Samsung releases foldable Galaxy Z Flip smartphone

Samsung has brought the early noughties flip phone into the 21st century with its Galaxy Z Flip smartphone, which has a 6.7-inch flexible glass display that folds down to fit in the palm of your hand.

The Galaxy Z Flip is Samsung's latest foldable phone following the Galaxy Fold device, which was unveiled in February 2019. It is also the first device in Samsung's Z series.

The screen is comprised of one expansive surface with a bendable centre, while the phone's base structure is made up of two main sections joined together by a thin central component known as the "hideaway hinge".

When open, the phone has a full screen size of approximately 6.7 by 2.9 inches.

The hinge enables the Galaxy Z Flip to be folded down with a "satisfying snap" into the size of a wallet – approximately 3.4 by 2.9 inches – so that it can easily fit into the user's pocket or bag.

"At Samsung, we were encouraged by the excitement for the Galaxy Fold," said Tae Moon Roh, president and head of mobile communications business at Samsung Electronics.

"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," he continued.

"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," Roh added.

The hideaway hinge is supported by a dual CAM mechanism – a rotating or sliding component in a mechanical linkage that enables motion.

This hinge system also employs Samsung's new sweeper technology, which uses nylon fibres crafted by micro-height-cutting technology to repel dirt and dust.

The Galaxy Z Flip can stay open at multiple angles when unfolded, like a laptop screen, to offer "opportunities for selfies that show more of the world around you", as well as more "expressive" video chats.

The user can also capture one-handed, high-quality selfies using the rear camera without having to unfold the smartphone.

Samsung worked with Google to design the Flex mode user experience, which automatically splits the display into two four-inch screens when the device is free-standing.

This allows the user to view content, images or videos on the top half of the display, and control them on the bottom half.

Videos, for example, can be watched on top while simultaneously searching for other videos, reading descriptions or writing comments on the bottom.

Users can also check the time or their notifications whether the smartphone is closed – by looking at the cover display – standing upright or open, and can answer calls without unfolding the device.

The Galaxy Z Flip has a dual battery system that can be quickly charged wired or wirelessly. A Wireless PowerShare feature also allows users to wirelessly charge their Galaxy Buds, Galaxy Watch or even a friend's device.

The smartphone comes with features such as Samsung Health, which tracks and monitors health and wellness, Samsung Pay, which enables secure payment options, and Samsung Knox, which offers quarterly security updates.

Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip will be available in two colours, Mirror Purple and Mirror Black, from select stores in the US and South Korea from 14 February 2020.

This will soon be followed by the release of a Mirror Gold edition of the phone in selected countries.

The release of Samsung's Galaxy Fold device in February 2019 sparked a trend in foldable device technology, as Huawei soon followed suit with its Mate X folding smartphone, alongside Energizer, Microsoft and Motorola, to name a few.

Roberto Escobar, brother of the infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar, also launched a gold folding phone in December 2019, which can be opened out and used like a tablet.