Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs Galaxy Z Flip 5G: should you upgrade?


While a lot of the focus is being placed on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 due to its larger screen and the added S Pen support, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is not to be overlooked. The Galaxy Z Flip 3 retains the clamshell design introduced with the original Galaxy Z Flip, which was then iterated on with the Galaxy Z Flip 5G last August. But if you already own the Z Flip 5G do you really need to upgrade?

At a glance, there’s not really too much going on in terms of differences in the spec-sheet. Both devices flip open to reveal a 6.7-inch AMOLED display, with a Full HD+ resolution and a 10MP selfie camera. Although the processors differ, Samsung is including 8GB of RAM and a 256GB option for both.

The dual-12MP camera system returns on the back-side of the Z Flip 3 with a 12MP wide-angle lens and a 12MP ultra-wide sensor. Just as is the case with the Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs Z Fold 2, Samsung’s really not pushing the envelope here, but for different reasons. The weight remains the same between the Flip 3 and Flip 5G, coming in at 183g, which is still lighter than the Galaxy S21+ and just slightly heavier than the regular Galaxy S21.

We also have the same 3,300mAh battery which should get you through the day, depending on just how much you’re actually using it. Plus, both include up to 15W wired charging speeds, along with wireless charging capabilities.

Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs Galaxy Z Flip 5G: Spec Comparison

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G
Price $999 $1449
Screen size 6.7-inch (foldable)
1.9-inch (cover)
6.7-inches (foldable)
1.1-inches (cover)
Resolution 2640 x 1080 (foldable)
260 x 512 (cover)
1080 x 2636
112 x 300 (cover)
Density 425 ppi (foldable)
302 ppi (cover)
425 ppi (foldable)
291 ppi (cover)
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 5G+
Storage 128GB/256GB 256GB
Battery 3300 mAh 3300 mAh
OS Android 11 Android 11
Rear camera Dual-cameras:
12MP, OIS, f/1.8 (main)
12MP, f/2.2, 123˚ (ultrawide)
12MP, OIS, f/1.8 (main)
12MP, f/2.2, 123˚ (ultrawide)
Front camera 10MP, f/2.4, 80 ̊ FOV 10 MP, f/2.4, 26mm
Bluetooth v5.2 5.0
NFC Yes Yes
Dimensions 72.2 x 166.0 x 6.9mm (unfolded)
72.2 x 86.4 x 17.1mm (folded)
167.3 x 73.6 x 7.2 mm (unfolded)
87.4 x 73.6 x 17.3 mm (folded)
Weight 183g 183g
Water Resistance IPX8 N/A
Wireless Charging Yes Yes
Special features 15W fast charging, 10W wireless charging, 4.5W reverse wireless charging, Side-mounted fingerprint sensor, Face Recognition, 120Hz adaptive refresh rate, stereo speakers 15W fast charging, 9W wireless charging, side-mounted fingerprint sensor, Wi-fi 6

Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs Galaxy Z Flip 5G: The right changes

The biggest changes coming to the Galaxy Z Flip 3 are three-fold (pun-intended). The first of which is the IPX8 water resistance rating that is being introduced with both the Z Flip 3 and Z Fold 3. Samsung achieved this by improving durability of the display as it combines PET technology with multiple panel layers that is said to offer 80% better durability compared to last year’s model. One other change with this new display on the Flip 3 is the increased refresh rate, going from 60Hz to 120Hz, which is a welcome addition.

If you physically compare the Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs Galaxy Z Flip 5G side-by-side, you’ll also find an all-new Cover Screen. After tinkering with the smaller screen on the last two iterations, the Z Flip 3’s cover screen actually appears to be pretty useful thanks to the 1.9-inch display. Samsung is also trying to blend the extra display in with the cameras by adding a glass bar across the top. This two-tone finish may be just what you’re looking for and invokes memories of the Panda Pixel 2 XL.

One of the more minor differences when it comes to the Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs Galaxy Z Flip 5G is the processing power. Samsung is going from the Snapdragon 865+ to the Snapdragon 888, which is the same chipset used in the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and many of the other 2021 flagships. It should offer a modest boost in performance, but it’s unlikely that you are noticing any major issues in performance with your Z Flip 5G.

Perhaps the biggest change with the Z Flip 3 comes down to the price. For the entry-level model with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, the Z Flip 3 will only set you back $999. This is a steep $450 discount from where the Galaxy Z Flip 5G was released at last year. Since then, Samsung has permanently discounted the Flip 5G down to $1,199, but it’s still $200 more than what the Flip 3 is priced at. And that may not matter too much if you already own the Z Flip 5G, it’s still worth to keep in consideration because the barrier of entry is much lower this time around.

Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs Galaxy Z Flip 5G: The Decision

There are two more pieces of the equation that you might want before making your final decision. The first of which is that Samsung seems to be positioning the Galaxy Z Flip 3 as the “foldable phone for everyone”. While the Z Flip 5G came in three different colors, Samsung is upping the ante, offering a whopping SEVEN different colors. This reminds of the Galaxy S20 FE and its popularity given that there were so many different colors to choose from.

Finally, Samsung’s trade-in offers are downright bonkers. For the first time ever, you can trade in up to four phones at the same time, allowing you to make good use of that Galaxy Z Flip 5G that you’re likely holding in your hand right now. And if you have some other older phones you want to get rid of, this is the way to do it. So enjoy the improvements and go grab the Z Flip 3 before the pre-orders end.


The $999 Galaxy Z Flip 3 is the first foldable smartphone you should actually buy

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