Be Still My Y2K Heart — Flip Phones Are Back and Better Than Ever

Samsung Flip 4

It’s been 20 years since Paris Hilton paced the LA streets, bright pink Motorola Razr in hand with a crew of paparazzi in tow capturing her every move. Fast forward to today — are flip phones still hot?

Overnight, Wednesday, August 10, Samsung debuted new smartphones, smartwatches and earbuds as part of its Unpacked event. Among the array of updates, easily the most anticipated were the Galaxy Z Fold4 and Galaxy Z Flip4.

The Galaxy Z Fold4 has largely the same design as its predecessor, though it’s a tad lighter and has a better camera, while the Z Flip 4 also looks not too different than its previous model, but has some new software tricks and fast charging.

Let’s take a step back, and look at the bigger picture of flip phones and foldables. With Samsung currently being the only tech giant playing in the foldables space, when will the others jump into the race — if at all? And, from a consumer angle, why get a phone that shuts anyway?

Samsung Fold 4
Image: Samsung

Related: $2,999 Is A Small Price to Pay For a Phone That Will Fix Your Entire Life

Related: Is Apple’s HomePod Making a Comeback? These Clues Say Yes

There are rumours Apple is set to release an iPhone Flip. Display analyst Ross Young has suggested the foldable phone could be released in 2023, while a report from another tech insider, Ming-Chi Kuo, states that it may not arrive until 2025.

Samsung Flip 4
Image: Samsung

As for Google, it’s also been rumoured to be working on a foldable. Young tweeted in February 2022 that the Pixel would start production later this year.

So, why consider flipping to a flip phone? What do flip phones give you that other smartphones don’t?

Increased Productivity

While it shouldn’t come as a surprise to any smartphone users that frequent notifications can have significant negative impact on our health, there’s a growing body of research proving it. It’s been found that smartphone dependency can increase the risk of anxiety and depression in young people, disrupt the sleep cycle, and even reduce cognitive capacity.

“It was concluded that the excessive smartphone use had a negative psychological effect,” reads study Cell phone addiction and psychological and physiological health in adolescents, published in National Library of Medicine.

While the X Flip 4 does have a smaller screen display — the Cover Screen — that’ll display notifications, there’s something to be said about actually being able to close your phone.

More Screen Space and a Bigger Keyboard

Next up: bigger space — both for the screen and the keyboard. In fact, the Z Fold 4 is bordering on being a tablet, and is touch pen compatible (the Z Flip 4 has an optional pen, too). But with them being a flip phone, all that extra space doesn’t make for a bigger phone — when folded, it can still slip it into a pocket or compartment.

Let You Prop It Up Anywhere  

Forget having to find a wall or object to lean your phone against if you want to sit back and watch something or film yourself doing something. Both the Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 let you easily place the phone on a flat surface so you can be hands-free.

Bottom line? While the current flip and foldable phones on the market — really, only Samsung’s offering — aren’t cheap, if you’re looking for a phone upgrade, they’re certainly worth considering.

Prices for Z Flip 4 in Australia range from $1,499 to $1,849 and the Z Fold 4 will set you back $2,499 to $2,999. Both the Flip4 and Fold4 will release in Australia on September 2, and pre-orders are now live.

Read more stories from The Latch and subscribe to our email newsletter.