At Samsung’s Unpacked event on February 11th, where it announced the new Galaxy S20 phones and the Z Flip, I wasn’t struck by how good the Galaxy S20 Ultra looks — of course it looks good. Samsung has been making good Galaxy S phones for over a decade now. It’s figured that game out. Samsung’s last foldable phone, though, was a bit of a disaster.
My biggest surprise yesterday was the quality of the Galaxy Z Flip. Samsung seems to have done many of the things I said it needed to do to redeem the folding phone category. The screen is glass, the build quality seems solid, and the specs aren’t underpowered. It’s a good thing Samsung got so much right because if Motorola had to carry the banner for folding phones, we’d be in a much darker place.
My review of the Razr is going up soon, but in the meanwhile, I brought Motorola’s flip phone to Samsung’s big event so I could compare it to the Z Flip directly. As you’ll see in the video above and have no doubt surmised from the headline, it was no contest.
These are just hands-on impressions, so take them with the appropriate grains of salt. But as I looked at the phones next to each other, the difference in quality was stark. Every mistake the Razr makes — and they are myriad — the Z Flip avoids. Samsung’s foldable doesn’t creak, likely has better cameras, has a bigger battery and wireless charging, a faster processor, and a glass screen.
The Razr does have some qualities the Z Flip lacks: the iconic brand and look of the phone, the fact that it folds completely flat, and that it was technically released first (though that release didn’t go so hot, either). It’s also easier to open the Razr one-handed, for what it’s worth.
We’ll go more in depth on both of these phones in their respective reviews, but the main takeaway isn’t likely to change: Samsung is very good at making phones and had something to prove after last year’s Galaxy Fold debacle. It very well might have made the case.