Hey, this is the Samsung Galaxy z flip.
I really like it.
It's fun, but you probably shouldn't buy one.
I've been using it for three months and here's everything you need to know.
If you had told me last year, everything that would happen in 2020 I would be pretty skeptical, especially the part where Samsung made a really amazing Clamshell style flip phone with a foldable screen when the galaxy z flip was first announced.
I mean, I don't know, I didn't know what to expect.
I thought the Motorola razor phone looked a lot more compelling.
Yeah, it's more expensive and didn't have all the specs, but the design there was just something more personal about it, perhaps not in the execution.
Fast forward today, and well, I just can't stop while doing this.
I love doing this, even three months later, and this if I'm on a call.
And also this to open it.
There's nothing like it.
And by the way, this phone Gets a lot of attention.
During the day, the galaxy's deep lips sits in this position next to my computer.
It's kind of like it's a little laptop.
Over the past three months.
I think probably the biggest surprises was the fact of how much I use this for vertical video, and video chats more on both of these later but this isn't the perfect phone.
It's not the most powerful doesn't have the best specs, the better life is okay.
The cameras are good but not the best.
And this phone is ridiculously expensive.
But I am absolutely addicted to it.
And here let me get into the specifics of what it's been like using the Galaxy Z Flip.
For the past three months,
First, I love and hate this display.
When it's clean, it looks amazing and kind of unreal.
Because apps and the internet are just right there at the tips of my fingers.
Now this is hard to show on camera but you just have to experience it.
The screen is vibrant videos look outstanding, even though it has a 21.9 by nine aspect ratio.
It's really wide.
And so if you're watching YouTube videos, most of them are gonna have black bars on either side.
However, widescreen movies, absolute treat to watch on this display.
But once in a while the plastic polymer coating starts to get in the way.
And this goes from feeling like a cool high tech phone to more of like a movie prop.
And it's really apparent when there's fingerprints on the screen which Happens a lot.
Then there's the crease, the crease.
Yeah, it's there.
And it bugs me about as much as a, display notch doesn't old phones, or, current Apple, and Google phones, meaning, I don't really notice that much anymore.
Here's a better way of putting it.
I just don't care.
Yeah, there's a crease.
In fact, because it has a horizontal crease versus a vertical one, like the galaxy fold, you see it a lot less.
But Do you feel it, especially an app where you're scrolling like Instagram or Twitter or whatever your favorite endless scrolling app is you're gonna notice this crease.
And does it bother me?
I mean I've kinda gone used to it and I don't really baby this phone.
I tap on it.
I push on it, swipe on it just as hard as I would a regular phone.
But that [UNKNOWN] is kinda like this settle background music that is just a little reminder That This phone has this weird vulnerability.
Then there's the outside display which looks cool and minimalist with its pill shape, but it's kind of useless.
I mean, yeah, it's nice to see the time.
It's nice to see how much battery life I have left and Yeah, it's nice to like skip tracks on Spotify, but for reading notifications is pretty much useless because the screen turns off too fast.
And yeah, it's really kinda cool to see that little selfie camera pop up because you're actually not using the selfie camera using the rear cameras which are better quality, but the framing you see in that little display is not, Indicative of what you're going to get in the final photo.
Hey, part of me likes that the little display can't do much.
And I'm reminded of that fact every time I see the message, open phone for details, because I'm like, yeah, no duh.
Because the little screens not going to tell you these details.
But if it lets us a Samson want to continue on with this little display, if they just left it on longer so you can actually read your notifications that would be a step in the right direction or they could go the route Motorola did and just make it a little bit bigger and give it a little bit more functionality.
So let's get to the name of this phone.
The Flip **** Back that's really what defines the phone.
You could flip it from a phone about the size of the Galaxy S 20 Ultra at least the height of it, and fold it down to something that fits into almost any pocket.
Now obviously women's pants pockets your mileage may vary.
But I found it extremely portable and I always grab this phone when I'm going someplace which these days isn't my company honest.
But let's talk about using the flip.
When I first got it, I was kind of enjoying the fact that had to be a little more selective about what I was doing like Yeah, it's not that hard to flip the phone open, but it definitely just, do I want to go in and scroll mindlessly on Instagram?
I don't know, maybe not.
So there's a little more purpose for me, that's the word, things I was doing.
However, over time that purposefulness became tedious, especially when it comes to messaging.
Cuz, I would close the phone and then get a reply, and then open the phone and then unlock it, and then have to type in the reply and then close the phone, and do the whole process over.
And it started driving me a little nuts and that's where I wished that little front screen, I just wish it had the ability to reply to messages even if it was voice to text or just a voice recording, that would be Amazing.
So because of that, when I wasn't using the phone, as opposed to leaving it in the close position, I often left it and I call it laptop mode, but Samsung calls it flex mode.
And that brings me to a discovery or something that I didn't think that I would be using on this phone much if at all and that is the video.
Because when you have a phone that can stand on its own like this, and I can move the cameras any which way all of a sudden, it's kinda like having a built in tripod.
And I don't know of any other phone right now that can do that.
So especially if you're into filming vertical video, this thing is amazing.
In fact sometimes when I'm filming a video on a regular camera I'll put it into flex mode and, sorry Samsung gaff tape it to the top of the other camera so I'm filming vertical video with this.
So with flex mode, Samsung has a couple apps to actually take advantage of the screen at that 90 degree position.
But there's not many.
And the ones that do, I don't think they could be better.
For example, in the gallery app, when you're in that flex mode position, the photos in the top half and you can use the bottom to see like the dates and stuff or information and swipe back and forth.
However, as soon as you go into edit mode, the photo goes right to the another screen.
It's so weird.
Why does it do that?
Why does it stay at the top and then you'd have the bottom for all the settings and adjustments you want to do to the photo.
Like that seems like a big miss.
Also, there's not a lot of apps that take advantage of that mode.
Now, because the galaxy flip runs Android 10.
You could actually split screen apps.
So for example, I would often use the Zoom app on the top half for zoom call and then have my emails on the bottom.
So People referring to something I could look at that pretty quickly.
But again, there's not a lot of instances where that's going to work.
And I just feel like Samsung could really push this flex mode more, both with the camera stuff that I mentioned earlier, but also with the software because It feels like this is a unique feature you don't see in other films, at least not yet until more of these foldable phones come out.
So flex mode isn't a gimmick.
And not really I think there's some true opportunities there but I just don't think it's fully fleshed out yet.
However, the one thing I really do like about flex mode.
Is this, is on a phone call being able to hold the phone at an angle.
It's so delightful and you can make fun of me all you want.
It's almost as fun as ending the phone call by closing the phone.
All right, but let's get to the big cloud that hangs over these mobile phones.
And that is durability.
And when this phone launched, there was a lot of questions about its durability, because it was the first foldable phone to use foldable glass.
Now it turns out that glass is ridiculously thin, and it's covered in a plastic polymer, but it's glass nonetheless.
So how has this phone handled the past three months?
Well, when I look at my screen I mean, I don't see a single scratch, or nick in it, aside from the crease that's still there, but yeah, I don't see anything.
And when I look on the outside of the phone, there's like one little tiny scuff, it's barely visible.
And that's because the phone has this horrible habit of sliding off things and drop it into the ground by itself that I have never, Drop this phone.
This phone dropped itself, I will leave it on a table or a counter and walk away and next thing I know, on the ground.
So I don't like that feature of this.
But, with all those drops, it's still going.
With the glass and the polymer, no scratches.
So the other concern at launch was the gap when the phone is closed.
There is a visible gap and the idea maybe was that, things could get in the gap.
That they could scratch the screen or ruin the hand kinda like what happened with the Galaxy Fold when it first launched.
To my delight, nothing like that has happened.
However, is often when I open the phone I see it covered and just dust and hair.
So between wiping the dust and hair off of it from that little air gap and the smudges on it, the screen is constantly being cleaned.
So after three months, the screens held up really great.
The hinges fine.
The outside is pretty good to slip things annoying, but the most important thing is I'm able to use this expensive foldable phone, like a phone.
I'm not babying it I'm throwing it in my pockets and putting it in my bag.
Leaving it out.
It's exposed to dust and air and all the other stuff that your phones are regularly dealing with.
And yet it still works, just like a phone.
Hey, in terms of performance, this is essentially a Galaxy S 10.
Or maybe more accurately a Galaxy S 10 e because it has the fingerprint reader on the side.
And I know some people wanted this to be a specs like crazy machine and it's just not that but if you're willing to pay 1380 for this, you could get That specs machine for $20 more in the form of the Galaxy S 20.
Now, in day to day use, it was fine.
apps open fine animations never stuttered.
Gaming was fine editing photos fine.
Yeah, I can't I can't slight anything that is typed performance.
It does make me wonder how long the software on this will be supported by Samsung, you think you're paying $1,380 for a phone that is as important as the flex enfolding of that screen, but that's just me.
The other thing is the battery the batteries, okay?
Sometimes they got a full day charge out of it, but often I'm finding myself recharging this phone around Lead afternoon or dinner time, so there's that.
I guess there's a compromise if you wanna have a small, thin, folding thing to fit in your pocket probably has to have thin batteries too.
In terms of cameras, it's essentially the same camera system on this phone that's found on the Galaxy S10.
And they're good.
It's a good camera system.
It's not the best one you're gonna get.
It's a solid B, maybe compared to the A plus of a pixel four or iPhone 11 Pro.
But well I've not been disappointed by the photos I've taken or the videos I've captured.
in fact I love that it has the ultra wide angle camera on here.
I love using that feature.
And it even has night mode on a foldable phone.
That's pretty cool.
So to wrap up, after three months is the Samsung Galaxy Z flip worth $1,380?
Yes, I think it really is.
And that's because it's a phone that can do this.
Should you pay $1,380 for this phone?
For most people, I would say no.
But for those of you out there who want to flirt with the wild west of mobile phone technology and design, yeah, you're gonna have a lot of fun with this.
Do you want to learn more about my three months with the Samsung Galaxy z flip?
Check out my article on cnet.com but I want to hear from you.
Do you have a z flip?
Or do you like it?
Do you love it?
Do you hate it?
Throw your thoughts in the comments.