Up until now most foldables have been more like phablets, smartphone designs that fold out into a tablet-like form factor that does all the things a phone and a tablet can do. Now we're starting to see devices that are more like the fliphones of old. The Moto Razr was the first to be announced, but now we get our first (official) look at Samsung's offering - The Galaxy Z Flip.
Samsung claims it's a unique design and a unique piece of technology, but that's not really true. Still it's a nice-looking device that has a mirrored finish on the outside that's available in purple, black, and gold. On top of that there's a miniature screen that can be used to see notifications, the time, and can even be used as a viewfinder for selfies. Just like the outer screen on the Razr, only smaller.
Inside the phone has a 6.7-inch display, and as rumoured it's been created out of flexible glass rather than the plastic screen used in the likes of the Galaxy Fold and Huawei's Mate X. The small print from the advert shown during Sunday night's Oscar awards ceremony still claims there will be an obvious crease, so it's not like that is going away. It should keep the scratches at bay a little bit better, though.
That screen is Full HD, for anyone that is interested, and in the usual Samsung style it's an AMOLED panel with a 21:9:9 aspect ratio.The dual camera system on the outside each have 12MP resolution, and included is an ultra wide angle lens (f/2.2) and a standard wide-angle lens (f/1.8) with OIS and 8x digital zoom.
Internal specs include a 64-bit Octa-core processor (likely an Exynos in Europe), 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. There's no mention of a microSD card, so that's probably not included. The battery is 3,300 mAh, there's support for fast wired and wireless charging, and of coure wireless powershare is in there. Oh and it does have a fingerprint sensor somewhere, but it's not clear right now.
There's a camera on the inside too, for reasons I don't really understand, and that is the hole-punch design Samsung has been championing the past year or so. It has a 10MP lens (f/2.4)
It has a YouTube Premium subscription of some kind too, and naturally it runs Android 10. No headphone jack, though, naturally.
On top of this Samsung promises something called 'Flex Mode' which essentially uses the Z Flip's hinge like a laptop hinge. It can hold in place, meaning you can use the phone as its own stand making it useful for taking photos without a tripod, or using it as a weird mini laptop. Seriously, Samsung has set it up so Flex Mode will split up the screen into two 4-inch displays as a new kind of multitasking mode.
Samsung has clearly learned a lot from the Galaxy Fold woes too, and a point was, made that the hinge is designed to keep particles out and away from the screen. There's still a gap, because this type of fold requires one, but this time Samsung has added a layer of fibres to help keep them outside the phone and away from all the important stuff.
Oh and that leak for the Thom Brown Edition of the phone? That's coming too, but more details about what that will involve are being revealed tomorrow at New York Fashion Week. The images proves that it has a special design, along with a pair of Galaxy Buds and what looks like a watch strap - presumably whatever smartwatch Samsung is backing at this point in time.
The Galaxy Z Flip comes out shockingly soon, this Friday (14th) to be exact, and it will cost £1,300 here in the UK. Sadly it'll only be available in black or purple (no gold), and we don't know details of network availability just yet. It won't take long for them to get in touch, though, so stay tuned for an update.