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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip foldable smartphone review – a fun device that will impress your friends

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  • VERDICT

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is a remarkable device that will turn a lot of heads when you pull it out of your pocket. The goal was to give the user a sense of fun while offering an impressive smartphone experience. Samsung has succeeded admirably.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is not the company’s first foldable smartphone but it is an entirely different proposition from last year’s Galaxy Fold and also designed for a different user.

The Galaxy Fold was designed to be a two-in-one device – a phone one minute and a tablet the next and aimed at the high-end power user

But Samsung’s new Galaxy Z Flip is a 6.7-inch smartphone that literally folds in half to easily fit in your pocket or bag.

Samsung says it’s the intersection of fashion and technology with a head-turning look and feel and impressive credentials as a smartphone.

We used this as our daily driver for the past week and it was a fun device – not a device with the most cutting edge specs and pro-level camera – but still with an impressive and respectable set of features.

DESIGN

The objective of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip design is to provide a full size smartphone that can fold down to quite a compact size.

Mission accomplished.

When folded it’s just 7.3cm by 8.7cm that’s about 1.5cm thick at its thickest point near the hinge.

When the Z Flip is unfolded to reveal its 6.7-inch display it is 16.73cm long and 6.9mm thick.

The screen is quite long and thin thanks to its 21.9:9 aspect ratio.

Along the top half of the right  edge is the volume key and power key that also doubles as a fingerprint reader.

When the phone is folded there is a small screen that displays the time, incoming calls and messages and other notifications.

For us this small display was OK but we would have preferred a larger display that can be more useful and offer the ability to do some basic things without needing to open up the device.

The hinge is what does all the heavy lifting and makes it possible for the screen to fold.

This is the secret sauce of the device – and it’s what allow a smooth fold every single time.

Also inside are nylon fibres which reduces dirt and dust intrusion.

Like the Galaxy Fold, the Z Flip hinge doesn’t fold completely flat – there is a tiny gap but this is no issue for the user because it is still quite compact.

And the hinge can also be positioned at a variety of angles.

This comes in handy when you want to make a video call, view content and take a selfie – more about that later.

In terms of day to day use, it’s awesome to be able to fold the phone and have it in your pocket.

But when you need to open it up it’s quite hard to do that with one hand. If you’re carrying something like a coffee you need to put the coffee down and open it with two hands.

Closing the device is easy with one hand – but opening the Galaxy Z Flip is usually a two-handed job.

We would often leave the phone unfolded when it was on our desk so we could access the device instantly but had it folded in our pocket when we were moving around.

And because it is a folding device it is not water resistant so handle with care.

DISPLAY

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is actually a really thin sheet of glass and it offers a nice glossy appearance like a regular phone screen.

It is glossier and more glass-like than the display on Samsung’s Galaxy Fold.

You can feel the crease above the hinge if you rub your finger along the middle of the screen and you can also easily see it in the right light.

But you don’t really notice it when you’re using the phone.

In fact, you pretty quickly forget that it’s a folding screen when you’re using it because it looks and performs like any other smartphone.

PERFORMANCE

Don’t expect flagship specs with the Galaxy Z Flip but the device can still hold its own thanks to the onboard 7nm 64-bit Octa-Core processor.

It also has 8GB RAM and 256GB of internal storage but there is no expandable memory so you’ll need to rely on the cloud for storage if you run out of room.

Overall the Galaxy Z Flip performs well, not as slick and fast as a flagship smartphone, but it’s still pretty impressive.

CAMERA

The Galaxy Z Flip has a 12-megapixel ultra-wide and 12-megapixel wide-angle camera rear camera system that takes remarkable images and videos.

Picture captured with the Galaxy Z Flip

These aren’t in the same ball park as the latest smartphones but they are still good enough to produce some decent results.

But what users of this phone will love is the ease in which you can take selfies thanks to that hinge that allows the device to rest open at any angle.

If you position the phone on a surface and line yourself up, all you need to do to activate the shutter is hold up your hand. It will then do a 3,2,1 countdown and boom! Selfie captured hands-free.

This really opens up your selfie options and allows you to be more creative.

The typical customer for the Galaxy Z Flip – the more fashion conscious and design-focused – will love this selfie feature.

BATTERY

We’ve been using the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip for a week now and we’ve easily gone for a day and half, nearly two days on a single charge.

The onboard 3,300mAh battery will last longer because it’s not always powering a large screen like a regular phone because most of the time it will be folded.

PRICE

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is priced at $2,199 which places it right in the flagship phone territory.

But ironically, this is the type of phone for a customer who’s happy not to have the latest features but wants to make a fashion statement. They normally wouldn’t spend this amount of money on a phone.

Time will tell if they’re willing to pay.

Customers who usually spend this type of money on a phone are more high-end users and demand more from their device and expect the best of everything – screen, features performance and camera – from their device.

We’ll be curious to see the type of customers that will embrace the Galaxy Z Flip.

AVAILABILITY

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip goes on sale on April 3.

VERDICT

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is a remarkable device that will turn a lot of heads when you pull it out of your pocket. The goal was to give the user a sense of fun while offering an impressive smartphone experience. Samsung has succeeded admirably.