Samsung has officially announced the 5G version of its Galaxy Z Flip foldable phone. Called the Galaxy Z Flip 5G (naturally enough), the phone is nearly identical to its 4G predecessor. The major changes include the 5G radios, a slightly upgraded Snapdragon 865 Plus processor, and the price: it’s $1,449.99. That’s a $70 premium over the 4G version, which Samsung says will stick around at the same price.
The original Galaxy Z Flip was probably the best folding phone I’ve tested — although its part of a small and fairly disappointing group. Although it doesn’t fold fully flat, the Z Flip is well-designed and has proven itself to be more durable than other folding phones (again, a relative assessment). All that said, it was still too expensive to be a mainstream phone:
If folding phones are ever going to stop being just expensive curiosities, they have to start being normal. I need to be able to just tell you about the screen and performance and camera, not spend the majority of my time explaining why this time maybe — maybe — the screen and hinge won’t explode. They also, obviously, need to start having much more normal prices.
Samsung is probably smart not to change the formula up too much on the Z Flip — maybe it’s saving its R&D efforts for the Galaxy Fold 2. That device is rumored to be coming soon, as are a bunch of other Samsung devices like the Note 20 Ultra and a new Galaxy Buds. Samsung has an event planned for August 5th, and we’re expecting some or all of those devices to be announced.
In point of fact, we were expecting the Z Flip 5G to be announced at Samsung’s August 5th event as well, but it looks like Samsung wanted to clear the decks to give more room to the Note 20.
Samsung says it hasn’t change the external form factor at all in order to fit 5G into the phone. it will come in two colors: “Mystic Gray” and “Mystic Bronze.” The “mystic” part apparently refers to a new “haze” finish on the exterior glass that Samsung says is “soft to the touch.” So: matte.
Along with the slightly updated processor and 5G (which supports Sub-6 only, not mmWave), Samsung has also added a handful of minor software enhancements. It already has a “Flex” mode that lets software reconfigure itself when the phone is half-folded. YouTube should properly go into a Flex mode now, and Samsung’s camera app will work at more angles, so you could theoretically point it at the sky. Samsung also says the Edge Panel feature is “more robust,” which hopefully means that the Z Flip will get a standard, full-featured Galaxy edge panel instead of limiting it to multi-window controls.
The Galaxy Z Flip should start shipping in both carrier and unlocked versions on August. 7th. It’ll be available on AT&T and T-Mobile in the US, and Samsung will also be selling it on its own website, Best Buy, and Amazon.