Samsung surprises with Galaxy Z FLIP Oscars reveal

The first-look focused on the smartphone's ability to sit at a 90-degree angle during video calls.

Galaxy Flip Z shop
Galaxy Flip Z shop

Samsung gave the first glimpse of its Galaxy Z Flip smartphone in a surprise teaser during the Academy Awards.

The device was revealed ahead of its heavily-rumoured official unveiling at the Galaxy Unpacked event on 11 February.

The first-look focused on the smartphone’s ability to sit at a 90-degree angle during video calls.

It also noted that the presence of a “small crease” on the screen was a “normal characteristic”.

The surprise advert confirmed that previously leaked renders of the device were mostly accurate.

The smartphone was shown off in two colours – black and purple – and appeared to feature a smaller outer screen on its shell, which will display notifications.

The Galaxy Z Flip will mark Samsung’s second foldable phone after the release of last year’s Galaxy Fold, which was struck by a host of teething problems.

“The challenges of their [previous] smartphone put additional pressure on Samsung to show its strength,” said IDC analyst Marta Pinto ahead of Tuesday’s event.

Major defects with the foldable device, including broken screens and issues with a removable protective layer, proved a source of embarrassment for the company, which has seen declining smartphone sales, and faces growing competition from rivals, including China’s Huawei.

Technology website Ars Technica even called the Galaxy Fold a “master class” in how not to make a folding phone.

This time, however, Samsung appears to be pre-empting criticism concerning the Flip’s screen, warning consumers in its advert that a “small crease in the centre of the main screen is a natural characteristic”.

Motorola shared a similar warning with consumers for its newly-released Razr device, saying that “bumps and lumps” on the screen were “normal”.

Samsung has yet to share a price point for the Galaxy Flip Z, but Motorola’s Razr currently retails for $1,500 (£1,160).

It is set to be an important week for the company, which is widely expected to be unveiling a trio of Galaxy S20 phones at its Unpacked event. More