Review: Samsung Z Flip is going to change the smartphone world
The future has arrived, and it is bendable.
Samsung has unveiled the second iteration of the Fold (rebranded as the Flip), a smartphone that can go from regular blower to tablet with a flick of the hinge. But while the first model was an interesting piece of technology that proved bendy smartphone tech could indeed exist, you’d have been crazy to actually buy one. But that’s all changed.
Samsung’s new Galaxy Z Flip is a major refresh that improves upon its older brother in every way. You get a better camera system, a huge spec boost and a hole-punch camera on the front.
The main display is also bigger and better. Unfold the screen and you’ll get a 7.6-inch OLED screen, with a refresh rate of 120Hz. Not to get too introspective of what makes a smartphone screen better than another, but it’s probably the best display ever squeezed into a piece of technology.
There are other notable specs, too; the processor has been vastly improved so it is faster than ever, and capable of properly multitasking. And you can also plug it in to a proper display and connect it via Bluetooth, to a mouse and keyboard to use as a desktop computer if the need arise.
But what’s under the hood almost doesn’t matter when it comes to the Galaxy Z Flip. In a world awash with smartphones that all look pretty much the same (a big slab of glass on one side with a metal or plastic chassis making up the other) this is totally new and totally different. Don’t get me wrong, the last one was too, but that was a tech demo. This one actually works.
The main difference between this one and the original Fold - and also the feature that makes the Z Flip something worth buying – isn’t that main display. It’s the second one, the screen you’ll be using when it’s folded up.
On the original model it was an afterthought; a lackluster four incher that worked for checking your notifications, but it had bezels that could be measured in inches and it wasn’t very good. This time, that second screen takes up almost the entire front side of the device (you know, like a regular smartphone) which means you no longer have to unfurl the device to use it.
It sounds like a small change, but in actual fact it propels the Flip from cool technological concept to a gadget worth putting in your pocket.
Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip wasn’t the world’s first foldable smartphone, and it certainly won’t be the last. But when you sit down to read a future issue of Esquire on a screen that bends, you’ll know where it all started.
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