Samsung’s first ‘affordable’ foldable phone with mass appeal, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is a unique and innovative bit of tech that looks straight out of a sci-fi film. But how does it compare to traditional phones? Read on to find out more.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 key features
- 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with 120Hz maximum refresh rate
- Dual lens rear camera: one 12MP wide and one 12MP ultrawide
- 10MP front camera
- 8GB of RAM
- 3300 mAh battery
- Two storage options: 128GB and 256GB
- 5G support
- Ships with Android 11 and One UI 3.1
- Seven colourways: Phantom Black, Cream, Green, Lavender, Grey, White and Pink (some exclusive to Samsung.com)
Previously a niche product for tech enthusiasts only, 2021’s Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 is an ‘affordable’ foldable handset that appeals to the mainstream market.
In a time where yearly phone releases only bring incremental improvements, it’s refreshing to see that the Z Flip 3 is a significant step-up from the previous year’s Galaxy Z Flip. Although innovative at the time, it wasn’t without its problems.
While Samsung has kept the original foldable clamshell form, it has refined key areas of the phone, namely its design and hardware. As a result, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 feels like a premium phone that’s built for everyday use. It combines great style with powerful software, and performs very well.
In a sea of uniform ‘slab’ phones, it really stands out and offers something different. So it’s a little difficult to compare it with other flagships head-to-head. Nevertheless, there’s no getting away from the fact that the battery life and camera capabilities aren’t quite as good as similar-priced, high-end models.
Still, you might find that the fun form factor negates these drawbacks. And if you’re set on a foldable phone, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is the best on the market right now.
Galaxy Z Flip 3 dimensions
When folded, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 is eminently pocketable, measuring a 72.2 x 86.4 x 17.1mm.
Flip open the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 and it reveals an expansive 6.7-inch screen. It’s a rather slim and long shape, measuring 72.2 x 166 x 6.9mm when unfolded.
And despite its large screen, it weighs a mere 183g – much lighter than the Samsung S21 Plus, which has the same size screen.
How good is Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 Camera?
Specs-wise, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 has the same camera setup as the original Galaxy Z Flip.
The dual camera system on the outside teams a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens at f/1.8, with a 12-megapixel ultrawide one at f/2.2. As for the hole punch selfie camera, it’s 10MP with a f/2.4 aperture.
It’s in the software where you’ll find improvements, such as a better portrait mode. But despite the refined software, the camera quality is just good, not great – especially when compared to other flagship phones at a similar price point.
While most high-end phones can reliably produce stunning images with a quick tap of the button, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 isn’t quite so failsafe. When it does perform well, image quality is pleasing: colours and contrast are rendered nicely, and there’s a good amount of detail in the shot.
However, it really depends on lighting conditions and subject matter. In less-than-stellar lighting, images can turn out fuzzier and less detailed, while the camera struggles to accurately capture colours and contrast.
In general, pointing and shooting with the Galaxy Z Flip 3 isn’t as reliable as it could be. Most photos should turn out good enough, but you’ll be better off with a traditional ‘slab’ phone (like the Galaxy S21 or Galaxy S22) if you don’t want to miss any shots. Plus, it lacks the advanced features found in other flagships, like an extra telephoto lens.
Although it falls behind in image quality, there’s a few cool quirks that make shooting with the Galaxy Z Flip 3 a fun experience. For example, its foldable form means the camera can prop itself up, which is useful for hands-free video calls or taking self-timer photos. And the outer display screen next to the main cameras acts as a monitor, so you can quickly take selfies without even opening up your phone.
Video recording is also high quality, at 4K and 60 frames per second.
How good is Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 Design?
Of course, the biggest draw of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 is its clamshell foldable design.
As well as the satisfaction of snapping it shut after answering a call, the exclusive ‘Flex mode’ lets you make the most of the phone’s foldable shape. Tilt the screen into an L-shape and some apps will display differently. For example, you can watch videos or make a video call on the top half of the screen, entirely hands-free and without having to prop your phone against something else.
When folded, it’s a little thick but it’ll still fit snugly in your pocket. And, with its glossy two-tone design and square shape, it looks very striking.
Most crucially, there’s a real step-up in terms of build quality and durability. The Galaxy Z Flip was criticised for its fragility, so Samsung has made a number of tweaks to the Galaxy Z Flip 3.
The screen includes a new protective film, which is 80% more resistant to scratches than the previous year’s model (according to Samsung). There’s Gorilla Glass Victus on the outside cover screen, making it significantly stronger.
Moreover, the metal frame and rounded hinge are made from a tougher ‘Armour Aluminium’. Compared to the original Z Flip, the hinge is much stiffer, and it feels reassuringly firm when opening and closing.
And finally, it’s water resistant – a first for foldables. It has an IPX8 rating, which means that it’s not resistant to dust or sand, but it’s water resistant up to a depth of 1.5 metres for 30 minutes.
All in all, it’s well built to withstand everyday use.
It comes in seven colourways: Phantom Black, Cream, Green, Lavender, Grey, White and Pink (the latter three are exclusive to Samsung’s website).
How good is Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 Display?
Samsung’s a leader when it comes to displays, and the Samsung Galaxy Flip 3 is no exception.
The device unfolds to reveal a sizeable 6.7-inch screen with Full HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X technology. Boasting a 2640 x 1080 pixel resolution and adaptive refresh rate of 120Hz, it’s a seriously smooth and fluid viewing experience.
Along with the phone’s extra length, it’s great for browsing the internet, reading articles and online shopping.
You’ll likely be wondering about the crease in the middle of the phone. Luckily, it doesn’t detract from the display. While it may be noticeable when you’re scrolling or viewing from certain angles, it’s easy enough to ignore – and you’ll probably quickly get used to it.
Fold the Galaxy Z Flip 3 shut and you’ll find a small 1.9-inch full colour AMOLED touchscreen next to the dual cameras. It’s really handy, letting you use the phone while it’s closed – for example, to view notifications, control music or even take selfies. You can customise what you see here by adding widgets or a wallpaper.
In a way, it acts as a smartwatch. If you want to cut down on your screentime without losing the ability to check things like the time and the weather, this small outer display screen fits the bill perfectly.
How good is Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 Battery life?
Unfortunately, a major stumbling block for the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 is its rather weak battery life.
Like the original Galaxy Z Flip, it’s powered by a 3300mAh cell, which is relatively puny when compared with other flagship phones. Plus, it drains quicker than most phones, due to its ‘always on’ display on the outer touchscreen.
Furthermore, its charging speed isn’t the fastest, at a maximum output of 15W. It does support wireless charging at 10W, though.
What are the key differences between the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and the Galaxy Z Flip?
While some specs remain similar, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 presents some major upgrades from 2020’s Galaxy Z Flip:
- Its 1.9-inch cover screen is four times larger than the original, and much more functional
- Stronger and more durable design
- IPX8-rated water resistance
Galaxy Z Flip 3 pros and cons
- Strong and premium build quality
- The best foldable phone on the market right now (although there’s not much competition)
- Real improvement from the Galaxy Z Flip
- Large screen in a pocketable size
- Weak battery life
- Decent, but not outstanding cameras
- No dust resistance
How does Samsung compare to other manufacturers?
There’s the Motorola Razr 2020, a reincarnated version of the iconic flip phone of the early 2000s. However, it was very expensive at launch, yet it’s not nearly as functional.
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The original Galaxy Z Flip was a unique and innovative piece of tech, but not without teething problems. So, it’s good to see that the Galaxy Z Flip 3 has largely smoothed out these issues: its front touchscreen panel is more functional, and it feels reassuringly sturdy and durable in hand.
Even better, it’s much cheaper at release than its predecessor. Now it’s around the same price as other top-of-the-range smartphones, or even less, making it a viable alternative to conventional phones.
However, when viewed in relation to other flagship handsets – like the Galaxy S21 and iPhone 12 from the same year – it’s not quite up there in terms of battery longevity and camera capabilities. Nevertheless, it still performs very well. It’d be hard to hold the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and not feel in awe of its cutting-edge design.
For some, the slight compromise on camera quality and battery life may be well worth the trade-off for a fun and futuristic foldable. If you’re looking for something that’s different from the rest of the smartphone pack, the Z Flip 3 is certainly that – there’s nothing quite like it on the market right now.
Galaxy contract options
If you don’t want to shell out the cash to buy the Galaxy Z Flip 3 outright, you can spread that cost with a mobile contract deal. By paying monthly, it can help make costs more manageable – plus, you can sometimes find deals that throw in some tempting perks or rewards.
Contracts with no upfront cost
Even if you get a phone contract, you may sometimes have to pay an upfront cost when you sign up.
This is usually the case with brand-new flagship handsets, as it basically acts as a deposit towards the cost of the phone. Nevertheless, plenty of networks offer no upfront cost contracts.
Read our page for more on phone contracts with no upfront cost.
Contracts with no credit check
Networks will usually require you to pass a credit check before signing up for a phone contract. So, if you have a bad credit score, it can be tricky getting accepted for a phone contract – particularly if the phone is the latest, most expensive version.
Visit our page for tips on getting a phone contract with bad credit.
What was the Galaxy Z Flip 3's release date?
The Galaxy Z Flip 3 was announced on 11 August 2021 and went on sale on 27 August.
Is the Galaxy Z Flip 3 worth buying in 2022?
At the time of writing (April 2022), it’s the latest foldable phone from Samsung.
So, if you’re looking for the latest phone but want something different from the normal flagships, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is well worth checking out.
Is now a good time to buy the Galaxy Z Flip 3?
It depends – as mentioned above, if you want the latest iteration of Samsung’s foldable handsets, now is a good time to get your hands on the most up-to-date model.
However, at the time of writing (April 2022), it’s at its most expensive price point. If you’re able to wait a year, you’ll be able to get it for cheaper when a newer version is launched.
Will the Galaxy Z Flip 3 drop in price?
Typically, phones drop in price when a newer model comes out on the market. Samsung has been releasing new phones every year since 2010, but it only began releasing foldable phones in 2020.
The Galaxy Z Flip 3 should drop in price when the next version is announced – and rumours indicate an August 2022 release.
Should I upgrade to a newer Samsung Galaxy?
If you already own the previous year’s Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is a worthwhile upgrade, thanks to its improved hardware and design.
On the other hand, you might want to wait around to see how the next version of the Z Flip measures up.
Galaxy Z Flip3 5G specs
|Release Date||27/08/2021 00:00:00|
|Sim Card Type||Nano|
|Size||72.2mm x 6.9mm x 166mm|
|Battery Type||Lithium Polymer|
|Display Size||6.7 inches|
|Resolution||1080 x 2640 inches|
|Pixels Per Inch||426 ppi|
|Touch Screen Type||Capacitive|
|Processor Cores||Octa Core Cores|
|Internal Storage||128, 256|
|Primary Camera||12 MP|
|2nd Camera||10 MP|