Samsung has never been one to back off from new innovative visions. The company bought us the S-pen, AMOLED displays, Knox, Wireless charging, Infinity display… the list is pretty long, to be honest. But with the recent calamity that they called the Samsung Fold, things got pretty heated pretty fast. The hype of being the first foldable smartphone, coupled with the inch-to-inch race with Huawei’s Mate X disappointedly left us something pretty incomplete. With plastic screens that chipped away or looked falsely removable, to dust claiming civilization under the hinges, it really didn’t live up to its hype. Needless to say, the Fold had to go through numerous fixes and delays to finally meet the hands of its customers. But now with the new Samsung Galaxy Z flip, Samsung has yet another mind-blowing, floor-sweeping, screen-folding chance at bringing foldable smartphones to the masses. Announced at Samsung’s first smartphone event this year, Unpacked, this foldable gizmo has made quite a stir in the smartphone community.
But fingers are being pointed, allegations are being shouted… is this yet another piece of overpriced disappointment? Let’s find out.
Deep dive into the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip:
First things first, this phone is quite a beauty to look at. Coming in at a pocket-size of 3.6 inches when folded and a solid 6.7 inches when flipped open, the design is quite cool. Compared to the horizontal folding design on the Fold, the Z Flip follows a much more natural feeling ‘clamshell’ design. This means it opens up like a clamshell, for those of you that are a bit confused like I was for a split second. The phone’s outward-facing screen, visible when folded, is ideal for a quick peeks at the time or your notifications apparently. However, as many have pointed out, this puny 1.1-inch display is far too small to read from afar. And, the notifications get cut out if they’re a bit long.
The screen, when opened, has a 60Hz refresh rate to give it the smooth user experience. Moreover with the Flex Mode, as Samsung so fondly calls it, the phone is half-open and resembles a miniature laptop almost. This is definitely a plus point and unlocks many user experience possibilities, that’s for certain.
But does it sort out the failures of the Galaxy Fold?
Here’s the interesting part. Compared to the plastic screen on the Galaxy Fold or even the recent Motorola Razr, the screen on the Z Flip is a glass one. Yes, you heard that right. With its characteristic ultra-thin glass, the screen in undoubtedly more durable and has a more fitting premium feel to it now. The dust fiasco has been dealt with too, with a ‘fiber shield’ protector. This guardian of the Galaxy(Z Flip) is specially designed to remove any unwanted dust or debris from where they don’t belong(the hinges).
The device has gone a bit, well… conservative, considering the physical specs. The chipset is a Snapdragon 855+, which is decent. There is only a single variant available with 8 gigs of RAM and 256GB internal storage. If that sounds less to you, you’ll be disappointed to hear that there is no MicroSD slot. This means that the physical memory is pretty much fixed. It comes with Android Q with OneUI 2.0 on top. The battery is a measly 3300 mAh, which sounds a bit small frankly. But given the design restrictions, we guess its a tradeoff the designers had to make. And with proper CPU architecture to fit and software optimizations, this shouldn’t really be a deal-breaking problem.
Pricing and Availability:
This flipping piece of beauty is priced at 1,380 USD and is set to release on the 14th of February. This makes it quite a bit cheaper than the Fold or the Motorola Razr. The phone will be available starting from South Korea and the USA and will be introduced to international markets shortly after. But unfortunately, it won’t be launching in Nepal anytime soon.