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Tech & Science 6 things to know before you buy the Galaxy Z Flip

04:50  22 february  2020
04:50  22 february  2020 Source:   cnet.com

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The Z Flip is arguably the best looking folding phone so far, particularly in the flashy purple colour option. It folds into a lovely neat square and transforms The Z Flip has a small pill-shaped display on the outside of the phone. It's designed to show you incoming notifications when the phone is closed

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a cup of coffee on a table: Andrew Hoyle/CNET © Provided by CNET Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Samsung's new folding Z Flip has impressed us in our full review process. CNET editor Jessica Dolcourt even went so far as to call it "the best foldable phone I've ever used." Big words, when the competition is heating up with the likes of the Motorola Razr, Huawei Mate X and Samsung's own Galaxy Fold

a cup of coffee and a cell phone © Andrew Hoyle / CNET

But if you're sold on this new bending technology -- and you can stomach the $1,380 (£1,300) price -- here are six things you should keep in mind before splashing your cash. 

1. People will ask you about it

The Z Flip is arguably the best-looking folding phone so far, particularly in the flashy purple color option. It folds into a lovely neat square and transforms into a vibrant, full-screen phone. That sort of thing catches the eye and I've already had multiple people asking me about it when I'm out and about, and I've overheard several whispers of, "Oh, that's that new folding phone." 

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These are the 10 things you need to know before buying , including the Galaxy Z Flip specs, talk about the crease in the foldable display, comparison with the Z Flip vs Galaxy Fold, and even a look at the Are you going to pick up the Galaxy Z Flip , and if so, will you choose black, purple, or gold?

Does that matter? Well, depends on your sensibilities. On the one hand, if you're the shy, retiring type then you may find this a little embarrassing. However, you probably don't spend that sort of cash on new technology without wanting to show it off a little, so my suggestion would be to embrace it and use it as a conversation starter. See if you can impress a barman enough to get a free drink. 

2. The camera is only OK

The camera is, for me, one of the more disappointing aspects of the phone. With such a high price, I'd expect every element of the phone to be absolutely cutting-edge, with camera capabilities equalling any of today's top-end phones. That's not quite the case with the Z Flip. 

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Once you buy a Jitterbug device, you ’ve got to get it activated before you can use it. Since Jitterbug doesn’t have physical stores like the Big 4 wireless One of the nice things about both the Jitterbug Flip and the Smart2 is that they offer the convenience and ease of a cell phone without locking you

Its dual rear cameras offer a standard and a superwide view, and while both are fine for everyday snaps, they aren't up there with the best. Colors often look very oversaturated and the lack of a zoom lens means if you want to get close-up of your subject, you have to use the digital zoom -- at a huge cost to image quality. 

It lacks the dual-aperture mode of even last year's most affordable Galaxy S10E and at 12 megapixels, its superwide lens is lower-resolution than the S10e's 16 megapixels. It's not a bad camera by any means, but it's worth keeping in mind that you're not getting flagship-level photo capabilities for the flagship-level price.

a close up of a cell phone: Angela Lang/CNET © Provided by CNET Angela Lang/CNET

3. You need to be careful of dust and water

Many recent flagships -- the Galaxy S10 and S20, the iPhone 11 and various others -- have earned IP ratings that mean they're protected against dust and water. The folding mechanism of the Z Flip, however, means that no such protections are claimed here. We're back to the old days of having to obsessively protect your phone from the elements. 

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The Galaxy Z Flip has a foldable display, but isn't a Galaxy Fold successor -- and it launches this Friday. Flex mode uses the hideaway hinge to hold the display in place, halfway open, or at an angle, which should make it easier to do things like take a selfie with the phone on a flat surface, or use the

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That means you should think twice about taking that call in the rain, and it's worth making sure you don't have any general detritus in the pocket where you keep your phone. A recent test by iFixit showed that it's easy to get dust clogged up inside the Z Flip. Something to keep in mind once you've unboxed your pricey new gadget.

a hand holding a cellphone: Sarah Tew/CNET © Provided by CNET Sarah Tew/CNET

4. The outside screen is a bit annoying

The Z Flip has a small pill-shaped display on the outside of the phone. It's designed to show you incoming notifications when the phone is closed, and can even act as a small camera viewfinder for taking selfies. 

As Jessica puts it: "Unfortunately, it's too small, squat and narrow to really do anything meaningful with" and it's awkward to properly read any notifications on the tiny screen, making it much easier to just open the phone instead. As a camera viewfinder, its small size means it doesn't show the whole image you're taking, so composing a group selfie is difficult. 

5. Battery life isn't great

In our looping video battery rundown tests, the phone achieved 15 hours of run time from a full charge. That's on the lower end of what we'd expect from a phone. By comparison, the Galaxy S10 Plus achieved 21 hours in the same test, as did the Galaxy Note 10 Plus.

The unannounced Galaxy Z Flip was just revealed in Samsung’s own Oscars commercial

  The unannounced Galaxy Z Flip was just revealed in Samsung’s own Oscars commercial If you watched the Oscars last night, you might have noticed a Samsung commercial for an unexpected product, one that doesn’t officially exist. That’s the Galaxy Z clamshell foldable, of course, a phone that anyone who follows tech news closely is aware of. The handset appeared in a large number of leaks in the past few weeks, including plenty of hands-on videos. Apparently, you can stumble into Z Flip units in certain stores, if you’re lucky, several days ahead of the official launch.

With careful use you may be able to get a full day out of the phone, but if you're planning on hitting the town right after work, make sure you've given it a top-up if you want enough power to call a cab home at the end of the night. 

a hand holding a cellphone: Sarah Tew/CNET © Provided by CNET Sarah Tew/CNET

6. There's no 5G

While 5G may still be a year or more away from becoming the standard network connection for all our phones, it's becoming increasingly widespread around the world. You may not be bothered about 5G right now, but when you're spending so much money on your phone, it's likely you'll want to hold onto it for at least a couple of years. 

Will you be so ambivalent about superfast 5G at the end of 2020? As you enter 2021, will you look down at your pricey folding phone and wish that it could stream games as smoothly as your friends on their 5G connections? Maybe, maybe not. I won't say it's a deal-breaker but it's certainly worth considering, particularly as Samsung's 5G-enabled S20 Ultra is only marginally more expensive. 

Samsung says Galaxy Z Flip is already sold out online .
The new handset is the world's first foldable phone with a glass screen.Samsung introduced the Galaxy Z Flip last week and started selling it Friday for $1,380, warning that it would initially be available in limited quantities. The device, Samsung's second foldable after its Galaxy Fold, features a clamshell design and is essentially a high-tech flip phone. Samsung says it's made with a proprietary glass it calls Ultra Thin Glass on its 6.7-inch bendable screen.

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