- Samsung's new Galaxy Z Flip feels way nicer than the Galaxy Fold.
- It has a sturdier-feeling hinge and a glass screen that feels more solid.
- It's expensive at $1,380, but I really like how it folds up into a little square.
Samsung announced the Galaxy Z Flip on Tuesday. It's Samsung's second phone with a bendy display, following the $2,000 Galaxy Fold. I didn't expect much from it, since I wasn't really impressed by the Fold when it launched last year. It was expensive and the bending display felt cheap to me.
The Galaxy Z Flip is way different, at least based on the half-hour I spent with it after Samsung's keynote. Keep in mind this was a first look, and the first iteration of the Galaxy Fold broke after just a few days, so we won't know how long this will last until we can test it for a longer period of time.
That said, the new glass coating on top of the screen feels way more sturdy. It doesn't feel soft and like it might be damaged by a fingernail (that was actually a concern with the Galaxy Fold).
The design also makes a lot more sense. It's a regular-sized phone that just folds in half into a more pocketable little square you stuff in your pocket. Then you just pull it out, open it, and you've got a big phone screen for movies or games or whatever.
The Fold, conversely, was a weird fat phone that opened into a square-shaped tablet with an oddly-shaped screen I never really liked.
The hinge on the Flip feels really sturdy, too. It stays exactly where you leave it, which means you can prop the phone up on a desk for a video chat and it won't slam closed. It also feels more protected from dust getting inside, though long-term use will prove whether or not that's really the case.
The Flip is a lot more affordable, too. I know that $1,380 is still expensive, but it's down from the $2,000 price of the Fold. That price is right in-line with the new Galaxy S20 Ultra, though it lacks the fancy cameras and 5G support of that phone.
Normal folks probably won't shell out $1,400 for a phone just because it folds. But early adopters will, and I think this one will be really popular among folks who want the fanciest flip phone on the block.
It launches on Feb. 14 and will be offered by AT&T and Sprint, and sold through Best Buy and directly from Samsung.