Hot on the heels of the folding phones frenzy, and a first try at it with the not so successful Samsung Fold, Samsung went back to the drawing board and came up with a different form factor. Inspired partly by Motorola Razr of yesteryears, Samsung refined the design and came up with the critically acclaimed Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, an engineering feat not achieved before, even by its mentor from Motorola. The design was by and large proprietary and groundbreaking. A screen that can fold has been a myth for a long while, so when Samsung finally hacked it, it turned into a spectacle. The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip also was going against other folding phones from Huawei and Motorola. So what makes it stand out?
Design and display of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
The form factor in the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is certainly not your average design. It is first and foremost, a flip phone, in what is known as a clamshell design. That creates problems from the jump, considering the screen is a touchscreen that folds. So the screen is a plastic OLED, called ultra-thin glass, with a very thin cover that protects from scratches, more like Corning Gorilla protection. They call it a Foldable Dynamic AMOLED, with an Infinity O punch out design to accommodate the selfie camera. It has an extra display, on the cover, a 1.1 inch super AMOLED, that is used to check notifications and act as a viewfinder when one is taking a selfie with the main camera. The phone is broken into 2 halves and has an aluminum frame. Metal hinges connect the two, snapping 180 degrees between open and closed. It has a glass back with Corning Gorilla Glass 6 protection. It has a fingerprint sensor on the side, along with the power and volume rocker.
Performance and storage
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip comes with the very top of flagship specifications, starting with the powerful Snapdragon 855+ chipset and an octa-core Kyro 485 CPU, bundled into 1×2.95GHz, 3×2.41GHZ and a 4×1.78GHz cores. The GPU is an Adreno 640. It comes in only one memory configuration, 8GB for RAM and 256GB for ROM, UFS 3.0 supported but no expandable memory capabilities. The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is largely modelled against the Samsung Galaxy S10e so we expect it to be very powerful.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip has duo camera set up at the back, 2 12mp sensors, one being the primary wide-angle lens while the other is an ultra-wide shooter. Being a flagship device, the cameras are expected to be great especially with powerful software processing. They are however still 12mp lenses so not much is expected especially in low light. These cameras can be used to take a selfie when the clamshell is closed, using the cover screen as a view finder. But if one insists to take a pick with the clamshell open, there is a decent 10mp punch hole camera on the inside.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip comes with a rather impressive 3300mAh non removable Li-Po battery. Considering the phone factor, Samsung decided to connect 2 batteries in either halves to achieve the decent capacity. It comes with the rather basic 15W fast charging straight out of the box, and up to 9W wireless charging. It should last a whole day but with an extra display and new AMOLED technology, it is not yet optimized so one might actually need to charge it again if one is power user.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip comes with Android 10.0 and the One UI 2 custom skin from Samsung. However, embedded in the OS is the new Flex UI developed by Goggle for the new range of foldable devices, allowing smart use of the 2 halves of the screens, be it as a split screen or within the apps, in apps like messages, camera, video player and third party apps like YouTube. The Flex UI is still in its infancy, but it helps the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip blend into its environment as a foldable, as opposed to running apps like any other Samsung device.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is a ground breaking device. The clamshell design and the non-glass screen really pushes the boundaries of phones and their form factor as we know it. A lot of the technology in here is specifically, and almost exclusive in use in only this device. It is therefore a huge head turner, especially when considering its very premium price. It is however a very good example of what the future holds for mobile phones and foldable technology.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Specifications
|2G||Yes, GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 - SIM 1 & SIM 2|
|3G||Yes, HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700(AWS) / 1900 / 2100|
|4G||Yes, LTE band 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 12(700), 13(700), 14(700), 17(700), 18(800), 19(800), 20(800), 25(1900), 26(850), 28(700), 29(700), 30(2300), 34(2000), 38(2600), 39(1900), 40(2300), 41(2500), 46(5200), 66(1700/2100), 71(600)|
|Dimensions||Unfolded: 167.3mm x 73.6mm x 7.2mm
Folded: 87.4mm x 73.6mm x 17.3mm
|Body Material||Glass Front, Aluminum Frame|
|SIM||Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, e-SIM)|
|Size||Main Display; 6.7 inches (82.5% screen-to-body ratio)
Cover Display; 1.1 inches
|Type||Main Display; Foldable Dynamic AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, with 16M colors
Cover Display; Super AMOLED
|Resolution||Main Display; 1440 x 3200 pixels, (425PPI)
Cover Display; 1.1 inches, 112 x 300 pixels - Always-on display
|Protection||Cover Display; Corning Gorilla Glass 6|
|Operating System||Android v10; One UI 2|
|Chipset||Snapdragon 855+ (7nm)|
|Processor||Octa-core (1x2.95 GHz Kryo 485 & 3x2.41 GHz Kryo 485 & 4x1.78 GHz Kryo 485)|
|GPU||Adreno 640 (700MHz)|
|Micro SD Slot||No|
|Back||Dual; 12MP, f/1.8, 27mm (wide), 1/2.55", 1.4µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS + 12MP, f/2.2, 12mm (ultrawide)|
|Features||LED flash, HDR, panorama, 2160p@30/60fps, HDR10+|
|Front||Single: 10MP, f/2.4, 26mm-wide, 1.22µm, PDAF|
|Loudspeaker||Yes, stereo speakers|
|Alert types||Vibration, ringtones|
|WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot|
|Bluetooth||5.0, A2DP, LE|
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS|
|USB||3.1, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector, USB On-The-Go|
15W Fast battery charging
|COLORS||Mirror Black, Mirror Purple, Mirror Gold|