Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip By Thom Browne Is The Biggest Phone Flex Of 2020 (So Far)
Samsung's been doing its damnedest to make us excited again about smartphones, even if the results aren't quite perfect. At its Galaxy UNPACKED launch event (Samsung's shouting, not ours), the Korean tech giant showed a raft of new phones—the Galaxy S20, S20 Plus, and S20 Ultra—but most excitingly, another stab at a phone that folds: the Galaxy Z Flip. There's even a limited edition Thom Browne version, so your tech can match your short-suit.
Galaxy Z Flip
The Galaxy Z Flip has been teased (and leaked) for weeks, including in a commercial that ran during the Oscars. Unlike the previous Fold, which tried to be a tablet you could carry, the Z Flip is more interesting into shrinking a modern big-screen smartphone into something pocketable. It's genuinely small—about 3.5 x 3 inches when closed, and opens to reveal a 6.7-inch screen. (For reference: the iPhone 11 has a 6.1-inch screen and is just a hair shy of six inches tall.) In the era of the ever-increasing screen, the Z Flip is genuinely exciting.
Particularly because it's also the first foldable phone to use a glass screen rather than plastic. As noted by The Verge, the Fold's plastic screen "feels worse [than glass], dents easily, and likely contributed to [previous foldable phones'] delicate builds." The Z Flip's glass is supposedly durable enough to withstand 200,000 folds, which should cover the lifespan of opening the phone, realizing you don't actually need to be on your phone right now, then closing the phone.
When fully opened, the Flip will act like a conventional smartphone. But the Flip will also allow for multi-tasking, through something called "Flex mode." The phone's display will automatically split into dual screens, giving you the ability to use a different app on each half. Who knows how useful that will be, though the ability to multitask effectively was one of the best aspects of the Fold.
The cameras on the Flip are...fine. There's a regular lens and an ultra-wide lens on the back, and a front-facing selfie lens on the front. But if those are up to the standards of Samsung's previous-generation Galaxy phones, this might end up being the most fun—and maybe biggest tech flex?—we'll see all year. Of course, fun doesn't come cheap. The Samsung Z Flip will go on sale Friday, February 14th, for $1380.
Check Out the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Thom Browne Edition
Oh, but you want need more of a tech flex than the newest hyper-expensive folding phone? Samsung tag-teamed with the detail-obsessed, LeBron-endorsed designer Thom Browne on a Galaxy Z Flip that features his signature Americana striping and comes with a raft of similarly tweaked Samsung gear. That includes leather phone case, Galaxy Watch Active2, and a pair of the new Galaxy Buds+, a.k.a. Samsung's answer to Apple's AirPods. They now have two mini speakers per bud, an additional microphone for better sound, sharper audio on calls, and almost twice the out-of-case battery life (11 hours vs the older model's six hours)—you can buy 'em separately, minus the handsome Thom Browne styling, for $150 starting February 14th.
Also: New Galaxy Phones: S20, S20 Plus, and S20 Ultra
Samsung's android phones are among the most popular in the world, but reviews of its more recent iterations have criticized them for lagging behind the offerings of Google itself—particularly in the camera department. This time, Samsung's not screwing around.
The S20 phones, like the iPhone 11, will have three cameras on its back: telephone, wide, and ultra-wide. The S20 cameras use a combination of massive sensors, new chips, and software to take what the company says are better pictures than any of its previous phones. The company also says that the S20 Ultra's sensor is so brawny, you can digitally zoom a photo up to 100x. Samsung, however, does not call this creepshot mode.
Oh, you can also shoot video in 8K, which is four more Ks than any other smartphone. Few devices can even show 8K on their screens, so the real benefit here might be the added video stabilization that comes with all those newfound Ks.
Also notable: the new Galaxy S20 phones are all 5G compatible, with Samsung pushing hard on the new cellular standard that—once the networks catch up—should mean faster everything.
Price? The S20 starts at $1000 (the price of the iPhone 11 Pro), the S20 Plus starts at $1200, and the S20 Ultra starts at $1400.