Samsung Galaxy Z Flip

This will be an ongoing review over the coming months about things we noticed. We started to use the Flip as our “daily driver” on February 22.

Our observations so far:

Most wireless chargers will not work with the Flip because the Flip has the charging coil in the lower half of the phone. Some desktop chargers will work, but every car charger we tried could not charge the Flip except for one type that uses a strong enough clamp to position the Flip upwards. However such a strong clamp can damage the cover, and the phone is no longer balanced. You will need to find a way to modify these chargers to put the flip higher up.

The crease will not bother you at all. After about 5 minutes of using the Flip, you forget it is there. Yes, you can see it and feel it if you want. But you will forget about it once you really use the phone instead of playing with it.

Build quality is top-notch. It feels premium and feels heavier than expected. In fact, it feels a bit too heavy when browsing on it for longer times, and it is also more top-heavy than most other phones.

The phone is a dirt magnet. As soon as you touch it, it will look dirty and it is difficult to clean. Be very careful when you clean the screen. Pay attention when cleaning the top of the display where the selfie-camera is because if you scratch the display there, the camera becomes unusable.

We recommend buying the leather cover. It should have been included at such a high price, we think. The cover will take care of the fingerprint problem on the outside and you will feel safer when handling the Flip and when you put it in your pocket. The included plastic cover scratches far too easily and is a fingerprint magnet also.

The Z Flip in the leather cover

The display feels like glass. Once you start using it, it feels just like a regular S10. Some reviewers report that the display picks up more fingerprints than other smartphone displays. We also had that the first day because we used it with the same pressure as we use on other displays. We now use a very light touch, and the display stays very clean. Almost no need to clean it.

You do not need to open and close the Flip all of the time. Just leave it open and use it as a normal phone when using it at home or in the office. Close it when you need to put it in your pocket.

Putting the Flip phone in the pocket of tight jeans does not have an advantage compared to a normal phone. Yes, it is smaller, but also twice as thick. In loose pants, jackets, and handbags there is an advantage, however.

Notifications on the small outer display often fail to react to touch, and when they do, they disappear too quickly. The small display looks awesome but is often useless. A bigger display would also be useless, however. If you need to interact with a notification you would mostly open the phone anyway. So we understand this decision from Samsung to use a small display for this first model of the Flip.

The location of the fingerprint sensor needs getting used to. There are buttons and bumps all over the right side of the phone and we keep having trouble finding the sensor quickly. Many times we are pressing the protection of the hinge instead by accident.

Call quality, speakerphone and wifi, and Bluetooth connections are all perfect. Camera quality is on par with other Samsung flagship phones from 2019. Speaker is fine for calls, but just average for music and videos.

When using the Flip to stream music to our car while navigating using Waze and charging it wirelessly, it becomes warmer than most of our other phones, but never too hot to worry. The volume changes for the music when the navigation speaks are not very elegant compared to our other phones.

Outdoor visibility of the display is excellent. Not much difference compared to other Samsung phones. The display is set a bit too warm for our liking, and there is no white-balance slider to correct this.

Battery life seems to be OK. We are getting 5 hours of screen-on-time doing light stuff like email, browsing,… No gaming.

Are we using Flex-mode? Yes! Love it! We often put the phone in flex-mode on a table, or on top of the bar when out for a drink, to browse the web or YouTube. No need to hold the phone anymore. We also use flex-mode to take pictures. Perfect to take panorama pictures for example. And it is great for selfies. The main camera only reacts to the gesture of holding the palm of your hand if you also switch on the small display on the outside of the phone.

No scratches on the display… yet!

No problem with slipperiness. We do not use vibration however and always pay attention to where we put it down.

So far, so good. We love this phone! The only real gripe we have is the fingerprint sensor, but that is nitpicking.

Update after one month

Everything still fine. Still no scratches on the display! The crease has become a little bit more visible.

We activated face unlock and use smart lock as much as possible because the fingerprint reader is not reliable enough for us.

The display is too yellow for our liking. The problem here is that Samsung only allows you to change the white balance when the display mode is set to “Vivid”. So we have to choose between over-saturated colors on a more white display or natural-looking colors on a yellow display. We hope Samsung will fix this in the future. Although many reviewers claim that Samsung phones have the best displays, we completely disagree with that. We much prefer the displays from Huawei and Sony. Samsung displays never look quite right to us, and it is the main reason why we normally never buy Samsung phones again. We hope Sony will one day release a Flip!

We keep having a problem with very low volume of the voice from the Google Assistant while using the Bose Frames with this phone. Sometimes we can fix this by changing the system volume on the phone. But other times this volume is already set to maximum and the voice is still too quiet to understand. We never had this problem using the Bose Frames with other phones.

Do will still like the fact that this phone folds?

You bet! We would not want to go back to a normal phone. It’s just so very handy. One of the benefits of a folding phone is that you can hold it more easily and use it single-handed more easily when you fold it just a bit. This way, it becomes a bit smaller, but you still have the same screen size. And it falls naturally in the palm of your hand.

Something we miss?

Yes, we would love to activate Google Assistent by holding the side button. Would be awesome to use Google Assistent with the Flip closed.
Samsung only gives you the option to use Bixby, unfortunately. Activation by saying “OK Google” almost never works.

Update May 2020

Using the Flip for more than 3 months now. I can not imagine switching back to a normal phone. Folding phones are the future. I still think that this format is the best one. I don’t want a folding tablet in my pocket. I want a small device that folds open to become a normal device. It’s just so handy when taking this phone with you, together with a small wallet. We use it a lot folded at 90 degrees to take pictures and read blogs, watch youtube, etc.

Carrying the Flip with a small wallet is very easy

Still no sign of any damage to the screen. It looks like brand new, and we even took the phone to the beach a couple of times. The crease is very pronounced now, but nothing to worry about. This is a bit annoying when viewing dark content, but most of the time you won’t even notice it.

We are still looking forward to a foldable Xperia from Sony, however. Samsung is about our least favorite smartphone brand.

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