Samsung Galaxy Z Flip hands-on review: clicking with the foldable clique
We had some hands-on time with it, here's how it holds up:
Design, fold, and screen
Instead of being a semi-tablet, like the Galaxy Fold, the Galaxy Z Flip folds in on itself, horizontally. Essentially, it's a clamshell smartphone. Its edges are soft and its finishes are shiny, with two colors to pick from — Mirror Purple or Mirror Black.
It's comfortable to hold in both folded and opened modes and it doesn't feel too heavy, despite the impressive tech that it packs. Specs have the weight listed at 6.45 oz (183 g) — for comparison's sake, that's slightly lighter than the iPhone 11 Pro's 6.63 oz (188 g).
The screen on the outside is pretty much only good for telling the time and rejecting calls. We assume that short text notifications will be OK to read as well, but it's pretty much a ticker display at heart.
As we open the device, it feels sturdy and reassuring. The screen is not a plastic film this time around — Samsung actually managed to make an actual glass panel fold here. This means it should be harder to scratch than the material we had on the Galaxy Fold. Here's hoping!
The AMOLED panel is as beautiful as you've come to expect from Samsung screens. It's quite long — it's a 6.7-incher with an aspect ratio of 21.9:9. However, the OneUI interface has been designed so that any actionable content will usually be towards the bottom half of the display, so you don't need to make acrobatic thumb stretches. Well, unless you want to drop the notifications shade while you are within an app.
It's kind of cool that the phone can stay unfolded at different angles — you can prop it up on a table for selfies or video chat, for example. There is still a very slight crease down the middle. This time around, it's so tiny that it's hard to catch on camera. So, it'll surely be much less of an annoyance for purists. We found it perfectly easy to forget it even exists as soon as we unfolded the device.
Hardware and performance
The Flip is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus. Yeah, it's a 2019 chip, but nothing to scoff at. Especially the Plus edition is quite capable (it was the one that powered the gaming Asus ROG Phone II). It comes with 8 GB of RAM, which is not as crazy as the 12 GB on the Galaxy S20 series, but it's quite enough for a contemporary Android device.
So, how does it run? Quite well. We obviously didn't have enough time to put the device through all its paces, but we'd say the Z Flip felt like a confident performer in our hands.
When it comes to camera, Samsung didn't do anything crazy with the Z Flip. We have two 12 MP cameras on the back — regular and ultra-wide-angle —, and a 10 MP selfie shooter on the front.
This doesn't necessarily mean they are bad cameras. In fact, with the very limited time we had with the Z Flip, we'd say they produce crisp, detailed images, with rich color. Of course, we will need some more time for a full review. But the outlook is pretty good here.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is a different kind of beast. It's not a flagship aimed at powerusers, it's more of a “tech accessory”. A cool and stylish smartphone that's also practical as it can fold in and fit any pocket.
But that's not to say it doesn't pack some good performance. Sure, it may not have a gynormous battery, so it still won't please those that need double digit hours of screen-on time from their phones, but it will feel just fine to your regular, tech-savvy smartphone fan.
We are a bit surprised that Samsung insisted on marketing it more towards young female users. We are pretty sure the Z Flip has what it needs to impress the male audience as well.