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The first edition of the Fold was notorious for falling far short of the heights its decisions had originally aimed for. As the flexible display was folded closed, it created an air gap that allowed dust and particles to get inside. When the phone was snapped open again, the trapped grit caused indentations on the screen, or pictured it completely.

Even worse, the company included a protective layer on top of the display that looked to unwitting users like a retail cover. When early reviewers peeled this film off, they soon learned that it was integral to the display and had busted their units within the first day of testing. Why Samsung thought that having a trailing edge within fingernail distance of the phone’s edge was a good idea, nobody knows.

Quick to resolve the issue, Samsung recalled the review units and spent several months working on a fix. That included new caps on the ends of the hinge to prevent dreaded dust ingress and tucking the ends of the display layer under the device’s frame. Still, that didn’t end questions about the Fold’s reliability after a stress-test found the hinge would not last the 200,000 openings Samsung originally claimed.

There were other niggles, especially for a device costing the better part of two thousand dollars and marketed at wealthy, tech-savvy users. The front-facing cameras were mounted in a noticeable cut-out on the front of the display which dominated the upper right side of the screen. It didn’t look good compared to other phones, especially given the growing acceptance of hole-punch lenses across the industry.

Thankfully, it looks as if the camera issue has also been resolved, with a hole-punch lens now stationed in the primary display. It also looks as if the plastic cut-outs that encircled the primary display are now a thing of the past, making everything look a lot more elegant.

Samsung has also spent plenty of time making the — do we really have to call it this — Galaxy Z Fold 2’s hinge look much better. Whereas the first-generation’s hinge was extraordinarily chunky, this one seems a lot more refined, and Samsung promises it’ll be more reliable, too.

If Samsung has managed to crack the foldable equation, then it makes the case for keeping the Note series around even flimsier. After all, the Note’s USP was that it offered substantially bigger screens and better performance for those who were prepared to pay. Now that the Galaxy S has almost the same size display and even faster internals (in some cases), the Note seems redundant. If Samsung’s newest big-screen foldable works properly this time around, then maybe this is the last time we’ll see a new Note.

In terms of colors, the Fold 2 is available in both black and bronze, while fancier-pantsier buyers can opt for a Thom Browne-edition. Sadly, we don’t know anything about what’s inside (although we can guess that a 5G model is coming from the leaks) or the price. Samsung says that we’ll learn more about the Fold2 at its own, dedicated launch at some point in September. 

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A Quick Note About GDP

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I’ve been out all day with a mystery illness, but now I’m back. I think. I won’t know for sure until morning.

Just in case I’m not, a quick note: We’ll be getting the 3rd quarter GDP estimate on Thursday morning. Since GDP dropped something like 30 points last quarter, it’s inevitable that it will increase by 20 points or more this quarter. Donald Trump is sure to call this the “biggest GDP gain in history” or some such, but obviously it’s no more meaningful than last quarter’s decline. Both are artificial results of government shutdowns and tell us nothing about the underlying economy. At this point, GDP growth isn’t much more than a measure of how much of the economy has been allowed to reopen.

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