Samsung took the stage today in San Francisco at Unpacked to announce the company’s latest foldable smartphone. Called the Galaxy Z Flip, the phone has seen a number of leaks, renders, real-life videos, and more before today’s announcement. Nevertheless, we finally have all the concrete details about the device you’ve been craving, so let’s get into it.
The Galaxy Z Flip differs from Samsung’s first attempt at a foldable in the sense that it’s a smartphone at heart designed for better portability. Meanwhile, the 2019 Galaxy Fold tried to create a smartphone that could turn into a tablet. that whole idea is gone with the Z Flip, and at the same time, it brings back a ton of nostalgia from the flip phone era.
When closed, you’ll find the Z Flip’s shiny exterior that’s made of glass and comes in either black or purple. Both finishes look pretty nice in these renders, but I’m not much of a purple guy so the black looks the most appealing to me.
On the front of the device, there’s a tiny 1-inch screen that shows you the time and some notifications. You’ll also find the dual camera system which we’ll get to later. On the back, there’s nothing but glass.
Display and hinge
When you open the Galaxy Z Flip, you do so like a classic flip phone or Motorola’s recently rebooted Razr. When open, you’ll find a tall 6.7-inch 2636×1080 Dynamic AMOLED display. I say tall because it has possibly the longest aspect ratio to ever ship in a phone: 22:9. With that, you’re entering king-size candy bar territory in terms of width and height. In other words, there’s no way you’ll ever access the notification bar with one hand, and traditional 16:9 video will have some serious pillar boxing.
Unlike the Razr, the Z Flip’s inner screen is covered by glass, specifically Samsung’s Ultra Thin Glass. This allows the display to be much more durable and still be able to bend. In the future, I’m pretty certain you’ll be seeing lots more foldable phones with glass-covered screens instead of plastic, if only to compete with the Z Flip.
To reveal this display, Samsung is using a new hinge design that’s presumably much more stable and secure compared to the Galaxy Fold’s which was pegged by issues early in its existence. The hinge has the ability to stop half way so you can prop your phone up and make video calls, watch videos, and more.
Speaking of which, to make video calls, you’ll use the selfie camera that’s found in the hole-punch cutout at the top of the screen.
Under the hood, the Z Flip is powered by the Snapdragon 855 Plus. This is an interesting choice. It’s a much more powerful processor than the Razr’s Snapdragon 710 processor, but by 2020 standards, it isn’t a flagship. I really don’t have an answer as to why it has a 2019 chip in it, but I’ll let you know if I get to the bottom of it.
Paired with the 855 Plus are 8GB of RAM, 256GB of UFS 3.0 storage, Bluetooth 5.0, and Wi-Fi 6. For power, there’s a 3,300mAh battery which undoubtedly would be bigger if Samsung had the room. You also get 15W fast charging, Qi wireless charging, and a USB-C port.
Like I said, on the back of the Z Flip, you’ll find a dual-camera setup. For such a costly phone, there’s not much to rave about here. You get a standard 12MP f/1.8 lens paired with an ultra-wide 12MP f/2.2 123-degree lens. meanwhile, there’s a 10MP f/2.4 selfie shooter. The rear sensors can shoot 4K video at 60 frames per second and in HDR10+.
I’m sure Samsung has some neat software tricks for the cameras, but in terms of hardware, there’s not a lot to talk about. Then again, you’re not really buying the Galaxy Z Flip for its cameras anyway.
On the right side of the Z Flip, you’ll find a fingerprint reader for secure log-ins. You also get RGB facial recognition which won’t nearly be as secure as something like Face ID. All in all, there’s nothing crazy in the security department when it comes to Samsung’s latest foldable.
Where to buy
Samsung will charge $1,380 for the Galaxy Z Flip when it goes on sale Friday, February 14th. It’ll be available through AT&T, Sprint, and Samsung’s website as an unlocked phone. More launch details are likely coming soon so stay tuned.