Right off the bat, Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip is the best foldable smartphone you can buy. Now, you may say this is quite the claim but this is taking its unique form factor, software, camera credentials and price point all into consideration. The bigger question though is whether this a smartphone that you should spend over €1,500 on? And that’s what this review will aim to answer. That may not be an easy task, given that it’s tough to compare this device with other flagship devices that cost close to €1,200 And that includes Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10+ or S20 Ultra or the iPhone 11 Pro twins. Because there’s one thing that sets this device apart, a foldable display.
Samsung calls it Flex Mode, it’s the one reason we believe that this device is worth checking out. Over the last few years we haven’t seen too many radical new takes on the smartphone, foldable displays have changed that over the past few months. Samsung’s Galaxy Fold and the new Moto RAZR are among the devices that consumers have access to, but both these feature a plastic OLED display. The Z Flip boasts of a new cutting edge ultra-thin glass display in a unique clam shell form.
Once folded, it can slip into the tiniest pockets or the inside pocket of your jacket. It’s certainly delicate and I must confess I used it more carefully than some of the other review devices that we’ve tested recently. The fold or the crease is less obvious than the Fold too. But most of all, it feels much lighter and nicer in your hand.
The Z Flip comes with a 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED display (1080 x 2636 pixels) with a unique 21.9: 9 aspect ratio. There’s also a 1.1-inch cover display that’s useful to check alerts and the time; you don’t have to keep flipping open the phone all the time.
If you double press the power button when the Z Flip is closed, you can also launch the camera’s viewfinder to open on the tiny front display which is actually quite handy for catching quick Selfie shots and, if you tap the display, it will switch to the ultra-wide camera so you can capture even more in the image using the handy little feature.
The display is great for binge watching but the best thing about is its handsfree capabilities. Whether you’re on a Video call or clicking a selfie, you can leave it on a surface (and not worry about holding it) thanks to Flex mode.
The 10MP selfie cam shoots sharp selfies while the dual rear cam also features a 12MP ultra-wide lens. This camera set up is probably in the same league as last year’s S10+. It shoots very impressive images in lowlight though which is a nice touch.
Selfies are also very well balanced with some impressive HDR with direct lighting behind the my test photo being handled very well.
The ultra-wide angle is also decent, which is to be expected from a Samsung phone but given the lack of any sort of optical zoom lens, the Z Flip’s zooming capabilities definitely don’t hold up to the likes of the Samsung S10/S20 or Huawei P30/P40 series of handsets.
Battery life is decent, we managed a whole day with a mix of camera, calls and some video consumption. The 3300mAh battery comes with 15W fast charging that’s not as zippy as the S20 flagships. We wish we had more time to test this phone in day to day life but we were impressed with what we managed in our short time with the handset, given the size of the screen.
Most times, concept devices don’t always deliver in practical day to day usage. It’s what sets the Z Flip apart. This is only Samsung’s second foldable but it’s more than just a concept device. Whether I was typing a furiously fast response to an email or indulging in intense gaming like PUBG, this device didn’t let me down. It’s powered by a Qualcomm 855+ processor coupled with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of Internal Memory.
If you’re one of those Prosumers who is always keen to experience cutting edge tech, the Z Flip is an interesting proposition and one that’s not just work in progress.
Pricing & Availability
The Galaxy Z Flip is available “in limited quantities” in Mirror Purple and Mirror Black and has an RRP at €1,520 on the Samsung online store (https://shop.samsung.com/ie/) and also with Three Ireland.