Folding smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy Fold or the new edition of the Motorola Razr are real eye-catchers. But the first models were only suitable for everyday use to a limited extent. How good are the successors?
Large display – but still very compact: The new folding smartphones fulfill this promise in different ways. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 can be unfolded into a small tablet. The Motorola Razr 5G is much more compact and, when folded, fits into any pocket, no matter how small – and then can be opened into an elongated smartphone. So are the folding smartphones out of their infancy?
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 in the test
Hardware completely revised
Samsung now wants to make this false start forget. The most serious change compared to the previous year’s model actually affects the previously criticized display: The first fold had a plastic display that was easily scratched and the hinge could be damaged. In the new Fold 2, Samsung uses a mixture of glass and plastic that is significantly less sensitive.
However, when you unpack the device, you will be advised that this device should be handled with care. For example, you must not remove the protective film that was applied to the plastic-glass mixture. As a precaution, Samsung also advises that the Fold 2 is neither dustproof nor waterproof.
Got hinge problems under control?
The hinge has also been improved – the weak point of the first fold. It is now not only more effectively protected from dust and dirt particles. It can also be opened and locked continuously. From an opening angle of 140 degrees, however, the Fold 2 tips over backwards.
Surfing the web is really fun on the large smartphone screen if, for example, you don’t want to carry a larger tablet with you. On the other hand, when watching a movie, the screen is less able to show its size because it is almost square when opened. The slim front display, on the other hand, has almost ideal cinema dimensions.
High price for average components
The acquisition costs of the folding smartphones are still well above those of conventional smartphones. Samsung charges almost 2000 euros for the Galaxy Fold 2. Even so, buyers are not getting the best camera the South Koreans have to offer. Instead, Samsung offers a powerful 108-megapixel sensor that can even record 8K videos in the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, which costs around 700 euros less. The Fold 2 cannot keep up with these superlatives. But the quality of the photos is often close to the Note 20 Ultra.
In the practical test, the screens convinced with their very good display quality. The fact that the best cameras Samsung has to offer were not installed was hardly noticed in the practical test. What is more disturbing is the fact that the Fold 2 is not the most robust device despite considerable improvements. Many smartphone owners have now got used to the fact that their devices are dust and waterproof.
Motoroal Razr 5G in the test
Like Samsung, Motorola has done its homework to make its folding smartphone more robust. Motorola promises that the Razr 5G will withstand up to 200,000 folding processes without damage.
Since Motorola has given its new folding mobile phone an outside screen, you don’t have to open it for every little thing anyway. Messages from social media apps or a messenger can not only be seen there, but also answered quickly. Headlines from news portals and navigation instructions also appear there.
Longer runtime and better pictures
The main camera of the new Razr has been improved over the 2019 model and now has a 48 megapixel sensor. During the day you can hardly feel any difference compared to the Fold 2. When it gets dark, the Samsung Fold 2’s images appear a little more natural.
Motorola has improved the battery life. Since there is hardly any space in the compact device for a really large battery, the Razr 5G still does not achieve any peak values.
Future-proof – but expensive
Both folding smartphones work in the 5G network, which is currently not so relevant. In a year when the 5G network will be much better developed, the owners will probably be happy that they have chosen a future-proof model.
Conclusion on the folding smartphones
Both folding smartphones convince in the test with their cool design, which has now also been implemented for everyday use. The main drawback is the high price: The Razr 5G costs 1500 euros, the Fold 2 even just under 2000 euros. You have to be very convinced of the advantages of the folding display to accept this surcharge.