Samsung refined its vision of the foldable smartphone, aiming to expand uptake with a cheaper price tag and a clamshell design in its Galaxy Z Flip, which it unveiled alongside a trio of 5G-enabled Galaxy S20 models.
Galaxy Z Flip, Samsung’s second-generation foldable device, sports a 6.7-inch ultra-thin glass primary display and a 1-inch exterior screen, used for notifications and taking pictures when the phone is closed. The hinge enables the device to stay open at different angles like a laptop, with the display split into viewing and interaction areas.
TM Roh, head of Samsung Electronics’ Mobile Communications unit, hailed the device as “an important next step as we look to build the foldable category by bringing to consumers a new form factor, new display and most importantly, a new kind of mobile experience”.
After troubles with the Galaxy Fold, the company was quick to highlight durability, noting Galaxy Z Flip can open and close more than 200,000 times without damage.
Other features include dual 12MP rear cameras; a 10MP selfie camera; 256GB of storage; and a 3300mAh battery. It will be available in purple, black and gold.
Galaxy Z Flip will retail at $1,380, making it slightly cheaper than Motorola’s comparable Razr and significantly less than the $1,980 Galaxy Fold. Samsung said its latest model will initially be available in “limited quantities” in the US and South Korea from 14 February.
The release comes as Samsung aims to lead the nascent foldable category. Strategy Analytics recently tipped shipments of the handsets to grow from less than 1 million units in 2019 to 100 million by 2025, but flagged high pricing and questionable durability as short-term challenges.
The Galaxy S20 features a 6.2-inch AMOLED display; 12MP ultra-wide, 12MP wide-angle and 64MP telephoto lenses on the rear; 10MP selfie camera; 128GB of storage; and 4000mAh battery.
Galaxy S20 Plus boosts those specifications, offering a 6.7-inch AMOLED display; a fourth, depth vision, lens on the back and the same selfie set up; 128GB or 512GB of storage; and 4500mAh battery.
At the top of the tier sits the Galaxy S20 Ultra, with a 6.9-inch AMOLED display; 12MP ultra-wide, 108MP wide-angle, 48MP telephoto and depth vision lenses; a 40MP selfie camera; 128GB or 512GB of storage; and 5000mAh battery.
Samsung focused on the trio’s camera features, spotlighting new 8K video capture and high-resolution zoom capabilities. Entertainment and gaming were also focal points, with a new content partnership with Netflix announced, integration with Google Duo for video chats, and faster screen refresh rates.
Executives at a launch event detailed the 5G credentials, explaining Galaxy S20 is compatible with sub-6GHz bands, while the S20 Plus and S20 Ultra also include mmWave capabilities, which should ensure a global market. All three are compatible with non-standalone and standalone 5G configurations.
Pricing starts at $999.99 for Galaxy S20; $1,199.99 for Galaxy S20 Plus; and $1,399.99 for Galaxy S20 Ultra.
Customers can place orders for the devices from 21 February, with in-store availability on 6 March.