Thursday , February 25 2021

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip review — I think I hate flip phones – Ars Technica, Ars Technica

    

      A flip phone that doesn’t flip –

             

Samsung makes big technical improvements in an anachronistic form factor.

      

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                          The Galaxy Z Flip.                                                         

                                                  Ron Amadeo                                   

                                   

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                          It’s very bendy.                                                         

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                          Here it is, all flattened out.                                                         

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                          The display might be glass, but there is still a crease. in the center.                                                         

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                          Check out this outrageous color-changing paint job                                                         

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                          The front display is very tiny. Too tiny to do much on.                                                         

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                          The back in “L” mode.                                                         

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                          The Z Flip versus the OnePlus 7 Pro. When folded up, you get a phone that’s half the height of a normal phone.                                                         

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                          But, it’s twice the thickness.                                                         

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                          When open, the Z Flip is just a normal smartphone.                                                         

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                          Yep, nothing special here.                                                         

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                          Like on the Galaxy Fold, the plastic bezel around the display is actually raised, so your finger can bump into it.                                                         

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                          There are little bumpers in the corner.                                                         

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                          Here we see the same T-shaped hinge caps as on the Galaxy Fold.                                                         

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                          This is the first hole-punch foldable smartphone, which is way better than the Fold’s gigantic notch.                                                         

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                          Say hello to a screen-to-body ratio of 3. 96 percent. The front is almost all bezel.                                                         

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                          An incoming notification. You get characters at once.                                                         

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    After the very public failure of the Samsung Galaxy Fold , Samsung is back, in what seems like record time, with another foldable smartphone. This one is the Galaxy Z Flip, a smartphone that, instead of opening up into a tablet, is a normal-sized smartphone that folds in half, making it a little more portable than normal.

    The Fold had a very rocky life, and while it only launched about five months ago, that was after

  • a six-month delay. So really, with the Z Flip being nearly a year removed from the original Fold launch date , you could say this is Samsung’s second-generation foldable smartphone. And you know what? It really feels like it. Samsung has made some big technology improvements with the Z Flip, with a flexible glass display cover and some work toward dust ingress. The Z Flip shows the foldables category isn’t forever doomed to failures, delays, and recalls. This is an actual, viable product that the industry is slowly working towards improving. this not to say the Z Flip is a (good) foldable yet, but it’s better than the complete failure that was the Galaxy Fold. Samsung continues to make some old mistakes, and some new mistakes, but the end result is that the technology is still very expensive and unproven. The new flip phone form factor is a cheaper way to get this foldable display technology out to consumers, but it doesn’t offer much of a sales pitch as to why you’d want to spend a premium for this device. The Z Flip quickly gives you a lot to think about — most prominently Samsung’s foldable display technology improvements and this weird new form factor straight out of . The main display — better than plastic, not as good as Gorilla Glass

    The Galaxy Z Flip is the first phone to use Samsung’s “Ultra-Thin Glass.” While it doesn’t live up to the hype Samsung initially built for the feature, it is a lot better than what’s on the Galaxy Fold. The Galaxy Fold, Moto Razr, and Huawei Mate X all use completely plastic touchscreens over top of their flexible displays, which is a solution with several negatives:

    Plastic is easily scratched, which makes designs like the Mate X (with its wraparound exterior screen) really impractical. Plastic does not protect against pressure and punctures from debris on the inside or outside of the phone, making the phone more delicate. Flexible thin plastic displays will squish and distort under your finger, which feels cheap and delicate. Remember resistive touchscreens? Flexible plastic displays feel like that. The display moves under your finger. Plastic isn’t as slippery as glass, and along with the squishiness of plastic, plastic adds resistance to your finger as you swipe around on your phone. It doesn’t feel great.

    With hinges and moving parts, the surface under the display might have some gaps in it, especially at the bendy parts. A hard glass panel would support itself over a gap, but flexible plastic will sink into the gap, making a valley or divot. If you’re swiping around a high speed, you might hit what is basically a pothole in the display surface. This is the dreaded “crease” that shows up in foldable displays. Plastic does not transfer light as well as bonded glass, so the display does look as bright and vibrant.

    The Z Flip and its ultra-thin glass fixes some of these problems, but not all of them. First, as was widely publicized, The Z Flip is not (any more scratch-resistant or puncture-proof than plastic. We don’t know what the scratch resistance of Samsung’s ultra-thin glass is really like, because the Z Flip’s display has an unremovable layer of plastic on top of the glass. Plastic is, well, plastic, and you can scratch it easily or dent it with just a fingernail. A report from The Verge tracks down a good reason for this plastic cover, though: if you did scratch the underlying ultra-thin glass, the scratch would have a good chance of propagating and shattering the display when you fold the phone. All of this bending is stretching the surface of the glass, and a scratch could be a fatal weak point. Enlarge

    The crease, with dramatic lighting. You can sort of make out how the Z Flip is bent backwards a bit too much. Ron Amadeo while the screen is definitely not as hard as glass, it’s also not as soft as the display of the Galaxy Fold. The underlying hard layer of glass gives you a more rigid surface to swipe around on, and it feels a lot better than the completely squishy Fold display. It still isn’t as nice as bare glass, though, since the top plastic layer is a lot grippier than glass. For a comparison to other devices, the Fold feels like a pliable resistive touchscreen, while the Z Flip feels like a glass phone with a cheap plastic screen protector on top. Overall, it’s an improvement: not as good as bare glass, but again it’s better than the completely soft Fold display.

    OUTSIDE SCREEN (×) (1.1-inch OLED) INSIDE SCREEN (X) 6.7-inch flexible OLED ( ppi , 9: 9 aspect ratio OS (Android) with Samsung’s OneUI skin CPU (eight-core Qualcomm Snapdragon)

    Four Cortex A

    (STORAGE) (GB) NETWORKING (b / g / n / ac, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, NFC) PORTS (USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C) CAMERA Front: 19 MP Selfie

    Inside: (MP Selfie, 8MP RGB Depth,)

    Rear: (MP Main,) (MP Wide-angle SIZE Open: 3 x 112 .6 x 7.2 mm

    Closed: 4 x 6 x 3 mm

    WEIGHT (g) BATTERY (mAh) STARTING PRICE

    OTHER PERKS side fingerprint sensor
    The Z Flip display cover isn’t rigid enough to support itself over gaps , so the display surface isn’t flat. The hinge creates a pretty deep horizontal valley across the middle of the phone, and you’ll crash into it every time you are swiping around the phone’s mid-section. There’s an interesting difference here between the Fold and the Flip: the Fold’s hinge and valley ran vertically up the center of the device, so I feel like you did not hit it much. The Z Flip’s hinge and associated valley run horizontally across the middle of the phone, so every time you swipe vertically (like say, for scrolling), you hit the speed bump. This happens constantly since we are always vertically scrolling through content on our phones.

    This is Samsung’s first flexible display phone with a hole punch camera lens, and another oddity is that there’s a divot all around the front camera lens. You’ll hit this sometimes when you pull down the notification shade. But even this is still a huge improvement over the giant, raised notch on the Galaxy Fold. The Fold notch covered the status bar on the right side of the display, which meant the notification panel was only accessible from the left side of the phone — a real bummer for the estimated percent of people that are right-handed.

    Lastly, the glass seems to really help when it comes to the look of the display. The Fold display looked kinda foggy, dull, and washed out thanks, in part, to the flexible plastic refracting some of the light from the panel. The Z Flip display is a lot brighter and more vibrant than the Fold. We can’t be sure how close in performance the Z Flip and Galaxy Fold display panels are, but I’m going to attribute some of this glass having better optics than plastic. When it comes to the brightness and colors of the display, you could easily mistake the Z Flip for a normal, rigid smartphone. (That’s a compliment.)

    Next, I’m going to complain about the bezels. Normally, this part is just my usual complaining about bezels and how they, you know, exist, but these bezels are (raised , which causes all the same problems I complained about on the Galaxy Fold. Android uses a lot of edge gestures that ask you to swipe in from the sides of the display, and these are bad when you have raised bezels.

  • The crease, with dramatic lighting. You can sort of make out how the Z Flip is bent backwards a bit too much. (Enlarge / There is a divot around the camera lens. Ron Amadeo
    The notification panel is a swipe down. from the top bezel of the display. The Z Flip is the first foldable to run Android , which means you could enable Android 17 ‘s excellent gesture navigation system, allowing you to swipe up from the bottom bezel for the home screen, swipe up and hold for recent apps, and swipe in from the left or right bezel to go back. Even if you don’t turn on gesture nav, Samsung’s software has a ton of edge swipes, too. There’s an always-on app drawer on the side of the device, so you can swipe in from the right bezel to open your favorite apps. Or on the home screen, Samsung lets you quickly access Samsung Pay by swiping up from the bottom bezel.

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