Samsung’s brand-new Galaxy Z Flip is the third folding display screen telephone that I’ve reviewed. It occurs to even be the most effective folding display screen telephone I’ve reviewed — however don’t let that idiot you. As with the Galaxy Fold and the Motorola Razr, the Z Flip is extra of an costly experiment than an actual product anyone can buy.
Though Samsung is touting that this telephone has a glass display screen, it seems that tumbler on this context has fewer advantages than beforehand thought. Pardon the pun, however mood your expectations.
The Z Flip prices $1,380, and the very best reward I may give it’s that, after 5 days of utilizing it, I discovered myself simply pondering the Z Flip was form of regular. I’ve complaints, and I’ve many, many considerations. However after some time, the Z Flip kind of stopped feeling like a particular folding telephone and simply felt like my telephone.
There are two massive issues to handle with folding telephones: the display screen and the hinge. These two components are such a spotlight as a result of they’re the issues that aren’t but solved issues within the telephone world. It’s the place the experimentation is occurring, and it’s additionally the place the largest factors of failure are discovered.
All three folding telephones to this point have had some kind of solely predictable sturdiness drama occur proper after their launch. For the Z Flip, it’s twofold. First, the display screen is rather more inclined to scratches and dings than its glass materials implies. Second, the hinge’s new, somewhat-more-debris-resistant design isn’t foolproof.
Let’s begin with the display screen as a result of that’s probably the most regarding factor. Sure, it actually does use glass that bends, which is an plain feat of engineering. However as The Verge’s Sean Hollister defined earlier this week, there’s really a comparatively easy rationalization for the way Samsung pulled that off: “virtually something could be bent in case you make it skinny sufficient.”
Samsung’s so-called “Extremely Skinny Glass” is 30 microns thick, on the order of a really skinny human hair. That has penalties. Chief amongst them: any ding or nick within the glass may very well be catastrophic.
To resolve for that, Samsung coated the glass with a second, plastic layer. That layer is pretty gentle, which is why it picks up indentations from fingernails in case you press too laborious and why it scratched so simply below Zack Nelson’s metallic picks in his basic JerryRigEverything take a look at. And since the glass beneath that plastic layer is so skinny, it may be punctured comparatively simply. Puncturing the Z Flip’s glass display screen completely destroys the OLED show beneath, whereas on an everyday telephone, you would possibly simply have a cracked display screen to reside with.
So what’s the purpose of getting a glass display screen if it’s simply as fragile and weak as a plastic one? Properly, Samsung will get to say it shipped the primary folding telephone with a glass display screen. I believe that’s most likely the principle purpose.
However there are subtler advantages. It actually does really feel firmer below my thumb than different folding screens. It’s like having a plastic display screen protector on an everyday telephone. I additionally wish to assume that it’ll really find yourself being considerably extra sturdy than plastic in the long run, however we gained’t know if that’s really true for a while. Samsung will present a one-time alternative for $119 if it breaks.
Then there’s the crease in the midst of the display screen. It’s there, no getting round it. I can see it once I’m in search of it, however I don’t see it once I’m not. It additionally feels a bit of odd, however not a lot to place me off prefer it did on the Razr. The display screen can also be surrounded by massive, raised plastic bezels. I don’t love them, however I additionally perceive their necessity and don’t discover them particularly annoying.
So far as display screen high quality goes, I believe it’s a step above different folding screens however can’t stand as much as a direct comparability with a Galaxy S10 or iPhone 11. I don’t have any actual complaints concerning the high quality, brightness, shade, and determination, nor do I’ve any effusive reward. It’s, as I alluded to on the prime, completely regular. Nonetheless, it’s a really tall, slim display screen, which may make watching most video a bit of awkward due to the black bars on both aspect.