Samsung Galaxy S20 unveiled, to cost Ksh.138K

Samsung Galaxy S20 unveiled, to cost Ksh.138K

The world’s biggest smartphone maker unveiled a new foldable device, the Galaxy Z Flip, at its Unpacked press event in San Francisco on Tuesday.

The 6.7-inch smartphone folds into a square about half its size, with a small rectangular display on the front cover for notifications.

It comes in three colours — purple, black and gold — though only the first two colours will be available initially when it goes on sale February 14 in select stores and online.

Samsung also unveiled a limited edition of the flip phone in partnership with New York fashion brand Thom Browne, which features the brand’s signature red-white-and-blue stripe on a gray exterior.

“This is no ordinary smartphone. It changes everything,” Rebecca Hirst, Samsung’s head of UK mobile marketing, said while unveiling the device.

The phone will cost $1,380 (Ksh.138,883), placing it at the higher end of Samsung’s new S20 lineup.

It features three variants: the 6.2-inch S20 starting at $999.99 (Ksh.100,509); the 6.7-inch S20+ starting at $1199.99 (Ksh.120,730); and the 6.9-inch S20 Ultra starting at $1399.99 (Ksh.140,852).

But the Galaxy Z Flip is cheaper than its closest competitor: Motorola’s rebooted smartphone version of its iconic Razr flip phone costs $1,500 (Ksh.150,915).

And while the Samsung flip phone’s camera system isn’t as powerful as the one on the S20 devices, it does have three lenses — two at the back and one in the front — capable of taking wide and ultra-wide shots.

This is Samsung’s second folding smartphone, and the company will be hoping to avoid the problems it had with its first.

The rollout of the $1,980 (Ksh.199,207) Galaxy Fold was delayed by several months after some early reviewers in April flagged that the phone constantly flickered and the folding screen broke too easily.

The phone finally launched last fall. Unlike the Galaxy Fold, which folded vertically outward similar to butterfly wings, the Galaxy Z Flip stays true to its name by adopting the clamshell design typical of more traditional flip phones.

The company promises that its “ultra thin” folding glass display won’t break as easily this time. “This glass is built to last,” Hirst said.

Samsung first teased the Galaxy Z Flip in an ad during the Oscars two days before its “Unpacked” event.

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Lawrence Baraza is a prolific writer with competencies in Digital Media, Print, and Broadcast. Baraza is also a Communication Practitioner currently spearheading Digital content on Metropol TV's Digital Desk.

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