Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip - another shot at the foldable phone

Samsung, have just unveiled their second folding phone, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip. The most substantial improvement over other foldable competitors, is the use of a glass screen. It feels like glass and can be used in the same way as a plastic screen. Although the crease down the middle is somewhat visible, testers have described it as the most invisible screen yet.

The phone hosts a strong hinge which is accompanied by some pros and cons. On the plus side, it is able to hold itself open in any position, open smoothly, doesn’t creak and it feels fairly good overall. On the negative side the phone is somewhat more complicated to open. It does not flip open like the usual clam shell phones. Opening with one hand apparently takes some work and most of the time, it will require two.

Testers have commented significantly on how different the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip feels from the Galaxy Fold and the Motorola Razr. It is much more refined and sophisticated, with little creaking and a sturdy hinge. However, the fact that the hinge itself comes with so much resistance, is a turnoff. Despite this, Samsung does seem to have worked out some of the previously folding issues it had. It’s a shame that the first introduction to folding phones was fairly unsuccessful, as this one seems quite promising.

Yet promising doesn’t mean amazing – it simply means that there is potential. The original Galaxy Fold and the Motorola Razr also seemed amazing in their initial moment of touch which, was only disappointed by the actual functioning of the model. So, let’s not view this as an endorsement of the product but rather a subtle nod of the head, that things are on the right track. Samsung are also releasing the product for Valentine’s Day, which could also be seen as a somewhat desperate marketing attempt.

Many previous drawbacks to the early foldable have been worked on here. The gap around the hinge is still there although smaller. The most wondrous thing however, is that the crease where the screen folds is barely visible, although you can still feel it. Testers have described this as a significant improvement on what you will find on an up-and-coming Motorola model.

The small front facing screen has been highly complimented and if you are to press the power button – which also doubles as a fingerprint sensor – you are able to launch a selfie camera. Perhaps more practically, it can also be used to display the time and notifications. Samsung comments that when you tap on a notification on the tiny screen, it opens up in the app when you open the phone.

Samsung’s stiff hinge explanation is that you can set the phone down at any angle and do split screen things. This has been criticized in terms of its usefulness. It was tested with Google Duo video chatting and also with YouTube. The Duo test was described as much more promising.

This was the tech giant’s first chance at getting the foldable right, after the fairly disastrous launch of the Galaxy Fold. The Samsung Galaxy z flip has a few main differences: it folds open and closed like the classic clamshell phone rather than the folding mechanism of a book; it uses a bendable “Ultra-Thin Glass” display instead of weak crease able plastic on the fold and has fibers integrated into the hinge to prevent dust from getting in and damaging the display. Samsung claims that the new glass will last for up to 200,000 folds.

There are two 12-megapixel cameras on the back, a regular wide angle and an ultra-wide angle, and on the inside, is a 10-megapixel selfie camera that’s cut out in the top of the display. The Samsung Galaxy z flip supports wireless charging and runs a customized version of Android 10. Perhaps more notably, the phone does not support 5G, unlike the new Galaxy S20 series of phones.

The Samsung Galaxy z flip is available in 3 colors

The phone will be available in the US and Korea starting February 14th for $1,380.