It's an exciting season for Android fans, as new flagship phones show how foldable and multiple display devices can improve productivity. After 24 hours with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 with the LG V60 ThinQ at its side, it was interesting to see the different results with the same apps on multiple displays.
Samsung offers 7.6 inches on its main display with a 6.2-inch cover display, while LG offers two 6.8-inch displays through its Dual Screen cover. These are two clearly different approaches to providing a platform for productivity, and both are effective with different strengths and weaknesses. Let's explore some examples and define the differences. Make sure to check out the image gallery with photos comparing these two devices.
Mary Jo continues to explore the Surface Duo, and we look forward to its launch next week since it will provide another take on multitasking on an Android smartphone. The following experiences demonstrate Samsung and LG's take on multitasking:
- Web browser and Google Discover: Looking at my Z Fold 2 first take on a web browser on one side/display and Google Discover on the other showed the same amount of content. The LG V60 had more space, but the experience was about the same on both devices.
- Movie and Gmail: Samsung has improved the software and hinge hardware, so now when you prop the main screen up, you can still use split-screen view with one app appearing on the inclined display and another on the flat display. I put a Google Play movie on the upper part and opened Gmail on the lower part. Functionality was similar on both devices, but both apps were bigger, obviously, on the two LG V60 screens.
- Web browser and Messaging: These two apps were opened in portrait orientation, again with a similar visual experience. I was able to tap on a photo in the browser and drag it into a text message on the Galaxy Z Fold 2. Drag-and-drop functionality is a clear differentiator between these two devices.
- Bible and Google Keep: While in church or during Bible study, I like to have YouVersion Bible open with Google Keep Notes to capture notes and thoughts. By flipping the keyboard into floating mode, the experience was very similar and better on the Z Fold 2 than I thought it would be. I also included a shot with the Note 20 Ultra and it is clear that split-screen view on a regular smartphone is a very compromised experience.
- Full-screen movie: There are no apps for the LG experience that plays movies across both displays so the Z Fold 2 viewing experience was much better. That said, the audio port on the LG V60 is a nice benefit.
- Movie on the secondary display: While the major increase in the size of the cover display, 4.6 to 6.2 inches, on the Z Fold 2 is fantastic, the LG V60 still offers a better viewing experience on a larger 6.8-inch display.
- Amazon Kindle: Reading books in the Kindle app on the Z Fold 2 rivals the Kindle Oasis experience. It would be great to see LG receive the Surface Duo version where you can view a page on each display, but as of now, Amazon is much better on the Z Fold 2.
- Spotify: As I was trying out other applications on the Z Fold 2, I discovered that Spotify has been updated to support the large main display. A small player window and column appears on one side of the app. Spotify on the LG V60 is the same as on any other smartphone.
- Full-screen email: LG supports 'wide view' with some apps and one of them is Gmail. However, as you can see in the image gallery, there is a huge gap in the middle where the hinge mechanism is positioned. The Z Fold 2 clearly wins here. Samsung also enhanced its software to support enhanced screen layout and zoom so Gmail looks great on the Z Fold 2.
- Full-screen Google Maps: The experience is very similar on both devices, but the large hinge gap takes away from the seamless viewing of maps on the LG V60.
Samsung's hardware is fantastic, but there are aspects of the LG V60 and LG Velvet that may be more important for getting work done. These include advanced stylus support, IP68 rating and MIL-STD-810G drop/shock resistance, 3.5mm audio port, and fact that you can remove the phone from the Dual Screen cover and have a capable smaller smartphone without the bulk of the second display. These LG devices are also priced at less than half the cost of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2.
After seeing the Galaxy Z Fold 2 launch event and various videos sent to reviewers, I ordered my own personal Z Fold 2, black with a blue hinge, because I didn't think there was any way that LG's solution could offer as much for getting work done. As you can see in the list above, LG offers more in many situations and will save you hundreds of dollars.
One area where Samsung put in serious work over the last year was in the software experience. This is clearly where LG should allocate more resources, especially with Microsoft offering its Surface Duo with a more similar form factor and promising software improvements.
Looking at the LG Velvet/V60 compared to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2, which device will help you be more productive?