Samsung is so bullish about the Galaxy Z Flip that it made the clamshell-style foldable smartphone available on February 26 well before the Galaxy S20 series, which releases in India on March 6. That usually never happens, because the Galaxy S smartphones are often considered mainstream.
That new strategy has some analysts concerned that the Galaxy Z Flip could cannibalise sales of the top-end Galaxy S20 Ultra. However, Samsung says these fears may be over-exaggerated, considering both premium smartphones are catering to different users.
“Both smartphones (Z Flip and S20 Ultra) have a different target audience and offer a different user experience,” Aditya Babbar, who heads Samsung’s mobile business in India, told Indianexpress.com. “The Galaxy S20 consumers are looking for the best of the cameras and the best of the batteries; they are power users, whereas the Z Flip is targeted at fashion users who are more into aesthetics.”
While both the Galaxy Z Flip and Galaxy S20 Ultra fall in the super-luxury smartphone segment, they are fundamentally different products. The Galaxy S20 Ultra has a traditional smartphone design that offers the best possible specs and a 108MP camera with 100x zoom, whereas the Galaxy Z Flip is also a powerful smartphone but it’s specs aren’t as impressive.
Where the Galaxy Z Flip outshines every other smartphone, including Samsung’s own Galaxy S20 Ultra, is with its folding design that’s possibly its USP too. But the Galaxy Z Flip costs Rs 109,999, whereas the Galaxy S20 Ultra starts at Rs 92,999. Yes, there is a price difference between the two devices but not much in real terms.
Despite Samsung’s attempts to differentiate the two, it is very hard to ignore that somewhere down the line the company admits that the Galaxy Z Flip is the future of smartphones and not the Galaxy S20.
The way the Galaxy Z Flip is marketed and priced tells a lot about how Samsung’s future lineup of devices might look in the near future. While the original Galaxy Fold was clearly targeted at tech geeks and early adopters with its Rs 164,999 price point, the Galaxy Z Flip is an attempt to look beyond the geek crowd with its Rs 109,999 pricing.
“Yes, with the Galaxy Z Flip we are getting into a new segment. A lot of people who want fashion and where the design element is lifestyle would want to go for the Z Flip, whereas the Galaxy Fold was a tech marvel,” he said.
Babbar admits that Samsung is taking a new direction with the Galaxy Z Flip, and a lot has to do the flip-style form factor of the phone and price. “We are very bullish on the Galaxy Z Flip; the phone looks extremely promising and will definitely be a big seller.”
“This device brings some extremely new experiences, which will help us to get newer consumers. It’s like lifestyle meeting technology,” he adds.
Similar to the Motorola Razr, the Galaxy Z Flip comes with a clamshell design that allows the device to fold in, instead of turning into a tablet, as in the case of the Galaxy Fold. When the Galaxy Z Flip is closed, a tiny screen on the front gives you notifications. A device like the Galaxy Z Flip offers a full screen and is small enough to fit inside the ladies purse or gent’s pocket.
A lot is riding on the success of the Galaxy Z Flip. This is Samsung’s second shot at making the perfect foldable smartphone. The company tried to make a foldable smartphone last year in the form of the Galaxy Fold but that phone had issues and had to be relaunched. This time though, Samsung is taking extra measures to make sure the Galaxy Z Flip is as durable as the company claims in product videos.
“There has been a learning and we have implemented a lot of things. So when the Galaxy Fold came in, it had a lot of updates on the hinge and the screen itself. The Z Flip happens to be a completely new design with the world’s first glass technology. If you see the hinge, it’s extremely powerful. It can be opened at least 200,000 times, which is 100 openings a day for 5 years,” Babbar explains.
Samsung says the Galaxy Z Flip uses ultra-thin glass that can fold, the first for any foldable smartphone, but it’s covered in a plastic layer for extra durability. Additionally, the phone’s hinge has new fibers inside that will keep dust and particles out.
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The foldable phone category represents a new hope for the smartphone industry. The new form factor is expected to pique the interest of consumers who are holding on to their existing smartphones for longer.
Samsung clearly wants to tap into the growing millennial demand for devices like the Galaxy Z Flip and pitch itself as a luxury smartphone makers like rival Apple. “We have seen some amazing responses to the Galaxy Fold that was sold out within minutes in India. What we have seen with the Galaxy Z Flip is also extremely encouraging. The market is growing and the market is looking for newer experiences and form factors,” Babbar said.
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