Two new impressive phones from Samsung show this very retro way of using your phone is making a comeback.
Flip phones could be making a real comeback thanks to Samsung.
The company has just released two new iterations of their folding phones – the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G. If you haven’t already seen them, both are incredibly functional, eye-catching and feature-packed – although it’s the Flip3 where I see Samsung breaking into the market of the average consumer.
Don’t get me wrong, the Fold3 is an incredible phone but it retails for $2,499 making it more of a luxury item than a first choice for a phone upgrade. The Flip3 on the other hand starts at a price of $1,499 and I’ve been using it for the past week.
There’s not a lot in the box – the phone really is the star of the show. Once you lift it up and unwrap the Flip3 from its protective plastic, you’ll find a USB-C charging cable and quick start guide. Unfortunately, that’s it – no charger or earphones included in the box, which is becoming increasingly more common with a handful of mainstream mobile brands. Though I’ve noticed that Samsung tends to offer bonus Galaxy Buds with mobile purchases, so that’s something to lookout for if you’re ordering from their website.
Display, specs and cameras
The main display (that you see when the phone is ‘open’) is the same as the previous model – a 6.7-inch FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED display with an upgrade to a 120Hz refresh rate. There’s also a cover display on the outside which has been increased in size – a 1.9” Super AMOLED panel with a resolution of 260 x 512 pixels – which makes this display much more usable for reading notifications and using widgets on the go.
When it comes to cameras, the inner screen houses the same 10MP selfie camera f/2.4 hole punch camera and on the front (or outside) there’s a 12MP main camera with an f/1.8 aperture, Dual Pixel AF and OIS and a secondary 12MP f2.2 ultra-wide-angle shooter. Although all of these cameras aren’t overly impressive on paper they do an excellent job as high quality all-rounders.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 also runs on a speedy Snapdragon 888 chip set with 8GB of Ram, housing a 3300mAh battery that will last around a day with 15W fast charging. The phone is available in two models of either 128GB or 256GB of internal storage but with only a $100 difference between the two I would recommend the 256GB model.
You can also choose between a range of fun colours including Cream (photographed), Phantom Black, Green or Lavender and Grey, White or Pink if you order from Samsung directly.
What’s new – Waterproofing
Excitingly, the Flip3 now comes with an IPX8 rating for water and dust resistance, which means it can be submerged in freshwater for up to 30 minutes at a depth of up to 1.5 metres.
Previously there was no water resistance, which I took as a compromise of having such a unique and fun folding device, but it’s such a relief to have at the very least splash resistance.
The Z Flip3 also feels a lot more robust now, being built with an Armor Aluminium frame along with a Corning Gorilla Glass Victus body.
Should you buy it?
Something to note, due to the phone’s foldable display it does have a slight crease down the middle, which seems to put off some consumers. However, I don’t quite understand the issue as some phones have notches or camera cutouts that are just as obvious and more intrusive than the crease.
If you truly know you can’t bear such a design feature, maybe this phone is not for you. Though I feel like this is a feature that begins to blend in once you’ve used the phone for a while and, to me, is totally overridden by how fun the Z Flip3 is to use.
Let’s be real, there aren’t many other flagship phones that have such ridiculously unique and pocketable form factors. Not only can it be folded to fit into small pockets or purses but it has the unique and useful abilities to hold itself upright (half folded) on a table. The Flip3 is always ready for video calls or a solo photo shoot or video recording sesh – no tripod required. Also, it’s incredibly satisfying to be able to close your phone shut to end a phone call (yes, you can enable this classic clamshell phone feature!).
So, for those looking for a more exciting user experience on Android, and who have a little bit of extra cash, I would highly recommend this awesome smartphone.