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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip phones ..

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip phones

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip phones

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip phones… amsung’sSamsung’s brand-new Galaxy Z Flip is the third folding screen phone that I’ve reviewed. It happens to also be the best folding screen phone I’ve reviewed — but don’t let that fool you. As with the Galaxy Fold and the Motorola Razr, the Z Flip is more of an expensive experiment than a real product anybody should buy.

Although Samsung is touting that this phone has a glass screen, it turns out that glass in this context has fewer benefits than previously thought. Pardon the pun, but temper your expectations.

The Z Flip costs $1,380, and the highest praise I can give it is that, after five days of using it, I found myself just thinking the Z Flip was kind of normal. I have complaints, and I have many, many concerns. But after a while, the Z Flip sort of stopped feeling like a special folding phone and just felt like my phone.

That’s an important step for folding phones, but the reality is that there are many more steps to take before I could recommend one.

 

The three foldable phones

hereThere are two big things to address with folding phones: the screen and the hinge. These two parts are such a focus because they’re the things that aren’t yet solved problems in the phone world. It’s where the experimentation is happening, and it’s also where the biggest points of failure are found.

All three folding phones so far have had some sort of entirely predictable durability drama happen right after their launch. For the Z Flip, it’s twofold. First, the screen is much more susceptible to scratches and dings than its glass material implies. Second, the hinge’s new, somewhat-more-debris-resistant design isn’t foolproof.

Let’s start with the screen because that’s the most concerning thing. Yes, it really does use glass that bends, which is an undeniable feat of engineering. But as The Verge’s Sean Hollister explained earlier this week, there’s actually a relatively simple explanation for how Samsung pulled that off: “practically anything can be bent if you make it thin enough.”

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How thick is Samsung

Samsung’s so-called “Ultra Thin Glass” is 30 microns thick, on the order of a very thin human hair. That has consequences. Chief among them: any ding or nick in the glass could be catastrophic.

To solve for that, Samsung covered the glass with a second, plastic layer. That layer is fairly soft, which is why it picks up indentations from fingernails if you press too hard and why it scratched so easily under Zack Nelson’s metal picks in his classic JerryRigEverything test.

And because the glass underneath that plastic layer is so thin, it can be punctured relatively easily. Puncturing the Z Flip’s glass screen utterly destroys the OLED display underneath, whereas on a regular phone, you might just have a cracked screen to live with.

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