Tech giant Samsung Electronics has unveiled the foldable Galaxy Z Flip smartphone, the first in the company’s new Z line.
Foldable smartphones are poised to be the next big innovation in the smartphone industry. Last year Samsung made waves with its Samsung Galaxy Fold offering, though it has been plagued with issues regarding wear and tear. Apple has also been sitting on a patent for a foldable screen since 2017, though as is usually the case with patents from major companies, it’s no guarantee the tech behind it will ever see a consumer release.
The Galaxy Z Flip features a foldable 6.7-inch Infinity Flex Display made of a proprietary bendable Ultra Thin Glass (UTG), which is configured in a 21:9:9 ratio and folds down to roughly the size of a wallet.
“At Samsung, we were encouraged by the excitement for the Galaxy Fold. Galaxy Z Flip is an important next step as we look to build the foldable category by bringing to consumers a new form factor, new display and most importantly, a new kind of mobile experience,” said Dr. TM Roh, President and Head of Mobile Communications Business for Samsung Electronics. “With Galaxy Z Flip’s unique foldable design and user experience, we’re redefining what a mobile device can be, and what it enables consumers to do,” he added.
The Galaxy Z Flip uses what Samsung calls a “Hideaway Hinge”, that can stay open at a variety of angles, similar to a laptop screen. The hinge also incorporates a series of nylon fibers that are meant to act as a ‘sweeper’ to clear away dust and dirt.
The Z Flip also comes with a “Flex mode”, which — when the phone is free-standing — allows for the display to split into two 4-inch screens in the top and bottom half, with the lower screen able to control the content on the upper one.
In terms of security, the Galaxy Z Flip features biometric access via a fingerprint scanner on the side of the device, and facial recognition via the camera, however this works only when the phone is in the ‘open’ position. The fingerprint scanner is capacitive, unlike the ultrasonic one found on Samsung’s other recently announced Galaxy S20.
The Galaxy Z Flip will be released in limited quantities in select markets including the U.S. and Korea on February 14.