Samsung Galaxy Z Flip: A Smartphone That’s Also a Tablet

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip: A Smartphone That’s Also a Tablet

What is the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
Let me be clear: The Z Flip is a crazy device. It is essentially a tablet, or a phone, or both at the same time. You can flip the device 180 degrees and use it as a phone—the rear-facing 8-megapixel camera and 5-megapixel front-facing camera can be used to make calls. I recommend it highly. If you bought the phone for its features, the Galaxy Z Flip is not for you. It doesn’t have any of the fastest Qualcomm chips. It doesn’t have the most RAM. It doesn’t have a beautiful display or great battery life. It doesn’t have a superb camera or 4G or even a full Wi-Fi connection. If you bought this phone for its specs, you are seriously disappointed. All the features of the Z Flip are almost completely hidden from view when it’s unfolded.

Design and Build
The Z Flip has two screens. On the bottom half, it has a normal, 5-inch AMOLED display, and on the top half is a 5-inch 1080p touch-sensitive LCD screen. The main difference is that you can tap anywhere on the bottom screen and it works like a traditional Android tablet, with a touch screen, app drawer, the home screen, etc. Flipping the phone to the top half is simple. With the sides of the phone facing each other, the flip of the phone rests against the top surface and turns the phone to the tablet state. That’s simple enough, but it’s still going to be awkward for anyone used to the Galaxy S III. I had trouble reaching the upper screen because of the phone’s depth. The bottom screen is a touch-sensitive panel, as you might expect, and it works well.

Display Quality
Display quality is obviously the Z Flip’s headline feature. It’s a 5-inch, 720p screen, which is not as sharp as you might expect given the phone’s main selling point—it folds in half—but its performance is actually pretty impressive. Its color reproduction was accurate, with little of the sort of fringing and mottling that I normally associate with LCD screens. It does struggle with reflections, which becomes a problem if you’re trying to watch a movie in bright sunlight. This is a problem I’ve experienced with LCDs in the past, and as I frequently do, I found myself turning down the brightness and anti-glare mode on my phone so that its screen looked clearer.

Software and Camera
I’m not a fan of Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface. It feels both bloated and not particularly well designed. The main issue is that it’s quite hard to reach some features, such as the Settings app and things like the camera. The only other option is to launch the launcher to change the settings. That’s a hassle. The flip doesn’t have a full Web browser, but you can make it into a mini-QWERTY keyboard by holding your finger down on the keyboard until you see a picture of a kitten. As for the camera, you have to launch a separate app, which is way too much to get out of the way on the main screen. You also can’t set the camera to do things like scan QR codes.

My Thoughts On The Z Flip
Obviously, it’s not a phone that you will use all the time (unless it gets hacked). It was launched today, but I had to wait until yesterday to have enough of an extended amount of time to use it to form a complete opinion. What I have found is that, though you have the option of taking the device to get calls and emails when on standby, and you can switch the actual call interface to the physical keyboard, most of the time I’ve used it I’ve switched the keyboard back to a normal (physical) keyboard. It is awkward, especially when you first get the device, but once you adjust, you get used to the keyboard on the screen, and it’s not bad at all. On the left side of the phone is a physical “joystick” that can be used to control the media.

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