Hi, I’m Abrar Khan, here reviewing the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3, a foldable smartphone. In this article we’ll dive into its design, screen and audio quality, Cover Screen, Flex Mode, Camera and battery life to determine whether it’s worth buying or not?
Read Also: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Review
Galaxy Z Flip 3 Design
So when I first saw the Z Flip 3 looked so adorable, especially when it’s folded. The design of Z Flip 3 is very minimal but still elegant, which is the exact style that I like, I have the cream color, but there are many other color options like lavender, green, and pink. I actually did get to see some of the other colors in real life, and after doing so, I think the cream one looks the best. However there is one thing that I don’t love about the design is the back is super glossy, It tracks fingerprints pretty easily. I would prefer a more matte finish, and I think that would also help it to track fingerprints less. But the back is gorilla glass, so it’s nice and durable and will not get scratched easily.
Z Flip 3 Screens and Audio Quality
There are two screens, the main one measures 6.7 inches with a 120 Hz Full HD+ AMOLED display and a slightly taller aspect ratio. It folds in half, which means you’ll have to deal with a crease. You can feel it when you run your fingers over it, and its visibility depends on the angle, when I look at it straight it isn’t very noticeable. However, the crease becomes more visible when you’re outside due to the increased light and reflections. It hasn’t bothered me excessively, but personal preferences vary.
The Galaxy Z Flip 3 phone features stereo speakers. Despite being foldable into a pocket-friendly square, you still get a fairly good movie-watching experience, particularly for content shot in widescreen.
When the z flip 3 is closed, you’ll notice a slight gap in between, It’s not too bad, but that space tends to attract dust and lint from my pockets, ending up on the screen. The outer display’s primary function is to let you interact with widgets, check notifications, and quickly snap selfies. It allows you to perform the basics and nothing more, which, I believe, is a part of its charm.
Surprisingly, I find the outer display to be one of my favorite aspects of this phone. Since I have to physically flip it open to use the main display, I’ve found myself using the main screen less often. When I reach for my phone, I’ll check my notifications on the outer display and then put it back in my pocket—unless it’s something urgent. I’m not sure if that was Samsung’s intention, but as someone trying to reduce screen time, I do appreciate it.
On the flip side, you could argue that repeatedly opening and closing it is quite tedious. However, as I mentioned, that extra step has made me more intentional with my smartphone usage. I don’t mindlessly scroll on my phone as much as before.
Galaxy Z Flip 3 Flex Mode
Much of the marketing for this phone revolves around the enjoyable ways you can use it. Samsung terms this Flex Mode, and essentially, when you’re using an app that supports it, the content adjusts to fit the two parts of the display. It’s akin to having an adjustable built-in stand whenever needed. If you use Google Duo, you’re likely to find this feature appealing. I believe video chatting is where Flex Mode truly shines. You can easily set it down, frame yourself perfectly, and go completely hands-free.
Within the camera app, it’s like having an integrated tripod. Set it down, frame your shot using the front or back cameras, and then hit record. This feature is ideal for capturing time lapses as well. YouTube is also supported. It displays the video on the top half of the screen and enables scrolling through comments on the bottom half. Officially supported apps are somewhat limited, but for those lacking support, you can enter the labs menu and force them to work. Generally, this just moves everything to the top half of the display and provides a four-button menu for notifications, screenshots, brightness, and volume. However, Netflix and other media apps offer additional video controls, which is quite convenient.
In terms of phone calls, here’s a breakdown of how it works. When you receive a call, you can answer from the cover screen, and it’ll automatically be on speakerphone by default. Flipping it open won’t answer the call; if you want that, you have to enable that feature in the settings. While you’re on a call, closing the phone will hang up, similar to those old-school flip phones. The whole experience is quite nostalgic. Is it necessary? Probably not, but it’s still a lot of fun. Other than that, there’s not much more to mention.
Galaxy Z Flip 3 Software
The software experience follows the typical Samsung approach. I would have appreciated the inclusion of Samsung DeX since their other flagships have it, but unfortunately, it’s missing. Notably, the fingerprint scanner stands out for me. It’s side-mounted and integrated into the power button, unlike high-end Samsung phones that place it under the display. It’s positioned a bit high for my thumb, but you can easily map another finger from your other hand, like this one. This scanner works exceptionally well, and I appreciate its return of the fingerprint gesture for pulling down the notification shade. Performance is also very solid. My only complaint is that the top half of the phone can become quite warm during more demanding tasks.
Galaxy Z Flip 3 Battery Life
The battery, which is likely the most significant trade-off, can be summarized as follows: it’s a morning-to-night battery with mild usage. If you engage in a lot of intensive tasks, you’ll likely need to charge it before the day’s end. Charging speeds aren’t particularly impressive either. It takes around an hour and 45 minutes for a full charge when connected to a charger, and over two hours when placed on a wireless charger. Additionally, there’s reverse wireless charging available for topping off earbuds if you have some spare battery. In general, the 3300 milliamp-hour battery isn’t designed for heavy smartphone use. For the casual smartphone user who doesn’t spend more than four to five hours a day on their phone, it should suffice.
Galaxy Z Flip 3 Hinge and Durability
I can’t provide an extensive assessment since I haven’t had it for very long, but if you’re considering getting one, I recommend opting for insurance and an extended warranty. It’s worth the investment for your peace of mind. This isn’t to say the device isn’t well-built; it indeed feels sturdy. The hinge offers good resistance, and if you examine closely, the bendable areas are completely covered and protected. There’s also a built-in screen protector that you’re not supposed to remove, ever. This protector feels very much like glass, but I’m not as confident in its durability compared to actual glass, they’ve introduced an IPX8 water resistance rating, which is a significant step in the right direction. While I won’t be submerging or swimming with the phone, at least I know it won’t be ruined if I take a call in the rain or snow.
Galaxy Z Flip 3 Camera
The Z Flip 3 features a total of three 12-megapixel cameras: a wide and ultra-wide on the back, and a punch-hole selfie camera on the front. Unlike Samsung’s other flagships, this lacks a telephoto lens altogether. So, any zooming you do will rely on digital zoom. While it doesn’t possess Samsung’s best camera hardware, the pictures still impress me and get the job done. I’m completely content with the pictures I’ve taken using the Flip 3. The selfies are detailed and appealing, though occasionally a bit over-sharpened in some scenarios, highlighting pores and sunspots. These details are visible.
Being able to capture pictures while the phone is closed, thanks to the front cover display, results in higher quality selfies. This feature offers a surprisingly delightful experience. The cover display can also play a dual role by showing your subject their appearance, allowing them to plan their pose before you snap the shot. Samsung has truly excelled in enhancing the design and aesthetics of the Z Flip 3. It’s stunning, fashion-forward, and they’ve struck a great balance to make it appealing to both genders.
We can all debate the practicality of a product like this, but the technology is astonishing. Year after year, Samsung is making it increasingly affordable. Perhaps the novelty will wear off in a month or two, but holding a phone that can fold in half is a remarkable experience. Should everyone rush out to buy this? Certainly not. Battery life and the lack of a telephoto lens will be deal-breakers for many. However, if these trade-offs don’t matter to you and you desire something nostalgic, a conversation starter, a pocket-friendly device that unfolds into a full-size smartphone, then yes, the Z Flip 3 might be exactly what you’re seeking.
Don’t get me wrong; it’s still a costly phone. But if Samsung continues lowering the price point, I can envision many people falling in love with it, myself included. To be honest, I haven’t been this intrigued by a phone in a long, long time. It’s far from perfect, but it’s incredibly cute and a lot of fun.