We have seen a few foldable phones over the past few months. In fact, the most popular one has been from Samsung which launched the Fold last year. They are all great, but the Z Flip is different. While the bold Samsung Galaxy Fold is packed with lots of tech inside, the stylish and shiny polished glass design of the Z Flip with its slightly lower price point helps the company target the lifestyle segment too.
But how does the Galaxy Z Flip work?
The Galaxy Z Flip’s uniqueness comes from its Infinity Flex Display which is paired with Samsung’s proprietary bendable Ultra-Thin Glass (UTG). The form factor is similar to the Moto Razr and completely different from that of the Galaxy Fold. The Flip’s big 6.7-inch screen that can be folded into half like the palm of your hand. When folded it becomes a shiny 4-inch block of glass with a small display on one side for time and notifications. The best part is that this form factor slides easily into any pocket.
So is this phone practical?
Well, the Flip felt like it can get slightly uncomfortable to use initially as we are all used to something else. But in a few minutes, the experience did get better. But the folding mechanism itself did not feel very smooth. Also, for me, it was a bit tough to open, or fold, the Galaxy Z Flip with one hand. So you will often need to use two hands, especially since you don’t want to mishandle a phone that costs upward of Rs 1 lakh.
So the Galaxy Z Fip is definitely not for rough phone users like me — also the gamers out there — because this is a device that requires a lot of care and love. One of the key highlights of the Galaxy Z Flip, I feel is the Hideaway Hinge that prevents dust and sand or other particles from entering the phone and spoiling the hardware inside.
Is the software any different?
Samsung has worked closely with Google to design a Flex mode – a custom-built user experience — for Galaxy Z Flip’s forward folding form factor. So when the device is free-standing, the display automatically splits into two 4-inch screens so you can easily view photos, contents or videos on the top half of the display, and control them from the bottom half. This seems a better mode for when you want to browse YouTube – stream on the top while searching for other videos, reading descriptions and writing comments on the bottom.
What is the outer screen like?
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip includes a tiny 1.1 inch Super AMOLED display on the outer cover which comes to life when you fold the phone. This screen is very small but big enough to display notifications, manage songs, showtime, date, battery life, caller ID and missed call alerts. To trigger selfies, one just needs to double click on the power button and you can see your face on the small screen.
What about the design?
The best thing about this flip phone has to be how practical it is, unlike some of the other foldable devices. One can actually think of turning the Galaxy Z Flip into her primary phone and it definitely won’t disappoint. I like the fact that the Galaxy Z Flip isn’t as bulky as the Galaxy Fold. I found the flip phone to be pretty light with the screen open and closed. The power button and the volume keys are both placed appropriately and can be reached easily whether the phone is open or closed. The phone impressed me with its shiny glass body and premium looks. But of the three shiny colours — Black, Purple and Golden — it was the Purple I loved the most.
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How good is the screen?
It is hard to miss that the screen of the Galaxy Z Flip is massive and offers a great viewing experience. I watched a few videos on the phone and they all appeared to be extremely crisp and vibrant. The viewing angles are also fine. You do see a bit of the crease, but it does not come in the way.
What about everything else?
Despite a lot of focus on the style, the Galaxy Z Flip doesn’t miss out on the basic smartphone requirements. On the back panel or on the cover the Galaxy Z Flip includes two 12MP image sensors, one ultra-wide and one wide-angle. On top of the big screen, the Flip includes a 10MP punch hole sensor similar to the Samsung Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus. When the phone is folded, the rear cameras on the cover turn into a selfie camera.
With the foldable screen of the Galaxy Z Flip users can capture on-the-go shots, timed group shots and more very easily as the top screen acts a camera while the second screen turns into a tripod. So with Galaxy Z Flip just place the phone on the table, open camera app and click on the shutter button and you’re good to go.
It should also be very easy to create content for social media such as TikTok with the Galaxy Z Flip, but given the price that might not be the target audience.
At $ 1380, the Galaxy Z Flip roughly translates to around Rs 1 lakh for buyers in India though we are not sure of the India price or if at all there will be an India launch. The Galaxy Z Flip will be available in limited quantities in Mirror Purple and Mirror Black, starting in select markets including the US and Korea on February 14, followed by Mirror Gold in select countries.
(Disclaimer: The writer is in San Francisco at the invite of Samsung)
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