Galaxy Z Flip Unveiled

Galaxy Z Flip unveiled: Release date, price, specs and news.                        SAN FRANCISCO — Samsung is taking another stab at foldable phones. And while the Galaxy Z Flip unveiled at the Galaxy Unpacked event today (Feb. 11) will still cost you a pretty penny, it’s cheaper than any other foldable phone currently available.

The Galaxy Z Flip will cost $1,380 when it goes on sale this Friday (Feb. 14). That’s a $600 drop from the starting price for the Galaxy Fold, Samsung’s first foldable handset introduced last year.

The Z Flip’s design will look familiar if you saw the Oscars ad teasing Samsung’s next foldable phone — or you’ve kept an eye on the Motorola Razr that arrived in stores last week. Like that phone, the Z Flip takes a classic flip phone design, with phone opening up to reveal a 6.7-inch OLED screen. When folded, the Galaxy Z Flip fits in the palm of your hand.

That interior display features ultra-thin glass that’s able to fold. According to Rebecca Hirst, Samsung’s head of UK mobile product marketing, the Z Flip can unfold 200,000 times without an issue.

“It’s a statement smartphone,” Hirst said. “It’s for trendsetters and trailblazers.”

In addition to the interior screen, there’s a small display on the outside to notify you of incoming calls, texts and alarms. It also shows the time when not in use.

The phone features two cameras on its exterior case — a 12-MP (f/1.8) wide lens and a 12-MP (f/2.2) wide angle lens with a 123-degree field of view. Open the Z Flip and you’ll have a front 10-MP camera for selfies, though you can also take self portraits with the phone closed, using the notification screen as a viewfinder.

Given the problems Samsung had launching the Galaxy Fold last year — a problem with the foldable display pushed the launch back several months — Samsung spent a great deal of time talking up the hinge on the Galaxy Z Flip. Hirst says the hideaway hinge on the Z Flip is designed to prevent dust and particles from finding their way into the gap that exists to accommodate foldable displays. There’s a layer of fiber around the hinge specifically designed to keep those particles out and prevent the problems that felled the initial version of the Galaxy Fold.

The hinge has some practical uses, too. It allows the Z Flip to open at different angles — much like a laptop, Hirst said. There’s a specific Flex Mode that divides the Z Flip’s 6.7-inch screen in two, with the top part of the phone serving as a viewing area and the bottom of the phone dedicated to actions. Samsung says several different apps are being optimized to take advantage of Flex Mode.

In an on-stage demo, Hirst used Flex Mode to take a selfie using the punch-hole camera on the Z Flip’s interior display. The top half of the screen served as a viewfinder, while the camera controls took up the bottom half of the screen.

In another example, you can watch a YouTube video on the top part of the Galaxy Z Flip’s display, using the bottom portion to add comments (if you’re the type of person who leaves comments on YouTube videos, that is). And you’ll be watching a lot of YouTube, as Samsung is including access to YouTube Premium to Galazy Z Flip shoppers.

Samsung says the processor powering the Galaxy Z Flip is a 7-nanometer, 64-bit octacore processor. Those specs match those of the Snapdragon 855 Plus, which would give the Z Flip an edge over the Razr, which uses a lower-powered Snapdragon 710.

The Galaxy Z Flip ships with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of onboard storage. A 3,300 mAh battery keeps the device powered up.

You’ll have a choice of three colors with the Galaxy Z Flip. The phone comes in Mirror Purple, Mirror Black and Mirror Gold. That latter color got the most oohs and aahs during Samsung’s announcement, though it will only be available in select countries.

In addition to the standard Galaxy Z Flip, Samsung is working with fashion designer Thom Browne to release a Thom Browne edition of the foldable phone that looks to be bundled with wireless Galaxy Buds and a Samsung smartwatch. More details about the Galaxy Z Flip Thom Browne edition will be announced at a New York Fashion Week event tomorrow (Feb. 12).

Samsung’s Unpacked event is currently ongoing. We plan to get some hands-on time with the Galaxy Z Flip later today.

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