Samsung aired a Galaxy Z Flip commercial before it even announced the phone

Image: WinFuture

It’s not just leaks that let us know what big tech companies plan to announce at their keynotes, increasingly it’s the companies themselves. Since this year’s Academy Awards fall ahead of Samsung’s February 11th Unpacked keynote, the company decided to go for a huge tease of the Galaxy Z Flip — it basically showed off the whole phone.

We are expecting Samsung to announce new Galaxy S20 phones (three of them) and the Galaxy Z Flip, a folding phone rumored to have a glass screen. The ad showed the phone sitting on a table at a 90-degree angle on its own, the better to do video chatting. It also gave us our first, best look at it folded up and it doesn’t appear to fold completely flat. The Motorola Razr, which was just released but has already been plagued with reports of creaky hinges, does fold completely flat.

In the small print for the ad, there’s copy that says “You may notice a small crease in the center of the main screen, which is a natural characteristic of the screen.” So that answers that question. As with the Fold, the Z Flip will have a crease. The ad also shows two different colors: purple and black.

We also got our first look at the outside screen, which is very tiny but nevertheless full color. The ad shows the screen can do caller ID and also has sliders for accepting or rejecting a call.

Samsung has always gone big with ads at the Academy Awards. Its previous Oscars ads have ranged from product placement celebrity selfies to subtle apologies for its exploding Note phones. As for the trend of companies teasing their own products, after Google went big with it in 2019, Samsung took a more traditional approach this year (up until this ad, at least). Leaks, however, still about: Samsung itself leaked the Galaxy S20 last week.

We’ll be live at Samsung’s event on February 11th to find out if there’s anything that hasn’t already been leaked, photographed, rumored, or teased by Samsung itself. It’s still possible there will be.


Looks like it still has that gap like the original fold. Wonder why they’re so beholden to it

I assume they’ll eventually get to a solution with minimal to no gap. The razr has no gap but its screen isn’t fixed in place which will no doubt come with its own issues due to that so it’s basically picking your poison until the tech gets better.

presumably because there is a minimum radius to the fold of the screen, so no matter how thin the two body sections are, the overall phone thickness will be not be any thinner than the radius, which invariably means a gap for now or a chunky phone, or mix of the two. With time they will be able to reduce the bend radius and with it the gap will disappear and the phones will get thinner.

The Motorola Razr, which was just released but has already been plagued with reports of creaky hinges, does fold completely flat.

With the words "plagued" and "reports" (plural), you would think that the linked article wouldn’t be discussing a singular test of a singular device, where the testing machine itself might have been the problem. I’m getting tired of The Verge Hyperbole; you can do better.

Go to any Walmart. They have the Razr on display and they creak like a haunted house door.

Then The Verge should write an article about it, or link to third party reports of it. I’m currently in New Zealand and can’t go into "any Walmart" to check. My point still stands. You shouldn’t make claims that your source link doesn’t support. The Verge does this all the time and is on the verge of losing me as a reader as a result. I have no horse in the folding screen wars, but wild hyperbole is endemic to their writing at this point.

You should click that linked article and read it because it isn’t just a singular test as you claim. On the second to the last paragraph of that article, you’ll find 3 other claims that have nothing to do with the folding machine.

Plus there is now a review of the device.

Fair. Somehow I missed that reading it originally and when it was linked this time. This has been an ongoing frustration, and appeared to be the latest straw. A buried paragraph in a much longer article still doesn’t rise to the level of "plagued" in my books, but you’re right that they did cite other instances.

The advert gives the phone a "baby laptop" aesthetic, which is somehow quite appealing (to me).

Don’t hate me verge commenters but doesn’t the ad have a very Apple feel to it? Reminds me of their old ipod and colorful iphone commercials.

It does! And in my opinion that’s not a bad thing as I think it was the best era of Apple ads.

The ad showed the phone sitting on a table at a 90-degree angle on its own, the better to do video chatting.

Wouldn’t the phone at a 90° angle sitting on a table have the phone’s camera pointing at my chest? Seems like a terrible angle to have the phone if the idea is that it should be better at video chatting!

apparently it can fold to any angle but well have to wait and see

really need the side profile to see how ‘big’ the said gap will be, at what angles will the cease be visible, how many folds is it expected to last, how regular apps look on it and most intriguingly why the hell is it called the z flip? wouldnt v flip be more appropriate?

They’re going for a German vibe. "Look at zee flip!"

You forgot to mention that the ad also shows Google Duo in action, confirming that that’s the news Google will have at Samsung’s event.

So if this form factor is basically 2 squares, and they want you to put it on the table like a laptop to do video chat (and watch videos?), does that mean the end of vertical video? Sucks to be Quibi right now.

My girlfriend didn’t care for it. I’m keeping something of an open mind about it and my eye on the upcoming Note20 Super Luxe or whatever they’ll call it. If Samsung can get the Note20 to market in time for vacation in late-Summer, as they have with the last several Notes, that will get my attention.

If we are not ever going to get "phone" sized phones again, this is the next best thing.

I loved the first disclaimer displayed: "You may notice a slight crease in the screen…" blah blah blah

If this ends up another Galaxy Fold, folding phones will be DOA. Hopefully the new Razor will kill it and make foldable the norm. If not, Samsung will get another ding to their rep.

Why is it a slide to answer in this form factor? Isn’t it cheaper and more intuitive to just flip open the phone to answer?

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