Samsung started its Unpacked event showing off the Galaxy Z Flip, which will be available in limited quantities Feb. 14 starting at $1,380.
Rebecca Hirst, head of UK mobile product marketing at Samsung Mobile, said the Galaxy Z Flip is designed for people who want to be trendsetters. The trendsetter pitch arrived as Samsung outlined its Galaxy S20 lineup, which features improved cameras, a range of price points and 5G.
Also: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip and Motorola Razr make little sense for business
The Galaxy Z Flip comes in Mirror Purple, Mirror Gold, and Mirror Black. Hirst highlighted a flex mode hinge where the screen is split into two parts. The Galaxy Z Flip won't be available at all carriers and isn't equipped for 5G. AT&T, Best Buy, Sprint, Samsung Experience Stores and Samsung.com will have the device.
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Samsung is betting heavily that the Galaxy Z Flip a fashion play. It is having an event at New York Fashion Week.
What's notable here is that Samsung is pushing a foldable device that looks interesting but is 4G instead of 5G. Samsung also launched its Galaxy S20 line, which makes 5G the default.
Your decision: Fashion or futureproofing?
Now the Galaxy Z Flip will appeal to more fashion-conscious tech buyers looking for novelty. But $1,380 is a big pill to swallow for a 4G device. Nevertheless, the Galaxy Z Flip looks interesting and has a few key selling points:
Patrick Moorhead, principal of Moor Strategy and Insights, handicapped the Galaxy Z Flip:
Experience matters in foldables and this technically is Samsung's third foldable, with two versions of the Fold before the Flip. I like that Samsung didn't skimp on technical specifications like the Moto Razr did with its lower-end CPU and GPU and am OK with the lack of 5G as I just don't think it would fit and would drain too much battery.
The folding mechanism feels solid I am sure Samsung learned a lot from the Fold with its three-stage sweep design and glass cover versus plastic. While the company won't definitively say how much more resilient the glass cover is versus plastic, I am told it's very high. While I believe users can accomplish more with the Fold, it's also a lot larger. Samsung is targeting a different audience, which is smart. I believe the Flip will be a market success assuming there aren't any reliability gotchas.
Here's a look at the specs: