When Samsung takes the stage at its Unpacked 2020 event on February 11, I’m sure lots of people will be interested in the Galaxy S20. After all, there must be a good reason that the company is skipping right over the Galaxy S11 name and going right to the S20, right?
Between the 120Hz display, the bigger displays for all three expected phones, the fast new Snapdragon 865 CPU and the alleged 108MP camera for the S20 Ultra, its easy to see why Samsung is aiming for a Galaxy 2.0 vibe. The Galaxy S20 could very well wind up on our best phone list as well.
But something tells me that none of that will matter once the Galaxy Z Flip is unveiled. Based on all the rumors and the leaks, this foldable phone will immediately steal the spotlight from the Galaxy S20. Here’s why.
A foldable flip phone is novel — and something people want
When you ultimately look at the Galaxy S20 phones on the shelf, they’re not going to look that different from the Galaxy S10 and all the other flagship phones on the market. But the Galaxy Z Flip will look and feel truly new.
Similar to the Motorola Razr, the Galaxy Z Flip is expected to be a foldable phone with a clamshell design. When folded up, the whole thing should easily fit in your front pocket, but unfolded you’ll get a huge 6.7-inch display. So, yeah, there’s a novelty factor, but it also sounds convenient so long as it’s executed well.
The first foldable glass phone
The Galaxy Z Flip’s screen should not only be bigger than the new Motorola Razr (6.2 inches), but it’s reportedly made of ultra-thin glass instead of plastic. Up until now, all of the foldable phones introduced, including the first Galaxy Fold, have used plastic displays. And given the Fold’s durability concerns, there will be lots of curiosity around how Samsung made a foldable glass screen happen.
While the Galaxy S20 Ultra is rumored to start at $1,300 with its 6.9-inch display and 5G connectivity standard, the Galaxy Z Flip has a reported starting rice of $1,400. That exorbitant cost alone will cause many to ignore the S20 line on launch day. Can Samsung justify the cost?
It already has a big rival: the new Razr
Right after the Galaxy Z Flip comes out, people will be comparing it to the new Motorola Razr. The return of this 2000-era icon is also a foldable flip phone and it will be exclusive for Verizon with an even higher price of $1,500. This rivalry will only add to the intrigue around the Galaxy Z Flip.
As someone who has been covering smartphones well before the launch of the original iPhone, I have a pretty good feel for what is buzz worthy. And while the Galaxy S20 may very well live up to the new moniker, the Galaxy Z Flip will be the hot phone to watch.
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Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.