Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 review
You can fold in half and the nostalgia holds for the swaths of people. Whove ever owned. A flip phone or just miss having a flip phone. Could add to its appeal, plus with a price drop? The new flip now costs about the same as an iphone or galaxy s. Flagship samsungs latest foldable also features a larger external display than its predecessor, making it more useful when closed and its got water resistance. For some peace of mind, it even has a faster screen than apple and google offer and nifty software when you prop it up on a surface that makes better use of that flexed screen. But the question remains even at a more reasonable thousand dollars. Is the flip 3 good enough to usher foldables into the mainstream, or are they still a gimmick Music? One of the most important factors in determining if the flip 3 is ready for daily use is durability. Samsung used stronger aluminum for the flip 3s frame, refined its hinge and made the screen tougher by using a new, flexible pet material for the screen protector. I cant tell exactly how much more durable the flip 3 is compared to his predecessor, but i have been taking more risks with it. In fact, i consider my placing the flip 3 and the full 3 for that matter into my bag, along with my keys, laptop and dslr, the bravest thing ive ever done during a review im mostly worried because of a bad experience when i took the original z Flip out, for a day, it vibrated off a table and cracked its corner, while its still prone to sliding around due to its glossy glass exterior its yet to fall off.
Anything ive placed it on treadmills, ellipticals, window ledges and restaurant tables, and i dont want to jinx it, but so far my flip 3 is still scratch free. Does that mean itll remain pristine a week months or even a year from now, probably not, but as someone whos, cracked, her fair share of phone screens, i feel like the flip 3 is about as sturdy as most glass covered flagships. That is with one exception. Its flexible internal screen is still more likely to break than others if for no reason other than you invariably end up pushing into some part of it to close the device ive yet to damage the flip, 3 screen and ive been careful. Not to push my thumb into the middle of the panel to close the phone, but i have been shutting it with some force. Whether the durability is indeed improved, is something thats hard to tell without months of testing or deliberately trying to damage the device. So i might have to revisit this after some time. Speaking of closing the phone like its predecessor, the flip 3 isnt easy to shut with one hand, it can be done, but the hinge is stiff and provides enough resistance to let it stay open at various angles. Unless you have dwayne johnsons hands, youll probably need some leverage to open or shut the flip 3.. Oh and thanks to ipx8 water resistance. I was a lot less worried about leaving the flip 3 next to my sink.
When i washed my face and dripped all over it, while i was reaching for the soap besides improved durability and a larger external screen, not much has changed between the new flip and the last generation. They weigh the same 183 grams or 6.45 ounces, and the flip 3 is a hair. Thicker phones in the same size and price range, like the iphone 12 pro max and galaxy s21 plus, are slightly heavier and thicker, but not by much. Of course, these devices are dust, resistant and sport triple cameras, while the flip has just two. The conventional flagships are also not as narrow, but aside from the aspect ratio, the flip 3 feels very much like a regular smartphone when unfolded the greatest difference between the flip 3 and the typical smartphone is that you can close it, which is not only a satisfying Means of putting your phone away, but also introduces a new way to interact with the device. The 1.9 inch external screen is four times larger than the previous model, and can show up to four lines of notifications at once. There are currently six widgets available for this window, which samsung calls the cover display to interact with this panel. Youll first have to double tap on it, then swipe vertically or horizontally to see your notifications or widgets respectively. This was a little confusing initially, as i didnt know, i needed to tap the screen before swiping, but after figuring it out ive come to appreciate it because it prevents accidentally dismissing notifications or skipping songs on spotify.
Most of the time i leave the flip 3 closed until i need to reply to a message or start browsing. My feeds its certainly a lot less distracting to be able to put the phone away and not have a long list of notifications that i can see from a distance. I set all 6 widgets to appear on my cover display, so scrolling sideways would bring up the weather, media controls, samsung, pay, health calendar and so on. I appreciate having all these options, but after a while, it became clear its better to enable just three: it got. Tiring to swipe through multiple widgets to get to the one i want, the software is also a little buggy at the moment. The alarms widget, for example, will randomly abandon this countdown if you pause and resume it. Another feature that sounds great in theory is using your cover display as a viewfinder with the larger panel youll have more room to frame up your selfies on the flip 3. With the screen closed, i used it to snap a picture with three staff members on my building and while we were able to squeeze everyone in the novelty wore off quickly, the only time i can see, preferring the outside screen as a viewfinder is when youre really In a hurry and cant spare the one or two seconds it takes to open the phone. Look i like that samsung gives us this option, but even a selfie obsessed person like me was never in that much of a rush to snap a portrait plus the photos taken this way end up in a strange squarish crop, while those snapped using the main screen.
As a viewfinder are taller or wider, when youre back on the main screen aspect, ratio is still somewhat of an issue. The flip 3s 6.7 inch display runs at 2640×1080, which comes up to an uncommon 22×9 format. This didnt cause too many problems, most apps fit nicely on the screen, but every now and then something will overflow. The pop up, dialogs and settlers of katan, for example, disappear into the edges of the display and i can barely tap the buttons i need to move on. Fortunately, i didnt encounter this on most of my frequently used apps, but samsung also doesnt have a workaround yet to ensure you can see everything on the flex thats. My main issue with the flip 3s internal screen, which is otherwise a lovely canvas for browsing, instagram and youtube thanks to its flexible amoled panel and 120hz refresh rate images, were vibrant with deep blacks and high contrast and the display never stuttered. When i scrolled my feeds in the frenzy, oh, i also didnt mind the crease in the middle, yes, its noticeable and does cause some distortion, but it doesnt get in the way of readability. I also liked how it felt, beneath my thumb, as i scroll past it its kind of like stroking, a soft naked tendon, which is a lot better than it sounds another update that makes the flip 3 a better multimedia device than before are its stereo speakers. Now, when you hold it up to watch a video youll hear its audio from both ends, something else that the flip offers that regular smartphones dont is a flex mode that kicks in when you half fold the device.
This only works on some apps like gallery camera and youtube when the screen is split in half to show your photo viewfinder or video on top and navigation controls or more info at the bottom. When you set the flip 3 up on a table in flex mode, you can watch your show as if it were full screen on the top half while scrolling comments or suggested videos below. I thought id only find flex mode useful when using the selfie camera with the flip 3 sitting on a table, but it actually was more helpful in enabling one handed use, because the flip 3s screen is so tall. Some elements are out of my thumbs: reach flex mode, makes scrolling pictures of my gallery or snapping a picture, much easier with one hand. So far, though, it only seems like a few apps support. This, so samsung will need to work harder to make more compatible. The flip 3s dual 12 megapixel cameras hold their own against the likes of the pixel 5 and the iphone 12 pro, while samsung apple and google all have minor differences in the color temperature of their photos. In general, they deliver similar quality and clarity in most situations. The flip 3s picture of a yummy bowl of noodles was just as bright and vibrant as those taken with the pixel and iphone, although its a little soft and failed to capture some detail on the ceramic surface, photos of flip 3 shot at night are also similar To those from the competition you need to scrutinize minor exposure and noise differences to know for sure the pictures i snapped of a dog park and the city skyline at night all came out bright and colorful.
Although google delivered a better close up of the new york city nightscape thanks to its superior processing software, the selfies that the 10 megapixel camera upfront took were also bright and sharp and based on an informal poll on my instagram, the majority of my followers preferred a Portrait shot by the flip 3 to the pixel 5., with a snapdragon, 888 processor and 8 gigs of ram the flip 3 performs smoothly. During my testing, i havent encountered many delays when using the main screen to message my friends post to twitter and browse websites. Occasionally i felt like some websites were scrolling more slowly than im used to and theres still some software bugs in the system, like the cover display, alarm widget i talked about earlier and all together. Those make the flip 3 feel like it needs more polish. But aside from these minor gripes and the fact that you can fold it, the flip 3 feels very similar to its galaxy siblings. That is until we consider battery life. The flip 3 never made it through a full day before needing a charge and that runtime dropped. When i enabled the always on display for the outer screen, despite offering a larger cover, display and a higher refresh rate on its main panel, the flip 3s 3300 milliamp hour battery is the same size as its predecessor, which might explain its disappointing endurance. Meanwhile, the s21s 4 000 milliamp rsl, typically stuck around for a day and a half, while the latest pixels on iphones easily outlast the flip 3.
after spending. Some time with the flip 3 out in the real world, ive come to realize a few things about living with such a device. I like being able to fold and put a phone away when i want to focus on conversations in the moment, but i could also do the same by flipping a regular phone down on his face. I enjoyed the nostalgia and novelty of closing the phone when im mad at a caller or an app as well in general. The satisfaction and space savings from being able to fold a phone in half are not worth paying a premium for. The good news is that, with the flip 3 samsung isnt charging a hefty premium or making many compromises. Battery life is an unfortunate victim of the flip 3s larger external screen, but its at least not so sure that youll need to lug around a portable charger. Ultimately, the flip 3 is proof that samsung can deliver a good phone with a foldable display at a relatively reasonable price, its also a satisfying upgrade over its predecessor thanks to water resistance and that larger outside screen. The most important question now is: who should buy it? If you pride yourself on being an early adopter and want to get on the photables bandwagon before they become more common, that might be you.