Samsung Galaxy Z Flip

The Good

Clean, seamless design • Comfortable form factor • Quiet hinge • Versatile

The Bad

A little tough to flip open • Noticeable crease • Cover display is small

The Bottom Line

The Galaxy Z Flip is a versatile phone that makes it easy to capture and consume content. It just might be worth the high price.

Before I dive into this, let’s get one thing out of the way: Samsung only gave us 24 hours with the Galaxy Z Flip.

Samsung didn’t explain why we only got a day with it when journalists usually get at least a week to fully review a phone. It could have something to do with the disastrous launch of the Galaxy Fold.

Regardless, I think Samsung might’ve been a little too cautious because it was love at first flip for me. Although, my feelings might fade once the excitement wears off. And it’s highly possible, after spending more time with the Z Flip, I’ll notice its faults.

But let me ride this wave for a bit. 

At $1,380, the Z Flip is certainly pricey. (It’s only available in one configuration: 8GB of RAM with 256GB of internal storage and a USB-C port.) But if you’re addicted to social media, this is a phone you might want to invest in. 

And no, I’m not just talking about influencers. Although it’s no secret this phone was built for them. 

Like the recently released Motorola Razr, the Z Flip has a clamshell form factor and a foldable display. But Samsung’s new phone has a free-standing hinge that lets you angle the top half at any angle you’d like. It’s a game-changing feature that, for the first time, actually made me think buying a foldable phone might be a good idea.

It’s all in the hinge

When I first unboxed and set up the Z Flip, I spent a good 10 minutes with my co-workers taking non-stop selfies. And, despite all the selfies in this story, I don’t usually get the urge to take pictures of myself.

But the free-standing hinge on the Z Flip makes it so damn easy. Prop the phone up on the table, angle the top half as far back as you’d like, and wave your palm in front of the sensor. In seconds, it snaps the photo without the need to touch the shutter button. 

I would take wayyy more selfies if this were my primary phone.
I would take way more selfies if this were my primary phone.

By swiping your finger on the bottom half of the display, you can easily scroll through photos and videos on top.

While that’s definitely a minor feature, it made it fun to scroll through photos with friends. Almost as if I was casting them to a secondary display.

As someone who videoes chats a lot, I appreciated the hinge even more. 

Since I’m not a huge fan of things like Pop Sockets, I normally find myself looking for random things to prop my phone against. If I’m in the kitchen cooking dinner while video chatting, I’ll place my phone against, like, a utensil holder or something. In my room while on my bed, I try to balance it against a pillow. 

But that gets very annoying, very fast. Using the Z Flip, video chatting feels similar to what it’d feel like on a laptop. 

Looks like a lil laptop.
It looks like a Lil laptop.

And, while the feature isn’t available yet, it’ll eventually make interacting on apps a lot easier. For example, on YouTube, you’ll be able to watch a video on the top half and comment on the bottom. 

If I had more time with the phone, I would have totally used it to follow along to makeup tutorials while I got ready for a night out. Or to stream Bon Appetite videos as background noise while I got work done. 

With the Razr, I often found myself just leaving the phone open on my desk, completely unfolded because I’m so used to having the display readily available to scroll through thanks to years of using an iPhone.

The Z Flip (left) next to the Motorola Razr (right)
The Z Flip (left) next to the Motorola Razr (right)

While I’m still in the process of fully reviewing the Razr, I’m (sadly) not very impressed with it. The plastic display feels cheap and the hinge is very loud. At $1,500, it feels like the cons outweigh the pros.

On the Z Flip, the hinge lets you do more than simply flip the phone open and closed. It allows you to make and view content in fun ways, whether you’re video chatting or snapping selfies.

I'll take a silent hinge over a satisfying flip any day.
I’ll take a silent hinge over a satisfying flip any day.

The tight hinge does mean that flipping it open and closed isn’t as satisfying as with Motorola’s foldable phone. But, as an added bonus, the hinge doesn’t make a peep, unlike on the creaky Razr. 

A premium design, especially for the price

While I was very excited about the Mirror Purple Z Flip, Samsung gave us the Mirror Black. It’s not as flashy or eye-catching, but the reflective design still looks sleek. 

You might want to carry a microfiber cloth with you though because it attracts fingerprints. Lots and lots of fingerprints.

I would've liked for the cover display to be a little bit bigger.
I would’ve liked for the cover display to be a little bit bigger.

On the front is a 1.1-inch cover display that shows notifications and helps you take photos (which I’ll get to later). Whenever you receive an alert or a call comes through, the information scrolls across the display.

I really like that it’s tiny because it means I can’t see all my notifications stacking up when I’m super busy. But whenever the notifications dance across it, I can’t help but think of those programmable scrolling LED signs. It cheapens the experience just a tad. 

I’m also a huge fan of the clamshell form factor. It makes it super easy to slide into pants and coat pockets. I’ve also had several of my female friends comment on the fact that it looks like a makeup compact.

It's a bit wider than the Razr, but still comfortable for my small hands.
It’s a bit wider than the Razr, but still comfortable for my small hands.

Flip open the Z Flip to reveal a 6.7-inch display. In terms of size, the Z Flip felt a bit wide in my small hands at first. It was still easy to use one-handed, but I had to stretch my fingers a touch farther on the keyboard than I did with the Razr.

That’s because the Z Flip measures 73.6 mm across while the Razr measures 72 mm. But I actually preferred it after a while. The Razr feels a little too squished when typing out long messages or emails, while the Z Flip felt like just the right size after some time with it.

Glass over plastic, any day

After using the plastic display on the Motorola Razr for about a week, it was a relief to touch the Flip’s glass display. It felt so much smoother and expensive.

Yes, it has a crease. But it didn’t feel as wide as the crease on a plastic display. My finger didn’t dip as much when scrolling through social media or pulling down menus. 

I never want to use a plastic display ever again.
I never want to use a plastic display ever again.

Of course, I’ll need to spend a lot more time with it to see how much it actually bothers me. 

With the Razr, I could literally see and hear the display crunching when folding it. That didn’t happen with the glass Flip display.


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