Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 evaluate: Nonetheless flippin’ marvellous



(Pocket-lint) – When folding telephones first hit the market, there was very a lot a way that corporations had been simply attempting to point out off the expertise, quite than give us gadgets that solved an actual drawback. The early gadgets had a display that wrapped across the exterior of the machine, making them vastly impractical, and really more likely to get ruined attributable to scratches and so forth.

Samsung took a distinct method. With the Flip collection, it sought to supply a tool that you can use as a daily smartphone, however then fold to make it extra compact and maintain it in your pocket. Making it tremendous moveable. 

Its first Galaxy Z Flip and Z Flip 5G weren’t good, however they had been very promising. However they had been fairly costly. For the subsequent technology, Samsung has taken that authentic thought and made it a lot better and – extra crucially – much more reasonably priced. You should buy one for across the similar value as another top-tier smartphone – and even much less when you’re evaluating it to the actually massive, costly flagships. 

Learn our full verdict beneath, which incorporates particulars of a long-term take a look at with the telephone.


Six months later: Put on and tear take a look at

Because the Pocket-lint group does with most main releases, we continued to check the Z Flip 3 even after our preliminary impressions and official evaluate. And we’re completely satisfied to report that our verdict – delivered after a couple of weeks of utilizing the folding machine – holds up after roughly six or seven months of use. Merely put, that is nonetheless the foldable telephone to beat. It is a superb choice for these on the lookout for one thing completely different, and there is not a telephone that has been launched since that may present a comparable expertise. 

Naturally, there was and nonetheless is a few concern from these in long-term relationships with bar-shaped smartphones {that a} design with a large crease down the center won’t maintain up after prolonged use. At the least in our expertise, although, it very a lot does. The novelty of snapping it shut, opening it as much as reply a name and having the ability to truly match it in a pocket hasn’t worn off but, and the display itself appears simply as crisp and clear because it did once we first picked it up. 

There’s some mud and dirt caught across the fringe of the non-removable display protector (and, much more annoyingly, ours is not caught on completely straight), however there are not any points to report but with regard to the precise design breaking down. As we additionally point out beneath, nevertheless, you do additionally inevitably study to regulate your behaviour barely, as a result of that is nonetheless a display that feels prefer it deserves a extra delicate contact than a typical slab.

Actually, the larger query for these wanting on the Z Flip 3: is it nonetheless a very good time to purchase?

This can be a little tougher to reply, as rumours recommend the subsequent technology of Samsung’s flip telephones shall be with us round August/September. Should you’re due an improve, can simply improve your machine in a yr or simply merely do not care to attend till then, then we might completely suggest the Z Flip 3. Should you’re already a bit on the fence, although, and are extra seemingly to stick with your subsequent machine for a few years, we might recommend staying there till the Z Flip 4 is out within the wild. 

Flippy pleasure 

  • Finishes: Black, Inexperienced, Lavender, Cream, White, Pink and Gray
  • Unfolded dimensions: 166 x 72.2 x 6.9mm
  • Folded dimensions: 86.4 x 72.2 x 17mm
  • IPX8 water resistant
  • Weight: 183 grams

What’s most shocking concerning the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is how sturdy it feels. With any machine with transferring components, bending components or hinges, that sturdiness is essential. In spite of everything, you do not wish to have a product that feels prefer it may break aside at any second. 

The aluminium body all the way in which across the exterior of each the highest and backside halves of the telephone provides a strong really feel to the machine, whereas the metallic backbone over the hinge additionally has a robust feeling. Equally, once you open it up, that aluminium body ensures that you could’t bend it again on itself except you actually, actually tried to do it on goal. 

Add that to a telephone that has an IPX8 score in opposition to water ingress, and isn’t just able to lasting the rigours of every day life, but in addition would survive simply tremendous when you dropped it in water. 

Even the hinge has a clean, purposeful movement to it. It would not really feel too free or wobbly and would not make any grinding noises (not like some rivals). Actually, it is a pleasure to open and shut. Similar to any flip telephone needs to be. 

That tactile suggestions you get from snapping it shut is much extra pleasant than simply urgent a button on the facet of a daily telephone. It makes it an occasion; an expertise, virtually.

Regardless of being a futuristic folding telephone, it nonetheless has the identical buttons and fixtures you’d anticipate of any smartphone. The quantity rocker and energy/sleep button dwell on the fitting facet of the telephone, simply above the fold, the latter with a fingerprint sensor constructed into it for unlocking and authentication.We get the sensation that the looks was a giant a part of the main focus for Samsung with the Flip 3, as effectively. Like all basic, fashionable flip telephone, it is as a lot a private style accent as it’s a telephone. So it is obtainable in seven completely different colors, plus there’s a handful of various instances – together with fashions with rings and straps connected for holding onto. 

Aside from the metallic body, the remainder of the telephone’s floor is roofed in glass. The rear is one single panel, whereas the entrance cowl has two. This materials alternative provides the telephone a premium really feel, however we did discover it was very completely satisfied to slide off gentle surfaces with none encouragement. Maybe one more reason to contemplate one of many firm’s many case equipment. 

The one different design alternative that might find yourself being problematic for some is the hole between panels when the machine is shut. Fold the telephone to shut it and there is a hole between the highest and backside halves of the display, close to the hinge. If it spends most of its time in your desk, that is not a problem, however maintain it in a pocket and one can find it amassing particles of mud and fluff – and needing to be wiped recurrently to maintain it clear. 

Whenever you do open it there’s additionally that ‘crease’ within the show to cope with. More often than not when swiping by the telephone’s interface, you do not see/really feel it, as a result of most of these interactions are within the backside half of the display. Nevertheless, we frequently discovered we might really feel it in apps – akin to when scrolling by an online web page, or doom-scrolling on Twitter. It did not hassle us all that a lot, however we suspect it’s extremely a lot a private desire factor. 

There was one particular occasion the place we actually did not get pleasure from it although: when taking part in Mario Kart Tour. That is a racing recreation that makes use of swipe gestures for turning, and – in panorama orientation – it’s a must to swipe throughout the center of the display to take among the turns. And when urgent in direction of the center of the Flip 3’s display, its hinge design means it begins to fold considerably. Whereas it is not a flaw, per se, it’s one thing that requires an adjustment once you’re used to urgent in opposition to an immovable slab.

Cowl show: What are you able to do with it? 

  • 1.9-inch AMOLED color panel, 260 x 512 decision
  • Widgets, clock, notifications and extra

Just like the design, the Cowl Show on the entrance of the telephone is one space that is seen main enchancment over the first-generation of Z Flip telephones. It is now a full-colour AMOLED display, and it is a touchscreen too. 

Faucet it as soon as and you may rapidly test the time, day, date and battery stage – plus see a dot you probably have a notification. Double-tap it and it turns into energetic, then you may swipe throughout to view your notifications correct.

This, we predict, is its most helpful characteristic. The way in which you may see which notifications you’ve gotten ready, learn them, then determine whether or not you’ll want to unlock your telephone to answer or pay extra consideration.

That is not its solely perform although. There are a number of widgets obtainable to load on the Cowl Display, together with issues like a climate widget, music controls, your subsequent alarm, a voice recorder, and a timer. Simply little capabilities you may want every so often, however do not wish to need to unlock your telephone to get to. It’s totally helpful. 

You possibly can customise the way in which it appears, by selecting your most well-liked clock fashion, and a few of these will even let you’ve gotten your personal photographs as background wallpaper. 

Extra helpful, nevertheless, is the selfie digicam monitor. By double-pressing the lock/sleep button, you launch straight into the primary cameras which might be constructed into the telephone’s cowl. The display subsequent to these two cameras then turns into your monitor, so you may shoot images or movies of your self with out opening the telephone. This additionally means the additional benefit of having the ability to use the first cameras for selfies, quite than utilizing the poorer high quality digicam contained in the telephone. 

Fundamental show and software program

  • 6.7-inch foldable AMOLED display
  • 1200 nits peak brightness
  • 1080 x 2640 decision
  • 120Hz refresh fee
  • HDR10+ assist 

Spec-wise, the AMOLED panel on the Flip 3 is up there with among the high screens in the marketplace. It is able to reaching excessive refresh charges (as much as 120Hz) and as much as 1200nits peak brightness. It even has assist for HDR10+, so will present you Netflix excessive dynamic vary content material too. 

By way of color and brightness, it is onerous to fault. It is a incredible show, particularly once you use it to observe a contemporary collection in your favorite streaming platform. Colors are wealthy, lighting is even, and on the occasions once you want the height brightness to kick in – like darkish scenes with vibrant areas like fires/lamps – it handles the distinction very effectively. 

There may be, however after all, the crease. Mixed with the plasticky pre-applied display protector (which you are inspired to not take away) it might probably catch reflections in the course of the display. Meaning, usually, you may be unable to keep away from the crease if there is a gentle supply shining on it from someplace close by. 

Nonetheless, it would not overly warp the content material. There may be very minor curving within the centre, however except you are wanting very carefully you in all probability would not discover it. Particularly not when immersed in your favorite collection or recreation title. 

One other minor drawback is as a result of the display is sort of a protracted side ratio, it’s going to typically crop the content material. With video apps, it is not a lot of an issue as a result of it simply places black pillar packing containers on both facet of the video to maintain it to its authentic side ratio. Nevertheless, vertical video games will typically increase to fill the display after which find yourself reducing among the graphics or on-screen buttons off on the facet. Different occasions, the title will simply have a black bar on the high of the display and maintain itself within the appropriate ratio. It is not constant. 

Battery and efficiency

  • Snapdragon 888 5G processor, 8GB RAM, 128GB/256GB storage
  • 3300mAh battery with 15W wired charging
  • Wi-fi charging assist (10W)

So far as pace and loading occasions are involved, the Z Flip 3 acts and seems like a top-tier machine. There is a good cause for that: it makes use of the Snapdragon 888 processor, which is similar platform most high-end Android telephones are constructed on. 

With that uncooked energy mixed with a display that refreshes as much as 120 occasions per second, the sensation is certainly one of responsiveness and fluidity. Interface animations are clean, plus video games and apps all load rapidly with out a lot in the way in which of stuttering. 

There’s loads of storage on supply too: each 128GB and 256GB choices are on supply and, not like some corporations, there is not a large value distinction between them. Actually, within the UK, you solely must pay £50 extra to get double the bottom stage storage. 

It is in battery life the place we discovered the Flip 3 was missing compared to among the larger, sweet bar-style flagships. Take a look at the specs and you will know why: it solely has a 3,300mAh battery. That is about three-quarters of what most traditional Android telephones maintain. 

It does offset that lack of capability considerably. By its very nature, when the telephone is shut, it is utilizing little or no energy, as a result of the primary display is off. And it would not take a lot energy to gentle up the smaller exterior display when checking the time or notifications. 

Meaning, on gentle days with little most important display time, we had no difficulty in any respect making it to bedtime after taking it off cost within the morning. Making it final a full day with heavier use and extra display time was way more of a problem. Put in an hour or two gaming, or group chatting for a few hours, and the battery will empty pretty rapidly. We discovered ourselves eager to plug it in or resting it on a wi-fi charging pad by round 7pm on such days. 


  • 12MP f/1.8 main digicam – PDAF/OIS
  • 12MP f/2.2 ultrawide – 123-degrees
  • 4K recording as much as 60fps 
  • 10MP selfie punch-hole digicam 

The Galaxy Z Flip 3 retains issues strong within the digicam division, with out going loopy with further lenses. Samsung opted for a pair of 12-megapixel sensors; one main and one wider-angle. There is not any telephoto or periscope zoom, virtually definitely to maintain the dimensions compact and the worth level down. 

Whereas which means you do not get the big selection of optical focal lengths that you simply’d get from the S21 Extremely, it does imply you’ve gotten just about all you’ll want to take respectable images day-in and day-out. 

Outcomes from each the cameras are good too. The images taken are sharp and wealthy in color. Typically synthetic intelligence (AI) boosts the colors a tiny bit an excessive amount of, nevertheless it’s not often to the purpose that colors look hyperreal and utterly unnatural. 

Extra spectacular although is that the 2 cameras maintain according to one another by way of color and dynamic vary. There are some delicate variations, just like the ultra-wide being a tiny bit darker at occasions, however, for essentially the most half, the 2 take images that appear like they arrive from the identical machine. 

Being important, we did discover the ultra-wide would typically distort in direction of the perimeters. It wasn’t all that noticeable on panorama pictures, however you can positively see it in photographs the place you are nearer to a topic. It has that just about fish-eye like high quality to it once you’re taking these. 

Whereas the telephone would not have a devoted telephoto zoom digicam, you do nonetheless get the choice to zoom digitally all the way in which as much as 10x. As you’d suspect, the outcomes once you do aren’t all that nice. The additional you push the zoom size, the extra it begins to appear like an oil portray, utterly missing any actual element or sharpness. Nonetheless, persist with the 2 most important focal lengths and you will get handsome pictures which might be greater than adequate to share on social media.

As for the selfie digicam, that is not so nice. Outcomes are overly gentle and it actually struggles when there is not plenty of gentle. We might recommend simply sticking with the first cameras and utilizing the Cowl Show as a monitor for framing.


Each now and again a product comes alongside that adjustments all the things or – on the very least – makes you enthusiastic about expertise once more. The Galaxy Z Flip 3 is such a tool.

Are there compromises versus selecting one of many top-tier flagships? In fact. However with the newest flip telephone from Samsung, these compromises aren’t as jarring or upsetting as they had been in older generations.

It is water resistant to excessive ranges, has two respectable cameras, and has the efficiency of a correct flagship with regards to pace. And it folds right into a compact form that is a lot simpler to hold round than a giant flagship telephone.

Extra importantly, the expertise would not include a versatile telephone tax. It prices lower than 4 figures – and that is a really massive deal for what is certainly the very best folding smartphone in the marketplace.

Additionally contemplate

Moto Razr (2020)


Motorola jumped on the chance to reinvent certainly one of its hottest telephones of all time as soon as versatile screens turned obtainable. It is not as highly effective as Samsung’s, nevertheless it’s positive to hit a nostalgia bone in anybody who remembers the primary Razr. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

Should you’re after extra of a folding pill than a folding clamshell telephone, the Z Fold 3 is the one to go for. It is Samsung’s newest top-tier big-screened foldable, and it is received loads going for it. Though, it is fairly expensive.


Writing by Cam Bunton and Conor Allison.