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Why the Oppas and Big Bosses In KDramas Are Using This Phone

From Start-Up’s Han Ji Pyeong to The Nine Tailed’s Lee Dong Wook, here’s why the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 is the choice of trailblazers and innovators from reel to real life

In one scene in the finale of Start-Up, Nam Joo-hyuk’s Nam Do-san summarized Start-Up’s sensibilities during one tense elevator ride with Han Ji-pyeong (Kim Seon-ho). Do-san was encouraging Seo Dal-mi (Bae Suzy) to take the plunge and put in a bid for their self-driving car, but she was reluctant because of the risk of failure. 

Do-san said it would be a learning experience—”you pass failure on your way to success.” It just wasn’t practical to try something just for the sake of trying, but Do-san insisted that “they should do it so it would be easier next time.” That while going off into exploratory, unchartered territories could also cost them, they could also succeed—and become trailblazers.


The scene struck me because it was exactly how it felt in San Francisco in 2019 during a press event for Samsung, when they first unveiled the first iteration of the Samsung Galaxy Fold. How it must have been for the Samsung visionaries to have persevered to develop a folding phone as far back as 2011, according to Patrick Chomet, while they were working on the Note series. “People wanted immersive viewing experience but fit in the palm of your hands,” he said in the Unfold event last August. Was it possible then—perhaps, not, but trailblazers don’t look back in regret, they just push forward and try.

Indeed, Samsung was the first major smartphone supplier to unveil a folding phone way back in November 2018, and the Fold would be the very first folding phone that consumers could buy. It was a taste of the future, I said then, and I still believe it now, because the folding phone has grown in leaps and bounds since that moment of reveal.

I always go back to that moment, because the latest iteration of the folding phone, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold, has innovated so much that it seems like a different category in itself. Aside from having the same folding concept, the form factor, the build, and even the folding mechanism has vastly improved.


We first saw this gem of a device when BTS unboxed it in September, with the Bangtan boys playing with the device as they tick off their observations—Suga, aka the "tech guru" noted that even the box “is made to embody the product itself” and that “the hinge opens much more smoothly than before,” while Jin noted how it offered a better grip than the past version.


And while we laugh at Jin’s speculation on the rumor that “Samsung tortures aliens to make smartphones,” it’s hard to shrug off the fact that there’s something truly magical about how you can bend and fold the Galaxy Z Fold 2 so easily, like it’s the most natural thing.

This phone is for those who have one eye in the future, yet they also want to live life to the fullest. They hold themselves to the highest standard, and are excellent in their own fields. At the same time, they demand living fully—a full screen experience on a small device. They are multi-taskers who have many lives, many responsibilities, they like doing things at the same time. They are trailblazers, and they like holding the future of mobile technology in their hands.

The mobile phone in Korean Dramas

Which is why, in some of the top dramas now, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 was placed exactly in the hands of the achievers in each of the dramas. Because these mobile phones are lifestyle devices, seeing them as PPL (product placement) as the K-fans call it, make the most sense because mobile phones are lifestyle devices, and seeing them because the KDramas show a semblance of what life is like now alongside these lifestyle devices.

The plot-points nowadays are inspired by how you interact with technology—words of love, hate, even goodbyes, are connected to those far away via mobile phone; ideas are hatched and conceptualized through search, hackers enter systems through mobile phone bugs, and so on. The devices have revolutionized the way we communicate, create content, shop, and more!

True enough, you’ll see this in the most current dramas, the dreamers, doers, and drivers of change have all held this mobile phone in their hands. From Lee Dong Wook in The Nine Tailed, Kim Seon Ho in Start-Up, Lee Jae Wook and Go Ara in Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol, Lee Ji Ah in The Penthouse, and even the villains, her husband Joo Dan Tae, or Uhm Ko Joon in the same series. See the different ways they made full use of Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2’s features.

Galaxy Z Fold 2 The Nine Tailed Start Up
Lee Yeon from 'The Nine Tailed' and Han Ji Pyeong from 'Start Up'
Galaxy Z Fold 2
Sunwoo Joon and Goo Ra Ra from 'Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol'

Flexibility with the cover display

From the past Galaxy Fold to the Galaxy Z Fold 2, the size of the screen is now much bigger, filling up the entire front panel, with no screen real estate wasted. Yet they still managed to keep the form factor—it’s still small and compact, and fits in the palm of your hand. Even when opened, the entire screen is maximized with the wider, infinity O display with thinner bezels.

Galaxy Z Fold 2
Galaxy Fold 1 vs Galaxy Z Fold 2 screen real estate

App Continuity 

You can easily switch from the compact cover display to the second, wider main display. The experience is seamless, the apps adjust and recognize the new screen size.

Galaxy Z Fold 2
Best for browsing as seen in 'The Nine Tailed' research on the Imoogi's attributes

Flex Mode

You know how most mobile phones have kickstands or pop-sockets to prop it up, help it stand, or assist when you’re watching a movie or taking a selfie? Well since the creation of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, that problem has been addressed with the Flex Mode.

They brought this idea to the Z Fold 2, but with a much stronger mechanism (since the size is much wider), and it has an advanced CAM mechanism that lets you unfold the phone at different angles.

So applying the principle of the Flex Mode to a larger, wider device, the Z Fold 2 now becomes an handsfree entertainment device that can adjust its angle.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2  Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol
The flex mode enabled Jun and Ra Ra to prepare a duet even if they were away from each other in 'Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol'

It’s great when you’re watching videos while doing something else—you can control the angle and the size is small enough to fit in your work table.

It gets even better. If you decide to watch in the wider screen but in the folding position, the video automatically transitions to the folded half of the screen, and on the bottom you can navigate, read comments—all of this without stopping or disrupting the video. Don’t you hate it when you have to scroll down (and thereby lose sight of what you’re watching) just to write your comment or participate in creating reactions? Now you can watch videos and livestreams just like you’re chatting.

Galaxy Z Fold 2
So easy to watch and comment on YouTube when you open the screen, you can watch while reading the comments

Best for video calls

One of the pitfalls of quarantine and work-from-home life is that you’re often dependent on desktops or laptops to give you a productive video calling experience. If you do decide to go on a video conference call using your mobile device, you don’t have the convenience of reading chats, typing, or having multi-panel views of the people you’re meeting with.

And this doesn’t just apply to work, Many of us have been using video chatting to keep touch with our friends and family.

When using Google Duo, the screen on the Z Fold 2 can be folded with the upper portion divided into those you’re video-chatting with. While the space at the bottom gives you controls—including the option to add people to the call.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
While this isn't a video chat, it was meant by Lee Yeon as a means to give his final message to his brother Lee Rang in 'The Nine Tailed'

Samsung also has a partnership with Google Duo so that you can actually chat on full HD Video! Once 5G is well established here in the Philippines, you’ll have 1080p resolution right on your mobile device.

Galaxy Z Fold 2
Google Duo is easy on the device

Pro-grade Camera experience

There are so many beautiful photos and videos that are shot using Galaxy devices, and the Z Fold 2 gives that same experience even further.

It has pro-camera hardware. With 12MP Ultra Wide Camera (F2.2), 12MP Wide-angle Camera (F1.8) with a super speed dual pixel AF, and a 12MP Tele lens (F2.4). 

The part I love—it’s like having a ‘thinking’ camera machine. When you open Flex Mode, you can use the top to view the shot, while you can tweak with the controls at the bottom half of the folded screen.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
Flex mode gives amazing camera controls, including auto-tracking

The experience is the same with video, it helps you get the best video footage. It gets the subject of the video and optimizes a shooting frame to make them shine. When a new person comes into the shot, they can come and zoom in and out to make sure they’re fully visible. All this without moving or adjusting any controls.

Even the selfie is optimized. It has 2 selfie displays, 10MP cover and inner camera (F2.2). While most phones don’t have high quality selfie modes (and would actually need the use of the main camera to take high quality photos). You can use the high resolution camera on the back of the Z Fold 2 but you can use the front display as your viewfinder. There’s no need to ask your friends to take your photo for you. And with the standard Samsung motion of using your palm to signal a shot to be taken, taking selfies have never been this easy!

Another feature I’ve tried, which is good for group shots, is Dual Preview—you can see the image from both sides. This is great for camera work when more than one person needs to preview the shot.


The multi-active window is a favorite feature that was greatly improved on the Galaxy Z Fold 2. You can open up to 3 windows at the same time using a drag and drop motion. Enabling you to always have what you need—whether combining entertainment with work, or working more effectively by having your messages and chats with you at all times.

Compared to the Galaxy Fold that requires more manual dexterity in setting the proportions of the display, the active windows snap easily to different configurations, while still giving you the option to change sizes. Thankfully, with the updates to 1-UI 2.5, Galaxy Fold users will get this enhancement as well.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
Perfect for launching emails even while browsing, as used by the secretive Shim Su Ryeon from 'The Penthouse'


Remember how in desktops you can create ‘work environments’ by selecting which apps you usually work with together—the Z Fold 2 takes this further by allowing you to group your most frequently used apps and launch at a single touch. For some, that could be: YouTube with Chrome and Messages, for some it would be Spotify, Google Docs, and Facebook. You can even save this configuration on the phone edge for immediate access.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 Start Up
Director Han Ji Pyeong checking on the stock market in 'Start-Up'
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
Director Han using the flex mode

Even with Google, there’s a lot of productivity and innovation. You can seamlessly integrate functions of Microsoft Excel sheets into your Powerpoint by a simple drag and drop. You can work on both files at the same time. It’s easy to move one content from one experience to the other. You can really use this to focus on your work.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
Mr. Han multitasks on the device in 'Start-Up'
Even with email, it gives so much flexibility. With Microsoft Outlook, the experience is like that of a desktop or tablet, minus the bulk. Even with the calendar, you can see full details at a glance.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
'The Penthouse' powerhouse all use this device for scheming to the highest level

And so, the movers and shakers of the most current dramas have spoken—whether it’s plotting revenge via destroying a largescale development, writing work emails, checking out the stockmarket, or looking at your wedding photos and enjoying life’s best moments, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is dramaland’s best (plot) device, and your real-life powerhouse tool.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
But it's also a device for the best moments, as seen in the final moments of 'The Nine Tailed'
The Samsung Galaxy Fold Might Just Be Science Fiction Made Real


The Samsung Galaxy Fold Might Just Be Science Fiction Made Real