The device wars, for consumers and business users, continue.

Jeffrey Schwartz

September 2, 2020

4 Min Read
Samsung Z Fold2

Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold2 5G foldable phone is set to ship Sept. 18 and will cost a hefty $1,999.

The big-ticket phone, launched this week, will arrive just a week after Microsoft is set to deliver its new Surface Duo. While both are similar in size and function, the Galaxy Z Fold2 boasts more modern specs than the Microsoft Duo. Notably, the Surface Duo, announced last month, will not support 5G networks or Wi-Fi 6 wireless LANs.

Microsoft has acknowledged that the Surface Duo, its inaugural Android device and first foldable, won’t have the latest technologies. Consequently, it costs less than Samsung Z Fold2, but starting at $1,399, the Surface Duo is also considerably expensive.

Given their cost and the fact that foldables are still novel, they’re not yet expected to have broad appeal. But early buyers will likely determine if there is a future market for them and what use cases are sustainable. Likewise, foldables will give the app ecosystem new opportunities to create new user experiences.

While the Surface Duo and the Galaxy Z Fold2 are competing devices, Samsung and Microsoft also have extensive partnerships. Both companies are working closely to extend Windows and Office on Galaxy devices. Panos Panay, who leads Microsoft’s Surface group, has stated that the Surface Duo isn’t a phone. Nevertheless, because the Surface Duo has calling capabilities, it could replace a phone. For Samsung, the Galaxy Z Fold is its third foldable dual-display phone.

Both companies, and others, are trying to create a new category of devices.

“It gives people the opportunity to do things in a different way than they’ve done in the past,” said TECHnalysis analyst Bob O’Donnell, in a podcast discussing the Surface Duo.

“With the extended screen of a tablet, and the portability of a smartphone, the foldable devices are poised to transform the experiences that matter most to our users,” Samsung corporate VP Patrick Chomet said Tuesday during the company’s brief Fall Unpacked 2 launch event.

Last month, Samsung held its main Fall Unpacked event, when the company announced its new Galaxy Note20 phones and Galaxy Tab S7 tablets. During that event, Samsung previewed the Galaxy Z Fold2, promising to reveal more details on Sept. 1.

Improvements to the Galaxy Z Fold2

The Galaxy Z Fold2 has a narrower gap than the prior version, making the hinges more durable and less conspicuous. The device offers a new Multi-Active Window, which lets users open multiple files from the same app simultaneously. It also has an enhanced Multi-Window Tray that lets users open multiple apps at once. The Galaxy Z Fold2 also supports drag and drop between apps.

It also supports the new Samsung DeX wireless connections to smart TVs and displays, which the company introduced last month for its new phones and tablets.

Samsung is offering both an unlocked version and a version only for AT&T, which started taking pre-orders Wednesday. Samsung will release a version that supports Verizon’s mmWave 5G network in the coming weeks.

Side by Side Comparison of the Surface Duo and Samsung Z Fold2


Microsoft Surface Duo

Samsung Fold


  • Unfolded: 5.7 x 7.36 x 0.10 inches

  • Folded: 3.67 x 7.36 x 0.39 inches

  • Unfolded: 5.05 x 6.27×0.24 inches

  • Folded: 2.7 x 6.27×0.54 inches


0.55 pounds

0.62 pounds


  • LTE: 4×4 MIMO, Cat.18 DL / Cat 5 UL, 5CA, LAA. Up to 1.2Gbps Download / Up to 150Mbps Upload

  • Unlocked version for AT&T without eSIM slot, Unlocked with eSIM slot for AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon

  • T-Mobile customers coming from Sprint’s network require a T-Mobile SIM card

5G: Non-Standalone (NSA), Standalone (SA), Sub6 / mmWave


  • Wi-Fi 5 (2.4/5GHz)

  • Bluetooth 5


  • Wi-Fi 6, HE80 MIMO, 1024QAM

  • Bluetooth v 5.0 (LE up to 2Mbps)

  • USB type-C, NFC, Location (GPS, Galileo, Glonass, BeiDou)

Operating System

Android 10

Android 10


Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 optimized for the dual screen devices

Samsung 64-bit Octa-Core Processor


Dual AMOLED PixelSense Fusion Displays


  • Each is 5.6-inches with 1800 x1 350 (401 PPI) resolution

  • Used together as a single 8.1” screen, resolution is 2700 x 1800

  • Display Material: Corning Gorilla Glass




  • Main Screen: 7.6” QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display (22.5:18) Infinity Flex Display (2208 x 1768), 373ppi

  • Cover Screen: – 6.2” HD+ Super AMOLED Display (25:9), (2260 x 816), 386ppi


Adaptive camera 11MP, f/2.0, 1.0 µm, PDAF and 84.0° diagonal FOV optimized with AI for front and rear


  • Front: 10MP Selfie Camera: F2.2, Pixel size: 1.22μm, FOV: 80˚

  • Rear: Triple camera, 12MP Ultra Wide Camera : F2.2 ,Pixel size: 1.12μm, FOV : 123˚

  • 12MP Wide-angle Camera: Super Speed Dual Pixel AF, OIS, F1.8, Pixel size: 1.8μm, FOV: 83˚

  • 12MP Telephoto Camera : PDAF, F2.4, OIS, Pixel size: 1.0μm, FOV: 45˚

  • Dual OIS, 0.5x out and 2x in optical zoom, Up to 10x digital zoom, HDR10+ recording, Tracking AF

  • Cover: 10MP Selfie Camera: F2.2, Pixel size: 1.22μm, FOV: 80˚

Base price



Source: Company spec sheets

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About the Author(s)

Jeffrey Schwartz

Jeffrey Schwartz has covered the IT industry for nearly three decades, most recently as editor-in-chief of Redmond magazine and executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner. Prior to that, he held various editing and writing roles at CommunicationsWeek, InternetWeek and VARBusiness (now CRN) magazines, among other publications.

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