prior to I say how much I disliked this Samsung phone, let me let you in on a secret about tech product reviews: As Smartphones have increased in speed, abilities and price over the last few years, Mob-tech companies have given product reviewers like me fewer time to test them.
To date, every foldable you could buy has been the subject of at least some production. Royole’s FlexPai feel hardly finished. The unique Galaxy Fold wasn’t much more than a model, with glaring design issues that were fixed in later making runs. Huawei Mate X stole the show at last year’s samrtphone world congress but was late for reasons the company never fully explained. And the Razr? Well, let’s just say the results couldn’t possibly live up to the publicity.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip ($1,380) is different. Of all the foldables I have used, this is the first one that seems to tick all the boxes: outstanding performance, great cameras, and even polite battery life — all packed into a flip-phone-style body that I honestly think makes the most sense for most people. If you’re in a rush to embrace one possible future for smartphones, then I don’t think you’ll do much better than this.
But why rush? Embracing that future means putting up with a lot of compromises. And even though the Z Flip has fewer than most, the same lingering foldable criticisms apply. They’re more expensive than comparable smartphones. They’re inherently fragile and app-makers don’t know how to take advantage of them (yet). The Z Flip may be the best of its kind, but until foldables as a whole mature beyond these problems, they’re still not worth the splurge for anyone who doesn’t want to double as a beta tester.