Ever since the digital device was deemed to be unavoidable, ubiquitous and an integral part of our lives, the search has been on for a credible digital detox, a way to smooth out the relentlessly insistent nature of instant access to information and communications. For digital doubters, the new Samsung Galaxy Z Flip phone is a step in the right direction. This new stab at a folding phone demands that you open it up before zoning out of your surroundings. The NY-based fashion brand Thom Browne clearly believes that this smart black square is the key to a quiet life, as well as offering up the perfect canvas for self-expression, both sartorial and digital
The new Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Thom Browne Edition offers refinement from the packaging onwards. The limited edition device has a tailored software interface with app icons that appear to be hand-stitched and lettering that takes its cue from the company image. A Venetian blind style wake screen takes inspiration from the American Gigolo aesthetic that permeates the brand, while there's also a grey leather case, grey earbuds and the simple Thom Browne four-bar logo to wrap up the all-American style sensibility.
Thom Browne’s latest Golf Collection plays off an Andy Warhol portrait (opens in new tab)
Even the sounds have been given a late-century makeover, with a typewriter clack for the on-screen keyboard, an old-school analogue ringtone and the sound of a shoe tapping on the floor as a notification. The tone is under statement, despite the Z Flip's bountiful tech specs and cutting-edge appearance – this is the first credible folding phone on the market, with a mechanism that's good for a minimum of 200,000 actions. The tiny notification screen on the front, 12-megapixel main camera and useful 256GB of storage mean you're not scrimping on specification while still majoring on style
Jonathan Bell has written for Wallpaper* magazine since 1999, covering everything from architecture and transport design to books, tech and graphic design. He is now the magazine’s Transport and Technology Editor. Jonathan has written and edited 15 books, including Concept Car Design, 21st Century House, and The New Modern House. He is also the host of Wallpaper’s first podcast.
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