Two days ago Samsung announced four smartphones at its annual Unpacked Event. The first three were three different versions of its S flagship – The Samsung Galaxy S20, Samsung Galaxy S20+, and the super big boy Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. In addition to these three, Samsung introduced a totally new kid in the block; a kid they call the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip – A smartphone meant to take on the Motorola Razr 2019 headon.
Motorola Razr 2019 is a smartphone meant to bring back the nostalgic feeling of flipping down a phone after making a phone call. Back in the era of feature phones, the Motorola Razr was the single most important phone for Motorola, as sales from that device propelled motorola to be one of the biggest phone manufacturers globally – before Apple could come from nowhere with their iPhone to totally disrupt the phone business. Motorola therefore aimed at reminding those who were addicted to flipping phones that they can still get the decent feeling of flipping a phone closed even in this new era of smartphones, but Samsung doesn’t want them to enjoy the love alone – that’s why Samsung introduced their own version of a flip phone appropriately named Samsung Galaxy Z Flip.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is not the first foldable smartphone from Samsung – there is the Samsung Galaxy Fold – a device meant to open up like a book. When closed, the Samsung Galaxy Fold appears to be the size of an ordinary smartphone – but when opened up, it becomes a mini-tablet. Samsung Galaxy Fold didn’t receive much love for two reasons – 1: the first attempt to launch it to the market failed terribly and 2. it doesn’t really serve any particular useful function yet it requires one to part with more than 200 thousand shillings.
When everyone including us were advising consumers to steer away from the Samsung Galaxy Fold, Motorola announced their back to the past Motorola Razr 2019, a device that was well received by techies and non-techies alike. This reception must have sent Samsung quickly to the drawing board, forcing them to release a phone that folds just like the Motorola Razr 2019 – and they seem to have packed their foldable version way better than Motorola did with their introductory foldable smartphone.
Samsung having learnt from the mistakes of Samsung Galaxy Fold, managed to introduce a foldable smartphone that is way superior to Motorola Razr in 3 important areas: 1 – The raw specs particularly the screen, 2. Durability and 3. Functionality.
On raw specs, whereas Motorola Razr 2019 comes with a plastic screen, Samsung managed to concoct a foldable glass (although there are those saying the folding area is actually plastic cleverly mashed with the glass), making the Samsung’s display just as premium as all other displays that come with premium smartphones. The display on Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is therefore a true AMOLED display, whereas the the one you’d get from the Razr 2019 is POLED, where P is for Plastic.
The other core specs for either of the devices are as shown in the table below:
|Galaxy Z Flip||Motorola Razr|
|Screen||Full: 2636×1080 pixels; 6.7-inch AMOLED. Folded: 300 x 112 pixels 1.06-inch Super AMOLED||Full: 2142×876 pixels 6.2-inch POLED. Folded: 800 x 600 pixels 2.7-inch GOLED|
|OS||Android 10||Android 9.0 Pie|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus||Qualcomm Snapdragon 710|
|Camera||12-megapixel and 12MP ultrawide rear, 10MP front||16-megapixel rear, 5MP front|
Fast charging (15W)
Qi wireless charging
Fast charging (15W)
From the above table what’s clear is that the Motorola Razr 2019 is a quack phone with an expensive price tag.
On durability, a folding test conducted by CNET one day ago found out that instead of enduring the 100,000 folds promised by Motorola, the Motorola Razr 2019 starts breaking down at 27,000 folds – which is a quarter of the promise. The same test when it was conducted on the Samsung Galaxy Fold yielded 120,000 folds. Samsung has promised that the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip can endure up to 200,000 folds, but we are yet to get a similar test verifying the claim. Given that Samsung made the Z Flip based on lessons learnt from the failures witnessed at the launch of Samsung Galaxy Fold, it is reasonable to expect that they have taken much care when making the Z Flip. This can be attested on how they have tried to seal off the hinges so that they do not have the allowances that would allow dirt to get into the device and cause the same failures that were witnessed with the Galaxy Fold.
Finally it is very interesting to use Samsung Galaxy Z Flip whether when opened up, folded half way, or folded all the way down. I’m lying. Using the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip when opened up won’t be any different from using the Motorola Razr, all other factors held constant. However, when folded half way, one can use the two screens differently. An example that was shown in the promo video which was played during the live stream of Oscars is the ability to place the phone on the table with one folded end acting as the base and the other half acting as a decent screen for displaying the image of someone during a video call. One can still place the phone in the same position when watching a video e.g. on YouTube – and even decide to use the lower screen for using a secondary app e.g. WhatsApp.
When folded all the way down the two phones offer different functionalities, with the Z Flip being centered on selfies and phone calls, whereas the Razr being centered on miniature phone experience.
If one was to choose between the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip and the Razr, you’d definitely prefer the the Z flip, not only for its price, but also because it offers better specs and interesting functions out of the box.