They say that everything old is new again, and that certainly holds true for one of the most anticipated devices in recent memory: the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, which is a folding smartphone. While in many ways, the current gen of foldable phones is a far cry from the original flip phones of the 1990s and early 2000s, in other ways they may not be much of an improvement. Let’s take a closer look at the state of this technology and what to expect from Samsung’s newest offering.
After months of rumors, leaks, and speculation — and an attention-grabbing Super Bowl commercial — the tech giant officially unveiled the Flip on Tuesday and announced that it will go on sale Friday, February 14. The cost? A mere $1,380.
What do you get for that chunk of change? The case is glass-coated aluminum, available in mirror black, mirror purple or mirror gold. Its interior display measures 6.7 inches, with a smaller external preview screen. Unlike the two other folding smartphones that have been released (Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, Royole’s FlexPai, enovo’s ThinkPad X1 Fold, and Motorola’s revamped Razr), the screen is covered not with flexible polymer plastic but with a proprietary “Ultrathin Glass” material. It should prove to be less prone to scratches than its plastic counterpart as well as more durable; in addition, the glass gives this foldable phone a much more sophisticated, premium feel than previous devices of its ilk.
Critics who have previewed the Flip say that Samsung’s focus was clearly on design and appearance, rather than actual features or user-friendly functionality. Nevertheless, there are some perks provided by the phone’s foldability: its hinge allows for it to remain open at several different angles. This could be helpful for taking handsfree pictures with both the front and rear cameras. The Flip also makes split-screen usage a no-brainer, given the fact that its display is naturally bisected by the hinge.
With Android 10 as its OS, 256GB of storage and 8GB of memory, the Flip doesn’t shatter any records for speed or space. It should be noted that it’s LTE-only, with no 5G.
In the 13 or so years since Apple changed the communications game for good by bringing its first iPhone to market, consumers have become increasingly enamored with and dependent on smartphones — not to mention the social media platforms and mobile apps that those phones are employed to access. And despite the obstacles presented by constant connectivity — security issues that leave users vulnerable to spam, spear phishing, revenge porn, and other privacy violations — we show no signs of slowing down when it comes to our societal fixation on cell phones.
If you’re interested in plunking down the cash to snag one of Samsung’s newest toys, be advised that the Galaxy Z Flip isn’t available for preorder and is going to be available in limited quantities, so you’d better be prepared to pull the trigger on Valentine’s Day.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip: Specifications
- Operating System: Android 10
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+
- Main display: 6.7-inch FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED, Infinity Flex
- Front display: 1.1-inch Super AMOLED
- Storage: 256GB
- Memory: 8GB
- Rear cameras: 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle f/2.2 123-degree; 12-megapixel wide-angle f/1.8 78-degree
- Front camera: 10-megapixel f/2.4 80-degree
- Battery: 3,300 milliamp-hour
- Connectivity: LTE-only, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, NFC
- Dimensions: 73.6 x 87.4 x 17.3mm (folded), 73.6 x 167.3 x 7.2mm (open); 183g
- Colors: Mirror purple, mirror black, mirror gold