I want a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3.
I have no idea why.
My iPhone 12 Pro has never let me down. It’s easily the most dependable and ergonomically perfect smartphone I’ve ever owned.
So why am I always thinking about what I can replace it with?
Like many people, I chuckled at the re-emergence of flip phones. I owned a first-generation Motorola Razr, and back then, it was a properly cool device. But the idea of it returning in a world of rigid pocketable powerhouses seemed silly.
However, that might have been a little shortsighted. The manufacturers behind the new wave of flipping phones clearly believe they’re onto something.
I think they are, too. And I wish Apple would do something about it.
Don’t want an iPhone flip? Don’t worry!
Nothing has to change. I’m not suggesting Apple should ditch its current trajectory with the iPhone and starts making experimental models that’ll alienate most of its user base.
Why would they? In 2020, 50% of Apple’s revenue came from iPhone sales. That amounted to $274 billion.
Something is working.
I just want them to unbutton their shirt, kick off their loafers, and have a proper drink once in a while. Here’s why Apple needs to give us a folding iPhone (alongside the usual rectangular slab).
1. Samsung is looking increasingly interesting
We all know that this bothers Apple.
Sure, there have been some really odd attempts to set the Galaxy line apart from the rest (hand gestures, anyone?), but at least they’re giving it a go.
It’s why I’ve always kept an eagle eye on Samsung’s smartphone endeavours, and, recently, I feel like I’m doing so more than ever.
They’re interesting. The stuff they’re doing right now makes for far more attention-grabbing headlines and reviews than a new iPhone. I really do not care at all about the iPhone 13; the thought of it bores me to tears.
But the Z Flip and Galaxy Fold? They’re fascinating. They’ve got the want-ability factor that I lost for the iPhone several years ago.
2. Flip phones are cool
No, they really are – and for no other reason than because they’re just cool.
Sometimes, that’s totally ok.
I love flipping things closed or shut. Whether it’s the AirPods Pro case, the keys to our Tucson, or my pocket knife before a bout of unboxing, there’s something immeasurably satisfying about the flick of the wrist to ‘activate’ a thing.
Admit it, you’ve done this and smiled to yourself. Or looked in the mirror while winking and admiring how cool you are.
Imagine doing the same with your iPhone, though. You want to, don’t you? Come on, admit it.
3. There’s a lot of utility on offer
Flip phones are pretty useful, too.
I have a feeling the days of massive smartphones are on the wane. I’ve lost count of how many people have told me that they’re fed up with their iPhone Pro Max. I personally switched to the regular Pro simply because it looked less unwieldy than its massive big brother. As it turns out, that was a smart move.
However, the idea of having a phone that halves in size when placed in your pocket is really interesting.
I also like the fact that you can do a lot less with your phone while it’s flipped closed. A second screen that displays nothing more than the time and presence of any notifications might be enough to reduce the number of inane doom scrolling sessions we all fall into each day when picking up our phones.
You can bet your bottom dollar that Apple would do something really interesting with a flip phone, too. Something every other manufacturer is yet to conceive and for which I’m not imaginative enough to conjure up myself. But they’d do it, and it would add the all-important why-didn’t-we-think-of-that factor to the iPhone flip (no, I know, it wouldn’t be called that).
There are problems with flip phones. They don’t appear to snap entirely shut due to the screen. There’s a visible crease on the screen which you can also feel while interacting with the user interface. The hinge is likely to give up the ghost at some stage.
But this is what makes them exciting. Phones like this are damn interesting. What’s more, the reviews of the latest line of flippable Galaxy devices are full of praise. Samsung really is getting somewhere, and I think they’re turning more heads by the day.
I’m desperately bored of rock-solid tech. I need it to keep my business running efficiently, but I’d never go out for a drink with it once the office doors close. But the Z Flip 3? We’d be out until 3am.