I’ll admit it, when Samsung teased the Galaxy Fold at its Developer Conference in 2018, I wasn’t sold on the concept.
By Cherlynn Low
Sure, the technology was impressive, but it just seemed gimmicky to me. The only benefit I could think of for folding displays would be if they made regular-sized phones smaller.
Cut to 2019, and the Galaxy Fold fiasco proved I was right to be reticent. The first-gen foldable was easily damaged and, frankly, the concept of a phone that opened to become a tablet didn’t appeal to me. Then Motorola unveiled the Razr, bringing some hope, but that soon turned sour when I heard all the complaints about its shoddy quality and overall impracticality.
On Tuesday, however, Samsung shook things up. It officially revealed the Galaxy Z Flip — a 6.7-inch phone that, like the Razr, folded in half. But Samsung managed to come up with an “Ultra-Thin Glass” that made its folding screen sturdier than alternatives we’ve seen. In doing so, the company instilled more confidence in the durability of its product. More importantly, it proves that the ultimate goal of gadgets that fold to become more compact is within reach.
The Z Flip is the first iteration of a folding smartphone that actually makes sense. The phone arrived in stores on Valentine’s day, and after testing out a sample for 24 hours, I’ve already caught feelings. While we work on our full review, here are some early thoughts.
Even after just a relatively short time with the Z Flip, when I use my Pixel, it feels weird that I can’t fold it shut. I even find myself trying to bend my Pixel, my fingers itching to fold the Z Flip like they’re searching for a phantom fidget spinner.
Folding screens tend to be more damage-prone, but Samsung’s “Ultra-Thin Glass” here feels like a massive improvement over the Motorola Razr and the Galaxy Fold. It’s more rigid and it held up even as I repeatedly pushed into it with my thumb for leverage to close the phone with one hand.
Shutting the Z Flip before tucking it away in my coat pocket also made me feel like it’s more protected. My fingers sometimes activate my Pixel’s lock screen when I stick them in my pockets for warmth, so I end up accidentally skipping a track on Spotify or inputting inexplicably long PINs. It’s not a big deal when this happens, but it’s nice to know that when I put the Flip away, it won’t randomly get triggered. There’s something oddly satisfying about the act of physically shutting your phone before putting it away, too, that makes you feel more present.
Of course, when you get a message, you need to take the extra step of unfolding the device before you can reply. Depending on how adept you’ve become at opening the Flip with one hand, this could be a quick, simple task or a longer two-handed affair.
But so far I’ve found the Flip well-built enough that I can flick it open with some force, which speeds up the process, and not worry about breaking the hinge. I became somewhat of an expert at opening the Flip with one hand within about two hours. More
By Cherlynn Low https://www.engadget.com/