Though it’s not quite as exciting as rival Apple’s legendary product-launch events, Samsung released its new line of smartphones on Tuesday, offering the first in-depth glimpse at its latest foldable smartphone and iPhone killer following the company’s abysmal flop last time around.
Samsung just showed off its new Fold during an Oscars commercial. That’s one way to announce something. pic.twitter.com/rtSJ3jvkif
— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) February 10, 2020
Less than 48 hours before Tuesday’s product event, Samsung premiered the new flip phone, the Galaxy Z Flip, with a surprise commercial at the Oscars. Too bad so few Americans were watching.
And so here we are at Samsung’s Tuesday product launch event, where it unveiled its new line of smartphones, including the Galaxy Z Flip, Samsung’s second attempt at a foldable smartphone following the disastrous Galaxy Fold.
Samsung memorably botched the rollout of the Galaxy Fold, as critics reported myriad issues including a screen that cracked almost instantly after being set up. The phone was eventually released to muted fanfare and weak sales. The stigma arose not only from the phone’s $2,000 price point, but from early reviews that complained about myriad problems with the phone’s screen, design and functionality that prompted delays of the phone’s launch date and ultimately weighed on Samsung shares.
Compared to the original Fold, the Z Flip is a complete redesign, starting with the screen, which now rotates along a pair of joints, folding up kind of like the new Motorola Razr, as Verge’s smartphone critic points out in an article. The phone will be released on Friday along the other new phone models, and will be priced at $1,380, which is a much more reasonable price point.
The phone also includes a 1.1-inch OLED cover display that highlights notifications when the device is closed. Users can tap on them to navigate straight into the app once you unfold it again.
The Z Flip weighs 183 grams and relies on a 64-bit octacore processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage.
Samsung said the screen on the Z Flip will last for 200,000 folds, which sounds like a surprisingly low number to us, considering how much some people use their phones.
The hinge on the new phone works like a laptop, allowing it to stay open at a range of angles. Users can set it up on a flat surface and take a selfie, or user to watch a movie your college buddies in the dining hall.
Still, thousands of customers and critics have terrible memories of the Galaxy Fold, and so Samsung used its event to emphasize some of the protective features of the new phone, like a dust-resistant screen and improved hinges.
Of course, a phone wouldn’t foldable phone wouldn’t be a smartphone without a camera, and the Z Flip has three: the front there’s a 10-megapixel F2.4 selfie camera, and at the rear there’s a dual-camera system with a 12-megapixel ultra-wide and a regular 12-megapixel wide-angle camera.
Samsung is hoping that the Z Flip will finally mount a serious challenge to Apple in the US and other Western markets where the Cupertino tech giant dominates. Samsung remains the biggest smartphone maker in the world, which means it doesn’t have a ton of options for further growth.