The third iteration of Samsung’s smaller foldable phone is out now, but has the brand finally perfected the flexible formula with this device?
What we love — Folds up neatly, with an attractive inner display
The Galaxy Z Flip 3’s unique folding clamshell design makes it a really fun prospect among the reams of all too similar smartphones on the market today (just the simple act of snapping it shut to end a call is a joy), and this one is far more practical than its predecessors. The first foldable with a water resistance rating (IPX8), it also has Gorilla Glass Victus on the outside display, a casing made of ‘Armor’ aluminium, and a durable, smudge-resistant protective layer on the internal display.
That internal OLED display is an attractive one, with a 120Hz refresh rate, around 900 nits of brightness, and a 1080p resolution. There’s still a crease down the middle, but it’s nowhere near as intrusive as the one on the Fold.
While it’s nowhere near a cheap prospect at £949 ($999), the price has been significantly reduced from its predecessor, and it is more attainable than other foldables of its generation.
What we don’t like — Average cameras and battery life, limited outer display
The three cameras (two on the outside, one on the inside) are capable of taking perfectly usable photos, but they’re more comparable to the ones you’d get from a good mid-ranger rather than a flagship device, falling short of the Pixel 5 when it comes to dynamic range, and trailing both the iPhone 12 and Samsung Galaxy S21 for levels of detail.
Likewise, the relatively small 3300mAh cell gives good but not great battery life, and will last you through the day as long as you’re not a very intensive user. One way to save on the battery life is to use the outer display rather than the inner display; but although it is significantly bigger than previous versions of the Flip, and will allow you to deal with a few notifications such as calendar appointments and alarms, it is not highly functional.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3’s unique selling point is without a doubt its unique foldable clamshell design. If you find this to be very appealing, then the enhanced durability and attractive inner display might persuade you to buy one. But bear in mind that you can get much better cameras and battery life from standard-format smartphones of the same price.
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