So when I reviewed the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip last year, I mentioned in that video that I was a little skeptical about how the device would fare against what is already typically available out right now because yes, it’s a phone, which can be folded and that’s it?
And then when Samsung released THIS new Z Flip3, the question that you probably might ask is, how unique is the phone besides the whole folding form factor? Well, here is my review after using it for a week, to give you that answer.
As a recap, here are the specs.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 comes with the Snapdragon 888 chipset which has 5G support for stand-alone and non-stand-alone 5G Networks, with the Adreno 660 GPU.
And the variant that I have with me is the 8 gigabytes of RAM with 128 gigabytes of UFS 3.1 storage.
Now since I was all technical with the build quality in my hands-on comparison video between this new Flip3 against the previous Flip, I am just going to break down how it was using the phone daily.
One biggest improvement is the overall finish of the phone because just like the Z Fold3, I don’t have to worry about the phone falling off from my hands, and trust me guys, for the previous Flip, there were many moments where I was always at the edge of dropping the phone as soon as I take it out from my pocket.
And being the kind of guy who carries two phones with me, the previous Flip was not something that you can just chuck it and put it out from my pocket when I need it, as I always need to take my time, to slooowly take it out from my pocket, and then use both hands to open the phone up.
And because of the matte finish on the Flip3’s frame and although it had a glossy finish on this cream color version, the phone felt very nice and grippy, and although I never dropped the phone while using it.
BUT if I do, I will know that the Corning Gorilla Glass Victus protection at the back will give me that sort of peace of mind.
And speaking of finishes, Samsung has embraced the trendy lifestyle factor of the phone, by introducing their very own cool and hip accessories for the Flip3, like the Silicone with a Ring or even a Strap, with plenty of colors to choose from.
Then there are also clear covers with a ring, a leather cover and also an Aramid case for you to customize the look of your Flip instead of only choosing the 7 colors available for the Flip3.
And among all of the colors available, if I were going to choose which one that I personally prefer, I would totally get the White. Not only because of the black and white two-tone, but I personally like the matte black finish at the sides as well, which is one of the Samsung.com exclusive colors besides, the Grey and Pink.
But I would love to know which color would you guys go for?
Now looking at the displays on the Z Flip 3, a really huge improvement came in the form of the cover display when the phone is folded as it is 4 times larger at 1.9 inches compared to a tiny lil 1.1 inches on the previous generation.
And here is where I am going to take a little more time to give you more insight into this screen, because if you don’t know how useful this is, it might just be a regular phone, depending on how you use this screen.
By default, the screen looks like it’s part of a black tone finish of the phone, which was kind of nice, and to activate the screen, just double-tap, and here is where you will see the Day, Time, and date with a cute little animation depending on the clock widget that you choose.
And when you touch and hold the screen, it is where you can easily change it or even customize your own, but I have chosen to just use the default ones available.
And from that home screen, if you swipe left toward the left, it will show all the notifications received, but if you would like to reply to messages or just look further, it will prompt you to open the phone and have further continuity on the inside.
Then swiping towards the right brings you to the default widgets, like the calendar, weather, music, the next alarm, and timer where you can also add more widgets, which at this current time, there are not many others available, so let’s hope for more app integration for this cover screen.
Now among all, my personal favorite of all is the ability to actually use the cover screen as your camera’s viewfinder. This can be activated simply by pressing the power button twice, and here is where you can scroll through to either use this viewfinder style to take photos and videos if you scroll left to right, but you can also change the lenses by swiping up or down.
And the common “complaint” I see that some reviewers make is how the aspect ratio is square and you cant adjust it, well, I actually am very fond of this aspect ratio, because this square aspect ratio is actually perfect for posting on Instagram, where you don’t have to worry about cropping it to fit in your timeline accordingly.
And I also love how you can activate this screen when someone else is taking your picture, so you can actually have a preview of yourself to adjust the angle accordingly rather than just hoping to God that the person took a good shot of you.
Now one thing to note is the fact that this cover screen may not be as visible during harsh sunlight, so keep that in mind.
But yes, just this screen alone does give a proper justification on how much that this phone is more than “just” a foldable phone, and it would give more versatility for people who love to Vlog or create high quality and versatile shots.
Alright then, now let’s talk about the unfolded screen on the inside.
It has a 6.7 inch Dynamic AMOLED 2x display, which is the same display technology as its “elder sibling” the Z Fold 3, with a resolution of 2640 x 1080.
On top of that, it also comes with a high 120 Hz refresh rate so yes there is a definite screen improvement over here compared to the previous iteration.
The screen quality is like its painted on the phone, with amazing color accuracy, especially when watching videos, and yes, I also tend to watch YouTube videos on the Flex Mode as well, since that is something that I have been used to on the Z Fold2 and now just recently on the Z Fold3.
And then finally there is new screen protection inside which is apparently more scratch-resistant which is great to know as well, so let’s see how that really holds up when using the phone for a really long time.
Now in terms of the cameras, there is a two-camera setup on the rear:
- a 12-megapixel, F 1.8 main lens below, and
- a 12-megapixel F 2.2 wide-angle lens on top
And the selfie camera inside is a 10-megapixel f 2.4 camera
And once again, based on my test shots, Samsung proves that a high megapixel count is not ALL that matters, because the overall pictures looked amazing as you guys can see, with fantastic dynamic range for the main lenses, especially on the portrait mode shots.
The wide-angle lens performance was also great, both during the day and also at night as well.
Then as for the selfie shots, not only the regular selfies were great, using the camera on the inside but the portrait mode also was really great, with excellent subject to background blur
And since it has all the cool ways of taking photos using the cover screen as mentioned earlier, you can get great quality photos this way too.
And when it comes to video recording, both the rear and the front camera can record up to 4k 60 frames per second, and because of this smaller form factor of the phone, it makes recording videos super easy, with an amazing gimbal-like stabilization as well.
As for the phone’s speakers, the Flip3 comes with stereo speakers, and the placements are at the bottom of the phone and also at the earpiece area.
And I was very surprised by how great the speakers were on the phone, especially with this small form factor, the loudness levels were good with great audio separation, where it performed really well from the lower mids to the highs.
As for the Z Flip3’s software, it comes with the One UI version 3.1.1 skin, on top of Android 11, and while most of the software enhancements come from the cover screen as mentioned earlier, there are some cool added features introduced over here as well.
Since it comes with the new One UI version, if you swipe towards the left it will go to the Google Feed, which the previous Flip didn’t have.
Now like the Z Fold3, the new Labs settings under the Advanced Features were handy for situations to get the Flex Mode done for other apps which may not exist or be available natively, like Google Calendar or Facebook.
And there is the Edge Panel to go through your frequently used apps over there as well.
And based on me using this new One UI version 3.1.1 skin I can say that I have absolutely no complaints about using it daily and it is still my personal favorite Android Skin.
Then as for battery, the phone has 3300 milliamps of battery, which is similar to the previous Z Flip.
Now while the adaptive 120-hertz refresh rate was quite a refreshing feeling for the screen (pun intended) but the battery life did take quite a hit, where I got an average close to 4 hours of screen on time when I was at 10 percent battery with dark mode turned on, with quite a heavy usage.
Then I switched it to 60 hertz, where I got an average of 4 and half hours of screen on time so you do get close to an hour or more at this mode, so keep that in mind.
The phone has fast charging as well up to 15 watts, fast wireless charging up to 10 watts and reverse wireless charging up to 4.5 watts.
Yes, this may not be as flagship standards, so you will need to keep that in mind when it comes to using the phone daily.
And let’s hope a software update could improve the overall battery life as I see that this may be the only area where it didn’t perform at its best at this point of time.
Next, let’s talk about how the Z Flip does when it comes to gaming.
Firstly on Genshin Impact, the game ran very smoothly initially, at medium settings at 60 fps, with motion blur turned off.
The phone did get a bit hot towards the top area after a really long gameplay, there were no battery drain issues which was nice and the game controls felt really nice.
Since the phone is nice and wide, it is like you are using a gaming controller, so it is surely more comfortable gaming on the Z Flip3 compared to the Z Fold3.
However, there were times where some micro stutter and lag during the ultimate animation once again only during a long gameplay.
Then when it comes to playing PUBG Mobile, as usual, the gameplay was very nice and optimised, so no issues at all over here with graphics set to UHD and frame rate set to Ultra.
So in conclusion, as mentioned at the beginning of this video, if you wondered how unique the phone is beside the whole folding form factor, well I would say this – with additional features like the IPX8 water resistant rating, a way improved and such a useful cover screen itself give the phone a huge justification that this is not just a regular phone that can fold into half, but it is a very functional and not to mention a very stylish and lifestyle phone.
And continuing on to the topic of being a stylish and lifestyle phone, I personally also feel that this phone is really catered to the type of crowd, who does more vlogging, creating content, and just loves something that is out of the ordinary and not a typical power user and that’s why for me I kind of lean towards the Fold more than the Flip.
But yes, it is surely a great way to encourage people to finally get themselves a foldable smartphone, especially considering its very decent price of RM3999 for the 8 gigabytes of RAM with 128 gigabytes of storage
and RM4199 for the 256 gigabytes of storage with the same 8 gigabytes of RAM.
So guys, with this, do let me know if you guys think that the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G is something that you would get, and will it be your first ever foldable smartphone? Do let me know at the comments section below and let’s discuss over there!