I only spent about 30 minutes with Samsung's new foldable flip phone, but I'm convinced Motorola should be worried
Lisa Eadicicco/Business Insider
- Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Z Flip on Tuesday, a flip phone with a foldable screen that bends in half.
- During my brief time using the Z Flip, I was impressed with its smooth glass screen, the way the hinge was able to keep the display propped open, and its compact design.
- The Flip still doesn't answer the overarching question of why you might want a foldable phone in the first place, but its glass screen, lower price, and higher-quality camera should give it a leg up over the very similar Motorola Razr.
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With its next foldable device, Samsung is bringing back the flip phone.
The company unveiled the Galaxy Z Flip on Tuesday, a new smartphone with a foldable screen that snaps shut like an old-school flip phone. For Samsung, it's the second iteration of what it believes could be the next evolution of the smartphone, coming after it launched the larger, tablet-sized Galaxy Fold last year.
The Z Flip's defining feature is its foldable display, which bends horizontally to give the phone a clamshell form factor. That's a major departure from the Galaxy Fold, the phone Samsung debuted roughly one year ago that opens and closes vertically like a book.
Samsung's new take on the foldable smartphone - and the other improvements it's brought to the Flip such as a flexible glass display and a hinge that's better at keeping out debris - serves as further evidence that major device makers are still experimenting with what's next for the smartphone. It also comes after Motorola just launched a very similar foldable phone, a revival of its classic Razr from the early 2000s.
After spending roughly 30 minutes using the new Z Flip, I can tell that there's promise in bringing back the flip phone. There's the convenience factor that comes with being able to fold a phone in half and more easily store it in small spaces, like a small purse or pocket, and the way the foldable screen neatly splits the display in half when using apps in split-screen mode. But whether that justifies paying a price that's slightly higher than that of the average smartphone has yet to be seen.
Overall, the Galaxy Z Flip doesn't feel all that different than using a regular smartphone, and perhaps that's a good sign. That it feels just as natural as the phones we use today and doesn't require a learning curve is a signal that there might be promise in the Z Flip.
Here's a closer look at what it's like to use the Galaxy Z Flip.