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What you should know before Samsung’s Z Flip phone hits stores

The Z Flip is the latest folding phone from Samsung.

Samsung galaxy z flip thom browne
Image: Samsung

Flip phones may be making a comeback. Foldable clamshell designs were once the hottest thing in cellphones, but they eventually gave way to the touchscreens of today. But the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip might make them cool again.

Samsung revealed the Z Flip in an ad during the Oscars on Sunday and gave more details in their Unpacked event on Tuesday. It joins the Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus as Samsung’s phone releases slated for 2020 but stands out thanks to one feature. It folds in half like the cellphones of old.

Samsung z flip phone

Image: Samsung

Galaxy Z Flip specs and features

The Galaxy Z Flip isn’t replacing the flagship Galaxy phones, but this doesn’t mean it can’t keep up. The phone has impressive technical specs, including eight GBs of RAM. It also boasts a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, making it a powerful little piece of machinery.

The Z Flip doesn’t have a MicroSD slot, but it offers 256 GB of built-in storage. It differs further from most other Galaxy models in that you can’t remove its battery, partially due to it being split into two halves. The phone runs on Android 10.0 like the S20, but unlike the S20, it doesn’t feature next-generation 5G capability but does have 4G.

The most notable feature of the Z Flip is its folding screen. The phone folds vertically like an older flip phone but in line with modern smartphones, features one big touchscreen instead of a display and a keypad. When fully opened, the OLED screen measures 16.7 inches.

Unlike the Galaxy Fold and the new Motorola Razr, which use plastic screens, the Z Flip’s display is glass. Using a proprietary ultra-thin glass, the Z Flip offers increased durability while remaining flexible. The Z Flip’s hinge features a protective layer of fibers to keep dust and other contaminants out.

By folding the phone at a right angle, you can turn the Z Flip’s display into a split-screen. You can use the bottom half to edit images displayed on the top half or watch a video on the top with the comments appearing on the bottom. When folded, the Z Flip can act much like a laptop.

Galaxy z flip phone on white background

Image: Samsung

The bumpy road to smart foldables

The Galaxy Z Flip isn’t the first foldable smartphone, and other models have been lackluster, to say the least. Samsung’s first attempt, the Galaxy Fold, suffers from poor durability and a steep price of almost $2,000.

The only other folding alternative available in America, the Motorola Razr, also has its fair share of issues. Its plastic screen is flexible but makes a creaking sound when you open it. It’s also so malleable that it feels bumpy when you touch or type on it.

The Z Flip’s glass screen should be an improvement in the durability and comfort fronts. The display does still have a visible crease, which some may find distracting, but it’s less noticeable than the one on the Galaxy Fold and Razr.

The Galaxy Z Flip certainly isn’t cheap at $1,380, but it is more affordable than both the Fold and the Razr. Samsung will release this new foldable this Friday, February 14th, available only on AT&T and Sprint at launch. Whether it will be substantial enough to bring about the clamshell revival remains to be seen.

What do you think? Interested in the Galaxy Z Flip? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Kayla Matthews is a technology writer and blogger who runs Follow her on Facebook and Twitter to read all of her latest posts!

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