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Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip phone needs to do way better than past foldables – The Verge, The Verge

Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip phone needs to do way better than past foldables – The Verge, The Verge
  

Later today, Samsung will officially announce a new folding phone, the Galaxy Z Flip. We know this because many, many details have leaked about it. Also because Samsung itself decided to just show off the whole damn phone and several details about its workings during the Academy Awards. It just up and aired a Galaxy Z Flip commercial before it even announced the phone

Samsung always goes hard at the Oscars, so it’s no surprise that it aired an ad this year. I was not expecting such a full reveal of its folding flip phone, though!

Expecting anyone to be surprised at a phone event is no longer a viable strategy, given how everything leaks. So Samsung just took a page out of Google’s 189009 playbook and started revealing details itself. But, as with Google’s coy photos leading up to the Pixel 4 unveil, Samsung’s decision to air an ad showing (though not naming) the Z Flip raises the stakes on a situation where the stakes were already pretty high.

This isn’t the first time Samsung has released a folding phone, you know? I mean I know, because I reviewed the Galaxy Fold not once, but twice . That’s because the first phone broke within a day of unboxing it – and not because I did anything wrong to it. Samsung cancelled the original launch, reworked the device, and released it later.

That sort of thing can’t happen again to Samsung – or rather, it had better be damn sure it won’t. The stakes for Samsung are so obvious I hardly need to lay them out. It survived the reputational hit from the exploding Note 7 in

. It survived the less-dramatic but nevertheless very embarrassing Fold debacle . If it has a third high profile phone fiasco in five years, people might start noticing.

The Z Flip also might be one of the last chances folding phones are going to have to really prove they could be a mainstream product sometime soon and not just weird curios for the rich and tech-obsessed. That’s what the Galaxy Fold is and it’s obvious obvious that’s what the Motorola Razr will be too.

Spoiler alert: I’m using a Razr and I can tell you that the state of folding phones right now is bumpy – literally, the

screen is bumpy and Motorola says that this is normal

. It also says the creaking noise the hinge makes is also normal. Here’s a statement on that from a Motorola spokesperson:

when folding and unfolding razr , you may hear a sound, which is intrinsic to the mechanical movement of the phone. razr has undergone rigorous durability testing, and the reported sounds in no way affect the quality of the product.

For the record, I think Motorola and I have different views on what should be included when considering the quality of the product.

Anyway, every folding phone I’ve used to date has shared the following qualities:

A sky high price.

  • Hinge design that could be problematic if you ever get any dirt in it, or grit, or whatever .
  • A very fragile screen.
  • Software that doesn’t quite work as well as it ought.
  • Intriguing design that suggests you could have a different, healthier relationship with your phone
  • To be fair, there’s really only two in the US to even serve as examples of the above. The Z Flip is the third, and it needs to be the charm or else consumers will rightfully write off the whole category for awhile.

    I don’t think that the Z Flip is going to have an answer for every single one of those bullet points. In fact I know it won’t. The price is rumored to be around $ 5000. The tease that Samsung dropped at the oscars showed a hinge design that looks similar to the Galaxy Fold’s hinge – including a gap when it’s closed.

                                

    . They should have gone with pink! ┏ The Moto G Stylus and G Power make Motorola’s best budget phones even better . This isn’t a razr story, but instead a story of two other phones Motorola launched last week. Chaim Gartenberg and Becca Farsace trekked to Chicago for the launch and though we only have a day’s worth of knowledge, they both look good. Motorola has been almost exclusively making lower-end phones for awhile now and has gotten really skilled at it. It’s kind of a bummer that these two were overshadowed by the razr ridicule. Coronavirus .

    (iPhone maker Foxconn tells Shenzhen staff not to return to work ()

    (┏) Handshake bans to stop the coronavirus might be overkill in most places

    (┏) Ericsson pulls out of Mobile World Congress over coronavirus concerns

    (┏) (Sony and Amazon pull out of Mobile World Congress due to coronavirus risk (Phone news) (┏) (ZTE beats Samsung to announcing the first Snapdragon) (phone

    . Looks pretty good, but call me when it ships.

    ()) Microsoft’s Surface Duo appears in the wild in new video . I have to say, my main takeaway from this is that the design of it is going to feel less impressive in late than other phones. Sure, it will be elegant in some ways, but the bezels on it seem out of touch with what has been happening on mobile for some time now. (┏) Leaked images appear to show the LG V 1200 ThinQ’s four cameras and a big battery . LG apparently Last Guys to make a flagship phone with a headphone jack. LG has decided not to go to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona later this month, which is probably going to hurt this phone’s chances – and given the way LG’s mobile division has been performing lately, it can’t really afford that. (┏) Xiaomi shows off Mi phone design, confirms February th launch date () More from The Verge

    (┏) Quibi continues attempt to explain what it does with series of Oscars ads

    . Julia Alexander pointed this out to me and now I can’t stop thinking about it: all these ads are actually about impending doom. The pitch, so far as I can tell, is that the cold embrace of death is coming for us all and quite soon, but you can pass the time with some short videos before oblivion envelops you – subscribe to Quibi.

    (┏) () Taika Waititi slams Apple’s MacBook keyboards after winning first Oscar

    . I don’t know how many years it’s going to take Apple to recover its reputation for making quality laptops, but it’s going to take awhile. (Also, we must protect Waititi at all costs.)

    (┏) (Microsoft’s new Edge browser is now available for the Surface Pro X)

    . (Disclosure: after telling everybody) (it’s not a great idea to spend a lot of money on a Surface Pro X) just to use it as a Chromebook I have purchased a Surface Pro X and am just using it as a Chromebook. I stand by my advice but still just letting you know.

    Equifax was hacked by Chinese military officers, federal prosecutors say ()

    It’s the second time the DOJ has indicted members of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in an economic espionage case. In , the Obama administration announced charges of economic espionage, trade secret theft , identity theft, conspiracy to commit computer fraud, and other related crimes against five PLA officers. (China denied involvement.)

    () (┏) Designing a more friendly Fortnite with food, puns, and no in-app purchases

    . My goal in life is now to make a “pun so powerful it derailed everything.”

    … two days before CEO Simon Davis was set to fly to California to iron out the details [with Apple], someone on the team came up with a pun so powerful it derailed everything. That pun was “butter royale,” and it got the studio thinking about ways to make the ever-popular battle royale genre more approachable

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