Samsung Galaxy Z Flip foldable smartphone

There is a new folding phone on the horizon! Learn more about the design and specifications of the next big thing from Samsung - the Galaxy Z Flip!

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip foldable smartphone

Galaxy Unpacked 2020 event in San Francisco, USA is approaching fast and we expect to see the new Galaxy S20 lineup to be unveiled by Samsung at the event. Meanwhile, as exciting as they are, the S20 devices might not be the sole star of the show. Rumors have it that a new folding phone will be unveiled by DJ Koh, President of Samsung Mobile Communication Business. For quite some time this device was referred to as Galaxy Fold 2 for a lack of an official name and late last week the name ‘Galaxy Bloom‘ popped up in the tech media.

Through careful investigation and ties in the tech industry, we found out that this was only an internal code name. The real name of the device will most likely be Samsung Galaxy Z Flip with model number SM-F700F. As the name suggests, this will be a flip phone of the clamshell type, quite a different design approach than the first foldable by Samsung – as the Galaxy Fold folds vertically. The Z Flip has a horizontal folding line and a more compact design, appealing to youngsters out there.

Considering that this model will be quite different than the existing Galaxy Fold, we can expect both devices to co-exist on the market together. The Galaxy Z Flip will likely hit stores faster than its predecessor and is expected to arrive in April or May 2020. Price is the other big difference between the two phones – while the Galaxy Fold carried a hefty price tag of more than 2000 euro, the Flip Z might come at less than half of that – just 800$, according to some sources.

This sounds a bit too low, bearing in mind the price of the similarly designed Motorola RAZR, which is selling at 1500$. It’s more likely that Samsung will try to match this price or even be on the expensive side with another premium device.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip video

The first teaser of the device was shown in the fall of 2019 published by no other than Samsung itself. It was followed by several images, circulating the web and showing the Flip in detail. We used this information to create a visualization and give our readers a chance to take a look at this new device.  All the renders in this article and the video below is made by the Italian designer Giuseppe Spinelli – aka Snoreyn.

Snoreyn recently joined the passionate team at LetsGoDigital by signing a multi-year contract. The 32-year-old graphic artist from the south of Italy will focus on visualizing future consumer products. The 3D product visualizations will add to the quality and further enrich our online content. Snoreyn is a passionate craftsman, working with extreme precision, professional equipment and Cinema 4D software to produce breathtaking images and animations.

You might already be aware of the magnificent job he did on the PlayStation 5 render and associated DualShock 5 controller at the end of last year. Don’t forget to subscribe to Snoreyn’s YouTube channel for more quality content. Within a week from now he will also publish an extensive video of the Z Flip.

A flexible screen of ultra-thin glass

Turning our attention back to Samsung Galaxy Z Flip the most interesting feature lies in the screen itself. Instead of using the same polymer as with the Fold, Samsung nearly broke the laws of physics and used something called UTG or Ultra Thin Glass. This glass is so thin – at the thickness of a human hair – that it can bend without shattering to million pieces. There’s a detailed YouTube video describing how UTG is manufactured so be sure to check it if you want to see glass tied to a knot!

Of course, having this ultra-thin glass means better scratch resistance for the device. There probably won’t be any crevice at the line of bending too – something that was very apparent in the Galaxy Fold. Durability and bending cycles will increase significantly with this new glass but there is a downside. Because UTG is still a new product, manufacturing is complex and expensive. We’ll have to wait and see how it’ll all stick together with the plans of Samsung for the Z Flip to be a more affordable foldable smartphone.

Bendable glass is not the only Ace in the metaphorical sleeve of Flips’ display. We might also get a higher refresh rate which will please all the gamers out there. With a tall and narrow screen refresh rate becomes even more important if you want consistent and smooth scrolling. The upper models of the S20 lineup will probably get a 120Hz display and although that number might turn out to be too high for the Z Flip, we can still hope to see something like at least 90Hz refresh rate on this foldable.

As for the size of the display, we think it’ll be around the 6.7-inch mark. It’s a bit larger than the Motorola RAZR’s own 6.2-inch flexible display but smaller compared to the tablet-like 7,3-inch screen of the Fold. 6.7 inches is not a rarity anymore in the mobile world with many different models sporting this size – including Samsung’s own midrange devices from the Galaxy A series – the A70, A71, A80, and the A90. The recently introduced Galaxy S10 Lite and Galaxy Note10 Lite both have a 6.7-inch AMOLED display too so choosing this size makes a lot of sense.

While Galaxy Fold was meant to give users lots of screen estate, Z Flip takes the regular size and shrinks it in half. It’s a different concept altogether which aims at people who don’t need a flexible tablet but a more compact phone that can unfold to regular size. There’s no information about the thickness and the overall size of the device folded or unfolded but we can expect progress over the Fold to be carried over to that area as well, resulting in an even more compact device.

Infinity O-Display with Punch-hole camera

Apart from the crevice and the troubles with the hinge mechanism of the Fold one frequent complaint was the big notch at the top right of the display. That space was needed for the selfie camera and all the sensors around it. Samsung has now come up with an alternative solution – the so-called Infinity O-Display. It’s a design used in the Galaxy Note 10 and expected to carry through the S20 line as well with a circular hole in the center top of the display. The selfie camera itself will most likely use the same 10-megapixel sensor seen on the front of the Galaxy Fold.

The folding mechanism of the Galaxy Z Flip also went through a transformation, utilizing an innovative Hideaway Hinge. It’s practically invisible when the phone is unfolded while in a folded state both parts make a tight contact preventing dust and dirt from entering the hinge – a problem that plagued the early versions of Galaxy Fold and resulted in the malfunction of the whole display.

Securing both parts together and preventing unintentional unfolding is another unknown – Samsung might opt for the same magnetic lock as the one used in Galaxy Fold or we might see a simple mechanical click, like a Lancome powder box – as someone jokingly suggested during CES 2020. Folding the Galaxy Fold produced a specific sound, due to the metal plates in the hinge – many people found it concerning. It it still not clear if the new Hideaway Hinge will produce the same noise if any at all. The mechanism itself is much shorter and smaller since the device folds at its width.

Dual camera and small notification screen

On the outside there is a small notification display – much smaller than the one used in Galaxy Fold. It will probably display simple data like time, date, battery level and incoming calls and messages. Samsung decided that the Z Flip will be used mostly in an unfolded state and a simple notification display will do the trick and save some battery too. Motorola opted for a larger notification screen but then again the internal display is 6.2 inches compared to the 6.7-inch screen of the Flip. In the end, it boils down to personal preference.

Next to the notification screen, we find a dual-camera system with integrated LED flash. Size and megapixels of the sensor is still an uncertainty. Some sources pointed out to 108 megapixels with 5x optical zoom, however if Samsung wants to keep the Z Flip on the cheaper side the company will have save its best shooters for the Galaxy S20 Ultra – the most premium and expensive device of the S-series. There were also rumors about 8K recording capabilities but at this point, it remains just that – a rumor.

It makes much more sense for Samsung to use the same 2x 12 megapixel camera system seen in the Galaxy Fold with a variable aperture of f/1.5-f/2.4 which made its debut way back in the S9. Making Galaxy Z Flip cost-efficient took its toll on the count of cameras though. Galaxy Fold had a total amount of six and Z Flip will sport only half of that – two main shooters on the back and one selfie camera.

Clamshell phones tend to attract the female population due to their design similarity to many beauty products ladies already carry in their bags. If Samsung wants to target that specific audience with Galaxy Z Flip careful attention must be paid to the selfie camera and the software behind it – all the beautify and bokeh effects must be present and perfect.

Powerful hardware and mobile operating system

Mentioning cost-cutting several times regarding Galaxy Z Flip we’re happy to inform, that this treatment doesn’t extend to the hardware. The Flip will use last year’s top Qualcomm chip – the Snapdragon 855 and while the new Galaxy S20 series will be equipped with the latest and greatest Snapdragon 865, opting for 855 is still much better than the midrange Snapdragon 710 found in Motorola RAZR. It will undoubtedly offer top-notch performance and ensure smooth operation worthy of a flagship device.

Storage and RAM might get a slight reduction, though – Galaxy Fold came with 12GB RAM and 512GB internal storage, which is a bit of an overkill. In the Galaxy Flip, we will probably get 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, still plenty for a decent performance. A question mark remains on the SD Card expansion slot as Galaxy Fold didn’t get one, although opting for less internal memory might be enough of a reason to include one in the Galaxy Flip.

Resistance to elements is another gray area for the Z Flip. It’s still hard to say whether this device will have full water and dust IP68 rating or something like the splash-proof body of the new RAZR. The hinge mechanism undoubtedly plays a big part in the matter as any moving part requires some space to operate properly.

Regarding software, the Samsung Z Flip will come with Android 10 out of the box with the proprietary One UI 2 interface on top. Samsung probably will optimize the interface for the form-factor and include new features like easy split-screen multitasking and answering/ending calls with opening and closing the device. Galaxy Fold can run up to three apps on its screen but then again – it’s a different tablet-like design approach.

Battery life can be problematic with these big-screen foldable devices and with the Galaxy Z Flip Samsung will try something different. The smartphone will have two batteries, just like the Fold, but each of them will serve a different master. There will be a smaller 900 mAh one, taking care of the notification screen on the front and a second main battery for the flexible screen and the internals – probably 3,300 mAh, bringing total capacity to a respectable 4,200 mAh. The clamshell device will support 15-watt fast charging, which while not revolutionary will help to quickly top up the battery if needed.

Colors and accessories

Color options for the Fold were limited to only two – Cosmos Black and Space Silver. If Samsung wants to appeal to the feminine part of the market with Galaxy Z Flip we might see at least one additional color option – something cheerful and vibrant. Galaxy Fold came with a protective Aramid Fiber cover included and given the nature of the Z Flip we should expect a matching case for the device to be included in the retail box as well.

Speaking of retail boxes, Galaxy Fold included the aforementioned case, a pair of AKG branded Galaxy Buds, OTG USB-C to USB-A adapter, charger, and cables. In addition, the device comes with 24/7 support, Samsung Care + and a free pick-up express service. If you register your device with Samsung Care + within 30 days of purchase, you get insurance against any damage that might occur during the first year – including a cracked screen or liquid damage.

It is possible to see similar packaging and services for the Galaxy Z Flip – giving additional insurance will put people at ease and take their mind of the somewhat fragile reputation of the foldable phones. All these extras might be of course optional or free, either way they will be included in the final retail price of the unit.

Galaxy Z Flip price and preorder options

Pricing will be key in the success or demise of this new foldable device. If Samsung somehow manages to get in the same ballpark as Motorola RAZR, which retails around $ 1,500 in the US and € 1600 in Europe, then Galaxy Z Flip might become the next big thing in the foldable space – given the better overall specifications. One other consideration and a possible advantage Z Flip has over RAZR is the potential to hit the stores at the right time.

Motorola was supposed to start taking preorder for the new RAZR on December 26 with the first units arriving on January 9 but the company postponed these dates due to ‘high demand’. RAZR is expected sometime in January but there’s no firm date set at this point. If Samsung manages to stick to its schedule and in fact releases the Galaxy Z Flip shortly after the official premiere, then the Korean company could get an edge over its sole clamshell competitor. In any case, you may assume that Samsung will first create a certain preorder period.

There is yet another factor uniforming the Samsung portfolio. With the launch of the S20 series the company dropped the cheaper “e” model and will instead opt for a high-end Ultra instead. The S20 Ultra will sit at the top of the S-line probably getting a higher price tag than last year’s S10+. By doing this Samsung effectively bridges the gap between the ultra-premium models and foldable devices. This will all make sense of course if the rumored retail price of Samsung Galaxy Z Flip turns out to be true – around the $ 1,500 mark. And that’s a big “If”.

Samsung will officially introduce the Galaxy S20 series and the Galaxy Z Flip on Tuesday 11 February. The Galaxy Unpacked 2020 event starts at 11:00 PST in San Francisco, which is 19:00 GMT. The event will be streamed live of course and all the new models will make appearance during the annual Mobile World Congress 2020 in Barcelona, Spain on February 24.

Note to editors: The 3D renders presented in this publication are copyright protected and designed by Giuseppe Spinelli (alias Snoreyn) and licensed to LetsGoDigital. Snoreyn is a professional Italian graphic designer who creates state-of-the-art 3D visualizations. You can use his artwork for free, as long as you include a clickable source link into your story. The video can be used for any online publication by embedding the YouTube script. It is forbidden to copy the movie on your own channel / server. Thank you very much for understanding.