Galaxy Z Flip: Will Samsung get the foldable phone right this time?
Samsung is revisiting foldable phones with Galaxy Z Flip. Featuring a Motorola Razr-like flip design, Galaxy Z Flip will be officially unveiled at the Galaxy Unpacked 2020 event tomorrow.
Foldable phones were supposed to break the design monotony prevailing in the smartphone space. The new form factor definitely has many takers but the technology is still in developmental stages. Democratization of the foldable phones will depend a lot on the likes of Samsung, one of the biggest smartphone companies in the world. After a rocky start with Galaxy Fold, Samsung is looking to correct course with a newer Z Flip, set to be unveiled at the Galaxy Unpacked event on February 11 in San Francisco.
Galaxy Z Flip is going to be a big test for Samsung. The new foldable phone is not only rumoured to be priced lower but also confirmed to have a brand new design. Its success could pave way for more and new foldable phones in 2020. And its failure may simply take the foldable segment backward.
Ghosts of the past
To recall, Samsung's first foldable phone 'Galaxy Fold' had a rocky start after it made a debut alongside the Galaxy S10 in February last year. Not only did the phone's screen break after less than a week of usage but the foldable display smartphone also faced issues with the differential refresh rate of its two screens. The situation got to the point where the company had to redesign the screen entirely within months while pushing the commercial launch date to the second half of the year.
But the issues with the Galaxy Fold weren't just limited to the screen. The first generation Galaxy Fold smartphone was also too fragile and too expensive, making it difficult to commercialise. Granted, the Galaxy Fold was targeted at a niche audience, however, having a smartphone that costs almost as much as a high-end MacBook Pro laptop ( ₹1,64,999) doesn't exactly make it desirable for everyone. Samsung knows the price challenge with the new form factor and has always described the phone as a "luxury" device.
WATCH: A closer look at Samsung's first foldable phone
Let's not forget, things weren't smooth for Huawei as well. The Chinese company had showcased Mate X to take on the Galaxy Fold. The fate of the Mate was no different from the Fold.
Later in the year, Motorola revived some interest in the segment with Razr. The nostalgia invoking flip-foldable phone hybrid phone is more affordable. Early reviews of the phone have hinted at the same longevity issues in the foldable phone.
Samsung just showed off the entire Z Flip during its Oscars ad. Small print says screen crease is normal, heh pic.twitter.com/uBesJ0FonT— nilay patel (@reckless) February 10, 2020
Foldable phones 2.0: New design, lower prices
The year 2020, on the other hand, began with renewed interest in the foldable display smartphones. Reports surrounding the Galaxy Z Flip and the availability of the Moto Razr in the market (finally!) rejuvenated people's interest in the foldable device. And now, the onus is on the upcoming Galaxy Z Flip to set a tone for the foldable devices that will be launched later this year, which includes the Galaxy Fold successor, the Samsung Galaxy Fold 2, and in future.
Samsung faces many challenges to spin this straw into gold. The company has to make the phone durable so that it lasts long and is able to withstand the real-world usage by end users. It also has to ensure that the phone is priced right. And it has to create an ecosystem of accessories around the phone to make it succeed in the long run.
The onus, like we said, is upon Samsung, which is about to launch its second generation foldable display smartphone. At the end of the day, it will come down to companies like Samsung, Xiaomi, LG, Oppo and Vivo to make the concept popular. Will Samsung be able to pull this off? We hope to get our answers at tomorrow's Unpacked 2020 event.
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