CNET: The phone world is in a weird place, with coronavirus quarantines and lockdowns causing phone sales to plunge by 38% by February compared to last year.
Some companies are soldiering through to launch phones online, like Apple’s new iPhone SE and the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro. But with factories prone to close any time if cases of COVID-19 spike, the timing of possible new phones, like the Galaxy Fold 2 and Galaxy Note 20, are up in the air.
Still, the Galaxy Fold 2 rumors are heating up. The very extravagance of another pricy foldable phone could be what perks our ears and raises eyebrows at a time when companies, including Samsung, seem to be falling back to cheaper devices, like the $400 Galaxy A51 on sale now.
Here we present the most important Galaxy Fold 2 speculations to date. Keep in mind that this story will update frequently with new rumors, and that Samsung hasn’t officially announced plans to make a Galaxy Fold 2. If the phone does launch, it would be Samsung’s third foldable design, after the original Galaxy Fold and the smaller, cheaper Galaxy Z Flip.
alaxy Fold 2 design: Same form, but better
It’s likely that the Galaxy Fold 2 would work off the original mold, nipping, tucking and refining along the way. Common logic would expect the same design that puts the larger folding screen on the inside of a device that opens like a book, and the sturdier, smaller screen on the outside “cover,” a shape that protects the inner screen from extra damage.
Some of the earliest Galaxy Fold 2 rumors suggested that the phone could take on a new form with the larger screen on the outside, however, most rumors point to the Fold 2 looking more like the first Fold, with specs and cosmetic features that line up with the Galaxy S20. More on that below.
Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 is expected to have a stylus
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 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.
Two screens, one with a 120Hz refresh rate
There’s little doubt that the Galaxy 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 Fold 2’s 120Hz screen setting would be an option, with the typical 60Hz rate the default, as it is on the S20 phones.
Samsung Galaxy 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 Fold 2 would do the same, drawing from the Galaxy S20 Plus’ camera array and design. That’s the content of a rumor from Max Weinbach, a Twitter leaker and contributor to XDA Developers.
If true, you could expect to see:
- Front cover: 10-megapixel camera
- Rear cover: 12-megapixel (wide-angle), 64-megapixel (telephoto), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide), time-of-flight
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’d wager that Samsung will minimize the camera look on the inner screen, possibly shrinking the space down to a single sensor for selfies and video chats, and using a more minimalist hole punch design.
Weinbach, in his February tweet, suggested that the “main” camera could include a V-shaped notch or an underscreen sensor. More