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Galaxy Fold 2 won’t have the one new feature you really wanted

Published Jun 9th, 2020 6:36PM EDT
Galaxy Fold 2 Release Date
Image: Lee Jin-man/AP/Shutterstock

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  • With the Galaxy Fold 2’s release date coming up, more reports have emerged detailing some of the new foldable’s specs.
  • A report from Korea says the Fold 2 will feature the same UTG display technology as the Galaxy Z Flip, suggesting the handset will be more durable than its predecessor.
  • A separate report supported the claims, adding that the UTG screen isn’t thick enough to support a stylus. Samsung has therefore dropped the Fold 2’s rumored S Pen support.

Samsung is planning to unveil a couple of new flagships in early August. The Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Fold 2 will be the stars of the upcoming online-only Unpacked press conference, just as expected. The new Note will build upon the design of the Galaxy S20, but will include a built-in stylus.

The Galaxy Fold 2 is the more exciting of the two, though, at least on paper. Samsung’s second-gen Fold is supposed to offer a no-notch design, high-end specs, and a more affordable price tag than its predecessor. The handset was also said to ship with an S Pen of its own, which was one of the most interesting Fold 2 rumors we’ve heard. However, a new report from Korea says the Galaxy Fold 2 will not come with a stylus after all.

The first Fold was plagued by durability issues that forced Samsung to postpone the phone’s launch last year and even adjust the design. Still, the Fold came with a warning that told users to handle it with care. The plastic screen was prone to scratches, and debris could still get into the phone via the hinge.

The rumor that said the Galaxy Fold 2 would come with stylus support was exciting because it implied the screen would be more durable, likely made of glass rather than the Fold’s plastic. The Galaxy Z Flip clamshell foldable does have a display made of glass — specifically “Ultra Thin Glass” (UTG).

A report earlier this week said the Galaxy Fold 2 will indeed feature a UTG panel. Again, that’s great news for a foldable phone. UTG is far from being as durable as regular glass, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction, as Z Flip reviews have shown. The same report noted that Samsung partnered with Corning for future devices with foldable displays, although Corning’s bendable glass technology won’t be ready for use this year.

However, a second report from China delivered the bad news. The Galaxy Fold 2 won’t feature a built-in stylus because the screen is too brittle for the S Pen. The Elec explains that the UTG screen of the Z Flip measures just 30 micrometers (0.03mm), while the Galaxy Note 10’s screen is anywhere between 0.4 to 1.2mm thick.

The report notes that Samsung tried to bring the S Pen to the Fold 2 by increasing the thickness of the thin sheet of glass for the areas that cover the two halves of the screen. The display component that actually bends would be thinner than the rest. A polyimide plastic film was also considered. Ultimately, Samsung decided to scrap the stylus.

In other words, the Galaxy Fold 2 should look and feel even better than the first-gen foldable. But the screen will still be prone to accidental damage, as the UTG glass is fragile.

Separately, well-known leaker Jon Prosser said that Samsung will also reveal the Z Flip 5G during its August 5th Unpacked event, with the handsets set to release to the public on August 20th.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.