At Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked event in San Francisco, the company opened the show with perhaps the most anticipated announcement of them all: the Galaxy Z Flip.
And even though it’s been a while since the Galaxy Fold debuted, we haven’t forgotten about infamous #FoldGate – you know, that time when the Fold launched and a million problems erupted before it came to market?
We’re hoping history doesn’t repeat itself with the Z Flip. And, judging by the design and specs alone, we have high hopes.
Here are five reasons why.
1. A fun design in a compact form factor
The Z Flip comes in a clamshell form factor, so it’s a lot more compact than the Fold. You can easily fit it into your jacket pocket or bag without taking up too much room. When it’s unfolded, you can easily navigate the Z Flip with one hand.
Meanwhile, the Fold is a giant in comparison. The 7.6-inch display when it’s unfolded feels like a tablet. I have small hands, which is why this thing intimidates me, but I’m sure even those with large hands can’t operate the phone one-handed when it’s unfolded.
Also, can we talk about the colors? The Z Flip looks stunning in Mirror Purple, Mirror Black, and Mirror Gold. Unlike the Fold, which is only available in Space Silver and Cosmos Black.
I like to think of the Z Flip as the cooler younger sister of the two who knows how to have fun and doesn’t take herself too seriously.
2. A price that’s a little easier to stomach
At $1,380, the Z Flip doesn’t come cheap. But in comparison to the Galaxy Fold, which costs a whopping $2,000, it’s not too bad.
I know the Z Flip has decent specs. And no one should pay over $1,000 for a phone that comes with the same camera sensors you’d find on a budget handset. ButI’m pretty sure this is the cheapest foldable we’ll get for a while, considering this smartphone form factor is still very new. And, while it remains to be seen, it looks a lot more promising than the $1,500 Motorola Razr.
The minute I saw how much the Fold cost, the allure of a foldable phone immediately vanished. And I assume that’s probably what happened with a lot of other people, too.
If anything, the price of the Z Flip sets a lower barrier of entry for foldable phones, perhaps enough so that they’ll actually become more mainstream.
3. Hello, durability.
Rather than plastic, as featured on the Galaxy Fold, Samsung went with its very own bendable “Ultra Thin Glass.” Sure, the company says using glass makes the device slimmer and less distracting without a notch. And that it also protects your screen from scratches. But we can all guess why they went with glass.
In case you forgot, early reviewers of the Fold accidentally damaged their displays because they peeled off the protective layer thinking it was a screen protector.
The Motorola Razr, which also features a plastic foldable display, makes it easy to place your finger in between the hinge and the plastic. So, it’s not a great sign for durability.
It also feels a lot cheaper too. If I’m paying that much money for a phone, I want it to feel premium all around.
I’m also interested to see if it makes a difference when it comes to a crease.
4. Hideaway hinge
To add to the durability of the phone, the Z Flip has a “hideaway hinge,” which features a cam and follower mechanism (CAM) to ensure that flipping and folding this thing feels stable.
I never thought about the fact that, without a strong hinge, one wrong flip could send the top half of this phone flying. It’s pretty funny to picture until you remember how much this phone costs.
According to Samsung, it can fold over 200,000 times. Which, might be a dig against Motorola.
The hinge also uses Samsung’s new “sweeper technology” which comes equipped with nylon fibers that repel dirt and dust.
Seeing as how this technology is new, it’s clearly something the Fold doesn’t have. And, considering the fact that you might open your phone 200,000 times, I can only imagine the gross stuff that’ll get stuck in the hinge every single time you fold it and unfold it.
5. A lot more versatile
One of the coolest things about the Z Flip is that the hinge allows it to stay open at different angles.
Basically, you can set it down like you would a laptop and then adjust the top half as far back as you’d like. The screen can then separate into two parts: a viewing area on the top half and an interaction area on the bottom.
So, if you’re watching a video on YouTube, the video appears on top with the ability to comment on the bottom — all without interrupting the viewing experience.
Meanwhile, the Galaxy Fold does come with a multitasking mode that allows you to pull up three different apps at once in both landscape and portrait mode. As for its hinge, though, you can prop it up, sort of. But it’s definitely meant to be held.
We’ll obviously have to spend some time with the Z Flip before we come to a final conclusion, but I have faith that it’ll set a high standard for foldable phones to come.
I mean, after the Fold, the only way Samsung can go is up, right?