-punch in-display front-facing cameras), as well as its direct predecessor, the first Galaxy Fold.

A more recent tweet from famed leaker, Ice Universe, shows an adjusted hole-punch camera placement.

In a follow-up tweet, they overlay with the expected positioning of other components to justify its unusual positioning.

What specifications will the Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 have?

Combining current smartphone market trends and anticipated predictions from the likes of Mr Young, the Samsung Galaxy Fold 2’s hardware and features will likely run as follows:

  • Internal (primary) display: 7.59in (2213×1689), 120Hz, LTPO AMOLED w/ 372ppi
  • External (secondary) display: Size: 6.23in (2267×819), 60Hz, LTPO AMOLED
  • Both displays will feature Samsung’s ultra-thin glass (UTG) and hole-punch cameras
  • Primary camera setup: 12Mp/16Mp/64Mp w/ dual optical image stabilisation (OIS)
  • Both front-facing cameras: 10Mp (each)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 or Samsung Exynos 990 processor (market dependant)
  • 12GB RAM
  • 512GB storage (UFS 3.0)
  • No microSD expandability
  • USB 3.1, USB-C
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • 5G
  • 25W fast charging, 15W fast wireless charging, 9W reverse wireless charging
  • No headphone jack

The most notable shift there is perhaps the move to ultra-thin glass (UTG), and away from the plastic used in the first Fold. This is the same tech used in the more durable Galaxy Z Flip, and while it isn’t without its detractors, it’s definitely a step up from the pure plastic of the first model.

We had initially expected S-Pen stylus support on the Fold 2, similar to that found on the Galaxy Note phones, but a more recent report suggests that Samsung has decided to omit the S-Pen because the UTG display isn’t scratch-resistant enough to survive long-term stylus-use without picking up nicks and scratches.

25W fast charging has also been spotted on the Chinese 3C certification database, as spotted by Seekdevice.

Source: Seekdevice

Source: Seekdevice

It comes in reference to a Samsung device using the model number SM-F9160, which is thought to be the new Fold, considering the previous version used the model number SM-F900. The device’s battery is also registered as supporting USB PD 3.0 charging too.

What about the Samsung Galaxy Fold Lite?

DSCC’s Ross Young more recently chimed in to make mention of a ‘Lite’ version of the existing Galaxy Fold that will reuse parts from the original Galaxy Fold but arrive ahead of the Fold 2, toting a smaller external display and a significantly lower price tag.

My Young’s tweet has since been removed but his claims have also been supported by prolific leaker Max Weinbach, who clarified that this ‘budget’ Fold’s official name is likely to be the ‘Galaxy Fold Lite 4G’, and offered some key expected specs.

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