Samsung Electronics, in its ongoing battle to introduce category-defining products against Apple, took the wraps off the Galaxy Z Flip, which features “foldable” glass — able handle up to 200,000 folds over its lifetime, according to the company.
The breakthrough folding capability of the Galaxy Z Flip comes with a premium price tag: It will set you back $1,380.
The Galaxy Z Flip has a 6.7-inch display that folds in half vertically — like a classic flip phone — with a “Hideaway Hinge” designed to prevent contaminants from damaging the phone and a custom-built interface. It has a smaller (1.1-inch) display on the cover to show notifications when phone is folded.
It’s a successor to Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, which had a plastic screen and was beset by some durability problems when it launched last year for $2,000. The Z Flip features Samsung’s proprietary bendable Ultra Thin Glass (UTG) and delivers the industry’s first 21.9:9 ratio display.
In building the Galaxy Z Flip, Samsung said it worked closely with Google to design a “Flex” mode for the Android-based phone. When the device is free-standing, the display automatically splits into two 4-inch screens (e.g., to view content or videos on the top half of the display and control them on the bottom half. The Galaxy Z Flip will be available in the U.S. starting Feb. 14, available in “mirror purple” and “mirror black” finishes.
Samsung announced the Galaxy Z Flip at its Unpacked event in San Francisco, where it also revealed the new lineup of 5G-enabled Galaxy S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra smartphones. Among other features, the new family of Android phones provides support for 8K video capture as well as improved Super Steady with anti-rolling stabilization and AI motion analysis. New camera features in the S20 line include “Single Take,” which can capture a variety of photo and videos and uses AI to recommend the best shot.
Pre-orders for the Galaxy S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra begin Feb. 21, with wide availability for carrier and Unlocked by Samsung versions starting on March 6. Pricing starts at $1,000 for the Galaxy S20 5G (with a 6.2-inch display); $1,200 for Galaxy S20+ 5G (6.7-inch display) and $1,400 for Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G (6.9-inch display).
Samsung also announced the new Galaxy Buds Plus, $150 wireless earbuds that feature up to 22 hours of total battery life; customizable sound and fitting options; and new microphone and speaker technology so that every sound is “balanced, detailed and natural,” according to the company. Galaxy Buds Plus will be available starting Feb. 14 on Samsung’s website and available at major mobile carriers and retailers starting March 6.