Samsung Galaxy Z Flip review: South Korea’s flip phone comeback with a twist
Past meets future
Trends typically come back full circle in the fashion realm with hints of 60s, 70s and 80s influences being seen today on the runways. But so have the tech giants been serving. Motorola's Razr brought back to life the flip phone trend with its revamped foldable mobile. And now, Samsung's brand-new Galaxy Z Flip release has got everyone talking.
There's no doubt about it — smartphones can now emerge wide open like a book. But to what extent? Is this phone a big nod to the future? Certainly. But is it worth the purchase? To help you save some serious coin, we tested the ins and outs of Samsung's new gadget.
Typicallly, powering up a brand new device would be the most exciting part. But for the Galaxy Z Flip, setting up the phone meant going through a long list of warnings that basically explain how fragile the screen is. Whilst the Samsung Ultra-Thin Glass provided a sleek look and feel, users shouldn't always have to be constantly on alert — or baby proof their phone — in fear of screen damages.
While setting up the phone, there were many features that stood out. The first was its ability to transfer your mobile data hassle-free and fast regardless of any device brand you were previously using. Although iPhone users had iCloud in the bag, the feature would not work with its competitor brands. The Galaxy Z Flip also serves up powerful graphics performance with magnificent visuals. Starting with its 3D lock screen image — unlike anything in the smartphone market. And who can ignore its 6.7-inch long glass screen? The extended height resulted in an immersive viewing experience. Lastly, a seemingly minute but significant turning point — particularly for us — was the 'Close All' tabs button, which everyone needs in the long run to preserve their battery life.
When it came to the features, there were plenty to keep us buzzing. First, the revolutionary hands-free selfie. Every millennial would understand the modern-day struggle of detecting the best selfie angle while working up a cramp in your arm after multiple unsuccessful shots. Unlike other timed selfies on mobile phones, this feature is accompanied with its own personal stationary platform so you can fold the phone to your desired angle. Plus, you can record a video while transitioning from selfie mode to the rear camera.
On the other hand, their quick selfie feature that allows you to snap a one-handed selfie when the device is folded, didn't exactly match up to its expectations. While the tiny screen fits snugly in the palm of your hand, it is also way too small. Angles were hard to lock down with this one.
Calls will never be the same again with this phone. Within the app itself, parked next to 'Recents' and 'Contacts' tabs, is the 'Places' tab. What makes this so grand is that what used to be a Google search away, is now right on your phone, making it easier to retrieve phone numbers from a range of places. Whether you are looking for a restaurant, plumbing, or a beauty spa number to dial — Samsung has got your back and allows you to see reviews. Unfortunately, we did not share the same appreciation for the sound system. The Galaxy Z Flip sound system was not the sharpest and the sound came out rather squeaky from the accompanying earphones.
Last but certainly not least, multi-tasking — yay. Now with a multi-active window optimised for its new form. What that means for you is that you can now watch YouTube videos uninterrupted whilst texting instead of having to flip through multiple apps. You can also adjust which screen you want to be bigger. The best part? If you choose to exit the multi-active window, you can still resume whatever you were previously doing in the individual applications.
Most people can agree that this phone is unlike any regular phone out there in the market. So naturally, the experience won't be like any other. An ultra-thin 30-micron glass screen coupled with 6.7 inches of screen display is hard to beat for sure. Yet our short time with the Galaxy Z Flip led us to conjure up mixed feelings. Opening it requires a two-handed operation (because of the fragile screen) and slamming it hard would lead to irrevsible consequences. And even with Samsung's sweeper technology — reducing dirt and dust intrusion — the fingerprint susceptible exterior is enough to drive anyone crazy. (Tip: Ready a pretty sleeve.)
But having said that, Samsung's brand-new Galaxy Z Flip continues to break the mould of foldable phones and even successfully differentiating this invention from its groundbreaking launch last year, the Galaxy Fold. Get this: It's a flip phone with a glass screen — its future babies will probably blow more minds.
Galaxy Z Flip is now available at all Samsung Experience Stores. To purchase it online, click here.