Device reviews
    18 February 2020

    Megan Ellis

    Samsung Z Flip first impressions

    Samsung expanded its foldable smartphone lineup with the new Galaxy Z Flip. Here are our first impressions of the innovative new device…

    With the introduction of the Galaxy Z Flip, Samsung has now launched its second foldable smartphone. But what’s different this time around?

    Here are our first impressions of the device following our hands-on experience at Samsung’s launch event…

    A foldable phone for everyday consumers

    While the Galaxy Z Flip uses brand new technology, there’s something surprisingly familiar about its look and feel. This is thanks to the device folding like a compact mirror or classic flip phone rather than a book. This makes the folding action feel more ‘natural’ -- and means that when fully folded, the Z Flip is easy to carry or stow in your pocket.

    When unfolded, the device feels similar to the size of regular smartphones.

    This makes it much more appealing as a daily device for consumers instead of something would mostly only appeal to business users. It’s portable and easy to handle with one hand.


    Making the foldable display more than a gimmick

    The Z Flip is not just a smartphone that just happens to fold. Rather, the device uses its bendable display to improve the traditional smartphone experience. And no, this doesn’t just mean more display. Rather, the Galaxy Z Flip acts as its own tripod, letting you prop the device up on its lower half. If you watch a video hands-free without needing a phone holder, or if you want to take a selfie from afar -- the Z Flip can do this.

    This is because the phone’s interface changes according to the position of the hinge. Completely closed? The tiny display on the cover will show you notifications and the time. Partially folded? The screen lets you use each half of the display for different apps or control the top half’s app with touch input on the lower half.

    Fully unfolded, the Z Flip acts and feels like a regular smartphone.

    Overcoming previous foldable drawbacks

    Foldable smartphones launched in 2019 came with a few caveats which the Z Flip seems to have overcome. The technology is still very new, but has already started to mature. The Z Flip shows this. Instead of a plastic display, Samsung has managed to create foldable glass for this device. This preserves the premium feel of the device, which plastic usually detracts from.

    Meanwhile, Samsung has also improved its hinge technology to prevent debris from entering the device.

    The quirks and requirements of foldable displays also usually end up detracting from the device’s aesthetic design. But Samsung manages to avoid this with the Z Flip. The smartphone folds neatly and completely, with no noticeable gaps between the two halves when closed. The slight crease where the screen folds also seem far less visible than the one on the Galaxy Fold.

    Meanwhile, the edge-to-edge display with minimal bezels makes the Z Flip look great. The folding functionality doesn’t detract from the phone’s appearance with large bezels or a noticeable chin.

    With all these aspects considered, the Z Flip is a foldable smartphone that gives us something to be really excited about.

    Vodacom have 15 Z Flip devices which will go on sale from midnight this Friday until 3pm. There are 15 more which will be available from Vodacom World. 


    Megan Ellis