Samsung’s latest clamshell foldable smartphone has us under its spell. It’s one heck of a device that checks all of the right boxes. Our initial Galaxy Z Flip 3 hands-on left us feeling very impressed. After using it for a full day, I am confident that this device will have me falling in love with it.
That might seem like high praise but it’s true. The clamshell form factor is already a perfect fit for foldable smartphones. Samsung leveraged it perfectly with the original Galaxy Z Flip and that has now been refined brilliantly.
We said in our Galaxy Z Flip review last year that the best compliment you could give the device was that it felt normal. Despite having a foldable glass panel and a very complicated hinge, it didn’t feel like a concept or a device that felt out of the ordinary.
Samsung has doubled down on that with the Galaxy Z Flip 3. All of the design changes made to the new device contribute to that. The flatter edges make the design appear cleaner and modern. Not only does it look more like a normal phone but it also feels like one. While we’re on the subject of looks, we already face a first world problem with the device. It looks so good that we don’t want to put a case on it!
There was one element that really needed an upgrade and that was the cover display. The Galaxy Z Flip’s 1.1-inch display wasn’t that useful. Samsung has given the Galaxy Z Flip 3 a larger 1.9-inch cover display and it makes a world of difference. I no longer have to flip open the device as many times as I would its predecessor.
Notifications can be easily handled through the larger cover display. It also makes the device more visually appealing due to the animations and color details in the clock and other widgets. It’s great to see that Samsung has addressed one of the biggest pain points of the Galaxy Z Flip.
While we would have liked to see some improvement in the camera hardware, Samsung hasn’t shaken things up in this department for its 2021 foldables. However, it has done some work on the camera software to improve results.
The image processing has been improved just to obtain some better results out of the familiar camera hardware. We look forward to testing it more over the coming weeks to provide more insight about the camera performance in our detailed review.
The hinge is one of the most important parts of a foldable smartphone. Samsung introduced its Hideaway Hinge with the Galaxy Z Flip. It was more durable, had more protection against dust and foreign objects and even brought us Flex Mode.
Samsung has made further improvements to the hinge on the Galaxy Z Flip 3. Not only does it look nicer but the movement itself feels more solid and nicer compared to the predecessor. It reinstates our confidence that the Galaxy Z Flip 3 has been built to last. Flex Mode works like a joy, too.
It’s tough to provide a verdict on the battery life after just using the phone for 24 hours. Since it has the same battery capacity as the original Flip, we aren’t expecting any major gains. As long as it’s able to hold out over the long as well as its predecessor did, there won’t be many complaints about the battery life.
It’s been wonderful getting to know the Galaxy Z Flip 3 so far. Using it evokes feelings of awe and wonder. It’s like being a kid in a candy store, you just don’t want to stop throwing money at it. That only just makes us excited for the days to come as we put the Galaxy Z Flip 3 through its paces for our full review. Stay tuned for that!