Samsung unveiled the much anticipated third generation of its foldable phones, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G and the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G (the review of which you can check out here) on August 11th, 2021.
Now, you will read an extensive review of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G, with all the new features and functions covered.
The Flip series of Samsung’s foldable phones is rather nostalgic. It reminds you of the old Motorolas and Nokias that used to have screens that could be opened and closed by a flipping action. The first Z Flip came out a year after the first Z Fold came out in 2020 with the idea that a normal smartphone screen could be carried in an even smaller form factor. That is the goal of foldable phones anyway; to provide users with bigger screen sizes in compact designs.
Samsung has just released the latest edition of the Z Flip with a new design. And this version is the only one of the Z Flip series worth checking out.
The new Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G is packed with new features and functionalities, both in terms of hardware and software. Following are some things that are new in this generation of the fold.
Some new features
• Bigger cover display
The most noticeable new feature is the bigger and more functional cover display. The new Samsung Galaxy Flip3 has a 1.9″ AMOLED cover display which is larger than the previous generation (1.1″). The cover display has more functionality too now.
• Water Resistance
The Flip3 has IPX8 water resistance. It is the first water-resistant foldable phone. IPX8 means that the device can be submerged deeper than 1 meter. However, Samsung has stated that “IPX8 is based on test conditions for submersion in up to 1.5 meters of freshwater for up to 30 minutes”.
• 120Hz display
The refresh rate of the main 6’7″ display is now 120Hz which allows for fluid and more smooth swiping, scrolling, and transitions.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 comes in four brilliant colors: Cream, Phantom Black, Green, and Lavender. The black and green options give off a matte and ‘quiet’ feel while the cream is a more soothing color, and lavender is eye-popping.
• More durable design
The new Galaxy Z Flip3 has a much more durable build. The hinge is stronger, and so is the display. According to Samsung the main display is “80% more durable than before and withstands up to 200,000 folds”. The exterior of the phone is made with tougher materials as well.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G features a 6.7 inch foldable dynamic AMOLED 2X display with a 120Hz refresh rate, peek brightness of 1200 nits, and a resolution of 1080 x 2640 pixels. This is a tall display that is great for browsing through social media, watching videos, etc. The refresh rate of the display is 120Hz too now which allows for smoother transitions. The new Flip also features ‘flex mode’. When you partially fold the phone, the display separates into two sections. With flex mode, actions like taking selfies, sending messages, and watching videos become more convenient. The crease down the middle of the phone is still pretty obvious, you do feel it when you swipe over it.
The cover display is 1.9 inch Super AMOLED with a resolution of 250 x 512 pixels. The cover display is probably the most improved component of the phone, it is four times the area of last year’s version. The interface of the cover display is customizable too now, you can set different animations and backgrounds. It displays the time, date, and battery percentage by default but options for six other widgets including music, weather calendar, alarm, health, and timer are also present.
The larger cover display also provides a better camera experience. A swipe up or down switches between the lenses and a swipe left or right switches between video or photo option. A quite decent selfie image quality can be expected using the main camera for selfies.
Memory and Storage
The new Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G comes with two options of storage; 128 GB & 265 GB, both with a memory of 8 GB. These configurations are standard for the Android world of today.
Performance and Battery life
The new Galaxy Flip3 5G is powered by the Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 5G (5 nm) chip, it’s fast and powerful. You can do a lot of intensive activities, gaming, and web-browsing on the new 120Hz display but you may have to compromise on battery life a bit.
The phone has a 3300 mAh Li-Po battery. And remember that this battery powers a large 120Hz display so the battery life is not that good, but it is fine.
The new Flip has a double main camera setup and a single hole-punch selfie camera. The main camera consists of two lenses of 12 MP. There is a wide lens of 27 mm with an f/1.8 aperture and an ultra-wide lens of 13 mm and an f/2.2 aperture. The selfie camera has a 10MP wide lens of 26 mm with an f/2.4 aperture.
The main camera quality is good but not great, it takes good pictures in bright lighting. The image quality struggles in low-light where the software does play a role but it still fails to compete with the other flagships.
A similar story goes for the front-facing selfie camera although it does provide good image quality in a mix of lighting conditions sometimes.
The new Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G starts at $999.99 with 128 GB of storage and goes up to $1049.99 with 256 GB of storage.
Verdict | Should you buy?
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G is worth checking out if you are planning to get into the world of foldable phones. It provides near-flagship features in a unique form factor. Like everything though, it has its pros and cons.
A flagship price tag requires flagship features. The phone lacks a telephoto camera, so there is no option for optical zoom. Although the phone is water-resistant, it is not dust-resistant, so any dust particles could get into the hinge and possibly damage it. The phone has only a day’s battery life.
Other than that, the new Flip’s a great phone. It has a unique experience. The fact that a phone with a 6.7″ screen can be folded up in a square of 4.2″ is astounding. The phone is fast, the call quality is good, and the speakers are way better than the previous Flip.
The Flip3 makes a statement, that ‘foldables’ do have a future and a good one at that.