Review: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip offers nostalgia for a hefty price tag

Review: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip.
The Galaxy Z Flip. Photo credit: Samsung

I fondly remember the mid-2000s as some of the best years of my life: the Black Eyed Peas blasting over the radio, Sticky TV after school and a scoop of hot chips costing just $1.

Samsung has attempted to capitalise on nostalgia for the era with its latest smartphone, the Galaxy Z Flip.

But have they succeeded - is this pricey throwback to the mid-noughties great, or just flipping awful?

The pros

The Galaxy Z Flip is an exciting and at times confusing mix of new technology combined with the nostalgia of the 2000s.

It ticks a lot of boxes, but seems to fall short on others. Neon-pink? Tick. Uber-futuristic? Tick. Folds in half? Definitely.

It's over half an inch bigger than its competitor the iPhone 11 and the larger-than-life 6.7 inch AMOLED screen makes Youtube or that pesky mid-morning Zoom meeting a breeze.

The plexiglass dividing the two glass screens isn't as much of an eyesore as it first appears. While it isn't a perfect seam, Samsung comes pretty close and by about day two you forget it's even there.

The Galaxy Z Flip is powered by the latest version of Android 10, which makes navigating the phone an enjoyable experience. Sure, it's no iOS, but Android makes little things like checking your social media while on the phone or fiddling with the settings an absolute breeze.

For the tech-obsessed out there, the Galaxy Z Flip is packing an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ chip and 8GB of RAM. That's more than enough grunt to handle the day-to-day tasks. 

Well prepared for all the Zooming and Skyping you'll be doing during the lockdown, the Galaxy Z Flip's hefty 3300mAh battery contains more than enough juice to get you through the day, although don't go expecting a quick recharge.

I found myself using it as you would a make-up compact more than once. Resting happily in the palm of your hand or upright on a desk and making video calls without having to prop it up against a rogue book is refreshing and makes for one seriously cool perk.

So what's there not to like about the Galaxy Z Flip? 

The cons

The first and most damning problem is the phone's camera. The Galaxy Z Flip falls woefully short in its camera game - for the hefty $2500 price tag, you should expect better snaps. 

It's a high-tech phone so a camera that would've been competitive around two years ago just doesn't cut the mustard.

Hey, Samsung, 2018 called and it wants its dual-12MP lenses back!

The Galaxy Z Flip has followed in Apple's footsteps and ditched the standard 3.5mm headphone jack.

Blasting Black Eyed Peas in your 1998 Toyota Corolla is now no longer an option, which is a tragedy. The dongle life just doesn't suit me.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip review.
The Galaxy Z Flip. Photo credit: Samsung

Finally, we reach the biggest feature of the phone: the ability to fold it in half.

Realistically, Samsung has the gimmick of the century. It's a great feeling to relive the glory days and flip the phone shut when you hang up the phone. It should be smooth sailing for them, right?


It's all fun and games but after a few days, the flipping gets flippin' old. 

The phone is too unwieldy to flip with one hand, making everyday use a little difficult. Eventually, you get used to the patented two-handed flip; but for the successor of a phone universally adored for its satisfying 'click', this is one major letdown.

The verdict

For all its perks and quirkiness, the Galaxy Z Flip has some major flaws.

Maybe it takes more than a few days to return to the pre-2010 way of life, or maybe it truly is one step too far.

In a way, buying a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is almost exactly like listening to the Black Eyed Peas.

A song or two is enough to take a nostalgia-fuelled trip back to better times, but any more and you'll wonder why you ever looked back.