Samsung is one of the few companies to have fully invested in the foldable phone market. We previously wrote that the company is ahead of the curve, and with its latest foldable smartphones, that continues to be the case.
Samsung shook the smartphone world in 2019 with the introduction of the Galaxy Z Fold. It was a captivating device, but people were still on the fence about it. In 2020, we got the Galaxy Z Fold2 and the Galaxy Z Flip. Both devices sported some decent improvements but left room for plenty to be improved upon, and that’s where the Galaxy Z Fold3 and Galaxy Z Flip3 come in.
We got our hands on the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G: Thom Browne edition, and it left us very impressed. For this year’s iteration of their Z Flip model, Samsung focused on making the device more affordable to get into more hands and making it more durable while ensuring it’s still one of the most technically advanced smartphones on the market.
So here is where the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G wins.
Slimmer Design, Big Improvements
What made the first Z Flip exceptional is that it introduced folding technology into a more compact design geared towards the young hip and stylish crowd. While still small in design, the first model still felt heavy for compact foldable, but for the Galaxy Z Flip3, Samsung managed to make the phone the Z Flip3 slimmer while keeping the device at the same weight as the first Flip model.
The first Flip measured 6.6 x 2.9 x 0.28 inches when opened and 3.4 x 2.9 x 0.61-0.68 inches when closed, while the Galaxy Z Flip3 is 3.4 x 2.8 x 0.63-0.67 inches when closed and 6.5 x 2.8 x 0.27 inches when open still giving it that clutch ability to fit in almost any pocket.
The inner screen, always on point on any Samsung smartphone, is a 6.7-inch Super AMOLED (2640 x 1080) display. Samsung boasts it is now 80% more durable than the previous model but still has protruding edges like the first Galaxy Flip model. A design feature we hope Samsung does away with in the future. It also has a 120Hz refresh rate. Something iPhone users will be experiencing for the first time on the iPhone 13.
The Galaxy Z Flip3 also sports an IPX8 water resistance rating, meaning you don’t have to worry about raindrops damaging your phone, unlike the previous model. The phone is more durable, thanks mainly to its new Armor Aluminum body, plus the outside display made using Gorilla Glass Victus. We still recommend not dropping this device, but you can have some solace knowing it should survive the fall. The Galaxy Z Flip3 is also not as slippery as the first Flip model and not a fingerprint collector to the level of the first flip model except around the outside display.
Speaking of the outside display, it’s easily the most significant upgrade on the Galaxy Z Flip3. On the first Flip mode, you would be straining your eyes to see notifications scroll on its 1.1-inch exterior strip. That is no longer the case, thanks to the Flip3’s new outside display that is now four times bigger. It is also customizable, allowing you to add widgets, see your health stats, check messages or control your Galaxy Buds2 without opening the phone.
A returning feature that benefits from the larger outside display is taking selfies using the Galaxy Z Flip’s 12MP (f/1.8) main, 12MP (f/2.2) ultrawide cameras. While it was a nice touch on the first Z Flip model, it was pretty hard to use thanks to the small 1.1-inch exterior strip, but now thanks to Z Flip3’s new 1.9-inch Super AMOLED (260 x 512), it’s so much more fun to use. You can even utilize it to record videos in 4K as well.
Of course, the returning are features we loved on the first design, including the ability to multitask and Flex Mode, giving the user the ability to run certain apps like YouTube in a view that puts the video at the top. At the same time, the comments flex to the bottom of the screen. Or place the phone on a flat surface to take some hands-free selfies or videos with the camera’s controls conveniently placed on the bottom screen. These features make this phone a dream device for a vlogger who is always on the go.
Combine the phone with all of Samsung’s other devices like the Galaxy Buds2 and Galaxy Watch4 Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip4 is a pretty dope device.
Out of the two phones released, the Galaxy Z Flip3 honestly has the most significant improvements on paper, and it shows. The Z Flip3 is a well-designed device, and thanks to advancements like the bigger front screen and even slimmer design, there are still some shortcomings we hope Samsung can correct in the next Galaxy Z Flip smartphone.
Battery life is still an issue with this device, a phone that can do so much can still drain the Z Flip3, and it shows. You can get all-day use out of the phone if you follow specific steps to optimize the phone. The camera is also pretty regular and falls short of the usual camera systems we get with phones like the Galaxy S21 Ultra, which is quite disappointing because the Galaxy Z flip is one of Samsung’s most technically advanced smartphones. Still, in excellent lighting conditions, you can capture some decent selfies or take some good photos.
Even with its few shortcomings, the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G is a worthy successor and a continued step in the right direction for Samsung for a great price starting at $999. A potential buyer can bring down to $399 with an eligible trade-in at your phone service provider.
If you’re finally looking to get into the foldable market game, Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip3 is an excellent entry-level phone.
Photos: Bernard Smalls / @PhotosByBeanz83