We know that the Fold 2 is on the way because a quarterly earnings call revealed that the company is 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 far more challenging economic circumstances than the original - 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. With this in mind, if the next Galaxy Note (possibly called the Samsung Galaxy Note 11 or Galaxy Note 20) does launch in August/September, the Fold 2 likely won't be far behind, and may even launch at the same time.
That's backed up by a report from Daily Korea that suggests that Samsung has already placed bulk orders for components from its suppliers, suggesting that it is on track for a launch in August.
Usually reliable leaker IceUniverse has since claimed that a 5 August release is on the cards for both the Fold 2 and the Note 20, along with the Galaxy Tab S7 and Galaxy Watch 3. We can't confirm that date, but it seems to be one that keeps popping up from numerous sources and sounds plausible enough, based on Samsung's past trends.
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.
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).
This might be the Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 ?— Ben Geskin (@BenGeskin) April 20, 2020
(render based on latest leaks) pic.twitter.com/TK8Ex9XvYU
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.
Fold 2 pic.twitter.com/ysdw6oIjqc— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) June 24, 2020
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 (2213x1689), 120Hz, LTPO AMOLED w/ 372ppi
- External (secondary) display: Size: 6.23in (2267x819), 60Hz, LTPS 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
- 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.
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.
To clear out Galaxy Fold 1 inventory before the Galaxy Fold 2 is launched, Samsung will announce the Galaxy Fold Special Edition in July at a price around $1099. Quantities will be limited to ~55K worldwide. It should look just like the Galaxy Fold 1. Great price!— Ross Young (@DSCCRoss) May 13, 2020
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.
I have some info on the Galaxy Fold Lite.— Max Weinbach (@MaxWinebach) May 12, 2020
-Galaxy Fold Lite 4G
-Mirror Black, Mirror Purple
-Display has no UTG
-Will be equipped with a mix of 2018/19/20 parts
-outside will probably have a smaller display (not like on Fold, but more like the Z Flip)