Samsung’s new folding Z Flip has impressed us in our full review process. CNET editor Jessica Dolcourt even went so far as to call it “the best foldable phone I’ve ever used.”
Big words, when the competition is heating up with the likes of the Motorola Razr, Huawei Mate X and Samsung’s own Galaxy Fold. But if you’re sold on this new bending technology — and you can stomach the $1,380 (£1,300) price — here are six things you should keep in mind before splashing your cash.
1. People will ask you about it
The Z Flip is arguably the best-looking folding phone so far, particularly in the flashy purple color option. It folds into a lovely neat square and transforms into a vibrant, full-screen phone. That sort of thing catches the eye and I’ve already had multiple people asking me about it when I’m out and about, and I’ve overheard several whispers of, “Oh, that’s that new folding phone.”
Does that matter? Well, depends on your sensibilities. On the one hand, if you’re the shy, retiring type then you may find this a little embarrassing. However, you probably don’t spend that sort of cash on new technology without wanting to show it off a little, so my suggestion would be to embrace it and use it as a conversation starter. See if you can impress a barman enough to get a free drink.
2. The camera is only OK
The camera is, for me, one of the more disappointing aspects of the phone. With such a high price, I’d expect every element of the phone to be absolutely cutting-edge, with camera capabilities equalling any of today’s top-end phones. That’s not quite the case with the Z Flip.
Its dual rear cameras offer a standard and a superwide view, and while both are fine for everyday snaps, they aren’t up there with the best. Colors often look very oversaturated and the lack of a zoom lens means if you want to get close-up of your subject, you have to use the digital zoom — at a huge cost to image quality.
It lacks the dual-aperture mode of even last year’s most affordable Galaxy S10E and at 12 megapixels, its superwide lens is lower-resolution than the S10e’s 16 megapixels. It’s not a bad camera by any means, but it’s worth keeping in mind that you’re not getting flagship-level photo capabilities for the flagship-level price.