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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 review: Under $1,000 foldable phone

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The Galaxy Z Flip 3 can be ordered now. The base 8GB/128GB configuration costs $999. A 256GB option is available for $1,049.

Samsung also introduced the Galaxy Z Flip 3 Customized Edition. This is a phone that can be customized for $1,099. There are 49 color options for the frame, back, and front. The Bespoke Upgrade Care plan allows you to trade in your Flip 3 for any color combination you like. Also, you get one year of Samsung Care+. To get started, visit the Bespoke.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 Review: Design and Durability

Samsung was serious about durability with the Galaxy Z Flip 3 A new film has made the screen 80% stronger than the one on the Galaxy Z Flip 5G and Galaxy Z Flip 5G. Gorilla Glass Victus protects the 1.9-inch outer screen, and Samsung made the phone’s frame out of its Armor Aluminium material. This provides greater scratch resistance, particularly on the cover display.

The Galaxy Z Flip 3 is truly an engineering marvel, thanks to its enhanced durability.

The Flip 3 is also IPX8 waterproof. This means that you don’t have to worry about dropping it in the water, although neither Samsung nor I would recommend this. The phone’s water resistance was not tested in our hands-on testing.

The most notable design change to the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is the cover display. This cover display is four times larger than the Galaxy Z Flip’s exterior strip of 1.1 inches, so you will see more information than ever before.

The Galaxy Z Flip 3 is available in four colors: Phantom Black, Green, Lavender and Cream. In our hands-on experience, the lavender stood out. It really caught our attention and showed off the Flip 3’s style focus. Samsung will offer white, pink, and gray colorways on its website exclusively. The Cream model is beautiful and subtle. It’s also very pleasing considering how slippery the original Galaxy Z Flip had been.

The stereo speakers on the Galaxy Z Flip 3 are another major upgrade. They were so loud that we had to lower the volume during our hands-on session in order to not drown out conversations nearby. The speakers were clear even when I was listening to a Tom’s Guide meeting.

Beyond its attractive price, the Galaxy Z Flip 3’s main selling point is how compact the device folds up. The dimensions of the phone when closed are 3.4×2.8×0.63-0.67 inches. This means it can be stuffed into almost any pocket.

The phone is 6.5×2.8×0.27 inches when opened, making it a slim phone that can be carried easily. The Galaxy Z Flip 3 weighs in at just 6.5 ounces, which is the same as its predecessor. This makes it easy to carry.

The overall size of the Flip 3 was reduced by Samsung. The original Flip was 6.6×2.9x 0.28 inches when open and 3.4×2.9×0.61-0.68 inches closed. The new phone weighs the same, but it is a little lighter and taller. The Galaxy Z Flip 3 is truly an engineering marvel thanks to its enhanced durability.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 review: Displays

The Galaxy Z Flip 3’s 6.7-inch Super AMOLED display is revealed when you open the phone. You will be amazed at the stunning viewing experience thanks to the 2640×1080 resolution and 120Hz refresh rate. The Flip 3 made scrolling effortless, showcasing Samsung’s display prowess.

The touchscreen’s 1.9-inch size allows you to control music, check weather conditions, and take selfies when closed. The touchscreen can also double as a viewfinder. To launch the camera, double-press the power button. This is a significant improvement on the Flip’s small outer display. It makes the Flip 3 easier to use when closed (and theoretically saves battery life).

The Flip 3’s cover display is a huge improvement over the original Flip. It’s extremely versatile and useful. You can interact with most major functions of your phone (and even more if you modify it) without having to open the device. It’s my favorite Flip 3 feature, aside from the folding.

One thing that remained from the original Flip was the crease in the middle of the interior display. Even though it may not be obvious all the time, it is still noticeable when scrolling over it. This distortion is particularly noticeable in direct sunlight and apps that use light mode. Although the visible crease is not a major problem, it can be a symptom of a more subtle image.

The Galaxy Z Flip 3’s inner displays reproduced 102% and 76.4% respectively of the DCI–P3 color gamuts. This is actually lower than the iPhone 12 Pro’s 115.6% saturation. The Galaxy Z Flip 3’s color accuracy is worse than the iPhone 12 Pro’s 0.28 Delta-E score. This test was passed with a perfect score of 0.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 review: Cameras

They’re the same camera front as the original Flip. The back features a 12MP (f/1.8), wide-angle, and ultrawide 12MP (f/2.2). The 10MP selfie camera has a f/2.4 aperture and a wide-angle lens. The Galaxy Z Flip 3 does not have a telephoto lens, unlike the iPhone 12 Pro ($999), which I used for the following comparison photos.

If the Flip 3 is to compete with one of the most powerful camera phones, it will have a lot of work. Let’s not forget the Galaxy S21 comes with a telephoto lens. Samsung does some amazing magic with those lenses. Software is the key to improving the Galaxy Z Flip 3’s cameras. It offers enhancements for indoor photography and portrait mode.

This photo of a tree-lined forest is the first. These two photos look very similar. However, you can see the hints of Samsung’s tendency to oversaturate colors with the Flip 3’s image. The iPhone toned things down. Although the resulting image may not be as bright as that of Flip 3, its colors are more natural-looking and accurate.

I took a photo of flowers to show how the phones coped with direct sunlight. The Flip 3 did not fare as well here as the iPhone. The image appears overexposed and some colors are washed out. The iPhone 12 Pro handled sunlight and colors better, which allowed for brighter flowers.

This photo of the Merida statuette taken in the interior was taken later in the day so it is not as bright. The image on the Flip 3 is darker than that of the iPhone. This picture is brighter than the Flip’s dimmed attempt. The iPhone’s photo has brighter colors than the Flip’s.

Two different ways to take portraits are available. I prefer the portrait of the iPhone over the Flip 3. The image on Flip 3 is more zoomed in, with more background. The entire image is focused on me, with the background in secondary. I like the iPhone’s better bokeh. Samsung has much to improve its portrait mode.

To test the Galaxy Z Flip 3’s zoom abilities, I took a moment to switch off the iPhone 12 Pro comparisons. The S21 Plus has a maximum digital zoom of 30x. While the S21 Plus is capable of zooming at 10x, the folding phone can only go as far as the S21 Plus. Zoom Lock is a feature on the S21 that uses AI to stabilize images. Let the results speak for themselves.

Here’s a night shot of my smoker, before we go back to the iPhone 12 Pro. You can immediately see the differences. The night shot from the Flip 3 is decent, but the iPhone’s is better. The iPhone’s image is brighter than that of the Flip 3, but it also has more detail. Samsung’s night mode has seen improvements in recent years but still has some way to go before it can match Apple’s.

The front lens of the Galaxy Z Flip 3 allowed me to test its selfie capabilities. These differences are subtler than other images, but the Flip 3 did some face smoothing on my face, while the iPhone preserved my ruddy skin. The iPhone’s photo is a little warmer which was perfect for the hot and sunny day. The selfie on the Flip 3 is fine, but I prefer the iPhone’s.

Here’s a selfie was taken with the Galaxy Z Flip 3 closed using the rear cameras. Although it is a better picture than the one taken with the Galaxy Z Flip 3’s internal front-facing camera, it takes some practice to properly align the shot. This is a great tool.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 review: Video

The Galaxy Z Flip 3 records video at up 4K resolution and 60 frames per second. The final result looks amazing and is sharp and smooth. The iPhone 12 Pro can also record at 4K 60 fps, so I used both phones for a short walk to test stability, microphone quality, overall visual fidelity, and overall visual clarity.

The Flip 3’s video is very similar to the iPhone 12 Pro. This is a great option for video shooting. The colors in Flip 3’s footage were vibrant and accurate, with great compensation for bright sunlight. Samsung did a fantastic job with the Flip 3’s stabilization. However, the iPhone had better mic quality as well as background noise isolation. The Galaxy Z Flip 3’s video recording capabilities will not disappoint.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 review: Performance

The Galaxy Z Flip 3 has a Snapdragon 808 and 8GB RAM. As I used Flex mode to flip through apps, it didn’t fail once. The Flip 3 is just like any other Snapdragon-powered device.

The Flip 3 is a great platform for intense games such as Asphalt 9 and Genhin Impact. Frame drops were not something I noticed. This phone also supports higher refresh rates, such as Dead Cells. These games play beautifully on the phone. Battery life is the main problem, but I’ll address that in a moment.

Geekbench 5’s Galaxy Z Flip 3 scored a remarkable 2,984 in multicore. This is not far from the iPhone 12 Pro’s 3,669. Geekbench may not be 100% representative of actual-world performance but it does give an idea of the capabilities of a system-on chip like Snapdragon 888.

The Flip 3 achieved an average speed of 27.3 fps in the 3DMark Wild Life Unlimited graphics benchmark. Compare this to the iPhone 12 Pro’s staggering 51 fps.

The Galaxy Z Flip 3 completed the Adobe Premiere Rush video transcoding test, where it had to convert a 4K video into 1080p. It did this in just 53 seconds. This is quite impressive, but the iPhone 12 Pro managed it in 27 seconds.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 Review: Battery and Charging

The Galaxy Z Flip 3’s 3,300 mAh battery keeps the original Flip’s size. The Flip’s battery life was not very impressive, so this is cause for concern. The 3,300 mAh capacity is also smaller than the other Samsung phones, such as the regular Galaxy S21’s 4,000 mAh battery.

The Galaxy Z Flip 3’s battery was tested in both the adaptive and refresh rate modes. We were not pleased with either of these results. The Flip 3’s adaptive model lasted just 5 hours and 43 mins. It lasted slightly longer in 60Hz mode for 6 hours. Other reviewers have reported having a very poor battery life. The Flip 3’s low battery life is a significant drawback.

Battery life on the original Flip was disappointing at 8 hours 16 minutes. The Galaxy Z Flip 3 doesn’t have a lot of space for a large battery, but the outer display is larger and the inner one has a 120Hz refresh rate, which draws more power.

The Galaxy Z Flip 3’s 15W maximum wired charging is another problem. I’m not sure how fast your Galaxy Z Flip 3 will charge. It supports 25W max wired charging. The Galaxy Z Flip 3 wireless charging is limited to 10W.

The Galaxy Z Flip 3 was able to recharge from 0% to 22% in just 15 minutes and 44% in just 30 minutes during our testing. This is not bad, but it’s also smaller than most Android phones.

Samsung will not include a charger with the box, just like the Galaxy S21 series. This decision is not supported by us.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 Review: Software and Flex mode

The Galaxy Z Flip 3 is preloaded with Android 11 and OneUI 3.1, with the possibility of an Android 12 update. The Flip 3 will provide three years of platform updates, and four years worth of security patches. Samsung’s update policy has made it possible to provide better support for Android phones, particularly in the US.

For our thoughts on One UI 3.1, you can refer to previous Samsung device coverage. It’s a great rendition of Android. One UI stands out because of the many features it offers and Samsung’s excellent design skills. It’s the most popular Android experience for many.

The One UI is not the only thing that stands out, but rather the software enhancements Samsung has made to make the Galaxy Z Flip 3 more useful. Flex mode is a key feature that significantly enhances app user experience, where it’s supported.

Flex mode allows you to split UI elements across the two displays. This is best tested in the Camera app. The viewfinder can be found on the top display, and the shutter controls are on the button. You can also video call while the phone is folded up and positioned on a table. This will help reduce arm fatigue during long video chats.

Flex mode on the Galaxy Z Flip had one problem. There weren’t many apps that could take advantage of it. YouTube was an exception. It allowed you to view the video on top and scroll through the comments on the bottom. Samsung did not provide any Flex mode-supporting apps when they were asked — the Galaxy Z Fold 3’s multiscreen capabilities seemed to have received the majority of attention.

Samsung has now announced UI 4.1 for older Galaxy phones. The Galaxy Z Flip 3 will have access to the new Google Duo live-sharing feature, Night Portrait mode, and pet recognition in Portrait Mode.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 review: Verdict

Many of the issues we had with the original Galaxy Z Flip are addressed by the Galaxy Z Flip 3. The new phone is also cheaper than the 5G option Samsung launched in 2020. For those who have been skeptical about folding phones, the $999 price point is a great deal.

You can still get the Galaxy S21 Plus for $999. It has a better battery life and a telephoto lens. The Galaxy S21 costs $799 and also includes a telephoto lens. The Galaxy S21 F E is also available at a lower price. There’s also the $999 iPhone 13 Pro which is one the most popular phones. The Flip 3 is not the best phone, but it does have a lot of competition. The battery life is terrible, which is a real problem.

The Galaxy Z Flip 3 is designed to be different from the standard glass and metal slabs of today. The Flip 3’s poor battery life makes it hard to recommend the phone. If you choose to purchase the Galaxy Z Flip 3, you will need to have a battery pack or charger with you. The long-term durability of this technology is also important to consider. It’s still very new and has not yet proven to be reliable.

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