If you’ve paid attention to my coverage on foldable phones here in the past, you might have been able to tell that i truly believe in the form-factor. But in order for them to be successful and popular, we needed an option that offers parity in performance and features compared to the phones we’ve been buying for years. Samsung did just that, and then some, with the Galaxy Z Flip 3.
There were plenty of complaints when it came to the Z Flip and Flip 5G, but pretty much all of those have been solved with the Flip 3. The Cover Screen is larger, we have a 120Hz refresh rate, and flagship specs all packed into the flippable package. It falls flat in the camera and battery department, but those should be solved in due time, hopefully as soon as next year.
After spending the last year with the Galaxy Z Fold 2, and never having the chance to try out a phone that flips, I was instantly intrigued by the Flip 3 and what it could offer. I’ve been looking for a phone to pair up with my iPhone as the two phones I carry with me, when I’m not actively reviewing other phones. But unfortunately, the Flip 3 and all of its compact wonder, just isn’t the phone for me.
The big appeal of the Galaxy Fold to me is the fact that it’s a portable tablet that folds into a phone, versus just being a normal phone that folds (or flips). But the more time that I spent Flip 3 the quicker I realized that it was boring. Yes, it’s small, compact, and has the whole folding appeal. But when actually using it, it’s no different than grabbing my OnePlus 9 Pro or Pixel 5 (other than the size). It’s essentially just the Galaxy S21+ in a folding form factor, and it’s just not that all appealing to me.
Maybe this would be different if the Flip 3’s Cover Screen was even larger. All you can do is view or dismiss the notifications, but if you want to reply or do anything other than see them, you have to unfold the phone. It’s a pretty neat concept when you think about it as being like a smartwatch on the outside of your phone, but if you already wear one of those, there’s a whole lot of redundancy.
As for the cameras, I’ve been beating the drum that Samsung should have upgraded the sensors across its 2021 foldable phones. The company decided not to, maybe it was to help keep costs low, or maybe it has to do with trying to keep a slim form-factor. It’s likely the same reason why the size of the batteries has remained the same between the Flip 3 and Z Flip 5G. You can still get some solid pictures out of these cameras, but pit them against anything released in the last year, and it’s not even a contest. But these are the only two areas where the Flip and Fold don’t match up with the slab flagships we’ve been accustomed to.
After seeing all of the reports and rumors about Samsung blowing its expectations out of the water with the Fold and Flip 3, this is exactly what the foldable market needed. Even if it’s another instance of Samsung dominating the market, since we’ll likely never see Huawei or Xiaomi here in the States, this is a good thing. If Samsung can push the market in that direction, maybe it will force others to consider entering the foldable world, including Apple and other Android phone makers.
What really stood out to me about the Flip 3 was when it came to picking up my own Fold 3 in my local Verizon store. I went in to the store on launch day, and three out of the four other customers being helped were all getting a Flip 3 of some sort. I don’t live in a over-populated area, as I live in a town that’s right between some stretches of Amish country and farming land.
It’s clear that Samsung is moving things in the right direction. Let’s just hope that the trend continues and Samsung continues innovating and pushing the market forward. But for me, I’ll be giving up my Flip 3 and sticking with the Fold 3.