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MWC 2019: LG G8 ThinQ, G8s ThinQ With Hand ID, Air Motion Gestures Launched

LG G8 ThinQ was launched on Sunday at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019 in Barcelona, alongside the LG G8s ThinQ and the LG V50 ThinQ 5G. The biggest highlight feature of the LG G8 ThinQ and the G8s ThinQ is the introduction of Hand ID – a new feature that provides palm vein authentication. This…

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MWC 2019: LG G8 ThinQ, G8s ThinQ With Hand ID, Air Motion Gestures Launched

LG G8 ThinQ was launched on Sunday at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019 in Barcelona, alongside the LG G8s ThinQ and the LG V50 ThinQ 5G. The biggest highlight feature of the LG G8 ThinQ and the G8s ThinQ is the introduction of Hand ID – a new feature that provides palm vein authentication. This is enabled by use of the ToF (time of flight) Z Camera and infrared sensors, enabling users to hover their hand over the display to unlock their smartphones. Another significant highlight of the LG G8 ThinQ is the presence of a Crystal Sound OLED, which the company says eliminates the need for a front speaker or an earpiece – though the company’s iconic BoomBox Speaker is retained at the bottom, and now capable of stereo output.
The LG G8 ThinQ is also MIL-STD 810G rated for durability, and has IP68 dust and water resistance. As we mentioned, the South Korean consumer electronics giant also launched the LG V50 ThinQ 5G, and you can read more about that smartphone in separate coverage. Getting back to the ToF Z Camera, it enabled other features, such as Air Motion, which allows users to answer/ end calls, take screenshots, switch apps, and adjust volume al with simple gestures. The ToF Z Camera also enables better Bokeh as well as Video Portrait mode. It also enables more secure 3D-based face recognition that isn’t fooled by photographs. The LG G8s ThinQ is the cheaper variant of the G8 ThinQ, meant to provide G8 ThinQ offerings at a “competitive price.”
LG G8 ThinQ, LG G8s ThinQ price and release date
As with most LG launches, the company has withheld some information. The LG G8 ThinQ price and the LG G8s ThinQ price have not been revealed, nor have availability. As before, the South Korean company will announce these details for individual markets closer to their availability. LG has detailed the colour variants of the LG G8 ThinQ though, saying it will be available in Carmine Red, New Aurora Black, and New Moroccan Blue.
LG G8 ThinQ specifications
The LG ThinQ runs Android 9.0 Pie, and sports a 6.1-inch QHD+ (1440×3120 pixels) OLED FullVision display with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio and a 564ppi pixel density. It is powered by the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC, coupled with 6GB of RAM.
Notably, there are two variants of the LG G8 ThinQ, with one featuring a triple rear camera setup and the other featuring a dual rear camera setup (pictured above) – and will be made available depending on the market. The triple rear camera setup consists of a 12-megapixel primary sensor with an f/1.5 aperture, 1.4-micron pixels, and 78-degree lens; a 16-megapixel 107-degree super wide-angle lens with an f/1.9 aperture and a 1-micron pixel sensor, and finally, a third 12-megapixel 45-degree telephoto lens with an f/2.4 aperture and a 1-micron pixel sensor. On the model with a dual rear camera setup, LG has foregone the telephoto lens, with the other two cameras (super wide-angle and primary) remaining the same as the triple camera offering.
On the front, the LG G8 ThinQ bears an 8-megapixel autofocus camera with an f/1.7aperture, 1.22-micron pixels, and an 80-degree lens. There is also a ToF Z Camera, which as we mentioned is combined with infrared sensors to enable Hand ID palm vein authentication. There is also face unlock, apart from a fingerprint sensor on the rear panel.
There 128GB of inbuilt storage, expandable via microSD card (up to 2TB). Connectivity options on the LG G8 ThinQ include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth v5.0, NFC, FM radio, and USB Type-C (v3.1). The smartphone is powered by a 3,500mAh battery, and supports Quick Charge 3.0 technology. It measures 151.9×71.8×8.4mm and weighs 167 grams. The company has also included a 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC, adding that the G8 ThinQ supports DTS:X 3D Surround Sound.
LG G8s ThinQ specifications
Evidently the more affordable variant of the two, with a full-HD+ display instead of a quad-HD+ one, the LG G8s ThinQ unfortunately doesn’t have too many specifications revealed. Here’s what LG has disclosed – it sports a 6.2-inch full-HD+ (1080×2248 pixels display) with an 18.7:9 aspect ratio, is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC coupled with 6GB of RAM.

LG G8s ThinQ bears a triple rear camera setup as well as a ToF Z Camera
 
As for optics, the LG G8s ThinQ bears a toned-down triple rear camera setup, with a 12-megapixel primary sensor, a 13-megapixel wide-angle sensor, and a 12-megapixel telephoto lens. On the front, it bears an 8-megapixel sensor, coupled with the ToF Z Camera, thus enabling the Hand ID, Air Motion, and Face Unlock features. It ships with 64GB or 128GB of inbuilt storage, not expandable via microSD card. It runs on a 3,550mAh battery.

With Galaxy Fold, has Samsung kicked off a revolution in smartphone tech? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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The best espresso machine for 2020: Cuisinart, Breville, Mr. Coffee and more – CNET

If you’ve ever fallen in love with espresso, you know first hand its powerful charms. Ultra-strong, rich, yet balanced espresso’s complex flavors are addictive. Making it at home though can be a tall order. A lot of coffee makers billed as domestic espresso machines are that in name only. If you don’t do your homework…

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The best espresso machine for 2020: Cuisinart, Breville, Mr. Coffee and more     – CNET

If you’ve ever fallen in love with espresso, you know first hand its powerful charms. Ultra-strong, rich, yet balanced espresso’s complex flavors are addictive. Making it at home though can be a tall order. A lot of coffee makers billed as domestic espresso machines are that in name only. If you don’t do your homework chances are good you’ll wind up with a terrible appliance, one that slings awful drinks. Make sure you avoid this pitfall and by a machine that produces superb shots all day long.The best home espresso machines have an advanced brewing process and handy bells and whistles like a double portafilter basket for double shot drinks, and a milk frother and steam wand for a cup of cappuccino or a latte. These automatic machines don’t come cheap, and you can expect to pay at least $500 for something that whips up legit cafe-caliber espresso drinks (or an espresso shot, if that’s your thing). But when in doubt, try to remember how much you’ll be saving on all the lattes, cappuccinos and double shots you get from your coffee shop thanks to your espresso and cappuccino maker.Espresso coffee is uniquely powerful and flavorful. It’s the ultimate test for home brewers.
Tyler Lizenby/CNET
You can also drop as little as $100, if you’re willing to settle for a mediocre espresso, but I urge you not to pounce on products that cost less, especially if you plan on drinking espresso regularly. A seemingly affordable espresso machine may look like a bargain at first blush, but they’re often a waste of money and counter space, too. For those on a budget, “espresso brewers” (in the $30 to $50 price range) typically lack motorized pumps and are powered by steam pressure alone. What they produce is really moka pot coffee, the sort of drink made by simple stovetop brewers; it won’t taste quite like the espresso you’re used to from the barista at your local coffee shop or cafe. That’s not inherently bad — it’s just not really espresso.

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Want to buy an espresso machine? Here’s what you need…

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To find the best espresso machine for espresso lovers, I spent over 80 hours putting 10 available espresso machines through their paces. I limited my testing to manual espresso machines, not the ones that make espresso from pods or capsules. I also revisited three other espresso machines I reviewed previously. During the process, I made and sampled scores of espresso shots, double shots, lattes, cappuccinos and pitchers of steamed milk and milk froth. Basically, if it was a coffee drink, I made it. I also took into account other things like water reservoir and storage, water filter, control panel, grinding capabilities, automatic milk frother length (and its ability to steam and froth milk) and more. After my experience, these are the three I’d qualify as the best home espresso machines. While they all get the job done and offer the essential features you need — like a steam milk frother, drip tray, substantial water reservoir, and easy-to-clean stainless steel base — the key differentiating factor between them is the price point. And how much you spend on an espresso machine does have a major impact on what type of coffee you’ll ultimately get.

CNET Smart Home and Appliances

Get smart home reviews and ratings, video reviews, buying guides, prices and comparisons from CNET.

I also limited this list to automatic machines and semiautomatic espresso machines. I excluded super-automatic espresso makers as well, sold by Krups, Philips, Miele and others. Those models are a breed apart, costing many times more ($2,000 to $3,000). I update this list periodically, and you’ll find my testing methodology below. Still with me? Keep going, delicious espresso will soon be yours!

Chris Monroe/CNET

You can’t beat the Breville Barista Express and its combination of performance, features and price point. For $700, the machine’s formidable grinder pulverizes espresso beans, smart technology doses grounds directly into its portafilter basket, plus its sturdy frother steams milk well and makes thick foam. It also consistently pulled the best tasting shots of espresso in my test group. The control panel may be a little intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of things, a delicious shot (or double shot) of espresso, latte or other coffee-based drink of choice will be your reward. Made from stainless steel, the Barista Express is a cinch to clean as well. And to seal the deal, Breville includes premium metal tools such as a handy dose trimmer and tamper.I will note, though, that this machine does not offer a compact design. If counter space is at a premium in your kitchen, you may want to look at the next machine on the list to make your cup of coffee.

Read more.

Brian Bennett/CNET

For those who crave great espresso at home but are nervous about getting the technique down, the Breville Bambino Plus is the perfect choice. It’s dead simple to use and to keep clean. It’s also compact yet pulled delicious shots of espresso second only to Breville’s Barista Express. I especially appreciate how easy it is to froth milk with the Bambino. Just insert the steam wand into the Bambino’s stainless steel milk pitcher (included), then press one button. Less than a minute later, you’ll have expertly steamed milk foam ready for lattes and cappuccinos.

While it lacks its own coffee grinder, making an espresso, cappuccino or latte from the Cuisinart EM-100 has plenty going for it. This espresso machine has a compact design but is powerful enough to brew from fine coffee grounds. It also pulled flavorful espresso shots, second only to the Breville Barista Express in terms of quality, taste and strength. The machine features a long stainless steel frother for steaming milk and a built-in cup warmer heating element too. A solid espresso machine at about a third the price of the Breville.

How we test espresso machines My evaluation process for espresso machines is similar to how I test standard drip coffee makers. First, I hand wash and dry all removable parts and accessories. For most espresso products, that includes the portafilter basket, metal portafilter inserts, water tank and so on. Next, I run one brewing cycle with just hot water to flush away any residual material from manufacturing. Most espresso machines, save for fancy super automatic models, lack an integrated coffee grinder and I prefer to test with freshly ground coffee. So I supply my own grinder — the Breville Smart Grinder Pro. I chose this grinder for two reasons. First, it’s calibrated more for espresso and less for drip or other brewing styles. That means it produces a grind that’s quite fine. Second, its grind size is also consistently uniform. Both factors are critical for a proper espresso brewing process. To pull shots, I start with the suggested method outlined in a given machine’s product manual. Usually that covers the amount of coffee grounds expected per shot, along with any guidelines regarding coarseness level. Likewise, I follow tamping instructions (light, medium or hard tamp) if the manual provides them. Whenever possible, I brew double shots of espresso for all my test runs. I make sure to record the weight of the grounds I use, plus the weight of espresso for each shot I pull. This data, along with readings from a portable refractometer, allows me to calculate two important percentages: total dissolved solids and extraction percentage. And just like any coffee brew, the ideal extraction percentage for espresso is a range between 18% and 22%. This yields a balanced cup, assuming you perform an even and efficient extraction of coffee compounds from your grounds (both flavor and caffeine). Not many home espresso machines can brew quality shots. This one was pulled from the Breville Barista Express.
Tyler Lizenby/CNET
If you over-extract, you run the risk of leaching out unpleasant flavors (bitterness) after the good. On the opposite end of the scale, under extracted brews tend to have undeveloped flavors. Lacking sugars and other caramelized organic chemicals, these shots will taste sour, weak and watery.       Unlike making a cup of drip coffee, espresso should be concentrated. While excellent drip typically has a TDS percentage of 1.3 or 1.4, great espresso has a much higher percentage. The Breville Barista Express, for example, produced shots with TDS percentages as high as 12.4. These shots I pulled were balanced though, with an extraction of 18.6%. The test beans I use are the same variety I employ for standard coffee makers — Costco Kirkland Colombian. It’s a medium dark roast, suitable for brewing espresso as well.   Many espresso machines have steaming wands for frothing milk. The Breville Bambino makes steaming milk especially easy.
Brian Bennett/CNET
Lastly, I try my hand at frothing milk with each coffee machine equipped with a steam wand. I record the overall experience with the steam wand, whether the process is a snap, a tricky chore or somewhere in between. Steam milk to create cafe-style espresso drinks like lattes and cappuccinos.
Brian Bennett/CNET
Want more options for your cup of coffee? Check out this list of espresso machines I’ve tested in addition to the ones above. More coffee advice from CNET and Chowhound

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Call of Duty: Warzone Might Be Coming to Mobile, Activision Job Listing Suggests

Call of Duty: Warzone may be coming to mobile phones, a job listing on Activision’s website has suggested. The position listed on the website had the title ‘Executive Producer, Features (WZM)’ where WZM might stand for Warzone Mobile. The job description also states “a new AAA mobile FPS” which is another hint at Warzone coming…

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Call of Duty: Warzone Might Be Coming to Mobile, Activision Job Listing Suggests

Call of Duty: Warzone may be coming to mobile phones, a job listing on Activision’s website has suggested. The position listed on the website had the title ‘Executive Producer, Features (WZM)’ where WZM might stand for Warzone Mobile. The job description also states “a new AAA mobile FPS” which is another hint at Warzone coming to mobile platform. Call of Duty: Warzone is currently free to play on PC and consoles. It is a battle royale game that has become highly popular since it launched back in March this year.The position at Activision, which has already been filled, was for someone to work on “a new AAA mobile FPS” game in the Call of Duty franchise. The job title stated ‘Executive Producer, Features (WZM)’, where the WZM could perhaps stand for Warzone Mobile. Further, the job description also stated, “Harvest, adapt, and deliver the essential features from Warzone console and PC into their best mobile instantiation”. Adding more fuel to the fire is the part that mentions “Serve as a primary point of contact on Warzone Mobile leadership team…”All these signs point towards a mobile version of Call of Duty: Warzone currently in development. As of now, we cannot expect a release timeline for the game, the name for which has also not been confirmed. The game might not even launch this year, or towards late December.The job listing is not visible on the Activision website anymore and was first spotted by Charlie Intel.Call of Duty: Warzone released in March as a free to play battle royale experience that took the gaming scene by storm. The developers have kept the game updated and interesting for players to stick to it. The team has also used Warzone as a platform to promote their upcoming Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War game with Easter eggs and teasers.With PUBG Mobile facing scrutiny in India and its fate uncertain, people have started looking for alternatives and while there is already a Call of Duty: Mobile game with a battle royale mode, Activision seems to be wanting to add another option in the mix.Should the government explain why Chinese apps were banned? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below. 

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Galaxy Z Fold 2: A drool-worthy foldable that fixes the original’s disastrous design – CNET

LikeRefined look and feelSits open at multiple anglesFixes nearly every flaw from the original Don’t LikeInner screen still fragileFingerprint unlock errors too numerousTyping can feel cumbersome The Galaxy Z Fold 2 is not just a foldable phone. It’s a movement waiting to begin. Samsung’s winning redesign of its first foldable phone improves on the original…

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Galaxy Z Fold 2: A drool-worthy foldable that fixes the original’s disastrous design     – CNET

LikeRefined look and feelSits open at multiple anglesFixes nearly every flaw from the original

Don’t LikeInner screen still fragileFingerprint unlock errors too numerousTyping can feel cumbersome

The Galaxy Z Fold 2 is not just a foldable phone. It’s a movement waiting to begin. Samsung’s winning redesign of its first foldable phone improves on the original Galaxy Fold in nearly every way — from the new 6.2-inch outer screen to the 7.6-inch inner display — delivering a device that for the first time draws a full-size foldable phone from the realm of fantasy and grounds it in reality.  Samsung’s original Galaxy Fold was a bold concept with terrible execution. Besieged by problems and pitfalls at nearly every turn, Samsung had to redesign the device after review models broke in multiple ways, causing the brand to lose distribution partners, drop color options and deliver the foldable device four months late. 

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The Z Fold 2 may keep the same shape as the original, but it exudes confidence and competence that the first design lacked — with one exception. CNET Section Editor Juan Garzon’s review unit has a bubbled interior screen, which would clearly fall under Samsung’s warranty if a purchased product arrived damaged. The review unit I’ve been using hasn’t experienced any issues. CNET has reached out to Samsung to report the problem.

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Galaxy Z Fold 2: The new foldable phone king

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When I look at the Galaxy Z Fold 2’s large outer display (6.2 inches), sturdy hinge and upleveled multitasking skills, I see a foldable phone striving to define the intersection of smartphone luxury and technical innovation, but with a utility that banishes the suggestion of gimmick. For example, the Z Fold 2 replaced my laptop for 28 hours and did nearly everything I needed, though writing and editing admittedly took longer tapping out on a screen than typing on keyboard squares. The Z Fold 2 isn’t a phone for everyone — its $2,000 (£1,799, AU$2,999) price puts it out of range for many — but it’s a device that deserves and demands your attention. Read on for the best and worst Z Fold 2 features, and everything you need to know about camera, battery life and Samsung’s VIP treatment. You’ll find the full specs comparison with the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, Galaxy Fold and Microsoft Surface Duo at the end.
Galaxy Z Fold 2: Samsung’s most luxe foldable phone yet
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8 best improvements to the Galaxy Z Fold 2 Premium look and feelHinge mechanism is sturdy and smooth as you open and close the deviceNo gaps between the screen and body (I tried with my fingernail. All sealed.)6.2-inch external screen takes up most of the exterior footprintUltrathin glass on the inner screen instead of plastic adhesive aloneSupport for 120Hz refresh rate (inner screen)No notch on 7.2-inch interior displayApps seamlessly switch between inner and outer displays How the Z Fold 2 could be even better Inner screen isn’t waterproof, requires special care instructionsReflection on the screen crease is noticeable when hinge stays open Heavy, with sharp edges. Grows wearisome to hold during long-term useBetter cameras, including a 5x optical zoomA more accurate fingerprint reader (more below)Apps can raise the bar on conforming to the screen (more below)Support for Work Profile apps in the multitasking view (more below)Taken with the Galaxy Z Fold 2’s 2x optical camera.
Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
Z Fold 2 cameras are good, but Note 20 Ultra’s are better Photography on the Z Fold 2 leaves little to complain about, unless you’ve just used the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra as your primary phone, like I have.  That device, which costs $1,300 retail, has 5x optical zoom that the Z Fold 2’s 2x optical zoom wishes it could be, and a few other fancy features that I could usually take or leave. Zooming into architectural features on a day trip to San Francisco, or seeing animals in nature, was a lot less satisfying on the Z Fold 2 compared to the Ultra. A beautiful view of San Francisco’s iconic Ferry Building on a beautiful day, but the Z Fold 2’s 2x optical zoom is no match for 5x if we wanted to get a little more close and personal.
Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
Photos are still good — very good, even — but this isn’t the most superior camera phone that Samsung makes. There are pro photo and pro video modes, which bring it up to date, and I do like being able to unfold the device to take a higher-quality selfie with the rear cameras.  The Z Fold 2’s outer screen serves as a viewfinder if you tap the right onscreen control, but it’s awkward to hold the phone this way while taking a photo, and everything looks slightly off-kilter if you’re looking at yourself onscreen and not the camera sensor. I also noticed that a lot of my standard photos seemed ever so slightly askew. Reviewing pictures on the 7.6-inch screen, though, is a dream. San Francisco street, using night mode.
Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
Flex Mode: Highs and lows of the self-supporting hinge  I genuinely thought Flex Mode would be the Z Fold 2’s killer feature, but it didn’t quite work out as expected. Flex Mode is Samsung’s way to describe the state of the Z Fold 2 when you bend the two screens in between totally closed and fully open, and the two “sides” stay where they are. The benefits are plenty real. The phone can prop itself open from a range of at least 75 to 115 degrees, which means it can become its own stand vertically or horizontally, and some apps can shift to take advantage of the new dimensions. That essentially splits the interface so that, for example, you can see a video on “top” and other navigation options on the “bottom.”  The Z Fold 2’s hinge can keep its shape from 75 to 115 degrees without snapping shut or flopping open.
Angela Lang/CNET
But there aren’t enough apps yet that recognize the long, narrow dimensions and know how to use them well. And the natural screen ratios when you bend the phone in half work more cohesively on the smaller Galaxy Z Flip than they do on the Z Fold 2.  For example, when the Z Flip bends in half, it forms two squares. The bottom creates a stand and the top has a centered video camera that’s intuitive to use for video calls, reading, watching videos and framing photos from front and rear cameras.  Meanwhile, the angles on the Z Fold 2 never felt quite right for most of those. Samsung says there are more apps coming to take advantage of the split-screen design — I certainly hope that’s the case. Battery life better than I feared I worried about the Z Fold 2’s ability to deliver all-day battery life with its 4,500-mAh battery capacity. Note that these are two separate battery cells that together create the same total capacity as the Note 20 Ultra, a phone I thought had middling battery performance because of its resource-hungry 120Hz screen. Now, add into the equation two battery cells that are generally thought of as less efficient than one big battery (because of battery chemistry) and a really big 7.6-inch screen that refreshes at twice the rate of a typical screen (using more battery) and you can understand the skepticism. The power-hungry 7.6-inch inner screen supports a 120Hz refresh rate, which should drain the battery faster the more you use it. However, the Z Fold 2 should still last a day on a full charge.
Juan Garzon/CNET
However, the day I exchanged my laptop for a Z Fold 2, I used resource-hungry live maps navigation for 2 hours in a 28-hour period, browsed and messaged nonstop, watched hours of Netflix, took dozens of photos and so on. Even on this heavy day, I still managed to get from morning to evening on a single charge.  Part of that is because the 7.6-inch internal screen only uses 120Hz screen refresh rate on an “adaptive” cycle, which means it automatically flicks on when you’re doing something intensive enough to warrant the ultrasmooth scrolling, gaming and more. The rest of the time it reverts to 60Hz (like the outer screen, which I used at least 60% of the time), and which held reserves in check.  Battery life isn’t amazing, but it’s more than doable, and for a device like this, I consider that a positive. You can also manually switch the inner screen’s refresh rate to 60Hz and if you enter battery-saving mode, 120Hz will fall away. You can use the outer screen as a viewfinder for taking selfies from the main camera — neat trick.
Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
Multitasking, typing, app continuity: A mixed bag Multitasking: I love Samsung’s new multi-window app feature — mostly — because it makes it so much easier to split the 7.6-inch screen into two or three zones to use apps at the same time. Dividing the screen this way felt natural and helpful for periods of time.  In this iteration, when you have one app open, you’re able to swipe out from the side menu, select an app and drag it into one of three locations: to the right or left pane, horizontally, bottom (a vertical position below the main window), or a pop up in the middle of what you’re looking at. This is great flexibility here. Unfortunately, not every app you have installed works with this layout, including apps sandboxed in the “Work Profile” section of Samsung’s Knox security that works with corporate apps. It’s a shame, since the productivity apps are among the ones I want to multitask with the most. Any app you start on the outer screen seamlessly picks up where you left off when you open the Z Fold 2.
Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
App hand-off: I loved the liquidity with which apps from the inner and outer screen slid over to the other when I opened or closed the Z Fold 2. Any app you open the 6.2-inch outer screen, any app you have loaded will jump to the inner screen as you unfold the device — seamlessly. It’s a bit of work to dig into the settings to select which apps you want to go the other way when closing the larger inner screen, like a video (it will automatically work for calls). I will say, it’s completely worth the effort to set this up. Typing: Once again, I have to commend Samsung for making a split screen keyboard for the interior Fold screen. The goal is to make typing more comfortable on a wider-than-usual device that’s most beneficial when it’s fully unfolded into tablet form.  However… my hands are on the smaller side, which means that even on the split-screen keyboard my paws feel stretched. There really aren’t third party apps to replace the default keyboard, which means I wind up collapsing the unfolded phone — bending it slightly toward the center — to get the two sides together and gain some typing relief. If your hands are larger, you may not mind as much, but it’s not a design for everyone. Apps that work for the screen: Samsung is slowly but surely working on apps to take advantage of the Z Fold 2’s bendable design in any formation. For example, there’s drag and drop between Gmail, Chrome, Microsoft Outlook and Samsung native apps. Other apps, like YouTube video, will play nice with the configuration. But until this catches on for all, expect some bootstrapping to get it all how you like. The fingerprint reader (at the bottom right of this photo) is hard to accurately hit when the phone is closed.
Angela Lang/CNET
Fingerprint reader not a deal breaker, but needs a fix In the closed position, both new and original Galaxy Fold devices look like two phones stacked on top of the other in a delicious mobile sandwich. The downside — and weirdness — is that the fingerprint reader on the Z Fold 2’s power/lock button (on the right spine) is both completely sensible and also irrational. Here’s what happens. You enroll up to four fingerprints when the phone is completely flat, unfurled (not folded in half), but if you try to unlock the device when it’s closed, your thumb has to find the precise angle and divot in the bottom portion of the stacked screen sandwich to unlock it without error or delay.  Despite this very convenient placement and setup, I had to punch in my backup credentials more times than not. Should you get the Galaxy Z Fold 2? A $2,000 phone isn’t a paltry affair, especially when 50% of the screens are fragile and finicky at best. But I have a completely different viewpoint than I did of the first Galaxy Fold — to the benefit of the successor. The Galaxy Fold was a mesmerizing beta phone, a blueprint, meant for the most dedicated of tech advocates living on the edge while Samsung and the rest of the industry worked out the details. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 isn’t for everyone, but it does a lot to bring the future of foldable phones within reach.
Angela Lang/CNET
I still don’t think this $2,000 Z Fold 2 with its fragile screen is worth it for most, but it’s a lot closer to the kind of device everyday people might have and want than last year’s inchoate edition. As an ultrafancy phone, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 offers prestige and superior marksmanship for a do-everything phone of this type. As a tech-lover’s dream, it presents a grounded possibility that didn’t exist before.  Samsung’s VIP foldable Z Premiere treatment Samsung has expanded its VIP club for foldable phones. Anyone who buys a Z Fold 2, Fold or Z Flip (including the new Z Flip 5G) gets access to the program. Galaxy Z Concierge program for on-demand customer service and consultationFirst-time screen replacement of $149Six months of LinkedIn PremiumFoundersCard benefits: 12-month membership when you preorder. After launch, you get six months freeA prepared meal from a Michelin starred restaurant through TockFairway Pass Elite through ClubCorp, which gives you access to golf clubsSix months of Obe Fitness online workouts$50 off Glamsquad in-home hair serviceGalaxy Z Fold 2 vs. Microsoft Surface Duo vs. Galaxy Fold vs. Galaxy Z Flip

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2

Microsoft Surface Duo

Samsung Galaxy Fold

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip

Display size, resolution

External 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED; Internal: 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED. External: 2,260×816 pixels. Internal: 2,208×1,768 pixels

Dual 5.6-inch AMOLED; 1,800×1,350 pixels. Combined: 8.1-inch AMOLED; 2,700×1,800 pixels

Internal: 7.3-inch Dynamic AMOLED; 2,152×1,536 pixels (plastic). External: 4.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED; 1,680×720 pixels (Gorilla Glass 6)

Internal: 6.7-inch FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED; 2,636×1,080 pixels. External: 1.1-inch Super AMOLED; 300×112 pixels

Pixel density

386 + 373 ppi

401 ppi

362 ppi (internal screen)

425 ppi (internal), 303 ppi (external)

Dimensions (Inches)

Folded: 2.67 x 6.26 x 0.6 in (hinge) ~ 0.54 in (sagging). Unfolded: 5.04 x 6.26 x 0.27 in (frame) ~ 0.23 in (screen)

Folded: 5.72 x 3.67 x 0.399 in. Unfolded: 5.72 x 7.36 x 0.19 in

Folded: 6.3 x 2.5 x 0.6 in. Unfolded: 6.3 x 4.6 x 0.3 in

Folded: 2.99 x 3.44 x 0.62 ~ 0.68 in. Unfolded: 2.99 x 6.59 x 0.27 ~0.28 in

Dimensions (Millimeters)

Folded: 68 x 159.2 x 16.8mm (hinge) ~ 13.8mm (sagging). Unfolded: 128.2 x 159.2 x 6.9mm (frame) ~ 6mm (screen)

Folded: 145.2 x 93.3 x 9.9 mm. Unfolded: 1,145.2 x 186.9 x 4.8 mm

Folded: 62.8 x 161 x 15.7mm ~ 17.1mm. Unfolded: 117.9 x 161 x 6.9mm ~ 7.6mm

Folded: 73.6 x 87.4 x 15.4 ~17.3 mm. Unfolded: 73.6 x 167.3 x 6.9 ~ 7.2 mm

Weight (Ounces, Grams)

9.95 oz; 282 grams

8.8 oz; 250g

9.7 oz; 276g

6.46 oz; 183g

Mobile software

Android 10

Android 10

Android 9.0 with Samsung One UI

Android 10

Camera

12-megapixel (main) + 12-megapixel (wide angle) + 12 megapixel (telephoto)

11-megapixel

12-megapixel (wide-angle), 16-megapixel (ultrawide-angle), 12-megapixel (telephoto)

12-megapixel (wide-angle), 12-megapixel (ultrawide-angle)

Front-facing camera

10-megapixel, 10-megapixel

Uses main camera

Two 10-megapixel, 8-megapixel 3D depth

10-megapixel

Video capture

4K

4K

4K (HDR 10+)

4K (HDR 10+)

Processor

Snapdragon 865 Plus

Qualcomm Snapdragon 855

Qualcomm Snapdragon 855

Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ (64-bit octa-core)

Storage

256GB

128GB, 256GB

512GB

256GB

RAM

12GB

6GB

12GB

8GB

Expandable storage

None

None

None

None

Battery

4,500 mAh

3,577 mAh

4,380 mAh

3,300 mAh

Fingerprint sensor

Side

Right side

Power button

Power button

Connector

USB-C

USB-C

USB-C

USB-C

Headphone jack

No

No

No

No

Special features

Foldable display, 120Hz refresh rate, wireless charging support,

Dual-screen display; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM)

Foldable display, wireless charging, fast charging

Foldable display; wireless PowerShare; wireless charging; fast charging

Price off-contract (USD)

$2,000

$1,400

$1,980

$1,380

Price (GBP)

£1,799

Converts to £1,080

£2,000

£1,300

Price (AUD)

AU$2,999

Converts to AU$1,915

AU$2,950

AU$2,999

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