It couldn’t be more compact: With the Galaxy Z Flip 3, Samsung has released a small, foldable power pack that is also significantly cheaper than its predecessors. We were allowed to take a closer look at the Galaxy Z Flip 3 for a few weeks and here is our verdict.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 Review: the conclusion
Techgiig rating: 8/10
The strengths of the Galaxy Z Flip 3 are obvious. With its compact dimensions, it can not only be held loosely in the palm of your hand but also easily stowed in the smallest pocket.
The AMOLED folding display is a real eye-catcher with its 120 Hz refresh rate. The technical crease is noticeable and somehow ruins the enjoyment of photos and videos.
The camera leaves a smack: Selfies look pale and the contrast is clearly too high. This makes photos appear artificial. The lack of a telephoto lens means that there is only a digital zoom that quickly reaches its limits.
Overall, the recordings are rather average. That wouldn’t be so bad if the Galaxy Z Flip 3 was not as expensive as it is while you can get much better camera phones around this same price range.
The battery life could also have been better. The Flip 3 should not be charged daily.
- Stylish device
- Compact dimensions
- Display with a refresh rate of up to 120 Hz
- Snapdragon 888: top performance and 5G support
- Waterproof according to IPX8
- Dual SIM capable (SIM + eSIM)
- Battery life
- Average camera
- Memory cannot be expanded
Good to know:
- difficult to open with only one hand
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3: design and feel
The design of the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is unique among current smartphones. In contrast to its larger sister model, the Galaxy Z Fold 3, the Flip 3 only uses a small “cover display” on the front, which has space for the time, weather, and current music widgets.
If you want to use the smartphone for more, open it up and see the 6.7-inch AMOLED display.
The Flip 3 also cuts a fine figure in the hand: The frame and front of the Flip 3 feel absolutely high-quality. The fingerprint sensor embedded in the power button is easily accessible and enables the smartphone to be unlocked quickly and reliably.
The Snapdragon 888 was installed in the Z Flip 3, which already ensures top performance in other smartphones.
Also important to know: With this generation, the foldable from Samsung are waterproof for the first time.
If you only partially open the smartphone, other new possibilities for use. Video conferences through smartphones, in particular, can benefit from this: Simply place the flip on the table and tilt the display so that the front camera is pointing at you. Or: Play YouTube videos in the upper half of the screen while the smartphone is on the table. This is a real added value that no other smartphone can offer in this form.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3: Display
When unfolded, the 6.7-inch AMOLED display with a 22: 9 aspect ratio appears. The panel looks great, as you are used to from the Samsung flagships.
The display is quite bright even in daylight, offers high contrast and really rich colors.
The 22: 9 format means above all that the smartphone is comparatively narrow when unfolded and can therefore be easily gripped and operated with one hand. Anyone who consumes media frequently, however, is confronted with an unusual situation. The display is too wide in landscape format for most of the content currently being produced.
If you want to watch videos, you can either opt for black bars or a strongly cropped image section.
As good as the display looks, the major shortcoming of the folding technology is already visible at first glance: the folding edge in the middle of the display.
You can try to ignore that, but it doesn’t always work out properly. In many everyday situations, the crease does not bother or is not noticeable, but occasionally there are moments when the edge does, for example, cause slight distortions when scrolling over text or light reflections.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3: Cover-Display
The secret star of the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is the cover display. At first glance, the 1.9-inch AMOLED display looks like a gimmick, but it offers some useful functions. In addition to the obvious features such as the display of the time, notifications, or the battery level, the currently playing music can also be controlled from this display.
So you don’t necessarily have to open your smartphone for some actions.
Another gimmick: the display can also be used as a preview monitor for the camera next to it. This is helpful when you want to take a selfie with the rear camera.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3: The Cameras
On the back, there are two cameras with a resolution of 12 megapixels each. Anyone who suspects a telephoto lens in this price segment will be disappointed. A dual camera with a wide-angle main camera and the ultra-wide-angle sensor was installed.
The photos are actually ok, but the software tends to increase contrasts and colors unnecessarily. The lawn is greener, the sky bluer, the roses redder. You have to like that.
The night mode, which comes with an exposure time of five seconds, sharpens the subjects a lot but could also be appreciated.
Due to the lack of a telephoto lens, the zoom capabilities should only be used in homeopathic doses. Even from a double zoom, faces, in particular, can lose a lot of detail; this zoom level can still be used for photos of architecture. But you shouldn’t go beyond that.
Selfies are shot with the 10-megapixel wide-angle front camera in the punch hole. The pictures are ok, but – especially in direct comparison to the post-processing of the other photos – appear pale and not very vivid.
Videos can be recorded with a resolution of up to 4K at 60 frames per second. If you want to use the best possible image stabilization, the smartphone automatically reduces the recording to 1080p with 30 fps.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3: Software
As you are used to from Samsung, the Flip 3 also relies on Android with Samsung’s own user interface, One UI, here in version 3.1.1. Anyone who has already had other Samsung smartphones in their hands will immediately find their way around the design and selection of the apps.
Nevertheless, there is one special feature that the Flip has: the “Flex Panel” mode.
If you only partially open the Galaxy Z Flip 3, the layout of some apps changes.
For example, in the camera app: The preview image is now in the upper half of the display, while all camera settings are found below. Even the YouTube app has been adapted to this. It shows the video in the upper half of the display, while you can scroll through the comments or recommendations in the lower half of the screen.
“Flex Panel” is extremely practical, but not many apps support it.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3: the battery life
The Flip 3 can be charged fairly quickly with 15 watts. A complete recharge from 0 to 100 takes around one and a half to two hours. After a day, the battery, which is just about 3,300 mAh, is also quite discharged, especially if you decide to use the always-on display.
You won’t get around the daily reloading, but the Flip 3 can handle a working day with a few video calls.
Good to know: A power supply unit is not included in the scope of delivery.
You may like to have a look at our article on the best wireless chargers for Samsung devices.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3: My personal conclusion
To this day I am not sure whether I can recommend the Flip 3 with a clear conscience.
The unique design and the high-quality feel stand in the way of an average camera, short battery life, and the still quite steep price. Had these two problems been addressed, the Flip 3 would be much easier to recommend.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 review: rating
|category||Rating (max. 10)|
|Processing, feel, and design||9|
|Telephony and audio||8|
|Battery and everyday life||6|