Hands-On With Samsung's New S20 and Galaxy Z Flip Smartphones

ani4ani

macrumors 65816
May 4, 2012
1,024
873
UK
This phone is incredibly stupid. Where is this foldable demand coming from?
I remember:

This phone is incredibly stupid. Where is this big screen demand coming from?
This phone is incredibly stupid. Where is this 2GB of ram demand coming from?
This phone is incredibly stupid. Where is this 3 camera demand coming from?
This phone......
- - Post merged: - -

But it‘s NOT smaller. It’s the same size in use, and twice as thick when not in use. Hence my question - in what circumstances is this particular phone’s form factor useful?
We understand, its difficult for you
 

spinedoc77

macrumors G3
Jun 11, 2009
9,414
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Meh, with such tiny upgrades I can't see them convincing consumers to upgrade their 1k phones to new 1k phones (much less a $1300 phone). I wonder if the 10x lossless zoom is equivalent to a 10x optical zoom? That would be a really nice upgrade.

The foldable one looks interesting, I like the functionality when halfway folded out. One thing I've always hated about smartphones is there is no way to prop them up, makes me wish for a kickstand (please surface phone, please). But the pricing is way too high, when it comes down to 1k maybe, but then again I don't think I want to deal with Google's privacy nightmare and Samsung's atrociously long wait times to update their OS every year. If this was a tablet when unfolded, with the foldable glass, I'd most likely be first in line though.

Come on Apple, hurry up with your foldable phone.
 
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cmaier

macrumors P6
Jul 25, 2007
15,372
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I remember:

This phone is incredibly stupid. Where is this big screen demand coming from?
This phone is incredibly stupid. Where is this 2GB of ram demand coming from?
This phone is incredibly stupid. Where is this 3 camera demand coming from?
This phone......
- - Post merged: - -


We understand, its difficult for you
So many snarky remarks from everyone who thinks this is a great form factor, with nobody explaining why, all evidence to the contrary (including the fact that flip phones died for very good reasons), this makes sense for anyone.
 

SBlue1

macrumors 68000
Oct 17, 2008
1,508
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Old enough to have owned samsung non-smart-fliphones in the past. When everyone used to clip them to their belt because folded phones suck in your pocket.

Is that the world you think we should be returning to?
Big phones had to be carried in bags or clipped to the belt. So small and thin flip phones solved that.

Same today. I don’t want to have a man purse just for the huge phones. I would welcome a thin foldable iPhone.
 
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ani4ani

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May 4, 2012
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So many snarky remarks from everyone who thinks this is a great form factor, with nobody explaining why, all evidence to the contrary (including the fact that flip phones died for very good reasons), this makes sense for anyone.
it’s a good form factor because it’s small enough to fit in your trouser (proper English for pants) pocket without fear of bending or giving you a hernia. And before you say but it’s twice as thick...so what?, still not as thick as a wallet. It’s a good form factor in that when pulling out if said pocket and it’s dropped it’s likely to survive without a cracked screen. Original flip phones stopped being popular because the screens were small, as were their button keyboards. This has the appeal and advantages of a flip phone with the advantages of a big screen touchscreen ....there, no snark
 
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TheSapient

macrumors regular
May 26, 2017
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So many snarky remarks from everyone who thinks this is a great form factor, with nobody explaining why, all evidence to the contrary (including the fact that flip phones died for very good reasons), this makes sense for anyone.
People have explained why some people will want this, over and over. It will fit in shallow pockets and small bags. Get yourself on Twitter, YouTube, etc and you will find people talking about their desire to own this phone.
 

rp2011

macrumors 65816
Oct 12, 2010
1,356
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People have explained why some people will want this, over and over. It will fit in shallow pockets and small bags. Get yourself on Twitter, YouTube, etc and you will find people talking about their desire to own this phone.
Great sales data!
Well, lets see all these fly off the shelf! RIP iphone. Darn you foldy phonrs!!!
 
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Lancer

macrumors 68020
Jul 22, 2002
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I seriously hope Apple is working on its own folding iPhone but doubt we will see anything this year. I know right now its a novelty but look at all those saying the same about the first iPhone.

I like the idea of a foldable iPhone which made for a much more compact device to carry in your pocket.

Over the next 5 years foldable will be the next trend.
 

TheSapient

macrumors regular
May 26, 2017
121
119
Great sales data!
Well, lets see all these fly off the shelf! RIP iphone. Darn you foldy phonrs!!!
I don't think anyone has suggested that the Z Flip is going to kill off iPhones. Just because some people will want this form factor doesn't mean everyone will, nor does it mean the market is changing so quickly that Apple can't adapt if needed. It is OK for other people to choose a device you have not chosen. Admitting different people can want different things is not a personal attack against you or your choices.
 

Abazigal

macrumors G5
Jul 18, 2011
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Singapore
I seriously hope Apple is working on its own folding iPhone but doubt we will see anything this year. I know right now its a novelty but look at all those saying the same about the first iPhone.

I like the idea of a foldable iPhone which made for a much more compact device to carry in your pocket.

Over the next 5 years foldable will be the next trend.
I honestly don’t see folding phones going anywhere. I know some people will compare them to phablets and this is probably why the tech news outlets seem hesitant to call the industry out on this fad, because they are afraid of looking like fools in the off chance that it really does take off.

If you wait to rethink the way people use their phones, the obvious answer is wearables. The problem then comes when you realise that apart from the Apple Watch, no other companies really has any viable wearables strategy. Which in turn is probably what has led Samsung to double down on the smartphone market with its kitchen sink strategy, with clearly very lacklustre results.

The thing is that it is easy to assume that just because someone out there finds some piece of technology useful, that the masses will as well. I do think that this happens because some people just do not understand that they are more tech savvy than many other people so it is really hard for them to understand how confusing and awkward all this technology is to the average person.

I am calling it now. Foldable phones are flopping, and they will flop hard.
 
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compwiz1202

macrumors 6502a
May 20, 2010
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it’s a good form factor because it’s small enough to fit in your trouser (proper English for pants) pocket without fear of bending or giving you a hernia. And before you say but it’s twice as thick...so what?, still not as thick as a wallet. It’s a good form factor in that when pulling out if said pocket and it’s dropped it’s likely to survive without a cracked screen. Original flip phones stopped being popular because the screens were small, as were their button keyboards. This has the appeal and advantages of a flip phone with the advantages of a big screen touchscreen ....there, no snark
Dress pants aren't the issue for me. The pockets are huge compared to my jeans. It's jeans that are the issue. Pro Max just fits. They will need to include iJeans with the biggest 12.
 

spinedoc77

macrumors G3
Jun 11, 2009
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So many snarky remarks from everyone who thinks this is a great form factor, with nobody explaining why, all evidence to the contrary (including the fact that flip phones died for very good reasons), this makes sense for anyone.
Because it's a larger screen in a smaller package? Yeah I know it's seems really obvious, although it's not as dramatic because unfolded it's probably not that much taller than today's largest smartphones. Flip phones didn't have foldable screens, I would really not compare the Flip with a flip phone in any way except simply that it has a hinge and closes, but they are vastly different phones/types.

But you shouldn't be so close minded and just throw the entire category out. We have yet to see what different form factors and functionality oem's can explore. Personally I think that foldable phones lend themselves better to unfolding to tablets, if I can fit a tablet into my pocket that's a game changer.
- - Post merged: - -

I honestly don’t see folding phones going anywhere. I know some people will compare them to phablets and this is probably why the tech news outlets seem hesitant to call the industry out on this fad, because they are afraid of looking like fools in the off chance that it really does take off.

If you wait to rethink the way people use their phones, the obvious answer is wearables. The problem then comes when you realise that apart from the Apple Watch, no other companies really has any viable wearables strategy. Which in turn is probably what has led Samsung to double down on the smartphone market with its kitchen sink strategy, with clearly very lacklustre results.

The thing is that it is easy to assume that just because someone out there finds some piece of technology useful, that the masses will as well. I do think that this happens because some people just do not understand that they are more tech savvy than many other people so it is really hard for them to understand how confusing and awkward all this technology is to the average person.

I am calling it now. Foldable phones are flopping, and they will flop hard.
Don't forget AR glasses though, yeah I know that's a long shot as well. But instead of looking at your phone or watch all day, if you could look at the world and get all that extra information, notifications, etc without missing a step, that could be very powerful. The problem with wearables is they screen is way too small, especially something like a watch, to be used as anything other than an accessory to a phone, although some functions are possible like phone calls, music, etc., it would still be pretty hard to ONLY use a smartwatch all of the time. Not impossible, but not what most consumers would do IMO.

Personally I think foldable phones will definitely take off, with the only differentiator being price, they need to come down in price. But it's not like the $1k+ smartphone market is hurting either. I'll see your flop call and say that my call will be that foldables will be very popular but that popularity will rise only as prices fall and technology makes folding phones better (improved reliability, thinner, multi-folds, external screens, different form factors, etc.)
 
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Darth Tulhu

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Apr 10, 2019
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I honestly don’t see folding phones going anywhere. I know some people will compare them to phablets and this is probably why the tech news outlets seem hesitant to call the industry out on this fad, because they are afraid of looking like fools in the off chance that it really does take off.

If you wait to rethink the way people use their phones, the obvious answer is wearables. The problem then comes when you realise that apart from the Apple Watch, no other companies really has any viable wearables strategy. Which in turn is probably what has led Samsung to double down on the smartphone market with its kitchen sink strategy, with clearly very lacklustre results.

The thing is that it is easy to assume that just because someone out there finds some piece of technology useful, that the masses will as well. I do think that this happens because some people just do not understand that they are more tech savvy than many other people so it is really hard for them to understand how confusing and awkward all this technology is to the average person.

I am calling it now. Foldable phones are flopping, and they will flop hard.
I don't know. These things are not meant for everyone to have, and/or be the sales lead. But that "pocketable" and "standable" feature are easy to appreciate, and have people buzzing about it.

I want one, even if I wouldn't keep it past the 2 year contract (if it does last that long). This is better than their previous Fold attempt; the simple change in fold orientation and thus use-case makes it attractive to me where the other Sammy Fold failed.

It just looks like a convenient and FUN device. I like tech that makes me go oohh and ahhh, like Apple tech used to do.
 

Brandon916

macrumors newbie
Feb 26, 2018
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I honestly don’t see folding phones going anywhere. I know some people will compare them to phablets and this is probably why the tech news outlets seem hesitant to call the industry out on this fad, because they are afraid of looking like fools in the off chance that it really does take off.

If you wait to rethink the way people use their phones, the obvious answer is wearables. The problem then comes when you realise that apart from the Apple Watch, no other companies really has any viable wearables strategy. Which in turn is probably what has led Samsung to double down on the smartphone market with its kitchen sink strategy, with clearly very lacklustre results.

The thing is that it is easy to assume that just because someone out there finds some piece of technology useful, that the masses will as well. I do think that this happens because some people just do not understand that they are more tech savvy than many other people so it is really hard for them to understand how confusing and awkward all this technology is to the average person.

I am calling it now. Foldable phones are flopping, and they will flop hard.
You might be right but these things take time. The original Note was laughed at. The Fold sold over 1M units so far @ $2k. Give it another 2-5 years and maybe then you can laugh at everyone as the folding phone flops. Or you can pretend and say you knew it was going to be a hit from the beginning as you buy a folding phone from Apple.
 

MEJHarrison

macrumors 65816
Feb 2, 2009
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So many snarky remarks from everyone who thinks this is a great form factor, with nobody explaining why, all evidence to the contrary (including the fact that flip phones died for very good reasons), this makes sense for anyone.
No snark here. As I recall, you used to be an engineer who is now a lawyer? So honest question, are you confused by those who want to own this particular phone or are you confused that people are excited by it at all?

I wouldn't want to own THIS phone. But I might someday be interested in a phone that isn't as tall for my pockets (it seems opinions are all over the place, but I would gladly trade some thickness for height). I might someday be interested in a phone that protects the screen, rather than leaving it exposed for accidents and such. I might be interested in a phone that doesn't need a screen protector. I might be interested in something easier to handle when not in use. I might be interested in a large screen in a smaller form factor. There's a lot of if's and maybe's.

More that that, and this is where I would have thought your inner engineer would kick in, is what else might this fold-able glass be good for (presuming it withstands the test of time)? How many things in this world are made of plastic because they need to bend? Which of those things might be improved because of bendable glass? What totally new things might be possible that were awkward or impossible before? What might be possible that people haven't even dreamed of yet?

For me this is a case of being excited about the technology and not so much about this particular application of that technology (which in and of itself it a fairly cool proof-of-concept).
 
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Analog Kid

macrumors 601
Mar 4, 2003
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Wow, mixed bag out of Samsung. I’m not a fan of the S20 aesthetic at all. Some eye popping numbers on the spec sheet, but I don’t expect they’ll have a lot of real world impact.

The Z flip is more impressive. Despite the debate here over “use case”, I think that misses the point. The question isn’t what’s the use case, the question is what’s the market. Both the color choices and reviewers I’m seeing suggest that women may be a target market, but mostly it’s a novelty in a world of black slabs. People will buy it because it’s a change of pace. People will buy it because it gets attention. It’s both new and nostalgic. I probably wouldn’t get one, but I can see the appeal.

Mostly though, I’m impressed with the massive improvement in the short time between the Fold and the Flip. The glass surface sounds much improved from the plastic. There’s a bit of a crease, but it’s not apparent in the videos. If I had to guess, I’d say Samsung wasn’t getting good yield on the larger sheets of glass, which is why it’s not used yet in the Fold. I won’t be surprised by reports of problems and failures with this first release, but I’d imagine they’re going to keep pushing this direction looking for a sustainable niche market.
 

cmaier

macrumors P6
Jul 25, 2007
15,372
10,672
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No snark here. As I recall, you used to be an engineer who is now a lawyer? So honest question, are you confused by those who want to own this particular phone or are you confused that people are excited by it at all?

I wouldn't want to own THIS phone. But I might someday be interested in a phone that isn't as tall for my pockets (it seems opinions are all over the place, but I would gladly trade some thickness for height). I might someday be interested in a phone that protects the screen, rather than leaving it exposed for accidents and such. I might be interested in a phone that doesn't need a screen protector. I might be interested in something easier to handle when not in use. I might be interested in a large screen in a smaller form factor. There's a lot of if's and maybe's.

More that that, and this is where I would have thought your inner engineer would kick in, is what else might this fold-able glass be good for (presuming it withstands the test of time)? How many things in this world are made of plastic because they need to bend? Which of those things might be improved because of bendable glass? What totally new things might be possible that were awkward or impossible before? What might be possible that people haven't even dreamed of yet?

For me this is a case of being excited about the technology and not so much about this particular application of that technology (which in and of itself it a fairly cool proof-of-concept).
The phone itself. I get why foldables are cool, but I don't get this particular form factor. I've said that repeatedly.
 

Abazigal

macrumors G5
Jul 18, 2011
12,229
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Singapore
Because it's a larger screen in a smaller package? Yeah I know it's seems really obvious, although it's not as dramatic because unfolded it's probably not that much taller than today's largest smartphones. Flip phones didn't have foldable screens, I would really not compare the Flip with a flip phone in any way except simply that it has a hinge and closes, but they are vastly different phones/types.

But you shouldn't be so close minded and just throw the entire category out. We have yet to see what different form factors and functionality oem's can explore. Personally I think that foldable phones lend themselves better to unfolding to tablets, if I can fit a tablet into my pocket that's a game changer.
- - Post merged: - -



Don't forget AR glasses though, yeah I know that's a long shot as well. But instead of looking at your phone or watch all day, if you could look at the world and get all that extra information, notifications, etc without missing a step, that could be very powerful. The problem with wearables is they screen is way too small, especially something like a watch, to be used as anything other than an accessory to a phone, although some functions are possible like phone calls, music, etc., it would still be pretty hard to ONLY use a smartwatch all of the time. Not impossible, but not what most consumers would do IMO.

Personally I think foldable phones will definitely take off, with the only differentiator being price, they need to come down in price. But it's not like the $1k+ smartphone market is hurting either. I'll see your flop call and say that my call will be that foldables will be very popular but that popularity will rise only as prices fall and technology makes folding phones better (improved reliability, thinner, multi-folds, external screens, different form factors, etc.)
I agree that if Samsung keeps at it, the tech will definitely get better. The durability of the screens will improve, the crease will be less prominent or even disappear altogether etc.

However, I still feel that the principle behind folding phones is fundamentally flawed. Think about how you use your phone. You take it out of your pocket, and expect the screen to be turned on by the time it reaches your face. You then view the notifications or unlock your phone to further interact with it. And then put it away when you are done with it.

Conversely, having to unfold your phone every time you want to use it (and then needing to fold it before putting it away) is an extra step and represents an added barrier between technology and the user. Some might think it is worth it for the extra screen estate and / or more compact form factor (debatable?), but I find a foldable phone just seems like a step backwards in this regard.

Contrast this with wearables, which makes technology even more intimate and personal because they are always on you, even more so than smartphones.

it just feels to me like Samsung is even doing foldable phones only because they realise that they have no future in wearables and are scrambling to find the next big thing in mobile.

Maybe it’s just my Apple bias showing. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 
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poi ran

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Sep 25, 2014
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512GB of storage (or more), 16 GB RAM; it could surely run a perfect Linux Desktop OS with Android apps and Linux programs if docked to a keyboard (wireless), mouse and monitor/TV (wireless could also be possible, certainly with Samsung TVs as they control their eco system).

For many people a phone like this could replace tablet, laptop, and desktop PC, and also possibly games console - just connect it to a TV, bluetooth gamecontroller, and run games in full HD or more. It can't compete with a Ryzen Threadripper or Nvidia 2080, but most people have no need for that.

Really interesting what will happen in the next few years. Could Microsoft make a comeback? A phone that runs full featured Windows when docked could be something.
 

paradox00

macrumors 65816
Sep 29, 2009
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So many snarky remarks from everyone who thinks this is a great form factor, with nobody explaining why, all evidence to the contrary (including the fact that flip phones died for very good reasons), this makes sense for anyone.
How tight do you have your blinders on? Ignoring evidence and explanations presented to you doesn’t make it cease to exist.