Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 Review: Love At Third Flip
s that wasnt a flip phone. Ten years ago, those flips went out of style as the smartphones skyrocketed to mainstream dominance about two years ago, motorola blended, the two categories with its razer reboot and today, samsung has brought its own version of the neo retro clamshell down to a price thats a lot More palatable to more people im michael fisher – and i think i can finally say this – the flip phone is officially back Music now. I know ive said that before probably in one of the many videos featuring the flip 3s 4runners, but there always seemed to be just a few too many compromises holding those earlier entrants back the galaxy z, flip 3 does have its own shortcomings, which i will touch On but first lets talk about what samsung has improved and just for the sake of variety lets start with the inner display. Instead of the outer a big complaint i had after a year of using the earlier z flips was that their screens werent bright enough to stay readable under the brutal solar salvo of summer. Well, the flip 3 almost doubles last years, luminosity, finally, making it possible. For me to read articles about the phone on the phone over a morning, coffee in the park, the refresh rate has also been boosted to 120 hertz, enabling that much height, silky scrolling that i formerly might have thought unnecessary, but in a bid to preserve power. One afternoon i toggled that fast refresh rate off and i uh i didnt last more than a few minutes on the old 60 hertz setting, i guess, im officially a convert, oh and speaking of conversions that new factory installed screen protector.
I mentioned in my hands on video after nine days of use, theres not a scratch or a fingernail dent on it, and it feels high quality enough that i dont even want to take it off, which is normally the first thing i do after unboxing a phone Last years, rubbery greasy mess. This is not while the screens centerline crease is still here and while i look forward to a future where someday its not its the same story as its been all along its invisible when looking at the phone dead on and you stop noticing it all together. Shortly after you move into the phone, its not a big deal now, just as important as a pretty panel is sweet. Sound samsung expanded the earpiece on the flip 3 so that it can serve double duty as a second loudspeaker for stereo sound that dual channel sound. Also works for video calls which are more convenient on this phone than any other thanks to flex mode. You just stand it up start the call and do your damnedest to pretend this low angle doesnt, give you a double chin. I dont know maybe its that maybe its zoom fatigue, maybe its the ever present impulse to emulate the starfleet role models of my youth. Whatever the reason over the past week, ive found myself taking more voice calls than video a task. The flip 3 is perfect for thanks to a more accommodating hinge unfold it to about 20 degrees and, unlike its immediate predecessor, the flip 3 is more than happy to just stay there, which means the boom days of the banana phone.
The calls themselves are good, clear, loud the usual and when youre tired of talking hanging up is as easy as clapping the clamshell shut, though, if you prefer, you can make and take calls with the phone closed using that cover display to control it. I have one word to describe that new outer screen. Finally, a solid cover display is non negotiable for a clamshell foldable unless youre a staunch smartwatch user, and this one kind of feels like samsung, stuck a smartwatch right onto the phone. It splits the difference between motorolas razer, which lets you do almost everything on the cover display and prior z flips, which well couldnt, really do anything while closed a single tap brings up the clock, make it a double to fully wake the screen. After that, you can find your notifications off to the left, change, brightness and alert volume with a swipe down from the top and swiping in from the right gets you a ribbon of widgets stuff, like the weather, upcoming appointments, timers alarms and your current step count. Media controls are here too, whenever audio is playing a little icon, pops up, which you just tap to take you right to them. When i paired the flip with my galaxy buds, live a new widget popped up, letting me control them as well, and finally, swiping up from the bottom jumps you into samsung pay, which is how i tapped my way through enough six dollar coffees.
To finally finish this script, okay, thats got ta, be all on the cover display right, wait. Just one minute before you answer nope see one of my favorite things about samsung foldables is that they act as their own tripod. For you know, self portraits and the cover display doubles as a viewfinder when you do here too, you control the interface with swipes up or down to change, cameras left or right to toggle between stills and video to keep the competition. In the conversation i will say, the razers cover screen is still better its bigger. You can run almost any app on it. You can read more of your messages and you can send replies without opening the phone which you cant do on the flip 3 right now. Even though reply buttons are there its weird, but as much as i love my razor, those advantages are pretty slim, especially when you take into account the flip 3s other upgrades. Those include ipx8 water resistance, so i no longer have to worry if i get caught in a little rain shower, while using my phone outdoors also, you can now force any app to use the upper half of the screen with something called flex mode panel, making it Easier to see, if youre, using the phone like a micro laptop and putting some generic, often used controls on the lower half. The specs, of course, have gotten the usual bumps and they drive the phone without any suggestion of lag or stutter.
Even if youre like me and decide to use a custom launcher like niagara instead of samsungs squirkly, one ui atop android 11., now well come back to talk more wins on the flip side, but as delightful as this device can truly be. Compromise is still endemic to foldables and those compromises start on the cameras, which is not to say the cameras are bad. In fact, when i found myself in red hook, brooklyn at the tail end of a six mile city bike ride with only the flip 3 to document the experience, disappointment was not the feeling that filled my bike and beer rattled brain these cameras are good, sometimes great, Even after sunset, i usually walk away with something at least usable, something that in a vacuum i can massage and snapseed and sling over to instagram for a smattering of strangers hearts. The compromise only becomes apparent when you put this phone up against the google pixel 5a. I just covered a phone whose cameras negotiate the steep divides between shadows and highlights, with substantially more grace and for half the price or the iphone 12 pro max, whose night shots bring much more detail than the soft scenes painted by the flip. And while its not fair to expect a phone, this petite to pack the same periscope that makes pictures like these possible, i think its important to note that the s21 ultra that took them is currently the same price as the flip 3.
. Beyond the cameras theres, the endurance, samsung didnt, just omit the charger from the box this year. It also maintained the same battery capacity from last year. The result is the same battery anxiety that ive experienced on all clamshell foldables, thus far. Actually, at first it was really bad, like seven hours from full to empty on my red hook, road trip day, but part of that was due to running citibike and google maps simultaneously for over an hour which double taxed the gps and made the phone run very Hot, even under a mild load, the flip runs pretty warm. The other issue was a bug that samsung device care actually uncovered for me, evernote kept crashing in the background. Once i fixed those issues, the flip 3 was able to stick with me for a 14 hour day with about 15 to 20 percent left in the tank by bedtime. Thats not terrible, but its still, not great, when youre used to 18 hour days with a third of a battery left over from most phones and when competitors like the oneplus 9 pro can go from empty to full. In a half hour on a 65 watt charger, its tough to call the flips 15 watt maximum charging rate at all fast enough speaking of charging, if you want to use this phone with an angled wireless charger, you better bring some tape because the slippery flip absolutely Will not stay on there and that goes beyond chargers: wood, plastic fabric, the material is immaterial if its not perfectly level the phone will slide off it and dive for the ground like a first grader in a fire drill could have been real bad.
Thankfully, there is a bright side. My review unit has slipped and fallen twice once onto tile from 12 inches and once onto hardwood from two feet and theres still not a scratch on it, maybe theres something to that combination of armor, aluminum and gorilla glass victus. If you dont want to take that chance, my sponsor dbrand, like always, has you covered from matte finish to metal camo to carbon fiber theres a skin for everyone, and thanks to some early feedback now you can choose whether to preserve the flip 3s. Two tone finish or cover it up, do what i do on almost every foldable dbrand your device at the link in the description. Okay, so for downsides, weve got middling battery life, photographic, mediocrity and a slippery finish now. Ask me if any of those stop me from recommending this thing, maybe ill, just let my pre order speak for itself, even if i werent getting it for literally free with a t. Mobile trade in id still have been happy to drop the 9.99 on this phone and not just because i have a mildly concerning inability to mentally progress beyond the year 2007. But because, at the end of the day, the galaxy z, flip 3 is beautiful. Its different and above all, its fun. Now, if you buy your phones based on utilitarian practical yardsticks like a spec sheet, then you wont get it and im sure im hearing from you in the comments below the video already – and you know, thats fine, but the number of texts – ive gotten from old friends.
Friends outside my tech circles, the number of strangers with dumbfounded smiles when they see my review unit, it is its the galaxy z, flip 3 from samsung theyve convinced me that some people are ready for something beyond the next galaxy s or iphone theyre ready to have Fun with their phones again and now the smartphone world is finally ready for them Music. Little epilogue for you here folks. One thing we wont know for a while is how this folding screen ages over time, because under that new screen protector is the same exact, ultra thin glass as last year, which didnt always fare well, despite being rated for the same 200, 000 folds. This generation is rated for thats. Why just like, with every foldable so far, ive purchased my own long term review devices if they break over the coming year, ill be evaluating the samsung service and repair experience, be sure youre subscribed to the mr mobile on youtube and if youre curious, how foldables have Fared in the long term, thus far, my series into the fold on that channel has plenty of info for you. This review was produced following nine days with a galaxy z, flip 3 review sample provided by samsung, but the company provided no compensation in exchange for this coverage and was granted no early preview or editorial input.