Samsung Galaxy Z Flip - First Impressions

We've had the Z Flip at the office for a day and even though it's certainly not a phone for everyone, it's a solid piece of hardware.

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Before we get into it, we'll note that these are our very first impressions of Samsung's new Z Flip phone and we will follow this preview up with a more comprehensive review later. Feel free to ask us questions regarding our experiences and about the phone in general and we'll try to address these in our review and in the videos that are on the way.

We were pretty excited about the Samsung Galaxy Fold last year and unlike some critics, we felt that even if one was to buy the phone and stand on the edge of technical development and thereby act as a tester for potential technical grandeur, the Fold was still a fantastic phone - functional, versatile and efficient.

Apparently, it's also been a success story for Samsung. So much so, that the tech giant is now taking it one step further and that step is spelt 'Galaxy Z Flip'. The name may not pack a punch, but the phone seems to be a big leap forward in normalising and thereby further quality-assuring foldable screens, and whereas the Fold was used to introduce us to a whole new product category, the Galaxy Z Flip reintroduces us to a product category we thought was lost - namely the category of foldable phones.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip - First Impressions

As the Galaxy Z Flip is foldable, the outside of the phone has a tiny display while the primary experience is obtained by either flipping the phone open or by using two hands, just like in the good old days. The satisfaction with this setup is instant and just like all tech channels on YouTube have already established, there's probably no functional benefit in ending calls by closing the phone up, but the feeling of doing so is simply amazing.

The Galaxy Z Flip is made for those who think phones have become a bit too big. Screen sizes are getting larger with each smartphone release and the time in which a foldable phone would fit in a chest pocket seems to be a thing of the long past. Samsung wants to bring that era back. Whereas the Fold exists to give the user more space, the Z Flip is making that format smaller.

Thus, the Z Flip actually makes perfect sense, especially along with the Fold, but is it worth its steep price? The actual implementation of the foldable screen is heaps better than before. While we must say that when the 'fold' itself sits horizontally on the display, it's more clear. Samsung has obviously worked hard on making a satisfactory and user-friendly foldable device. Furthermore, the Z Flip doesn't have a 'notch' and instead offers a 'hole-punch camera' in the middle, making the experience as undisturbed as possible. In addition, Samsung has redesigned the entire hinge system so it's not only stiffer, but it also feels more robust and a number of dust-absorbing brushes (which Samsung borrowed from Dyson) keep dirt from moving into the system.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip - First Impressions

As a whole, it seems as though the Flip solves many of the issues that the Fold suffered from. There's wireless charging, the display uses ultra-thin glass (which has a plastic layer on top) and feels nicer to use, and it uses Snapdragon 855+.

However, there are some obvious sacrifices that have been made. There's no IP water rejection certification, the small display in the front can only be used to note the time, and you only get two camera lenses on the back (both of which use S10 series technology, just like the Fold's lenses).

On the other hand, however, the Z Flip has some functions that the Fold doesn't have. The hinge is so rigid that the Flip can sit on a hard surface, such as a desk, and Samsung's One UI is even set up to adjust its display ratio to this 'cracked' setup. This means that it's easier to use Google Duo for video calls and take pictures as you won't need to keep the device in your hand to do so.

Just like with the Fold, all of the aspects that make a Samsung phone just that are present. There's a reliable fingerprint reader integrated, fine software, a great camera, and a battery that lasts through a full day of active use.

With the price a cool £1,299.99, being interested in foldable screen tech is still the primary reason why one would get a Z Flip. Samsung continues to design foldable phones for the consumer who loves their cutting-edge gadgets, but our immediate conclusion, having used the device for a limited time, is that it's recommendable on the same basis as the Fold; it's a nice phone, and if the functionality it offers is interesting to you, expect a great user experience.

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