At this year’s Unpacked event where Samsung debuted its latest flagship Galaxy S20 series, the Korean manufacturer also launched its second foldable smartphone.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is a spiritual successor to the Galaxy Fold, the company’s first foldable. It improves on the latter with an ultra-thin, bending glass screen that is not only more durable than plastic (which is used on other foldable devices), but will keep water and dust particles out as well.
The hinge is also impressively sturdy enough to hold up to the weight of the screen when it is folded at an angle — or in any position, for that matter. Samsung says its glass screen can survive 200,000 folds, which is equivalent to around 5 years if the phone is used 100 times a day.
When the glass display opens, it does so smoothly, with no audible creaking sounds, and it feels reassuring overall. However, when it is snapped shut, it can be difficult to open due to the magnets around the display that help keep it in place. That said, if you were looking forward to flipping the Galaxy Z Flip open single-handed like a classic clamshell phone, you may be disappointed with the amount of force needed to pull it off.
And yes, there’s a visible crease where the hinge is, and you can definitely feel it as you run your fingers over it. The screen itself is OLED, measures 6.7 inches when unfolded, and has a 2,636, x 1,080 resolution with an extra-tall 21.9:9 aspect ratio. There’s also a small punch-hole cutout at the upper center for the 10-megapixel selfie camera.
The display doesn’t have an embedded fingerprint reader, but it does have a physical sensor for unlocking on the right-hand side, built into the power button below the volume rocker. This actually makes sense because you can still use the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip to take a picture when closed shut.
Short hands-on video of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
On the back, you get two 12-megapixel cameras with wide and ultra-wide lenses, plus a 1.1-inch secondary OLED screen that allows you to see the date, time, and things like notifications and battery life without opening the phone. You can also use it as a preview window if you’re taking a selfie using the rear-facing camera, which is hard to do with such a tiny display.
Inside, the Galaxy Z Flip is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus chipset with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, as well as two batteries that function as a single 3,300mAh cell. It runs One UI 2.0 on top of the latest Android 10 operating system.
Of course, we’ll need to test the device for a longer period to get a better feel for what it’s like to use as a daily driver, but during our time with it, we didn’t notice any slowdowns or performance issues.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip in Mirror Purple and Mirror Black will be available in limited quantities from February 21. In the Philippines, the foldable phone will be sold with a suggested retail price of P79,990 or around $1,582 when converted to U.S. currency.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip specs
- 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED display with punch-hole cutout, 2,636 x 1,080 resolution (21.9:9)
- 1.1-inch Super AMOLED secondary display, 300 x 112
- Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus processor
- 8GB RAM
- 256GB storage
- Dual 12-megapixel, f/1.8 (main), 12-megapixel, f/.2.2 (ultra wide) rear cameras
- 10-megapixel, f/2.4 front camera
- Fingerprint reader (side-mounted)
- 3,300mAh dual battery with fast charging via USB-C
- One UI 2.0 based on Android 10
- Colors: Mirror Purple and Mirror Black
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