Galaxy Z Flip 3 review: Samsung’s low-cost, high-tech flip phone is now even better.
Water resistance, quicker performance, and a reduced pricing are among the features of the third-generation folding-screen Android device.
Because of Samsung’s folding-screen technology, the flip phone is continuing its ascent back into the mainstream. It is now less expensive, smoother, water resistant, and more durable than the previous year’s model, and you may wonder why you would buy a conventional phone for the same price as this one.
The Galaxy Z Flip 3 succeeds the original Z Flip (there was no version two) and costs £949 ($999/A$1,499), which is £350 less than its predecessor and on pace with other premium smartphones, such as Samsung’s £949 Galaxy S21+ (which costs £949 in the UK).
Together with the £1,599 Galaxy Z Fold 3, the Flip 3 is one of Samsung’s third-generation folding-screen gadgets, which also includes a tablet-phone combination. The Fold 3 is a tablet that can be carried in your pocket, whereas the Flip 3 is a smartphone that can be folded in half like a cosmetics compact.
Samsung’s new Flip 3 is a development of the company’s previous foldable smartphone, the Flip 2. It is somewhat thinner, shorter, and narrower, and the hinge has been improved. The design on the outside is less flashy, and it has a slightly more substantial feel to it than previous models.
If you compare it to the original Flip, the folding 6.7-inch OLED screen is twice as quick, with a 120Hz refresh rate, putting it on level with the fastest conventional smartphones on the market and making scrolling and other interactions appear to be more fluid. Its ultra-thin glass cover is also 80 percent more durable, but it is still somewhat softer than conventional glass. It is also far smoother to the touch, enabling your fingertips to slide across the surface as effortlessly as they would on a typical phone.
The seam where the screen folds is still discernible, but it is only visible when the screen is turned off and at specific angles, making it easy to miss.
Perhaps the most significant physical improvement is the phone’s water resistance, which is a first for folding-screen phones and is rated to IPX8 standards for 1.5-metre depths for 30 minutes, matching the performance of the finest conventional smartphones.
Important to note is that the smartphone does not have the same level of dust resistance as the iPhone 6, since Samsung waterproofed each side of the phone and then applied an anti-corrosion treatment to the hinge in between the two layers of waterproofing. The possibility of dust getting inside the hinge still exists, but as the last model shown, the likelihood of it causing problems is much exaggerated if you are a little more careful with the gadget.
Main display: 6.7in FHD+ 120Hz AMOLED Infinity Flex Display with a curved edge (425ppi)
AMOLED display on the front panel (1.9in) (302ppi)
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 is the processor used.
RAM: A total of 8 GB of RAM is available.
128 or 256 GB of storage space
Operating system: One UI 3.1, which is based on the Android 11 operating system.
Cameras: twin rear cameras with 12MP wide angle and 12MP ultra-wide angle lenses, and a 10MP front-facing camera.
5G, nano sim + esim, wifi6, NFC, Bluetooth 5, GPS, and more connectivity options are available.
IPX8 rating for water resistance (1.5 metre depths for 30 minutes)
Dimensions when folded are 86.4 x 72.2 x 17.1-15.9mm.
Dimensions when unfolded: 166.0 x 72.2 x 6.9 mm.
183g in weight
High performance with a moderate battery life
The Z Flip 3 is equipped with Qualcomm’s latest top-of-the-line CPU, the Snapdragon 888, which is the same chip that is used in the Galaxy S21 series in the United States, as well as in devices from competitors like as OnePlus and Xiaomi.
The performance on a day-to-day basis is outstanding. The phone feels responsive, apps load and run quickly, and gaming performance was on par with that of top-tier Android competitors. It takes far less time than it did with the previous generation to unlock the phone with the fingerprint reader on the side.
The battery life, on the other hand, is certainly mediocre for a smartphone. There is enough battery life to last for more than 25 hours, or a full day with the screen on for around three hours. However, there is only about 25% of the battery life remaining, so you will need to charge it every day. That’s comparable to last year’s model, although it falls short of the S2136-hour +’s mark.
The battery life of the Z Flip 3 is not specified by Samsung, and it is not expected to last very long. They generally keep at least 80% of their original capacity for at least 500 complete charge cycles, which is comparable to that of similar devices.
In most cases, the phone can be repaired. Repairing the internal display costs no more than £279 and replacing the cover display costs no more than £79, while the battery may be replaced by authorized service centers for a total cost of £279.
The smartphone does not include any recycled elements, despite the fact that Samsung provides trade-in and recycling programs for previous smartphones. Its yearly sustainability reports are available for download, however no impact evaluations for specific items are available. The Z Flip 3 does not come with a charger or earbuds, which is a disappointment.
One User Interface (UI) 3.1
All of Samsung’s smartphones, including the S21 series, are powered by OneUI 3.1, which is a customized version of Android 11 that has been customized by the Korean firm.
It is a polished and high-performing version of Android that has a contemporary and well-organized interface and functions well. A few changes have been made to the folding screen as a result of customer feedback. For example, “Flex mode” divides the screen when you fold it into an L-shape for apps that support this feature. It can shift the video to the top of the screen and the playback controls to the bottom of the screen for YouTube, or it can move the viewfinder to the top of the screen and the shutter button to the bottom of the screen for the camera.
The Z Flip 3 will receive at least four years of software updates from the time of release, including monthly security patches, making it one of the longest-lasting Android devices available. However, it will lag behind Apple’s five-year-plus support for its iPhones by about a year or so, according to the company.
The twin 12-megapixel cameras on the back of the phone include a regular “wide” camera with optical image stabilisation as well as an ultrawide angle camera, which is comparable to the model from the previous year. Both cameras have been significantly enhanced and are virtually identical to the two cameras that were previously installed on the S21+.
They provide extremely high-quality pictures and solid video in a variety of lighting settings. Because of improvements over the previous year, low-light performance has improved, and while the ultra-wide camera loses a little detail and clarity in lower light levels, it remains one of the finest in its class.
There is no telephoto lens, so you must rely on digital zoom, which is adequate at 2x and extends to 10x in some situations. Turn off your smartphone and you can use the primary cameras to take selfies while holding it at arm’s length. This is a little tricky to line up at arm’s length but is excellent for quick photos. Alternatively, when taking a regular photo, you may turn on the cover screen so that your subject can see yourself while you are taking their picture.
It also has an excellent selfie camera, which can capture a significant amount of information in various lighting circumstances, which is located at the top of the main screen.
Overall, the Flip 3’s cameras are competitive with all but the very finest conventional smartphones, with the major drawback being the lack of a telephoto lens for the price of the device.
Both the top and bottom stereo speakers on the phone are of good quality, however the top speaker is considerably louder than the bottom one.
Because of the smooth, flat rear glass, the phone is easy to slip off uneven surfaces such as a sofa cushion or a table.
The screen gathers fingerprints more quickly than normal phones, which is likely due to the fact that it does not get rubbed clean when placed in a pocket.
The call quality was great, and 5G performance was comparable to that of similar Android competitors.
For £1,499 (£949/A$1,499), you can get the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 with 128GB of storage, or £1,999 for 256GB.
When compared to other smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 costs £1599, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra costs £1,149, the Samsung Galaxy S21+ costs £949, the OnePlus 9 Pro costs £829, and the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max costs £1,099.
In comparison to Samsung’s original folding-screen flip phone, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 benefits from a series of modest but significant enhancements that bring it almost to the point of being ready for the public.
When you open it, it acts exactly like a conventional, large-screen premium Android smartphone, except that it can be closed with a pleasant click and carried in considerably smaller pockets or bags than a traditional smartphone. Its improved durability, water resistance, and cheaper price make it a feasible and far more intriguing alternative to ordinary smartphones, which typically cost around £900.
However, you must exercise greater caution while using a softer folding screen than you would when using a harder glass panel. Furthermore, when compared to Samsung’s other £900-ish phone, you’re giving up a telephoto camera and a longer battery life in exchange for the smaller size.
You should choose the Z Flip 3 if you are tired of huge slab phones and want something a little more interesting and cutting edge.
A fantastic big screen that folds in half, a nice cover screen that keeps the display safe when closed, IPX8 water resistance, good cameras, an interesting and distinctive design, One UI 3 (Android 11), and four years of upgrades are just a few of the positives.
Cons: screen is softer and less scratch resistant than a conventional phone, it does not have dust resistance, it does not have a telephoto camera, it has a battery life of just one day, and it is costly.