I spent 24 hours using the Galaxy Z Flip and this is my opinion

Luis Miguel Paredes / Digital Trends

Talking about a phone that was barely tested for 24 hours is an almost impossible task, especially when it is a folding cell phone. However, I will do my best. I had already had a first preview of the Samsung Glaxy Z Flip last February, when the South Korean company decided to show it in Mexico at the same time as its international presentation, and the first impression it left me is that it was a “delicate” unit. .

It is, so much so that in the initial configuration process, the firm provides some warnings to users, such as not pressing hard on the screen, making sure that, when it is folded, there are no objects inside that could damage the display and do not expose it to water and dust.

If he display it feels – and is – the flimsiest element of the Galaxy Z Flip, despite the fact that it integrates the first “peggable glass” of its kind, and not a sheet of plastic like the Galaxy Fold. It quickly resents any accidental scratches or scratches, so you do need to exercise caution almost at all times.

Unlike those phones clamshell of yesteryear, the Samsung one is not so easy to deploy: it is necessary to use both hands and apply more force than the first required. Once it is “unfolded”, it does manage to attract attention across its screen (21.9: 9). Not for nothing, it’s 6.7 inches.

User holding the Galaxy Z Flip
Luis Miguel Paredes / Digital Trends

If it weren’t a flexible cell phone, maybe the one complaint I’d have is that it’s very thin, so much so that at times I did some juggling to keep it from escaping my hands. And it should have a smaller thickness compared to other smartphones, since when bent in half, it gains volume.

The fact that it folds until its upper part meets the lower part causes it to have a square format, as if you had a small pocket grocery box. It’s easy to save in this mode, but I didn’t find it to be a nice touch layout in this mode either. Maybe it takes some getting used to, as it happens to me with other new phones.

Regarding the display of content, in open mode there are no complaints, since it shows well-defined and contrasted colors, especially when playing series and videos from platforms such as Netflix and YouTube. The same when viewing Instagram photos and browsing the different applications. Come on, answer as you would expect from a phone in your class.

When in compact mode, you can have a look at the different notifications, control the music and answer calls through its external screen, which also allows you to take selfies without having to open the unit: the camera is activated by quickly pressing the off button a couple of times. Here it is important to mention that the image that shows this tiny display does not cover the entire area that is achieved in the selfie final.

Outside of this, the secondary screen does not allow further actions, it is more informative than anything else. Perhaps an extra larger panel will be integrated in future editions, one that allows you to directly answer messages and notifications without the need to open the phone and without sacrificing the format clamshell.

User holding the Galaxy Z Flip
Luis Miguel Paredes / Digital Trends

What sometimes happened to me, especially when I was working at my desk, was that I preferred to keep the Galaxy Z Flip open to respond quickly to incoming messages.

Customizable layout

The hinge is the other point where the company has made considerable progress, as the folding and unfolding process – even if it has to be done with two hands – does not feel “harmful” to the phone in any way. In addition, this element allows you to put the cell phone at 90 degrees to, for example, use two applications at the same time or record a video by placing it on a flat surface. Everything will depend on the cunning of the users to take advantage of the rotation that the Galaxy Z Flip has.

In the middle of the main screen, you can see the “fingerprint” of the hinge, mainly when the smartphone is turned off; fortunately when watching videos it is not so much appreciated, only minimally at certain angles. Nothing serious.

Nor do you feel that a lump will develop in the display for being folding and unfolding the cell phone, as it happened to the first version of the Galaxy Fold, however, we must save the comment for later, since it is not yet known well how the Galaxy Z Flip will “evolve” in the hands of the users (it is speculated that this problem will arise, at least, a year of use).

Better a Galaxy S?

The Galaxy Z Flip has been defined as a kind of next-gen Galaxy S with the ability to fold. And it is true, he could enter this family without any problem. Having also had the Galaxy S20 Ultra for a few days, I can say that the experience provided by the flexible cell phone when open is similar; there is difference, but not substantial.

User holding the Galaxy Z Flip
Luis Miguel Paredes / Digital Trends

In terms of specifications, it is striking that the Galaxy Z Flip has a battery of only 3,300 mAh, that is, it needs to be charged every 24 hours or even earlier, for those tireless users: those who watch Netflix videos, play games and take pictures. and videos at all times.

The phone does not feel like a poor performance at all. In the 24 hours that I had it in my hands, there were no performance problems, so those who decide to buy it should not have complaints, at least in the first months.

The million dollar question: between a next-generation Galaxy S and the Galaxy Z Flip, which one to buy? If you can ignore the trend of folding cell phones, in which a second generation can already be detected, the answer is to choose one of the first.

In my experience, a full-body, non-foldable cell phone feels much safer in my hands. Furthermore, the latter are not significantly changing or improving the user experience with respect to their counterpart; in general terms, the experience –beyond folding / unfolding– remains the same.

I think if I had the opportunity to use the Galaxy Z Flip for months, I would not change my opinion much either. Here I do not want to detract from the engineering work of the manufacturers, quite the opposite: the work they are doing with folding mobiles is admired.

What I mean is that, for now, flexible phones are more for “enthusiasts” who can afford them, not for those looking for a new mobile experience.

Surely in a couple of years the story will be different. Or not.

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