Samsung is going all out with its foldable devices, advancing into what is billed as the future ahead of any other smartphone maker. In pole position is the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G (test), but it’s the inexpensive Galaxy Flip3 5G that provides a solid entry point to the future of foldable smartphones. Unlike the Galaxy Fold3 5G, which is a smartphone and big screen device integrated into one, the Galaxy Flip3 5G is just a smartphone. However, it is new and unlike any other.
The Galaxy Flip3 5G features a sleek clamshell form factor with a foldable display on the inner side, supported by a horizontal hinge in the center dividing the smartphone into two equal halves. Thanks to the improved hinge mechanism, the movement of the shutter is flexible but precise. The toggle mechanism adds spice to an otherwise mundane style of answering and disconnecting calls – open and close the flip to answer and disconnect a call, respectively. Unlike traditional flip phones, the rocking motion of the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G is not fixed but adjustable. This opens up a whole new way of using a smartphone. For example, you can open the flap 90 degrees and place the smartphone on any flat surface to take a selfie or record a video from the front camera without using your hands. That said, it is indeed stylish to use the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G and it brings back memories of a time when flip phones were all the rage for their style statement.
The Galaxy Z Flip3 5G, however, is a modern day smartphone with some elements of the future. Its foldable display is pretty futuristic on its own, but it’s the optimization at the operating system level that really puts the benefits of using foldable displays in smartphones into context. Take for example the “Flex Mode” function. In this mode, some apps automatically adapt to the folded screen when the phone’s flip is not fully open. This feature is especially useful in the Camera app: the lens view changes to the top half of the screen, and the icons move to the bottom half.
A clamshell smartphone is incomplete without a second screen because not all operations require the effort to open and close the flap. The Galaxy Z Flip3 5G has one, and it’s just as intriguing as the foldable display. Although tiny, it is sufficient for a quick glance at information such as the time, date, and app notifications. Interestingly, it’s a touchscreen and supports multiple actions. You can use it to view notifications, reply to messages, and answer / disconnect calls. You can also use this cover screen as a camera viewfinder to take photos and record videos using the two main cameras of smartphones.
Without being extravagant, the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G deploys several new possibilities that go beyond the scope of conventional shaped bar smartphones. It’s important to note that the smartphone doesn’t drop anything that you get in other high-end smartphones.
It has a sturdy and durable aluminum alloy construction with Gorilla Glass Victus protection on the glass covered parts. It is not dust resistant but rated IPX8 for water resistance. The foldable AMOLED display measures 6.7 inches. It boasts FullHD + resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. It is bright, vivid and easy to read in sunlight. The screen has a horizontal crease visible in the center – from where it folds. This happens while using the phone and takes some getting used to. But that doesn’t really hamper the user experience. On the cover, the phone has a 1.9-inch sAMOLED display. It is also bright and has good readability in the sun. The stereo speakers, which are loud and clear, complete the viewing experience.
Imaging is covered by a dual-camera array of 12-megapixel sensors with optical image stabilization support for the primary sensor. The performance of the camera is good, if not unmatched. There is another camera with a 10MP sensor inside which is modest at best.
In terms of performance, the smartphone is a powerhouse, but not without caveats. It is badly spoiled by thermal issues – it heats up considerably, especially after heavy use. Another weakness is the phone’s battery time. The phone barely manages to get through a day in normal use. Advanced users may need to charge it quite frequently. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G: Specifications
|Form factor||To return to|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 888|
|Storage room||128 GB and 256 GB|
|Display||6.7 inch fullHD + Dynamic AMOLED 2X|
|Coverage display||1.9 inch sAMOLED|
|Rear camera||12MP + 12MP|
|Operating system||Android 11|
|Colors||Cream and Phantom Black|
|Price||Starts at Rs 84,999|
Priced at Rs 84,999 for the base model with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of built-in storage, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G is an inexpensive gateway to Samsung’s foldable future. It is a bold and beautiful smartphone, which surely attracts attention. The phone has some limitations like thermal issues and low battery but these are conditional and only hold when the phone is used to its maximum potential. That said, power users are better off with the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G for a true foldable device experience. For others, the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G is good.