What just happened? Samsung at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco on Tuesday held its latest Unpacked mobile event. The company wasted no time in jumping right into the announcements, starting with the new Galaxy Z Flip.
Samsung’s latest foldable affords quite a different experience than the first-gen Galaxy Fold, folding in half like a traditional clamshell rather than vertically. It features a 6.7-inch FHD+ (2,636 x 1,080 resolution) Dynamic AMOLED Infinity Flex Display (425 PPI) powered by a 7nm octa-core processor alongside 8GB of RAM and 256GB of local storage.
Around back, you’ll find a dual-camera array consisting of a 12-megapixel wide-angle shooter with f/1.8 aperture and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera with f/2.2 aperture and a 123-degree field of view.
Other noteworthy specs include a 1.1-inch Super AMOLED Cover Display with a resolution of 300 x 112 pixels (303 PPI) for notifications, alarms and checking the time and a 3,300mAh battery with fast charging capability and wireless PowerShare technology. It runs Android 10 out of the box.
But the bigger story here, of course, is the foldable tech. The first batch of devices out of the gate didn’t do much to help the trend’s cause but the Galaxy Z Flip might be different.
Samsung said this new device features the “first-of-its-kind” proprietary bendable Ultra Thin Glass (UTG). If the handset really does utilize bendable glass and this isn’t just some misleading marketing term for a product that is actually plastic, Samsung may have a real breakthrough on its hands.
Samsung’s press release isn’t entirely clear here and the company didn’t spend much time on this feature on-stage so we will have to wait for the first hands-on impressions to hit the web before we can definitively rule on this either way.
The new Galaxy Z Flip also packs a Hideaway Hinge that utilizes nylon fiber-crafted sweeper technology to repel dirt and dust. Samsung said the phone can fold over 200,000 times. Considering the average American checks their phone around 80 times a day, that works out to 2,500 days, or nearly seven years, of use.
The other big thing that stands out to me is the fact that Samsung’s latest foldable finally has a purpose, other than just folding because the technology allows for it.
Like a laptop, the Galaxy Z Flip can stay open at multiple angles. This unlocks all sorts of new and innovative use cases. For example, you can stand it up and use it to capture hands-free selfies and long-exposure shots without a tripod or sit back and watch YouTube videos without having to hold the phone.
This split-screen experience appears to largely be powered by a new software trick called Flex mode. We’ve seen Samsung do gimmicky software tricks before, only to abandon them the following year when something else comes along. Hopefully that won’t be the case here as this looks incredibly promising.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip launches on February 14 starting at $1,380 in your choice of purple, black and (in select countries) gold – all with a mirror finish.