We looked into Samsung's latest smart flip phone—do you need it?
Flip phones are back... sort of!
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When I was in middle school, circa ‘06-’08, flip phones were it. Whether you had the Motorola pink Razr, the LG orange enV, or any version of the T-Mobile Sidekick, there was nothing more satisfying than sliding, clicking, or slapping them closed. They were a status symbol of sorts, and everyone either had one or wanted one (I wanted one, but never succeeded in actually convincing my parents).
If you’re like me and never got the chance to have a flip phone of your own, now you can. This year, Samsung released its Galaxy Z Flip 5G, a smart flip phone reminiscent of the early 2000s doubled with amazing, modern functionality and technology. Read on to find out its features, how it works, and whether it’s worth the splurge.
What is the Galaxy Z Flip 5G?
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G combines folding glass display technology with many of the cool, advanced features you’re used to getting from Samsung. Those include a crystal-clear, 6.5-inch AMOLED screen and a 12MP camera. Its folding screen also enhances the photo experience, allowing for hands-free selfies and offering 4K UHD video capture. Charging is easy, too, since the Galaxy Z Flip wirelessly charges via a compatible Qi charging pad. Plus, in this latest flip phone model, you get 5G network technology that delivers usage speeds up to 100x current 4G speeds (depending on your network, of course).
When the phone is free-standing (or, opened into an L-shape), the display splits down the middle into two screens which allows you to see content on the top half and easily control or navigate from the bottom for improved multi-tasking.
How does a smart flip phone work?
In order to adapt to the times, smart flip phones had to upgrade their tech to accommodate modern expectations. That includes using ultra-thin glass that is flexible enough to fold and can withstand that oh-so-satisfying click-shut over and over. Speaking of opening and closing, it’s rated for more than 200,000 folds, which roughly translates to an average of 100 openings a day for a bit over 5 years.
In addition to special glass, the Galaxy Z Flip still relies on a hinge, which creates a fold in the middle of the screen that’s mostly visible when the screen is black or not in use (but will virtually disappear when illuminated).
Who else sells flip phones?
A few other companies currently offer rival smart flip phones. You’ve got the Motorola Razr, which was the comeback of all comebacks until its disappointing reviews came to light. There’s also the LG WING whose dual-display screens flip open into a T-shape and allow you to use two apps simultaneously. However, given that LG announced it is leaving the phone business, you'll want to think twice before looking into that product. The HUAWEI Mate Xs is a flip phone that opens into a whopping 8-inch screen, and the Galaxy Fold2 is another Samsung flip phone that flips opens vertically like a book as opposed to horizontally like the Galaxy Z Flip.
Are flip phones coming back?
Maybe—the jury’s still out. We can definitely say that smart flip phones like the Galaxy Z Flip have their pros; namely that they’re compact, which is a huge plus in today’s market when smartphones are getting bigger and bigger but our pockets are not. Whether or not big phone companies have mistaken nostalgia for consumer demand is unclear at present. What's more, considering a few design kinks to work out like screen breakage, if you're not one for early adoption you may well be might be better off waiting until the tech is a bit more fine-tuned. Folding screen technology is cutting-edge in its own right, however, and is definitely something to keep an eye on in the years to come.
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