It has been a long journey, but foldable phones are finally a reality and they are gradually inching towards mainstream consumer usage. We have seen the Galaxy Z Fold and now the Fold2, and we have seen the Mate X and Xs, as well as Galaxy Z Flip and the Moto RAZR, along with their 5G variants.
It is significant that in the space of just one year, we have gone from the 1st generation of foldable phones to the 2nd generation. What a year. In this Samsung Galaxy Z Flip hands-on review, I share thoughts from my short time with the device.
Two Types Of Foldable Phones
As these new devices have arrived, we can see two clear branches emerging:
- large, tablet-sized devices that fold into a phablet size,
- small flip phones that open up into a phablet size
Nobody uses the term, phablet anymore. Nobody but yours truly. But I am sure you catch the drift. The larger foldable devices fold into a smaller form factor that is the size of a really large smartphone, while the second class of folding devices are superbly compact toys that fold open into the size of a really large (or is it long) smartphone.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, along with Motorola’s RAZR 2019, belong in the second class of devices. This set is my preferred type of folding phone.
Followers of Mobility Arena and of my Twitter handle will know by now that I am no huge fan of large smartphones. I have big hands, but even after using large devices for a few years, I am no closer to getting used to these big slabs.
The Galaxy Z Flip solves the problem for me. Finally, people like me can carry around a tiny smartphone in their pockets and in their hands, and open it up to use the large screen only when necessary. It is the best of two world.
I doubt that I will be able to get used to carrying a Samsung Galaxy Fold or Galaxy Z Fold2 around. But a Galaxy Z Flip or Moto RAZR are right up my alley.
Before we dive into the hands-on review proper, here are the core specs of the phone.
Samsung Z Flip Quick Specs
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Hands-on Review and First Impressions
So, I got my hands on the Galaxy Z Flip to see whether it would measure up to my idealist thinking about a smartphone that provides both compactness and a large screen.
I must say that it does. It is so tiny in its folded up form that there is the possibility of losing it in a a large bag. Mrs. Mo would definitely lose this one should she ever get to use it. She is forever looking for where she dropped her phone.
In my large hand, the Galaxy Z Flip is small and feels toyish – until I opened it up and behold, a large display – the very type I loathe. Even worse, it is a long one. A long 6.7-inch display is not my thing. I rather prefer the 18:9 and 19:9 aspect ratio displays that max out at 6.2 inches size. But enough of that. I actually enjoyed using it in the short time I played with the phone. Perhaps i can live with it.
The folding mechanism works smoothly and feels rock solid. Samsung has a history with flip phones, so they shouldn’t have any problem with rock solid hinges. Where the problem is likely to spring up is the foldable screen that hides the hinges. That is new territory for every one, including Samsung.
In the brief period I played with it, the screen folded nice and smooth every time. Hopefully, it will keep that way after a year of usage.
Using the phone, One UI is a delight, and the version here (v2.5) runs on Android 10. In usage, the user interface is smooth and snappy, as we expected. The combination of the flagship-grade Snapdragon 855+ processor with 8 GB RAM and 256 GB storage memory produces nothing short of butter smoothness in use.
I am wary of that 3300 mAh battery. It seems small for a device with a 6.7″ display and a flagship processor. But then, there is the fact that it will be in closed mode many times, with only the tiny external 1.1-inch display active. That should help keep battery drain down. It is on the days you use the Galaxy Z Flip heavilly that you will likely have issues with battery life.
Oh, well. You can’t eat your cake and have it. I wanted a compact phone. Big batteries and compact phones do not belong in the same sentence.
That’s it on my Samsung Galaxy Z Flip hands-on review. I like this cute gadget. It is a breath of fresh air – a departure from the boring slabs that we have all carried around for years. If only I don’t have to cough out my lungs to get one.
PS: If you live in an area with 5G coverage, there is a 5G variant of the Galaxy Z Flip available. Check your favourite mobile phone retailer for it.
As part of this Samsung Galaxy Z Flip hands-on review, I am including answers to some of the most common questions that I have seen asked about the phone.
Does Samsung Z Flip support fast charging?
Yes; Samsung Galaxy Z Flip supports the 15W fast charging standard.
Does Samsung Z Flip have Gorilla Glass?
Unfortunately no. Corning does not have a Gorilla Glass solution yet for flexible screens, so the Galaxy Z Flip goes without one. None of Corning’s competitors have any yet either.
Does Samsung Z Flip have a headphone jack?
No; the Galaxy Z Flip does not have a 3.5mm headphone jack. This foldable phone is firmly zooming ahead into the future.
How much is Samsung Galaxy Z Flip?
You need $850 only to be a proud owner of this futuristic toy. It is available on Samsung’s official website, on Amaon and other e-commerce retailers. That price translates to ₦645,000 at major retailers around the country, including on Jumia, Slot, Pointek, Jiji, and Konga.