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27/6/2021

Finally a folding phone review worth watching

Michael Fisher, on his YouTube channel MrMobile, introducing his long-term video review of one of the two categories of foldable phones:

Since I bought the first Samsung Galaxy Fold in January 2020, I have exclusively carried foldables as my personal phones. Today my daily carry includes a Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 for weekdays, stepping down to the smaller Galaxy Z Flip and Motorola Razr 5G on weekends. And over time I’ve noticed a funny thing: while I can get more work done on phones like the Fold 2, I find the flips so convenient, so … fun … that even during the week I sometimes slip one of these into my side pocket instead of the Fold.

So as we approach a second summer of Folds and Flips, I want to share my experience from the past year of actually using flip phones in our modern era: from nostalgic whimsy to screen-splitting heartbreak.

Concise, complete, honest review from Fisher. I really liked it because finally a review mentions the user experience of such flip-foldable phones. This is what I wrote last year, following the Guardian’s Samuel Gibbs second review” of the Galaxy Z Flip:

I think it is disappointing to not see Gibbs give more details on how it is to use the phone. […] What does it mean to have a folding device in terms of checking your messages and emails? Putting it in a pocket a million times a day? How often do you really need to open and close it? I am convinced that the answers to these questions are what people need to know about a folding phone, and something we don’t really learn from this review.

Maybe Fisher’s review is also a sign that the foldable phones are more mature now. Not only in their hardware, but in the way they are reviewed. It seems to me that most of the reviews of foldables I’ve read or watched were focusing too much on durability, and on how cool it is to have a foldable screen, neglecting the rest of what is usually reviewed.

Obviously having a modern OLED screen that can fold is pretty amazing and cool, and it is evident that durability — especially for such expensive devices — is a big concern for potential buyers and therefore must be thoroughly tested. But, as Michael Fisher says in his video, there were also lot of questions about the user experience, questions that have apparently remained without a satisfying answer for quite a while.

Is it annoying to open/close the phone all the time?

What are the perks of having a flip phone nowadays?

Is it useful without being opened?

Can it be used daily without losing too much compare to a regular slab phone?

MrMobile answers all these questions, and his answers are, like I said, honest, concise, and truly insightful.

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