FutureFive New Zealand logo
Consumer technology news from the future
Story image

Hands-on review: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip

By Nick Forrester
Tue 26 May 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

It’s sometime in the mid-to-late 2000’s, and I’m using my very first cell phone, a Motorola Razr. 

And while I’m downloading my polyphonic ringtones and dramatically slapping my phone shut every chance I get, the smartphone revolution is beginning to take off – and unbeknownst to me, my Razr’s days are numbered, along with every other flip phone’s.

Now it's 2020, and here I am reviewing a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip. What’s that thing they say about history?

We are amidst the flip phone renaissance, and although it didn’t begin with the Z Flip, Samsung’s newest offering makes a serious claim that it is at the top of the pile (so far).

But is it worth all of NZ$2,400?
 

The Good

I had the Z Flip for a week, and I confess when I first got my hands on it, it was exciting. The phone looked sleek when it was folded, and once opened it turned into a long, vivid screen. I marvelled a bit at the ‘folding glass’ technology – the crease in the middle, in my experience, is only visible if you really look for it.

When I went out for my government-mandated lockdown-walk, its size while folded really did present a stark difference to my iPhone X – while thicker, the surface area was much smaller, and it had no trouble fitting into whatever pocket I presented it with.

The gigantic screen looked great when playing videos, providing much more of a genuine video experience than my shorter iPhone. The accessibility features were also much more intuitive and user-friendly than iPhone - every accessibility issue I had with such a large screen had a solution.

The specs were solid, with a Snapdragon 855+ processor, 8GB of RAM, 256 GB of storage, decent battery life and super-fast charging all included in the base model.

It also comes with a free plastic case, which is a first in all my years of purchasing smartphones.

I really like the Flip, and the fun I had playing around with it after 10+ years of using iPhone had me seriously considering abandoning Apple and migrating to my very first Android. But.
 

The Bad

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip does indeed have flaws, the most glaring of which, for me, is the dysfunctionality of the phone’s very selling point: its flip function.

Firstly, it's hard to actually flip open – I always needed two hands, which, in a lot of everyday circumstances, is actually quite annoying. This meant that most of the time I left the phone unfolded with the screen asleep when I wasn’t using it.

Another selling point for Samsung is the phone’s ability for users to view and interact with two apps simultaneously, one on each half of the screen, with the famous crease dissecting the two. However, I never used this feature except to fulfil my obligation for this review and found it awkward to hold and use the phone while it was half flipped.

Another gripe I had was with the tiny cover screen, visible when the phone is folded, which shows the time, as well as a small music menu when swiped left, and a small list of apps from which you have received notifications.

I had immense trouble swiping on this screen, however, simply because of its small size. Notifications were relegated to logos of the apps they came from, which showed only a small amount of text if you tapped on them.

As someone who receives dozens of news alert notifications a day, I was simply unable to view notifications as I needed to when the phone was folded – another reason for me to leave the phone unfolded when idle.

The camera, at 12 megapixels, was good, but nothing to write home about, and I had enough trouble with the facial recognition not recognizing my face that I quickly put that to rest – the fingerprint sensor on the sleep button, however, worked well.

Verdict

There are many things to love about the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip - its sleek design, portability, decent specs and top-notch accessibility features are winners. 

But $2,400 is a lot of money, and the foldable screen - the primary selling point - missed the mark by being too hard to open on-the-go, and there is serious room for improvement in the cover screen.

We may be amidst the flip phone renaissance, but I'm still waiting for the pièce de résistance.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Gaming
Hands-on review: 16GB PNY XLR8 Gaming EPIC-X 3600MHz DDR4
PNY sent over its 16GB XLR8 Gaming EPIC-X 3600MHz CL16 DDR4 module kit for testing. The kit contains two 8GB dual-channel modules with RGB lighting.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Unknown connections: How safe is public WiFi in Aotearoa?
If it's not your own household WiFi, then who has control of your data and is your connection actually safe?
Story image
Christchurch
Enable launches free Wi-Fi in Christchurch city centre
Fibre broadband provider, Enable, and the Christchurch City Council have launched their new Christchurch Free Wi-Fi service in the central city. 
Story image
Cybersecurity
The link between cybersecurity, extremist threat and misinformation online in Aotearoa
Long story short, it's often the case that misinformation, threat and extremism link closely to cybersecurity issues and cyber harm.
Story image
Skills shortage
Tech salaries increase as skills shortage inflates expectations
More technology professionals will receive a pay rise this coming financial year than last, with skills shortages creating a once-in-a-career market.
Story image
Film review
Film review: Jurassic World Dominion
This movie is what happens when you cross a lot of hungry dinos with humanity trying desperately to redeem itself for a mistake, and boy does it try.
Story image
Cloud
Apple improves Mac operating system with latest offering
Apple has unveiled the latest version of its desktop operating system, macOS Ventura, providing users with tools for greater productivity.
Story image
Commerce Commission
ComCom puts electronics sector on notice over resale price maintenance
The Commerce Commission has concluded an investigation into allegations that television manufacturers were engaging in illegal resale price maintenance.
Story image
Cloud
Chorus and Nokia launches first trial of 25G PON broadband
Chorus and Nokia have announced the successful demonstration of 25 gigabit per second fibre (Gbps) broadband technology at the Chorus Fibre Lab in Auckland. 
Story image
Apple
Apple’s watchOS 9 and its new features, including a medications app
The new watch0S 9 gives users more watch faces, an updated workout and sleep app and a brand new medications app.
Story image
Cloud
Linktree Marketplace creates new commerce options for creators
Linktree has launched Linktree Marketplace, a new forum for users to discover all of Linktree's partners, Link Apps, and integrations in one place.
Story image
Gaming
Game preview: The Quarry (PC)
On playing a bit of The Quarry, I began to understand why the game has got its own release rather than just being part of The Dark Pictures Anthology.
Story image
Gaming
Intel Arc A380 graphics units launched in China, global release imminent
New Intel Arc A380 graphics units are set to bring next-generation technologies to gamers and content creators in the coming months. 
Story image
N4L
N4L, Spark, Chorus partner for Hyperfibre school upgrade
Networks for Learning (N4L) has partnered with Spark and Chorus to upgrade Wellington College to Hyperfibre, fostering stronger outcomes for students and teachers.
Story image
Wireless
ComCom finds NZ broadband compares well with Australia
A new report published by the Commerce Commission has found New Zealand's Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) compares well to Australia's National Broadband Network.
Story image
Cloud
Hisense launches in New Zealand with new product range
Consumer electronics and home entertainment brand Hisense has launched in New Zealand, bringing its range of TVs, refrigeration, and laundry products to Kiwi customers.
Story image
Robotic Process Automation / RPA
Automated Guided Vehicles at seaports to grow 26% by 2027
ABI Research says the global use of Automated Guided Vehicles in seaports will exceed 150,000 deployments by 2027. Port authorities are also looking into 5G private networks.
Story image
Terramaster
TerraMaster launches its T6-423 Professional NAS with TOS 5 OS
Shenzhen-based data storage manufacturer, TerraMaster, has launched the T6-423 6-bay tower NAS.
Story image
Dark web
Cybercrime in Aotearoa: How does New Zealand law define it?
‘Cybercrime’ is a term we hear all the time, but what exactly is it, and how does New Zealand define it in legal terms?
Story image
Remote Working
Hands-on review: EcoFlow River Pro Portable Power station
We get hands-on with an extremely versatile device that every remote worker or outdoor enthusiast should consider.
Story image
Cloud
Microsoft NZ and TupuToa to boost diversity in cybersecurity sector
Microsoft NZ has teamed up with TupuToa to co-develop a cyber security employment programme specifically aimed at creating more diversity in Aotearoa's cybersecurity sector.
Story image
Cloud
Adobe Substance 3D updates, looks to the metaverse
A look at all of Adobe's major updates for Substance 3D and how its services are enabling businesses to get metaverse ready.
Story image
Entelar
How TruSens air purifiers can create healthier workspaces
The pandemic has heightened our awareness of our own and others’ health, and made us all much more conscious of the environments we work in.
Story image
InternetNZ
Govt must step up to police social media - InternetNZ boss
A technology industry leader is urging the government not to shy away from policing social media platforms in New Zealand.
Story image
Review
Hands-on review: Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit A60
Philips’ range of Hue smart lighting promises to make any home a smart home. Techday’s Darren Price checks out the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit A60.
Story image
Wireless
WolfVision releases new Cynap Pure Mini screen sharing solution
WolfVision has launched the WolfVision Cynap Pure Mini, a new wireless screen sharing solution that looks to enable easier and more effective presentations.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Why is NZ lagging behind the world in cybersecurity?
A recent report by TUANZ has revealed that we are ranked 56th in the world when it comes to cybersecurity - a look into why we're so behind and what needs to be done.
Story image
Electricity
Canstar finds Flick Electric NZ’s favourite provider
Canstar’s annual research to find New Zealand’s favourite electricity provider reveals Flick Electric has come out on top.
Story image
Cloud
Google announces new version of Chromecast with remote features
Google has announced its newest version of Chromecast, featuring a variety of new features and a new look.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Adobe launches AI-powered updates to Photoshop and Lightroom
Adobe says the updates use Adobe Sensei AI and machine learning to simplify complex workflows and streamline cross-device collaboration.
Story image
Wireless
Hands-on review: JBL Quantum 610 Wireless
The new Quantum 610 gaming headset is the latest addition to JBL’s Quantum range and the successor to its popular Quantum 600 model.
Story image
Cloud
Sony expands X-Series portable speaker range with three new models
The company says the SRS-XG300, SRS-XE300 and SRS-XE200 all contain high-quality and powerful sound pressure due to X-Balanced Speaker Units.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Publicis Sapient and The Man Cave drive digital transformation for mental health
Publicis Sapient and The Man Cave are joining forces to help support the mental health and wellbeing of young men around the world.
Story image
Cloud
Apple reveals new iOS 16 features set to enhance sharing and communication
Apple has unveiled an all-new Lock Screen experience and new ways to share and communicate in iOS 16.
Story image
Review
Hands-on review: Morphée
Life in the twenty-first century has become a 24-hour affair. Morphée promises to help restore some balance to your life.
Story image
Privacy Commissioner
Aotearoa gets a new Privacy Commissioner: Michael Webster replaces John Edwards
Michael Webster, who is currently the Secretary of the Cabinet, will step into the Privacy Commissioner role on 5 July 2022.
Story image
Broadband
Mercury launches broadband and fibre packages for NZ customers
Mercury has officially launched Mercury Broadband, giving its electricity and gas customers the ability to add fibre to their existing Mercury account.
Story image
Web Development
Whitecliffe fosters careers for the future of tech
Do you want a career in Information Technology, Networking, Web Development, Software Development, or are you looking to upskill?
Story image
Gaming
AMD introduces FSR 2.0 giving gaming GPUs a boost
Not only have AMD proudly announced their new line-up of Radeon RX 6000-series graphics cards, but the company has also unveiled the first games to support its FSR 2.0 technology.
Story image
Cloud
Microsoft and Manaaki Whenua to map NZ's forest cover change
Microsoft and Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, are teaming up to develop improved detection of land use and forest cover change in New Zealand.
Story image
Design
Hands-on review: Samsung S22 Ultra
I have been impressed by the functions Samsung packed into this phone. I did actually make one phone call on this phone, in between trying out as many of its other uses that I could pack in.
Story image
Gaming
Game review: The Quarry (PC)
Supermassive Games channel 1980s teen horror movies with their latest suspense-filled cinematic adventure, The Quarry.
Story image
Cloud
Apple announces new developer tools and APIs for better app experiences
The new announcement encompasses new tools, technologies and APIs that the company says are designed to help developers create better and more involved experiences for their users.
Story image
Cloud
Microsoft launches the Surface Laptop Go 2 with new features
Microsoft has introduced the new Surface Laptop Go 2, adding to the company’s growing portfolio of Surface Laptop devices.