Galaxy Z Flip: Samsung’s clamshell phone

Those nostalgic for the early 2000s should rediscover old reflexes with this new smartphone. Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip is one of these new folding phones, but the difference is that the screen folds in half in the height direction, just like Motorola’s iconic Razr, which is also being re-released. Closed, it’s square and fits more easily in a pocket.

Style comes at a price

Like other folding smartphones already launched, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is expensive. The glass technology used is still young and costly. Sold for $ 1700, this mobile is, therefore, even more expensive than the latest high-end smartphones (iPhone 11, Samsung Galaxy S20…), which offer superior photo capabilities (here, 2 x 12 Mpix).

An improved folding screen

The pleasant surprise of this Galaxy Z Flip is the quality of its finish. The hinge is fluid yet sturdy, and the folded area of the screen is quickly made discreet, even if the eye always detects it by tilting the device slightly. In use, it is quickly forgotten, and the screen proves to be of excellent quality.

On this subject, the touch may seem disturbing at first. Like all folding smartphones, this is not a classic glass but a flexible one – called Ultra-Thin Glass by Samsung. The latter is covered with a thin layer of plastic to protect it. The goal here is to have the quality of a glass screen but strong enough to resist over the long term.

In the palm of your hand

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip’s compact and square design makes it easy to handle when closed or only half-open. Fully unfolded, its 6.7-inch screen is slightly larger than that of an iPhone 11 Pro Max, but it’s also narrower, making it easier to handle. This elongated format (22:9) has the advantage of being perfectly adapted to the consultation of social networks and their vertical flow.

What’s more, Samsung has worked with Google on adapting some applications to this elongated format. For example, when the Galaxy Z Flip is folded at a 90-degree angle, the camera app switches to a “dual-screen” display with the image at the top and all functions in the lower part. You can put the smartphone on your palm – like a powder case, so to speak – and take a selfie.

On the other hand, if the possibility of displaying two applications simultaneously – one on each half of the screen – seems a good idea on paper, in use, their use becomes complex because the display is too small. At the limit, one can imagine watching a video while scrolling its Twitter feed in the lower part of the screen, but this will remain anecdotal.