Saturday , 4 April 2020

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Hands-on, Quick Review: Automatic Buy

Forget about the Galaxy S20

I forgot all about the new Galaxy S20 flagships as soon as the company showed us the Galaxy Z Flip. Don’t get me wrong – the trio of new smartphones unveiled by the Korean company has plenty of new tech in them to make them interesting, but none of them are as ground-breaking as their new foldable phone.

Polished, refined folder

The Galaxy Z Flip isn’t the first foldable smartphone, heck it isn’t even the first device to sport a clamshell form-factor. But believe me when I tell you that it feels like the most polished attempt at a folding phone thus far. The Galaxy Fold, as awesome as it was, felt more like a proof-of-concept device with the goal of proving that foldable phones were possible, built without ergonomics in mind.

The Galaxy Z Flip couldn’t be more different. The phone folds in half, approximately the size of a wallet, when not in use, allowing you to store it almost anywhere. Opening it up is easy and can be done one-handed, revealing a beautiful 6.7-inch full HD+ Dynamic AMOLED display.

The only downside to the display is the fact that the bezels surrounding it look thick compared to the flagships we’re used to but it’s not that big of an issue.

Unlike other foldable before it, the foldable display has glass protection thanks to Samsung’s new proprietary ultra-thin glass that bends with the display. There’s still a small crease in the middle of the panel where it folds, but it’s very minimal and isn’t as pronounced as say, the Galaxy Fold or Motorola’s new Razer.

Samsung promises that the Galaxy Z Flip’s hinge is durable and can last the life of the device. The hinge, dubbed the Hideaway Hinge, allows the Z Flip to stay open in weird angles, which opens up a lot of use cases.

Flipping the phone open and close is smooth, with just enough resistance in the hinge to prevent you from quickly snapping it shut. The hinge feels solid enough, but I never really shook that feeling of fragility that hangs around you whenever you handle a foldable smartphone.

The best part here is that the software keeps up with all the hardware tricks that Samsung is bringing to the table. The interface shrinks and conforms to the Galaxy Z Flip’s current form factor. This is all thanks to Flex mode – a custom built-user interface that was developed closely with Google.

There’s no ultrasonic in-display fingerprint scanner here, with Samsung switching that out for a side-mounted fingerprint scanner instead. The overall size of the Galaxy Flip Z mirrors the Galaxy S20+ when fully unfolded.

Flagship innards

Before you forget, Samsung’s Galaxy Flip Z is a REAL flagship phone. That foldable display is backed by really beefy hardware under the hood – Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. Cameras aren’t a slouch either – the phone uses a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera for shooting photos, and comes with a 10-megapixel selfie camera as well.

This is roughly the same hardware on Samsung’s more conventional flagship devices, so it’s not a stretch to imagine that the phone has similar performance to recent flagship phones announced by other companies.

Probably the only drawback here is the battery – at 3,300mAh, the Galaxy Z Flip might not enjoy the same longevity as most of Samsung’s flagships today. But I don’t mind making an extra trip to the charger at the end of the day if it means I get the satisfaction of flipping my phone close after a particularly stressful call.

It takes a lot to make me forget about a phone that has an insane amount of zoom like the S20 Ultra, but the Galaxy Z Flip has done exactly that. The phone isn’t exactly going to be cheap, but hell, it may just be the device that brings me back into Samsung’s embrace.

The Galaxy Z Flip is priced at Php 79,990 and will be available for pre-order starting February 14. It will be available starting February 21.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Specs

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ octa-core processor
  • Adreno 640 GPU
  • 8GB LPDDR4X RAM
  • 7-inch Full HD+ Dynamic AMOLED Infinity Flex display; 21.9:9 aspect ratio; Ultra Thin Glass
  • 1-inch Super AMOLED outer display
  • 256GB UFS 3.0 Non-expandable storage
  • Dual rear cameras: 12-megapixel f/1.8 primary camera with Super Speed Dual Pixel PDAF and OIS; 12-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle camera; with LED flash, Night Hyperlapse, 8x digital zoom, HDR10+ video recording, Tracking AF
  • 10-megapixel f/2.4 front camera
  • Dual SIM (eSIM and Nano SIM)
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, NFC
  • Side-mounted fingerprint scanner, USB-C, RGB Light sensor, Dolby Atmos
  • 3300mAh battery with 15w wired charging and 9w wireless charging
  • Android 10 with OneUI 2.0

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