Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 Review: Getting better with time

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I’ve used the original Samsung Galaxy Z Flip consistently for almost a year now and I’ve always said I think that the Flip is the perfect use of folding displays. While there is a market for the Fold, generically I think the Flip just makes the most sense. For me, this thought is renewed with the launch of the Galaxy Z Flip 3.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the first look of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 we uploaded last week after Samsung’s Unpacked event

If you’re reading this here in the UAE, you might be wondering where did the Z Flip 2 go. Well you’re not wrong. After the original Z Flip, Samsung released its 5G variant in many markets. It looks like the brand has counted that as the second iteration and moved on to number three this year.

Better Body

The Z Flip3 still comes with that great feeling of snapping the phone shut when cutting the call on someone but it does have quite a few changes to the body.

Samsung Z Flip 3

The first and most noticeable change (and the most welcome one) on the Z Flip 3 is the change to it’s body. Flatter sides with a metallic finish, a dual tone body with a very Pixel-esque feel and a new tighter hinge are all noticed instantaneously. This year’s fold is marginally slimmer than last year (both folded and unfolded) and is the exact same weight at 183gm.

All these changes to the body also bring IPX8 water resistance but unfortunately no dust resistance. It might seem trivial to most but here in the UAE, dust resistance can really be a useful feature. Am I right?

More Display

If you speak to anyone who reviewed or used the original Z Flip, the biggest grip would be the miniscule outer display on the phone. Compared to the large outer display on it’s biggest competition, the Motorola Razr, the tiny display proved quite a drawback.

Well that is done now. The new Z Flip 3 comes with a larger 1.9″ Super AMOLED display. The display is easy to interact with, comes with a few usable widgets and finally comes with the Always-on function. It’s good to have the display but I think third-party apps need to get on board as soon as possible and create interactive widgets. For example, while I can see my WhatsApp notifications, there’s not even the option for a quick reply like ‘Ok’. This would be mighty useful if added to the external screen.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

But it’s not just the outer display getting all the upgrades. The inner main display now gets updated to a 6.7″ Foldable Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with a 120Hz refresh-rate, HDR10+ and 1200 nits of peak brightness. The display has a resolution of 2640 x 1080 pixels. Coming from the older Flip, the difference is clearly visible and heavily appreciated.

Power play

The great thing about the Samsung Fold and Flip devices is that even in our region they come with the Snapdragon processors even in our region. Following that trend, the Z Flip 3 comes with the Snapdragon 888 5nm processor. The octa-core processor is supported by 8GB of RAM and comes in two storage variants, 128GB and 256GB.

Samsung Z Flip 3 Flex Mode

The phone runs Android 11 with One UI 3.5. Even in it’s third iteration, there aren’t too many app optimisations to take advantage of the Flip’s body and features like Flex mode. Apart from the camera and Youtube, there aren’t any useful apps out there taking advantage of the software possibilities. For example, Instagram or TikTok could really take advantage of it during live streams. Maybe the stream on top and comments and such below. Could be an idea worth checking out maybe?

In the few days I’ve had with the Z Flip 3, it’s handled everything I’ve thrown it’s way. Now I primarily use the phone for work, so it’s all mainly been emails, social media and Youtube but the phone hasn’t stuttered even a bit. I know that isn’t saying much since it’s only been mild usage and a few days, but I don’t think anyone considering the Flip 3 is looking for it as a hardcore gaming device or a major content creation tool.

Snap away

Speaking of content creation, the Samsung Z Flip 3 comes the exact same camera setup it did for the past two generations. On the outside you’ll find the dual 12MP setup with one wide lens (f/1.8) and one ultra-wide lens (f/2.2).

On the inside is the 10MP (f/2.4) wide lens. Just like the previous generations, the cameras do a decent job with photos. Colours are vivid in that Samsung way we’re now used to with their smartphones and photos in good light are pretty neat. The ultra-wide and selfie do struggle a bit in low-light just like their predecessor but the wide does suffice if absolutely needed.

The average user will really enjoy the cameras with features like Single Take and Flex mode but if you’re looking for a dedicated content creation tool, the Flip 3 might be a little underwhelming.

Battery and Charging

Like the cameras, the battery remains unchanged at 3300mAh with 15W wired charging, 10W wireless charging and 4.5W reverse wireless charging. And yes, there is no charging brick in the box. You only get a type-C charging cable and some Samsung literature.

The battery is decent. While I could kill it in about 6 hours on days with a lot of video watching or calls, on most days with low to mild use, it would take me right through the day. All this being said, I have only used the device for 5 days.

Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3?

If you’re looking for anything ‘hardcore’ in a smartphone, the Flip 3 is not for you. While gaming should be fun, I doubt the softer display will handle it over long periods. While content creation isn’t impossible, a better camera would be great for photos and videos that need to be edited and worked on. But that’s not the Z Flip 3’s speciality.

Starting at Dh3799, the Samsung Z Flip 3 is just a great smartphone. It’s a full on flagship with great specs and its folds down to half it’s size! Using the phone on the daily like most people would, I can’t find anything to complain about. Now you are definitely paying for the luxury of the folding down, but hey! you wouldn’t be reading this review if you didn’t want to enjoy that feeling would you?

If you are planning to get yourself a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3, there is also the added advantage of the current pre-order where you receive a complimentary Dh550 eVoucher and 1-year Samsung Care+ worth Dh1,080. This offer is available till 9th September 2021.

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