Continuous review of the Galaxy Z Flip: from how it bends to how it compares to its rivals

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Andrew Hoyle / CNET

The folding style of the Galaxy Z Flip It makes a lot of sense to me.

I picked up the phone from the Samsung store in Edinburgh, Scotland, this morning: CNET will soon receive more Z Flip models worldwide. We will update this article with our findings in the coming days, so keep it checked and come back later for more information.

I have spent about six hours with the phone so far, not enough for a complete review, but enough to have some strong first impressions of this new folding phone. In short, I am impressed so far.


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Z Flip vs. Fold

I have used the Galaxy Fold daily since its launch in the United Kingdom in September of last year, and its folding design has not really worked for me. It is the wrong form in any format; Too large when deployed, too small when closed. I am not a big fan. The Z Flip is a very different beast. When it is deployed, it has almost the same shape as any other large smartphone, with a 6.7-inch high screen. It is easy to hold, convenient to write and all your applications will look the same as any other Android phone.

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Andrew Hoyle / CNET

And then, when you're done doing what you're doing, it folds perfectly in half and turns into this cute little square, sitting comfortably in the palm of your hand or sliding almost unnoticed in the pocket of a jacket. I like. I love the vibrant bright purple color in which I bought it; It is much more interesting to see than the black version, which in comparison seems intensely boring.

read more: The folding glass screen of the Galaxy Z Flip is already more impressive than the Razr

Why fold at all?

The only question I have asked myself in my tests so far is: "Why bother bending?" The main point of the original Galaxy Fold, and in fact, the excitement of folding phones in general, was that it gave you two devices in one; a pocket smartphone that you can use as a daily device Y A larger tablet-style screen to enjoy movies or whatever you want. At least that was the theory.

The Z Flip is not that. It does not offer multiple ways to use it. It is just a normal phone that folds in half (although with a small external screen to check incoming calls). Don't get me wrong, I like it, but I can't help feeling that folding here is more a trick "because we can", than offering a revolutionary benefit, beyond being a little easier to fit in a pocket.

This is a line of thinking that I am particularly interested in following in the coming weeks to see if I can firmly establish myself on one side or the other.

Closing

The folding mechanism of the Z Flip feels much more refined than that of the Galaxy Fold. The fold just wants to be open or closed: leave it half open and shake awkwardly. Close it more and it will close like one of those horrible glasses cases. It is uneven and feels a bit unpleasant.

However, push the Z Flip closed, and the movement is smooth and steady: there is no closing at any time. As a result, this feels like a second generation device, one that has had months of refinement to do better than its predecessor. You may not think it is particularly important, but when you open and close your phone dozens, maybe hundreds of times a day, it really is. I immediately realized how much better he felt.

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Andrew Hoyle / CNET

The disadvantage is that opening it with one hand can be a bit more difficult. Walking through Edinburgh, I found that the best way to open it flat is to start with my fingers and then press it against my body to help the rest of the way. It is not always elegant. My colleague Katie Collins said she wished she had a button that opened it automatically. I agree.

read more: Galaxy Z Flip is a beautiful phone, until you touch it

Fold

The large fold of the fold was always a point of friction, and yes, it is still present here. But it's smaller and the screen itself is so bright and vibrant that I haven't really noticed it until now. If you get the light in the right way, yes, you can see the reflections undulating on the surface, but I discovered that you really have to look for the reflections; They really don't get in the way of whatever you are doing.

This story will be updated with more findings in the coming days.

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