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CNET: Galaxy Z Flip: After 3 months, I can't stop using it

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Published in Science & Technology News

Last year, if you told me about all the things that would happen in 2020, I'd shake my head with disbelief. This includes the fact that I'd like the Galaxy Z Flip foldable phone. When it launched in February I was skeptical because just a year before, Galaxy Fold reviewer units had a number of issues. Then there was the Motorola Razr. It launched before the Flip and even though it was more expensive and had less impressive specs, I found its approach to foldable design more appealing.

Fast forward to now though, and the Galaxy Z Flip has won me over. I use it just like a regular phone, which seems silly to say but one of my biggest knocks against foldable phones so far is how they don't quite hold up to real-world use. Initially, I was protective about the phone; now I'm less cautious and it's still holding up.

Most of all, the Galaxy Z Flip is fun and that's something I don't say about many phones . Folding and unfolding it is as enjoyable as it was the first time I did it. Closing the phone shut to end a call brings me a level of satisfaction that I don't get from an iPhone 11 Pro or Pixel 4. And opening it with a whip-like flip of my wrist makes me feel like a badass.

I know the Galaxy Z Flip isn't the perfect phone or the most powerful. It doesn't have the best cameras or battery life. It is laughably expensive. And yet I can't stop using it. After three months, is the Galaxy Z Flip worth $1,380? Yes. The high price reflects that it is a phone that can physically fold in half. Should you pay $1,380 for this phone? No. But for those of you who want to flirt with the Wild West of mobile phone design, the Z Flip offers much to enjoy.

THE Z FLIP'S BEAUTIFUL BUT CURSED DISPLAY

I love and hate this display. When it's clean, the tall narrow screen is amazing and vibrant. Videos look outstanding. The 21.9:9 aspect ratio is also really wide, so there are black bars on the sides of most videos. I watched widescreen films like The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, though, and they fit the display incredibly well.

 

But once in a while, the plastic polymer coating got in the way of the screen's beauty, especially when there were fingerprints on the screen which the coating seems to attract endlessly. When I wipe smudges clean with my shirt sleeve, they don't come off as easy as a phone without plastic polymer on it.

Then there's the crease. Ah, the crease. One thing I noticed after three months of using it is that I physically feel the crease constantly with my fingers. The Z Flip's crease cuts across the middle of the screen and if I scroll through apps like Instagram or Twitter, my finger goes over it like a car rolling over a seam in a concrete driveway. But this doesn't particularly bug me and because it's a horizontal crease instead of the vertical one on the Galaxy Fold, I actually see it less. To me, the crease is like background music at a restaurant. I notice it but forget about it after a while. Just like how I got used to notches on phones, I am now used to the crease.

THE Z FLIP'S FLEX MODE

It brings me an endless amount of delight how small the phone is closed. I never hesitate to take it with me because it's very pocketable (though the mileage inside women's pants pockets may vary). The Z Flip opens up into a phone as tall as the Galaxy S20 Ultra, albeit a skinner version of that.

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