The Galaxy Z Fold 3 (in black) and the Galaxy Z Flip 3 are Samsung’s newest takes on foldable telephones.


Sarah Tew/CNET

When Samsung introduced the Galaxy Z Flip 3 alongside the new Galaxy Z Fold 3, I used to be most desirous to check out the brand new Flip. The authentic 2020 Z Flip is my go-to Android cellphone between critiques. And as a lot as I benefit from the first version of Samsung’s clamshell folding cellphone, there are a selection of issues that annoy me. Samsung says it improved and addressed lots of the shortcomings the unique Flip had — and if that is the case, I am very glad. As I enter my third day testing the cellphone, the preliminary “that is shiny and new” luster is beginning to subside. But, I am nonetheless actually into it. I’m working towards a ultimate in-depth overview, however for now, this is my ongoing diary of life with the Galaxy Z Flip 3.

By dropping the value to $1,000, providing the brand new Flip in seven colours and promoting brightly coloured instances that make it appear like a toy, Samsung has arrange the Galaxy Z Flip 3 to be the primary foldable cellphone many individuals will contemplate shopping for. I can virtually hear Samsung in its finest Frank Costanza Festivus voice declaring, “A foldable for the remainder of us.” Granted, that does not fairly rhyme in addition to it did on Seinfeld.

To ensure that it to be extensively adopted, although, Samsung must ship on these Z Flip 3 enhancements. Individuals must see that they’ll use it and rely on it similar to their present cellphone — which means the Z Flip 3 cannot make individuals compromise on their every day cellphone routines.

The Galaxy Z Flip 3 feels extra uniform, like an everyday cellphone

Samsung made numerous enhancements to the physique, hinge and display of the Galaxy Z Flip 3. The physique and hinge are made from a more durable and extra sturdy materials Samsung calls Armor Aluminum, so it is much less more likely to be broken or scratched. It is bolstered with different metals, just like utilizing rebar to strengthen concrete for development. I can actually really feel the additional energy that Armor Aluminum provides to the cellphone. It makes the whole gadget really feel like a single piece — whereas with the unique Flip, and even the Motorola Razr folding cellphone, I used to be conscious of the separate elements that made up the gadget. That feeling is absent with the Z Flip 3: It looks like an everyday cellphone that simply occurs to fold in half.

The Z Flip 3 is roughly the identical measurement and weight because the Z Flip 5G, however it feels completely different once I maintain it. It feels great in my hand. I’m assured that I can deal with it similar to every other cellphone I take a look at and overview. On the entire, the small modifications Samsung applied make the Z Flip 3 really feel a lot much less like an experiment or prototype.

The display nonetheless has a mushy crease throughout the center, and I largely do not care about it: It is not distracting and it would not forestall me from utilizing the cellphone in any method. I discover it once I work together with the center of the display, however not as a result of it feels weak or like a flaw. I’ve buddies and colleagues who recommend that till there is not a crease, nobody will ever purchase it. My private iPhone 12 Mini has a big black notch that eats into the show; I’m much more bothered by that than the Z Flip 3’s crease .

The Z Flip 3’s display has a brand new protecting movie, which additionally feels smoother than the earlier Flip collection telephones. It is nonetheless not like utilizing a cellphone with a glass display, however it feels just like a cellphone that has a glass display with a plastic display protector on it.

The show has a 120Hz adaptive refresh fee, which is beautiful to this point.

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The Z Flip 3 has a a lot bigger cowl show

Maybe essentially the most uncommon function on the unique Flip was its tiny, pill-shaped cowl display. There was a pleasant minimalistic high quality about it, and it was effective if all you needed to see was the time or the battery life proportion. However it was completely nugatory in any other case. For one, it may solely show the primary a part of messages. So if a pal messaged you, the quilt show would present, “Assist! You’ll want to come over immediately…” which is way completely different than “Assist! You’ll want to come over immediately, there’s pizza within the break room.”

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On the left is the unique Galaxy Flip. And on the proper is the brand new Galaxy Z Flip 3.


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Fortunately, the Z Flip 3 has a canopy display that is 4 instances greater than the unique and may show as much as 4 traces of textual content at a time. You’ll be able to scroll via notifications. Samsung even added cowl display widgets for the climate, alarms, a timer, music controls, your every day step rely and your schedule.

It is such an enchancment. The Z Flip 3’s cowl display is nearer to the Fast View show on the Motorola Razr, however it’s nonetheless restricted. For instance, I can view complete notifications however I nonetheless must open the Z Flip 3 to work together or reply. On the Razr, I can deal with that with out opening the cellphone.

Once you double-tap the quilt display, animated animals greet you. It is an sudden and foolish delight. Technically, they’re on the cellphone to match comparable animals which are on the brand new Galaxy Watch 4. The animals do nothing however soar up and down. This makes me glad.

I am only some days into attempting out the Galaxy Z Flip 3, and my full impressions will probably be coming in a future overview.

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