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

MEJHarrison

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Feb 2, 2009
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The phone itself. I get why foldables are cool, but I don't get this particular form factor. I've said that repeatedly.
Well, I wouldn't want one. But I can certainly imagine others who will for a variety of reasons. Some I understand and some I don't. People are weird and like weird things. Some people won't care that it's twice as thick. Some won't understand that until they handle one. It will be interesting to see how popular they actually are and especially how well they perform in the wild over time.
 

cmaier

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Jul 25, 2007
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Well, I wouldn't want one. But I can certainly imagine others who will for a variety of reasons. Some I understand and some I don't. People are weird and like weird things. Some people won't care that it's twice as thick. Some won't understand that until they handle one. It will be interesting to see how popular they actually are and especially how well they perform in the wild over time.
I started out in this thread earnestly asking for someone to explain a use case for this particular device. As reply after reply of “you’re an idiot, It’s awesome!” accumulated, it became clear to me that nobody has an actual explanation.
 

chucker23n1

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Dec 7, 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.
Microsoft did have this concept in Continuum. Ubuntu also offered it. Samsung offers it as Dex.

It turns out (so far) that Continuity is more practical.
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@ani4ani, don't bother wasting your time w/ this guy. Even w/ a great explination, his level of common sense still won't be able to comprehend it. Handful of people attached gif and videos of a great use case already. He'll still be blind to it all. If you showed this video w/ Apple logo on it, he'll get it.
That’s not my impression of @cmaier at all.

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.
This isn’t about the Fold. The use case of the Fold makes a lot more sense to me. I’d love to unfold my iPhone into an iPad mini if I could.

This phone’s use case is quite different, and I don’t think women’s pants are a sufficient answer.
 
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MEJHarrison

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I started out in this thread earnestly asking for someone to explain a use case for this particular device. As reply after reply of “you’re an idiot, It’s awesome!” accumulated, it became clear to me that nobody has an actual explanation.
I'm not biting at the use case thing there. It's not been a popular option today. ;)

But I also believe Samsung isn't just doing this on a whim. I'm sure they have a goal in mind with this product. Maybe they're testing the waters. Maybe they're practicing getting good at making this technology and already have future products in mind. Maybe they've done some market research and know things you and I don't. To be honest, I didn't see this as the next logical successor in their foldable technology based on what they released last year, so who's to say what their end goal is here.
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This phone’s use case is quite different, and I don’t think women’s pants are a sufficient answer.
Ok, how about their purses? Sometimes they get real tiny.
 

cmaier

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I'm not biting at the use case thing there. It's not been a popular option today. ;)

But I also believe Samsung isn't just doing this on a whim. I'm sure they have a goal in mind with this product. Maybe they're testing the waters. Maybe they're practicing getting good at making this technology and already have future products in mind. Maybe they've done some market research and know things you and I don't. To be honest, I didn't see this as the next logical successor in their foldable technology based on what they released last year, so who's to say what their end goal is here.
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Ok, how about their purses? Sometimes they get real tiny.
It‘s the stereotypical samsung thing. “We have a technology. We can’t figure out what problems it solves. Let’s make a million products with it and see what sticks.”
 

MEJHarrison

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It‘s the stereotypical samsung thing. “We have a technology. We can’t figure out what problems it solves. Let’s make a million products with it and see what sticks.”
There is that. Apple waits until things are perfect and they can sell hundreds of millions. Samsung does seem a lot more willing to test products out on the market. Different approaches I guess. Not to say Apple doesn't misstep from time to time.
 

DeepIn2U

macrumors 603
May 30, 2002
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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
S20 is interesting. But I don’t expect it to sell well. Who/where is the market for super expensive android devices?

then there is the flip....another in the growing line of silly useless devices that no one asked for, or is willing to buy. I mean honestly.
thisZ Flip reminds me more of that BlackBerry flip phone lol.
 

Grey Area

macrumors regular
Jan 14, 2008
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I started out in this thread earnestly asking for someone to explain a use case for this particular device. As reply after reply of “you’re an idiot, It’s awesome!” accumulated, it became clear to me that nobody has an actual explanation.
Aww, come on. It is perfectly fine if you have different priorities regarding phone sizes during transport - a non-folding phone saves 0,8 cm in thickness, and that is more important to you than the other dimensions, and that is alright. But a folding phone saves 60 cm^2 in those other dimensions, and that is worthwhile to many other people. It comes off as quite disingenuous to claim that they have not provided any actual explanation.

Folding things is a proven, useful method to make them more portable. It is why clay tablets were replaced by scrolls, and scrolls were replaced by books. The advantages are strikingly obvious to most people, for very rational reasons.
 

DeepIn2U

macrumors 603
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People wore flip phone from Nokia the same time they had those extremely small screen phones and we bought ringtones as that was the extent of cool back then.

Then Apple invented the iPhone and everyone realized, ring tones were moronic, flip phones were synonymous with junk since it's not just a phone anymore, but a pocket computer, and I could go on, but really, the future isn't a folding phone.

AR glasses for heads up UI that complements the phone has a much stronger use case today over a flip-phone, never mind when it fully integrates properly and your actual phone/watch is in a pocket/on your wrist as you gesture w/ your hands and talk quietly into a noise cancelling ear piece that will be so sensitive you will no longer look like a fool talking to themselves.
you & me baby we “here!”

Watch & Glasses (not like VR; yet with retina tracking and built in dual or tri-cameras) is the future!

Smartphone is on the wrist, glasses allow for reality overlay for display (infinitely larger than any ‘portable or folding display’), tunes for anyone’s specific visual acuity, and cameras for pics/video/special awareness (think AR or maps), and for gesture based commands & navigation!

the real breakthrough here will beimplementing basic gestures that are not too strange when used in public yet also common enough for all cultures of the world to use (think various languages on keyboards as a base in what I’m saying here). Next would be subtle gestures maybe the end user can add for privacy commands.

sign language or vocal input ... potentially both done simultaneously. If anyone has ever read Dune books and seen the Dune TV specials featuring James McAvoy (professor X, Glass, Wanted) there was a scene where two woman seated down facing each other under watched fairs having a public and private conversation (vocal & sign language respectively) simultaneously without missing a beat! This was awesome to see delivered in visual as it was written in the books. We’ll evolve into a society that can do this effortlessly and our computing devices will evolve to handle both inputs without issue on two communication or input entry’s.
 

paradox00

macrumors 65816
Sep 29, 2009
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That’s not my impression of @cmaier at all.
Then they should reply to people that have provided use case examples, instead of saying they haven’t been presented with any.

This isn’t about the Fold. The use case of the Fold makes a lot more sense to me. I’d love to unfold my iPhone into an iPad mini if I could.

This phone’s use case is quite different, and I don’t think women’s pants are a sufficient answer.
When (not if) this outsells the Fold, will you acknowledge it? Ignoring form factors, it has a lower price, glass display, and lacks the negative stigma of the horrendous pre-release press devices. Those alone will almost certainly propel it to higher sales.

Let’s talk about the form factor though. The exterior screen on the Fold is too narrow to do many smartphone tasks, so you have to open it every time to do those, and the tablet interface is more of a wide screen phone interface, and isn’t a good tablet. Additionally cmair’s concerns about the thickness of the Flip are actually relevant with the Fold, because it maintains the full height of a modern smartphone.

The Z Flip is a much simpler value proposition. Let’s start with some facts:

1. People want big screened smartphones. Sales data has shown this time and time again.

2. There exist people with pockets too small for a large screened phone.

I don’t think either of these can be contested, but you’re free to try.

From those two points, it can be reasonably argued that there exist people for which both 1 and 2 apply. The sheer number of people in each of those camps would make it a near statistical certainty. For people that fall into both camps, the Flip represents the mythical large screen phone that can fit in a pocket. Arguments that the Flip won’t fit in a smaller pocket due to its thickness are, frankly, invalid. The Flip is similar in every dimension to many men’s wallets. I’ve confirmed against my own wallet and can assure you my wallet fits in more pockets than my iPhone.

Then there’s the finish on these phones. They are a very shiny metallic gold, purple and black. When closed, they remind me a piece of jewelry. You can reject the idea of fitting in women’s pants if you want, but I would suggest there’s ample evidence to support it, and that Samsung is even targeting it.

Lastly, I would suggest that anyone with a genuine interest in the use case could at least visit Samsung’s product page to see how Samsung is marketing it. There you’ll be met with this tag line:

Galaxy Z Flip folds to be surprisingly small for an outstanding design that easily fits into your pocket or bag.
This is the answer to the original question, straight from the horses mouth. Answers similar to this have been provided numerous times in this thread. It’s really that simple.

It’s really hard to convince someone that 2+2=4 if they don’t want to accept it.
 

chucker23n1

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Dec 7, 2014
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When (not if) this outsells the Fold, will you acknowledge it?
Sure, why not.

Ignoring form factors, it has a lower price, glass display, and lacks the negative stigma of the horrendous pre-release press devices.
It also has a use case that is far more niche than that of the Fold.

If the Fold were a more viable product, it could practically kill the iPad mini: it is that plus a phone, in one single device. Cool! But for mechanical reasons, we're probably half a decade away from that dream, if not more. The Flip, meanwhile, is utterly useless in its folded form, and worse than a regular phone in unfolded form: you can't glance at it, and you have to live with a permanent crease and reduced reliability.

The Z Flip is a much simpler value proposition. Let’s start with some facts:

1. People want big screened smartphones. Sales data has shown this time and time again.

2. There exist people with pockets too small for a large screened phone.

I don’t think either of these can be contested, but you’re free to try.

From those two points, it can be reasonably argued that there exist people for which both 1 and 2 apply. The sheer number of people in each of those camps would make it a near statistical certainty. For people that fall into both camps, the Flip represents the mythical large screen phone that can fit in a pocket. Arguments that the Flip won’t fit in a smaller pocket due to its thickness are, frankly, invalid. The Flip is similar in every dimension to many men’s wallets. I’ve confirmed against my own wallet and can assure you my wallet fits in more pockets than my iPhone.

Then there’s the finish on these phones. They are a very shiny metallic gold, purple and black. When closed, they remind me a piece of jewelry. You can reject the idea of fitting in women’s pants if you want, but I would suggest there’s ample evidence to support it, and that Samsung is even targeting it.

Lastly, I would suggest that anyone with a genuine interest in the use case could at least visit Samsung’s product page to see how Samsung is marketing it. There you’ll be met with this tag line:
I'm not really interested in what Samsung's marketing says the use case is. They're obviously not going to make a website with the tag line "whoops, random dude on Mac Rumors is right: this product makes no sense at all!"

I'm also not interested in discouraging you from getting one. You seem to like it a lot, so more power to you! But I think you're vastly overestimating the market potential here.

It’s really hard to convince someone that 2+2=4 if they don’t want to accept it.
Are you really arguing the case for the Z Flip is easy as 2+2? Cause, come on, that's absurd.
 

Bane-Thunder

macrumors 6502
Mar 12, 2014
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Loving the design and features of the S20, after all these years using my iPhone gonna make the switch to Android. 120hz screen plus almost all screen display and the fingerprint scanner. I'm liking the feature set.

I have gotten pretty tired of my side loaded apps getting revoked to be honest. I like that with android any app i install stay until deleted lol. Thats why I updated my 4k tv to a 4k HDR Android OS tv and its just excellent.
 

HandITOVER

macrumors regular
Jan 13, 2020
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Loving the design and features of the S20, after all these years using my iPhone gonna make the switch to Android. 120hz screen plus almost all screen display and the fingerprint scanner. I'm liking the feature set.

I have gotten pretty tired of my side loaded apps getting revoked to be honest. I like that with android any app i install stay until deleted lol. Thats why I updated my 4k tv to a 4k HDR Android OS tv and its just excellent.
Look like the release of every smartphone in 2020 adopted a 120hz screen and Apple is yet to release 120hz iPhone .

The $229 POCO X2 Smartphone also comes with 120hz.
 

paradox00

macrumors 65816
Sep 29, 2009
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Sure, why not.



It also has a use case that is far more niche than that of the Fold.

If the Fold were a more viable product, it could practically kill the iPad mini: it is that plus a phone, in one single device. Cool! But for mechanical reasons, we're probably half a decade away from that dream, if not more. The Flip, meanwhile, is utterly useless in its folded form, and worse than a regular phone in unfolded form: you can't glance at it, and you have to live with a permanent crease and reduced reliability.



I'm not really interested in what Samsung's marketing says the use case is. They're obviously not going to make a website with the tag line "whoops, random dude on Mac Rumors is right: this product makes no sense at all!"

I'm also not interested in discouraging you from getting one. You seem to like it a lot, so more power to you! But I think you're vastly overestimating the market potential here.



Are you really arguing the case for the Z Flip is easy as 2+2? Cause, come on, that's absurd.
For the record, I don’t want this phone. I just understand the appeal of the form factor (it is as simple as 2+2). This is still a gen 1 device with compromises I’d be unwilling to accept (plus I need a phone that can go for the occasional swim).

I’ve made the case for the form factor and backed up the case with supporting information, something you haven’t done.

How have you determined that there are more people interested in a phone that turns into a tablet than a large screened phone that folds down to half the size? Not that it matters, as both can exist.

I can say with full confidence that the Fold fell well short of that phone + tablet ideal though, and the form Samsung choose played a role in that. I don’t see the Flip missing its ideal by that same margin. Seriously, read this review.

When the Fold was announced, my take was that they should have made a folding tablet at a lower price point or a phone that folds in half. Shoehorning two devices into one left both compromised. That’s still my view now.

If you want to talk about the future of tablet phones though, I think Huawei’s design has a brighter one and wouldn’t be surprised to see Samsung switch to that (with their folding glass). It’s so much cleaner and doesn’t require three different sets of cameras to match with all the screens.

PS: Please get your facts straight. The Flip has a small screen for glanceable notifications. You can also use the camera without unfolding it. But this a complete fallacy of an argument anyway. If you have a folding phone, you can leave it unfolded when it’s not in your pocket, and then functions exactly the same as a non-folding phone.
 
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chucker23n1

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For the record, I don’t want this phone. I just understand the appeal of the form factor (it is as simple as 2+2). This is still a gen 1 device with compromises I’d be unwilling to accept (plus I need a phone that can go for the occasional swim).
If you agree that there's significant compromises, then I'm not really sure what you're disagreeing on.

How have you determined that there are more people interested in a phone that turns into a tablet than a large screened phone that folds down to half the size? Not that it matters, as both can exist.
I've made that estimate based on anecdotes, just like you have. Unless you've done market research on how many pants fit this phone but won't fit a regular phone, and/or how many purses do?

PS: Please get your facts straight. The Flip has a small screen for glanceable notifications. You can also use the camera without unfolding it. But this a complete fallacy of an argument anyway. If you have a folding phone, you can leave it unfolded when it’s not in your pocket, and then functions exactly the same as a non-folding phone.
You're being really combative for no apparent reason.

Here's all I said:

"This isn’t about the Fold. The use case of the Fold makes a lot more sense to me. I’d love to unfold my iPhone into an iPad mini if I could.

This phone’s use case is quite different, and I don’t think women’s pants are a sufficient answer."

That's all. In response, you write walls of text to prove my opinion wrong, and… honestly, why?
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Look like the release of every smartphone in 2020 adopted a 120hz screen and Apple is yet to release 120hz iPhone .

The $229 POCO X2 Smartphone also comes with 120hz.
I'm pretty sure Apple hasn't released a phone in 2020.
 

chucker23n1

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Dec 7, 2014
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So SS released a phone with a more durable folding screen that renders the 4 mo old GF obsolete? Wonder what those who took out a mortgage for a GF have to say. 🤦‍♂️
They're completely different form factors. An iPad mini doesn't render an iPad Pro 12" obsolete…
 

nylonsteel

macrumors 6502a
Nov 5, 2010
831
43
these macrumors videos are pretty good
anyway
the foldable phone has interesting footprint folded
wish thinner though
should come with a lifetime anti crease warranty
 

Unregistered 4U

macrumors 6502a
Jul 22, 2002
865
466
120hz screen
Just remember, Samsung has to decrease the resolution to 1080 to get 120hz. I wonder if other phones have to do the same?

EDIT:
The POCO phone is 1080 x 2400 pixels and it appears the RAZR phone is the only one that does 120hz and 1440. For those buying the phone for the refresh rate, they likely won’t mind the drop in resolution, though. I mean, if it’s part of why they’re buying the phone, why not turn it in right after getting it?
 
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cmaier

macrumors P6
Jul 25, 2007
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California
Aww, come on. It is perfectly fine if you have different priorities regarding phone sizes during transport - a non-folding phone saves 0,8 cm in thickness, and that is more important to you than the other dimensions, and that is alright. But a folding phone saves 60 cm^2 in those other dimensions, and that is worthwhile to many other people. It comes off as quite disingenuous to claim that they have not provided any actual explanation.

Folding things is a proven, useful method to make them more portable. It is why clay tablets were replaced by scrolls, and scrolls were replaced by books. The advantages are strikingly obvious to most people, for very rational reasons.
And again you are talking about folding devices in the ABSTRACT and not this specific device. Proving, once again, my point.
 

beermode

macrumors member
Apr 18, 2016
61
223
I simply disagree with your premise because I’ve never seen pockets that can comfortably accommodate devices that thick. Whereas even the largest iphone height fits easily in the back pocket of every pair of pants I own.

I also have never seen a wallet that thick since 1976, other than George Costanza on Seinfeld.
Wow, give it a rest. Anecdotal things like your own personal bubble doesn't mean anything.
 

beermode

macrumors member
Apr 18, 2016
61
223
If that is a personal attack, I would watch your conduct of flipping out on everyone pointing out it's not as big as you think it is. It's smaller than my wallet, and no I do not have a Costanza wallet, not even close. It's Flowfold with like 5 cards in it.
Calm down. Its really weird how you dont think the AirPod case is cumbersome if you were to apply your own standard to that.
 

cmaier

macrumors P6
Jul 25, 2007
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If that is a personal attack, I would watch your conduct of flipping out on everyone pointing out it's not as big as you think it is. It's smaller than my wallet, and no I do not have a Costanza wallet, not even close. It's Flowfold with like 5 cards in it.
Calm down. Its really weird how you dont think the AirPod case is cumbersome if you were to apply your own standard to that.
Yes, I think it’s a personal attack. Telling someone to “give it a rest” is a personal attack. Referring to “your own personal bubble” is a personal attack. And no, I haven’t flipped out on anyone. I have simply disagreed with them. And, by the way, judging by “like” counts on messages, most people agree with me And disagree with you.

And I *do* think the AirPod case is cumbersome, so I don’t know what you are talking about (to be more precise - I refer to the AirPod Pro Case. I don’t have a lot of experience with regular AirPods, because i tried them and hated them because they wouldn’t stay in my ears).
 

TheSapient

macrumors regular
May 26, 2017
121
119
I simply disagree with your premise because I’ve never seen pockets that can comfortably accommodate devices that thick. Whereas even the largest iphone height fits easily in the back pocket of every pair of pants I own.

I also have never seen a wallet that thick since 1976, other than George Costanza on Seinfeld.
You are the only person who wears your pants though.

I don't especially want the Flip, but it is not much bigger than my loaded-up slim wallet. I carry my wallet in one front pocket and my phone in the other. When I sit, I take out my phone for comfort, but never my wallet. I barely notice it is there.

And then I think about my wife, who can't even fully fit a typical phone in her pocket. When out, her phone is in her purse. When at home, it sits on the kitchen counter. She relies on her watch to know when she has messages to deal with. Having a phone that can fit into her pockets means a flip phone means it is less work to use her phone. She doesn't have to walk through the house or open her purse.

If the price of flip phones ever gets within a couple hundred dollars of slabs with similar specs, they will be huge sellers.