There’s a new folding phone in town. Samsung opened their latest Galaxy Unpacked event here in San Francisco with the new Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, essentially their take on a vertically folding phone.
And, I have to admit, I kinda like it.
But, Samsung sent me the device to use for a very limited time, but I figured I would try and do a complete walkthrough on it for you guys. If you’re not familiar, a complete walkthrough on this channel is where I try and go through every single feature on a device so you guys have all the info you need if you are in the market to actually go buy one.
With that said, there’s a lot to go through, so let’s get started with the hardware.
Firstly, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, it folds.
It has a 6.7″ 21.9:9 FHD+ resolution Infinity Flex Display as Samsung is calling it that bends in not quite but pretty darn close to half.
Now, what you probably didn’t notice though is that for the first time on a folding phone, the screen is made out of an ultra thin glass instead of plastic. This has a number of benefits and is the future of the foldable industry in my mind (and I said as much in the last episode of Decodr that I’ll link to here). But for this phone, the pros and cons are as follows.
For the upsides, that screen is much less likely to scratch since glass is better at that than plastic; it’ll also have more clarity to show the flexible display underneath it; it’s just so much nicer to type on and feels more solid/familiar.
The downside really is that glass can shatter. But, the way I see it on this phone at least is that the screen is only on the inside and so dropping it even open, you’re still in the same boat as every other phone you would be using that doesn’t fold.
Speaking of the folding aspect of this little guy, the hinge they used is an upgraded version of the one on the Fold. Now, it has a new system of bristles (Samsung calls it sweeper tech) that stop debris from getting in (an issue with the original Fold if you remember that before they released it) and it uses a double-cam setup.
What that means to you and I though besides the fact that it feels really solid honestly is that it allows you to set the screen in any number of positions and it’ll lock there (sort of like your laptop).
Samsung actually worked with Google and added some UI changes to the phone to take advantage of these things–basically allowing for the screen to split when it recognizes its being used in this way for things like the camera, Duo video calls, two different apps, etc.
First though, let’s make our way around the device. On the outside, there is a very small 1.1″ Super AMOLED 300×112 resolution screen that is really meant for notifications.
On it, you can see the time, your alarms, it can be used as a very tiny selfie camera and you can check for notification icons at a glance. If you tap on any of those notifications though, it’ll give you more info in a stock ticker kind of a way that honestly, I just tapped the icon and opened the phone to be brought into that app to see the message instead as that was just a lot faster.
As far as the functionality of the outside screen, it reminds me a bit of the Fold in that I thought I’d use the outside screen more but ended up just opening the phone most of the time when I wanted to use it, so I don’t mind it here either.
Also, there’s something very nostalgic about opening a phone to use it, then closing it in a sort of kinetic “I’m done for now” way that feels good.
Oh, and as far as slamming it closed when angry on a phone call, 100% don’t do that. The reason is that opening and closing thing thing isn’t super easy (the Razr is also just as awkard). Now, I got used to it, and it became slightly more natural, but yeah it’s not as easy as you imagine just because of the size and weight of all of these devices (they’re not a 2000’s flip phone).
Now, a sizzling angry close? More doable.
Here in the States, the Z Flip comes in two colors: Mirror Purple (my favorite) and Mirror Black. Outside of the US there are some markets that will also get a Mirror Gold, as well though.
Moving around the device, we have the volume rocker and power buttons here on the right.
We have the SIM card slot on the left.
Nothing at the top.
And a mono speaker and USB-C port at the bottom that is capable with Qualcomm Quickcharge 2.0 and Samsung’s Adaptive Fast Charging tech for faster wired charging of the 3300mah dual battery setup inside.
The device also supports Qi wireless charging and even reverse wireless charging to charge other devices like the new Galaxy Buds+ here (you just have to make sure to put it on the bottom half of the phone instead of the top when it’s closed, by the way).
Under the hood, we have 8GBs of RAM, 256GBs of storage, and a “7nm 64-bit Octa-Core Processor” which I opened CPU Info and it’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon in the unit I have at least for anyone curious.
For connectivity, we have NFC, GPS, LTE Cat 16, and Bluetooth 5.0 with the ability to have up to two devices connected to the Z Flip and receive audio simultaneously.
For security, we have a fingerprint sensor on the power button on the right as well as Samsung’s facial recognition using the front camera.
Speaking of that front camera, we have a front facing punch-hole 10MP f2.4 80-degree field of view camera with 1.22-micron sized pixels.
On the back we have two cameras. An ultra-wide 123-degree field of view f2.2 camera with 1.12-micron sized pixels and here are some sample shots I took with that.
And a 12MP DPAF f1.8 more standard 78-degree field of view camera with 1.4-micron sized pixels and here are some shots I took with that.
For software, we’re running Android 10 with Samsung’s own custom UI on top called OneUI 2.0 and it runs pretty smooth but since it’s basically the same as it is on every Samsung phone besides those added features for the split screen so we won’t dive into it further here.
And that sounds like a lot of money, and it is. But, considering the recently released Razr was just released for $1500 and has much worse specs and the original Fold was $2000, guess it’s not as bad of a deal?
Truth is, I’m not the demographic for this type of phone. I personally am too much of a nerd and would rather have phone that folds out into a tablet size as to me that’s more useful or I’d rather just not have the folding phone and get the S20 Ultra which much better specs for example.
But, firstly that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a demographic for this device. Any more fashion forward person who cares less about specs and more about the design and also having something different, I could see getting a phone like this that is a normal phone size but folds down to a compact square. And again that purple color looks pretty good, not gonna lie.
The other thing, that even if you aren’t that demographic, as again I’m also not, you still have to appreciate the clever design, ultra-thin glass and just admire it as a push towards even better (and eventually cheaper) folding devices in the future.
And there you go, let me know what you guys think in the comments below!