It was inevitable but it has finally happened – Samsung has created a foldable smartphone that everyone loves. Yes, that’s exactly what the new Galaxy Z Flip is – a flip phone style foldable channelling some old school nostalgia in a chic and functional package that appeals to all starting from the technocratic early adopter to the fashionista.

Right from the get-go, Samsung gets its display right. The problem with the Galaxy Fold and every foldable before or after it has been the same – the super fragile plastic OLED screen that’s made of a polymer that allows the folding but also is soft making it susceptible to scratching and cracking.

 The Z Flip becomes the first foldable to bend real glass albeit mixed in with the polymer. This changes the feel of the screen and makes it sturdier. It is surely not as solid as a standard smartphone panel like that on your iPhone 11 Pro but sure, the technology is getting there fast. More importantly, this is the first time you can call this a usable screen.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip

Because of the folding mechanism, there is a huge crease bang in the middle of the 6.7-inch unfolded panel. You feel it but this time around the size of the screen is right. When folded it is as pocketable as a pager from the dark ages in the 90s and when flat it’s slightly taller than a OnePlus 7T Pro or iPhone 11 Pro Max. It feels normal, something the ungainly Galaxy Fold never did.

 If you’re like me who punches out long articles from the comfort of the smartphone screen then the tall and narrow aspect ratio of the Galaxy Z Flip also plays well. The super-slim glass layer also means that this phone has stunningly good haptic feedback which makes typing or for that matter doing anything on the phone very satisfying.

 The hinge mechanism is also quite sturdy which wasn’t the case with Galaxy Fold and Samsung claims that it can withstand 200,000 folds which is equal to around 5 years of use. In 30 odd minutes of use, it is impossible to say especially after seeing the devastating desecration of Z Flip on the JerryRigEverything video but it is an improvement from what I’ve seen before by a substantial degree.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip

Again, the big takeaway is the technology is getting there fast and mostly Samsung is leading the charge because it is the sorcerer behind the magic of folding screens. The success of these screens could make or break it as they don’t only fuel its own mobile and tablet business but are a part of larger component supply chain gambit for the entire industry.

Design-wise, this phone looks beautiful. It has shimmery purple and gold (coming later in the year to India) colours which will appeal to women. There is also a stealthy black one which is more spartan but will attain universal appeal. On the back, there is also a tiny screen which can be used for notifications and selfies but it may be too tiny for any good use.

It even has a flex mode where the device can be propped in an L-shape like a laptop where women can take selfies, use the front camera to do makeup or be more productive like do Google Duo calls or watch YouTube videos in the top half of the screen and go through the comments on the bottom half. Samsung hasn’t just given a flip phone with Android here like Motorola; it worked with Google to customise the interface of Android for this form and a lot of that work flows into the Android 11 developer preview which also landed a few days ago.

Core hardware of this phone is also good though not in the Galaxy of the inbound S20. You’re getting the Snapdragon 855+ processor with 8GB RAM and tons of storage which is top class by even 2020 standards. You’re getting twin 12-megapixel cameras including an ultra-wide one and they perform almost the same as the Galaxy Note 10+ which is code for them being really good. Selfie addicts also get a punch-hole camera if you want to take a traditional selfie.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip

The 3,300mAh battery could be worrisome as it is not massive by any measure but again compared to the Motorola Razr which is the other flip-style foldable arriving in India, it is huge. Still, don’t bet on great battery life, though I’m sure Samsung is betting that you will have the screen folded inwards so you wouldn’t need as bigger juice pack in the gadget.

 All in all, based on my 30 odd minute assessment (as Samsung didn’t provide a review unit), this seems like the most polished foldable smartphone yet. Economically speaking as well at Rs 1,09,999 it isn’t as expensive as some of the other products that have landed and in use comes with the least number of compromises. While doing so, it channels nostalgia repackages it with futuristic technology and chic design. It will be the one Android phone everyone will want but few will be able to afford.

 

For all the latest Gadgets News, download NewsX App