Samsung reveals Galaxy S20 and folding Z Flip phones – with huge price

Launch comes after problems with first attempt at folding phones

Samsung unveils foldable Z Flip phone

Samsung has revealed its new Galaxy S20 and a foldable flip phone – at a huge price.

The new handsets are packed with the latest technology, including a bendy display that allows the Z Flip to fold right across its screen.

But they are also very expensive, with the price of the S20 starting at $999. The Z Flip costs just under $1,400, which the company said was focused on early adopters.

As well as the bending screen in the Z Flip, the new Galaxy phones – the S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra – feature high-powered cameras and better support for 5G. They will arrive on 13 March.

They come at a difficult time for Samsung, which made headlines in becoming the first high-profile company to release a bending phone, with the Samsung Galaxy Fold. That launch went wrong after it was revealed that early models appeared to have defective screens that would break as they were bent.

The Galaxy Z Flip includes similar technology but has received more positive reviews from early critics.

The device opens and closes vertically, much like classic flip phones from the early 2000s, and also features a smaller outer screen which displays notifications when the device is shut.

Samsung's Rebecca Hirst said the Z Flip was "another giant step forward" for the company, describing it as a "new kind of device for a new decade of innovation".

The foldable will go on sale later this month, Samsung confirmed.

It was introduced at a live event alongside three new versions of the company's flagship Galaxy S20 range.

All three of the new phones feature what Samsung calls Space Zoom, a new feature in the rear camera system which will allow users to zoom in up to 30 times on the S20 and S20+, and up to 100 times on the S20 Ultra - previously unheard of in a smartphone.

For the first time, Samsung also confirmed that all of the devices in the range support 5G data networks.

The device range is split into three screen sizes; the 6.2-inch Galaxy S20, the 6.7-inch S20+ and the 6.9-inch S20 Ultra.

The Korean technology giant has focused on improving the experience of using the cameras on its new phones, as it looks to capitalise on the increasing popularity of smartphone camera use, particularly for social media apps such as Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok.

As a result, Samsung has also introduced a new camera feature called Single Take Mode, which enables users to capture photos and videos from all of the individual camera lenses at once, giving them a portfolio of different content to choice from to post to social media.

The tech giant will hope the new devices can solidify the company's position as the largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, ahead of closest rivals Huawei and Apple.

Huawei has been hit by its US trade ban, while Apple reported slowing iPhone sales during 2019 - although it did reveal stronger figures in its most recent financial results.

Technology industry expert Ben Wood from CCS Insight said Samsung's use of 5G across the S20 range could help it stand out in the crowded smartphone market.

"Samsung is continuing its metronomic updates to its Galaxy flagship devices with the S20 family," he said.

"The challenge, which it faces together with all other smartphone makers, is how to stand out from the endless stream of similar-looking black touchscreen rectangles.

"The support for 5G across all three variants of the S20 line-up is a key element, ensuring customers are getting a future-proof purchase and the camera certainly stands out, particularly on the Flagship S20 Ultra."

Additional reporting by agencies

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