Samsung Galaxy flip
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip review...
...The new Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is the flip-phone-style foldable smartphone with a 6.7-inch display that collapses in half. Its novelty will turn heads, but so will its price. We're still testing it, but we can already say we like its durable thin glass better than the plastic Galaxy Fold screen, and its overall execution is significantly better than the new Moto Razr.
- Neat folding concept
- Cool splitscreen UI
- Premium feel
We got more time with the new Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, the flip phone with a 6.7-inch screen that folds in half. Our first 24 hours with it have been positive, albeit limited, and good news, unlike the Galaxy Fold, this Samsung foldable is decidedly durable.
The actual problem this time has been buying the Z Flip – it's sold outthroughout the world despite being quite expensive. It costs more than the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20 Plus, and it's about the same price as the Galaxy S20 Ultra in most regions.
Is it worth the high price? We're here to answer that in our ongoing Samsung Galaxy Z Flip review, and we've noticed five things in the past few hours.
First, the novelty of this foldable flip phone turns heads – everyone wanted to know what this phone was when we walked around with it.
People would stop us in the streets whenever we folded or unfolded it. They'd do a double-take and think, "Wait, that's different." When is the last time that's happened when upgrading to the new iPhone? It has certainly been a while
Second, the Galaxy Z Flip actually benefits from the new Moto Razr having come out in the same month. We've found Motorola's foldable flip phone to be disappointing, despite offering tons of nostalgia. Samsung one-ups it in every category with better specs (especially a better battery capacity). The Razr has been setup to be point of comparison, not a viable form of competition.
Third, the small 1.1-inch Cover Display on the front doesn't offer a lot of room, but it packs in the basic essentials when it comes to notifications and quick information, like the time and battery percentage. When someone calls, their name shows up here.
Inside on the unfolded screen, we dug the Flex UI, which allows for multitasking with two apps and, in some cases, enables the controls of one app to be laid out across the Full HD+ screen. For example, taking a selfie puts the camera preview on the top screen, while all of the controls are on the bottom of the display. And the phone works great half-folded for video calls, acting as an impromptu tripod on a table.
Fourth, we've found the camera quality and the chipset to be nearly the best, but not the best. That title will likely go to the S20 series, which pack more robust internals and better camera sensors, and those three S20 phones start to launch on March 6. It's going to be a tough call for a lot of people with big enough budgets to afford either.
Fifth, we found the Z Flip is ready to bend over frontwards, offering a daringly fresh concept next to today's traditional-looking smartphones. Samsung says it's the 'full screen that fits in your pocket' and we can confirm just that.
The design of the Galaxy Z Flip makes it infinitely easier to hold and pocket than regular smartphones, a win for those of us with smaller hands and tight jacket pockets.
Design, display and battery
Yes, due to its small footprint, the Z Flip is lighter on specs compared to the Galaxy S20 Ultra, but it's not short on novelty – that it has in spades. Just don't expect the latest 7nm chipset, Samsung's newest cameras or largest battery capacity
The obvious difference between this phone and Samsung's first folding phone, the Galaxy Fold, is that the inside is a bendable screen that stretches from top to bottom. We've also seen a similar sort of design from the new Moto Razr.
The candybar-style of the Galaxy Z Flip, when unfolded, makes it distinct from the mini-tablet-like Galaxy Fold. The Z Flip has a 6.7-inch Full HD+ screen and 21.9:9 aspect ratio, which feels extremely tall in the hand.
You could easily mistake the opened Z Flip for a typical Android flagship phone if you don't pay attention to the faint crease across the middle of the display; collapse that hinge down, however, and the phone's footprint gets much smaller.
There's a tiny 1.1-inch AMOLED 'Cover Display' on the outside, with enough space to show an incoming call from a contact – if their name is short enough – in the form of a scrolling name or phone number. That said, our 10-digit number proved too long for the entire Cover Display when we tested it out.
Notifications, battery life and the time can also be shown on this small screen, and it does more than just display static information. You can scroll through the various sets of data on the display, plus there's a way to tap a notification on the Cover Display and then open up the phone to see the app in full.
It's something called contextual continuity, and it's a similar feature to how apps were capable of running on the outside display and instantaneously loading on the main display of the Galaxy Fold when you unfolded the phone.
We also like the fact that when it goes black, the Cover Display can be lit back up with a simple double tap like any other Samsung screen. We're wondering how useful all of this scrunched-up information will be compared to the larger cover displays of the Galaxy Fold and Moto Razr, but we're ready to give it a whirl in a full review.
There are two main things that we feel Samsung gets right about its new foldable: first, it uses thin glass to cover the inner screen. The Moto Razr, Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X all using vulnerable plastic screens, and we're interested in seeing how this design stands up.
Second, the Z Flip has a 3,300mAh battery compared to Motorola's 2,510mAh capacity, and we've heard of poor results from the latter. Samsung is able to pull this off with a dual battery design, much like it does on the larger Fold.
There's even wireless charging on this device, which is something that is notably missing from the Motorola Razr. We don't currently know how long the Galaxy Z Flip will last from a single charge, but we'll be sure to test it thoroughly in our upcoming review.
Specs and functionality
When it comes to cameras, there's only two shooters on the rear of the Galaxy Z Flip. This isn't going to compete with the Galaxy S20 Ultra anytime soon. There's a 12MP F2.2 Ultra Wide camera that works with a 12MP F1.8 wide-angle shooter.
There's a small cutout in the display for selfies when you have the phone unfolded and that's achieved through a 10MP front-facing shooter. We were unable to test these out properly in our first time with the phone, but we'll be sure to put them all through their paces at the time of our full review.
In the US and UK, the Galaxy Z Flip is using 2019's Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus chipset and it's not currently clear if it's different in other markets. That chipset should offer suitable amounts of power, but isn't as impressive as the tech used inside the S20 range.
There's only one variant of the Galaxy Z Flip that comes with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. There's no microSD slot here though, so you won't be able to expand that any further.