The Galaxy Z Flip is a mobile phone with a folding design and a flexible 6.7-inch continuous screen. It is a top smartphone that lowers the price line of this new type of mobile phone with a flexible screen up to 1,500 euros. Will this be the design direction that manufacturers will take for the future? Striking is undoubted.
If there is something we can highlight, it is the paradigm of mobile design in recent years. The first iPhone arrived and marked a trend that continues to this day. Little changes from one mobile to another and it is what many users already had more than internalized. However, attention, this folding mobile is new, and yes, it has a great wow effect.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip has a folding mobile format, like before, but inside instead of having a screen and a physical keyboard at the bottom, we have a 6.7-inch screen that folds in half thanks to a hinge and the phone is in a square format that resembles a Gameboy Advance DS or a powder compact.
Let’s see what this Samsung Galaxy Z Flip looks like in our review, because it has so much more to offer than its flexible display:
|Screen||Main display: 6.7 “Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED Full HD + |
(2,636 x 1,080 px) External display: 1.06″ OLED (300 x 116 px)
|Storage||256GB UFS 3.0|
|Main Camera|| 12 Mpx Dual Pixel f / 1.8|
12 Mpx Ultra wide-angle f / 2.2
Recording up to 4K 60 fps
|Front Camera|| 10 Mpx Dual Pixel f / 2.4|
Recording up to 1080p60fps
|Battery|| 3,300 mAh 15W fast charge|
Compatible with Qi
charging Reverse wireless charging
|Biometrics||Face recognition, the fingerprint reader on the side|
|Dimensions and weight|| Folded: 87.4 x 73.6 x 17.3 mm|
Open: 167.9 x 73.6 x 6.9 mm
|Availability||Since February 14, 2020|
|Price||Around 1,500 euros|
Summary of the touchdown of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip:
- Design: looks like you don’t have it on once folded
- Display: excellent interior, and small but surprising exterior
- Performance: a mobile that can handle everything
- Software: very similar to what we see in the Galaxy S10 family
- Cameras: more humble than the S20 but with good results
- Autonomy: the critical point of the mobile, with its 3,300 mAh
- Connectivity and multimedia: Samsung has met
- Conclusion: eye-catching design plus top display and performance like great weapons
Large screen mobile that seems like you don’t have it with you once folded
Samsung with its Galaxy Z Flip takes a 180º turn in the design, literally, thanks to the hinge of the central part of the mobile that allows you to fold the smartphone in half and it remains in a very compact format for when you store it.
This has double reading and is that to use it, you will also have to unfold it as it happened with old mobiles in clamshell format. But it will be a big and heavy mobile, right? To start we have to say that it weighs 186 grams, something that for a mobile phone that mounts an extended 6.7-inch screen is in the segment average.
Open the size resembles, for example, a Galaxy S10 Lite with which it shares a screen diagonal. It is true that the frames are slightly larger than those of a traditional mobile and the feeling is that their screen frames are plastic compared to non-folding smartphones. In this frame, two rubber stops stand out in the lower corners that serve to cushion the closure.
The hinge is one of the most important points of this mobile and is that it is responsible for giving stability to the mobile both when it is open and during the folding process. Here Samsung has poured all the learning they had with the Galaxy Fold.
The feeling of hardness is good, it seems that both the hardness and the part that protects the entrance of dust and dirt to it from the lateral area of the screen fold is very well implemented.
This hinge is prepared to fix the position of the phone at the point where you leave it and that is, the Z Flip can work with the screen half-folded and has some way prepared for it. What is it like to open or close it?
Well, we have tried to open it with one hand and although it is possible, day by day and unconsciously, we end up opening it with both. It is more comfortable, more practical and the mobile is less likely to end up on the ground.
The physical buttons are on the right side. There is the double volume button as well as the power button that doubles as a fingerprint reader that works very effectively and quickly.
With the mobile comes two polycarbonate cases, one for the top with a hole for the screen and the rear cameras that protrude slightly and one for the bottom. I have been using the mobile with them and they do not add almost thickness or weight to the terminal and protect it from friction.
As you can see we have mentioned the external screen and it is that the mobile has a small OLED screen that serves as a notification panel on the outside. It is touch and color although by default it works with a dark mode, you can use it to preview the camera and take a selfie with that pack of external cameras.
There is no denying that it has a design that draws attention and is that, although I have already internalized that the mobile folds, every time you take it out and unfold it to use it, the people around you are surprised.
Excellent interior screen and exterior, small, but surprising
With the Galaxy Z Flip, we have to talk about screens and it is that the mobile mounts in addition to that external screen that we have seen a large flexible screen on the inside. They are 6.7 inches and have a hole at the top for the selfie camera.
Flexible screens are like this thanks to the fact that instead of having a glass itself on them, there is a type of plastic on the substrate of the AMOLED screen. Samsung comments that nothing sticks on the screen and that there is no dirt or any foreign element when folding it.
In fact, the recommendation extends not to over-press the screen or the hole in the front camera.
During our analysis of one week, we have made normal use and it is true that it should not be pressed with, for example, the nail, since you could slightly mark the protective layer of the screen and, if in a week we already notice any mark, how can you See in the video analysis that opens this article, it leaves us doubts about the durability during the useful life of the equipment.
The fold of the screen is there and it shows. However, it disappears before our eyes on a day-to-day basis because you always search intuitively and without realizing it to place the mobile perpendicular to our sight.
In terms of calibration and brightness, we can only comment that the screen comes with a somewhat cold calibration in the Intense mode, you can vary the color temperature but in my personal case I always prefer the Natural mode and here is a more real saturation level and a balanced color temperature.
In terms of brightness, we are facing an excellent screen, with natural light indoors, the brightness of 100% is around 570 Lux and it is outdoors indirect light and watching HDR content when it doubles that figure, exceeding 1,140 Lux. This makes it practically visible in any situation. In fact, we have measured maximum local brightness peaks that are close to 1,500 Lux.
The external screen is a color screen, the resolution and a pixel density of it is surprising when we use it as a viewfinder for the camera, but due to its use as a notification system and the little interaction we have with it: turn off the alarm, reject calls, etc.
It remains a little in no man’s land. If it were a slightly larger screen, it could be useful on a daily basis and avoid having to open the phone so much.
A mobile that can handle everything
There is not much to comment in terms of performance since if we mention that the Galaxy Z Flip mounts a Snapdragon 855+ and 8 GB of RAM, surely many of you understand that the mobile is going to fly, we are facing a top configuration.
In fact, both day to day and using the latest generation games and even multitasking with a double app on the screen, we have not noticed any slowdown.
As we see it is in a more than acceptable performance, in the line of other Snapdragon 855+, above we only have the Exynos 990 and presumably the Snapdragon 865 that we have not yet been able to thoroughly test in any terminal. The Kirin 990 outperforms you in most tests but there isn’t that much of a margin.
If we talk about the behavior of your internal storage, we are at the highest current level, with data transfer rates that reach bursts of 1.61 GB / s with averages of 1.2 GB / s in reading and more than 300 MB/s in writing.
It is a top mobile and it is something that differentiates it, for example from the Motorola Razr 2020 with whom it competes for format and price. This phone mounts a Snapdragon 710, several performance steps behind in terms of performance.
In the benchmark table, we have placed a mobile with that chip, Oppo Reno, on the right, and the Razr must perform in that line. Also, the Razr has a smaller 6.2-inch interior screen.
In summary, we can see how Samsung has tuned with this Galaxy Z Flip, offering practically the best on the market in this mobile in this section.
Android 10 on OneUI very similar to what we see in the Galaxy S10 family
This Z Flip works on Android 10 and OneUI 2.0. This is Samsung’s customization layer and it’s not that there is much difference from mobiles like the S10, Note 10, or the newcomers S20.
It is a fairly clean layer although it is true that Samsung’s hand shows in comparison to what Android Stock is.
Samsung usually dedicates part of the R&D in software implementations for differential characteristics of their mobiles, such as the entire development of the S Pen for the Note. With this Z Flip, the company has made it possible for some applications to be adjusted to be able to work with the mobile half-extended.
We can see how the camera adjusts on-screen when folding the mobile and being able to leave it apart on a surface to make selfies for example.
In addition, there is also a floating sidebar that serves to launch two applications at the same time on the screen. This is something that the 20: 9 format is grateful for since it can display a lot of content in both apps, and you can customize the height of the screen division for the apps.
However, all that glitters is not gold and that large screen and having to always open the mobile to use it, unlike the Fold, together with this high-performance SoC, makes the mobile have high energy consumption and Samsung knows it. .
Normally with OneUI, we can force applications to run in the background, such as a typical sports bracelet or watch, and not lose connectivity when the system closes applications in the background.
Samsung knows, we said, with this Z Flip you can only leave one in that state of lock for the sake of saving battery and this is the next section that we are going to see.
The critical point of the mobile, 3,300 mAh
This mobile has a compact format once folded, but in terms of physical size when it is open, it practically shares the dimensions of the Galaxy S10 Lite. This mobile mounts, for example, a 4,500 mAh battery, so if we compare the 3,300 mAh, of the Z Flip with its brother, it seems to be far behind.
In a world where 4,000 mAh seems like a standard with screens of more than 6.5 inches, it is clear on paper that this Z Flip is doing something fair.
Our experience with it is that it allows us to reach the end of the day with normal use but that, as soon as we do something more than enough, a lot of photography, see a lot of multimedia content or games, we will have to go through the plug to charge it before finishing the day.
And speaking of cargo, how long does it take to charge it? Well, we have a piece of bittersweet news, Samsung comments that it has fast loading, fine, but it is not super fast.
The load, as we can verify in our Laboratory measurements, takes from 1% to 100% approximately 1 hour 48 minutes, with 34% in 30 minutes and 62% in one hour of charge.
As an extra, yes, we have the option of both being able to charge the mobile using Qi wireless fast charging, as well as being able to offer to charge wirelessly to other devices such as headphones or a watch that charges using the Qi standard.
We are facing a mobile phone with a very complete charging section in versatility, but that, when it comes to filling the mobile phone battery, is not as fast as we would like.
We have not been able to test the Motorola Razr 2020, but being a direct competition, only commenting that 2,510 mAh for much less that it consumes a processor and the interior screen is smaller, it seems to us that it will be very short.
Camera more humble than the S20 but that promises good results
Let’s talk about the cameras of this Z Flip and it is that it mounts a pair of 12 Mpx rear cameras, in wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle settings, that is, we do not have an optical zoom.
The result that is achieved with this pack of cameras is good and although it is not up to what we achieved with the latest generation iPhone, P30 Pro or S20 it does offer better results than for example the S10e and depending on the situation, the top from the previous generation.
This sensor pack allows you to achieve a background blur effect, the dynamic focus is called Samsung, in photographs and portraits. In fact, even in portraits where cropping for background blur can be difficult, it has achieved good results. You can view and download the original files from here.
In terms of detail, the 12 Mpx sensor performs very well, it reminds us of the S10e but with some improvement in processing. We have found a very good result in HDR management as it has been one of Samsung’s strengths for years.
The lack of optical zoom means that when you zoom on the screen you really lose fine detail in the image, so if you are one of those who abuse the zoom we encourage you to look for another device. Below you can see the difference between 1X and wide-angle.
Night mode works very well although it is certainly hidden within the camera menu and is not selected by that AI mode choice assist when it is night.
They allow video recording of up to 4K at 60fps with the main sensor and FullHD at 60fps with the ultra-wide-angle. In fact, it has an ultra-stabilized mode in FullHD with which very smooth results are achieved. 4K 60fps sample:
The front camera is 10 Mpx and if there is something that has struck us about this mobile it is that it is much more frequent to have to clean the lens on this camera than with other mobiles if you do not get images with washed colors.
With this camera we can take good selfies, you can also make video calls but if you want that extra little jump in a photo and video quality, we encourage you to use the rear camera using the on-screen button or direct access with the phone folded double-pressing the power button. You use the external display as a photo viewer and capture it with the volume buttons.
Samsung always delivers in terms of connectivity and multimedia
This mobile has been designed keeping in mind a compact size and that brings with it yes or yes questioning the integration or not of certain features such as the minijack connector or taking advantage of that space for example battery.
The Z Flip has made that concession and it has neither a minijack connector nor an adapter is offered in its box, but it is a mobile that has NFC connectivity, Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi ac compatible with 2.4 and 5 GHz networks.
Samsung also has a system that allows you to choose which Wi-Fi connection is the best among those you have configured and automatically switches from one to the other.
In terms of audio reproduction, the mobile phone does not behave badly, but it is not its strong point. It has a down-firing speaker, which becomes a front if you place the mobile in the “desktop” position on top of a surface. It does not offer stereo sound since the call receiver is exclusively for that task.
The sound power from that bottom speaker is good, but there is a natural lack of mid-tones and bass that you would expect from these little speakers. It is not a mobile with which you will appreciate the sound directly. In fact, Samsung offers AKG-signed USB-C handsfree with volume/playback control on the wire and the difference is a world.
They offer a quality that is above most headphones that accompany current mobile terminals if they come with them. In addition, the cable is braided as if it were a cord and this avoids unnecessary entanglements and provides some additional resistance to them.
Very striking design, screen and top performance like its great weapons
What to say about such a daring and risky mobile in terms of design and more seeing how the Galaxy Fold had to be withdrawn from the market. It is clear that Samsung is a company that bets heavily and can go either very well or very poorly.
In this case, the Galaxy Z Flip seems to us a very interesting mobile since it seems to be solving problems inherent to flexible screens such as the area of the fold and the hinge joints and achieves such a reduced folding form factor.
On the other hand, we understand that the commitment to a folding mobile phone with such a large screen brings with it an integration of a resistant hinge system and that reduces the size of the mobile phone’s battery system. However, we believe that this mobile is a mobile to charge every day and it is difficult to return to that rate when we are already getting used to mobiles of more than 4,000mAh.
In terms of performance and camera, Samsung has proven a wise choice with its components and will not disappoint anyone unless they want to take zoom photos. And of course, with a price of 1,500 euros, it is located halfway between the “traditional” top smartphones and the high-end folding phones such as Mate Xs from Huawei.
It is clear that the price of the Galaxy Z Flip lowers the bar against these and begins to democratize a folding format that could set the design line for new generation mobiles.