Saturday, 4 April, 2020

The disappointing Flip


Nikhil Shrestha

As you might’ve known, seen, or heard, phones are getting weird these days. Screens are getting larger through some radical measures not seen before in the smartphone industry – and no, I don’t mean an explicitly large phone. Opening up to a display with larger screen real-estate, while folding it shrinks it down to the size of a standard phone sure sounds promising but that too is met with a lot of troubles as made evident with all the releases we’ve seen so far. But there’s a new “revolutionary” phone making the headlines these days. Samsung’s latest attempt at a folding phone is another entry in the continuously growing list of disappointing innovations as it forgets the fundamentals of such a device.
Before talking about the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, I want to discuss a similar phone that came out a couple of months early – the Motorola razr. Resurrecting the classic design of the original Razer Phone, I personally, was very hyped for the device. It did come with compromised hardware underneath, thus making it a cruel rip-off considering the price. However, the clamshell design it came with was a breath of fresh air in the pool of foldable devices with some other mechanism of unfolding.
Keeping the weak spec-sheet aside, the 2.7” external display on the razr serves a great number of functionalities which eliminates the necessity of folding the phone open all the time. And I believe that’s a crucial feature for a phone of such stature. If you still gotta open the phone all the time to make any use of it, where’s the fun in that? This is one of my major problems with Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip. For a phone that boasts an uncompromised set of hardware for a smaller asking price than the razr, it, unfortunately, forgets what a folding phone is supposed to be.
The comically small 1.1” cover display on the Z Flip is so impractical that it makes you question Samsung’s decision to put it in, to begin with. Can’t send any messages, or even effectively view notifications for that matter defeats the purpose of the phone. What’s the point of the Z Flip if you need to frantically open it every time you need to do something basic with the phone? And they advertise the device’s ability to take selfies from that laughably tiny viewfinder of a display. bruh
Now, my next problem with the Galaxy Z Flip is how it promised a “revolutionary foldable design” with a display made of glass that somehow bends. Obviously, that was sounds too good to be true and it was. Various breakdowns of the phone have conclusively proven how non-courteous the marketing tactic from the company was. It may definitely constitute some material to call it “glass” but you’ll have to agree when I say how misled the consumers are. It seems like the foldable phone industry really can’t catch a break, especially one manufacturer – Samsung. First, its original Galaxy Fold came with serious production issues, one so severe that the company had to recall them after reaching the hands of the consumers.
And then there’s a much lesser-known impact that Samsung’s had had. Pablo Escobar, yeah you might’ve heard that name here and there; his brother’s company “Escobar Inc.” has been pumping out Galaxy Fold replicas for about 1/5th the price. More importantly, the CEO of Escobar Inc. has been very vocal about how other manufacturers are looting in the name of foldable innovation, with Samsung in the epicenter.
Moving on, the anti-dust “nylon fiber” that the company promises keeps dust from getting into the hinge of the Galaxy Z Flip also turned out to be another disappointment. I don’t mean it doesn’t work but once again not to the extent the advertising promises. Still, it’s better than nothing, I guess.
But Samsung has worked on the software end of the phone too, to deliver a unique smartphone experience. The hideaway hinge which can flex like a laptop would do spring up some possible avenues for uniqueness and the company has capitalized on that. Certain apps like camera, YouTube, Google Duo can occupy the upper half and the lower half of the screen for two different yet complementing features. Here as well, the phone arrangement becomes criminally awkward and difficult to use, like operating an incredibly small arcade pad.
So, despite packing a comparatively superior build and powerful hardware, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip still didn’t break the curse of foldable phones. Spending such supreme dollars for a phone that doesn’t guarantee long-lasting durability is a big red flag in my books. And I’m discounting the other end of the design flaws here. A foldable phone with lacking productivity in its folded state doesn’t make any sense. The Motorola razr was at least good (strictly in terms of productivity) but the Galaxy Z Flip fails in such a spectacular fashion because it promises & tries to do something of epic proportion which has ultimately and evidently failed.

How do you feel after reading this news?