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  • Liling Tan

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G Review: Making A Fashion Statement

If you’re getting bored with how smartphones are and looking to refresh the way you use them, well, you might just want to take a look at the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G. Fold it up, and you get a really sleek and compact frame that sets it apart from the competition.

It truly marks an era of change, not only reviving the trend of foldables but also making a fashion statement with its iconic design and colours. At its core, the Z Flip3 isn’t really all that different. It still retains that very familiar clamshell design and it is unmistakably Samsung. But with this new generation, it’s the little things that matter and it really does change the overall experience to be flat out better.

One thing that’s unchanged, however, is the hinge itself. The core mechanism is practically the same and it’s also rated for the same durability lifespan of 200,000 folds. It's good because it'll probably last, but bad in the sense that you cannot flip it with a single hand like in old times. This is still very much a two-handed process.

One major improvement, however, is that the Z Flip3 is now IPX8 rated, despite being mechanically similar. Samsung claims that this is the world’s first water-resistant foldable smartphone, so you now need not worry about the occasional spills.

There's a variety of colours available - Phantom Black, Green, Lavender and the one we have is their flagship colour, Cream. These are very interesting colours and we would say they do appeal a little more to the female demographic.

One other thing you can definitely appreciate is the weight. The Z Flip3 comes in at 183 grams, the same as before, and it is way lighter than its bigger brother, the Z Fold3. There are some improvements here and there for the design but not that much different overall.

It's the display of the phone that really gets better.

It has a 6.7-inch FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X display just like before, except it now runs at 120Hz, which makes a huge difference and it really does change the way you interact with, and the feel you get when you use the phone. Gaming is also one part of the experience which benefits greatly from 120Hz.

For a flagship phone, 120Hz is a must-have and we’re glad to see it here.

When you fold up the Z Flip3, you’ll be greeted with an improved Cover Screen which is now almost twice as large, coming in at 1.9-inches which allows more information to be viewed at once.

The most common use cases would be for notifications or perhaps listening to music on Spotify and for those, the larger screen makes it easier to navigate and well, to actually read. For us, it took a while to get used to previewing stuff on the small display, but once you get used to it, it’s pretty nifty. Samsung has also included custom widgets for that Cover Screen as well, though at the moment there are only six to choose from, we do expect more updates and support to come in the near future.

But now let’s talk about cameras, which might make or break your decision for a flagship phone. You can actually take selfies with the phone folded, by double-pressing the power button. The mode can also be changed depending on whether you want to take a photo or a video - and you can press the volume button to take the shot. It is fun, though not exactly practical since the screen is so small we can’t see much except ourselves.

Honestly, our expectations weren’t all that high, considering the Z Flip3 only has a dual 12MP camera system consisting of a standard wide and an ultra-wide lens.

But, in comparison to a Note10+ with a 16MP camera system, the difference is not really noticeable. The camera on the Z Flip3 still performs admirably, and in fact, much better than we expected from a 12MP system. From the photos taken, the colours don’t look so washed out and the more vibrant colours do pop. Although on close up examination, we can tell that there is a filter that does blur the detail a little at some parts. The night shots are relatively straightforward. It’s okay and gets the job done.

And if you would prefer to see yourself on the larger display, the internal 10MP selfie camera is also pretty okay, par for the course. Overall, there’s nothing much to complain about given the specifications and it is overall a great experience.

In terms of performance, the Z Flip3 is equipped with a Snapdragon 888, 8GB of RAM and the option for 128GB of storage, or 256GB of storage. It achieved very comparable scores in the benchmarks we put it through, basically the same as most other phones with a Snapdragon 888.

In practice, it performed flawlessly for day to day use, be it general browsing or consuming content. It can also handle gaming just fine as well.

The battery life is at 3,300mAh, which is the exact same size as the previous Z Flip. Well, despite the move to Snapdragon 888, which is a more powerful and power-efficient processor, the battery life hasn't really changed much. Granted, you can still get around a day of general use, but if this had a 4,000mAh battery, it would’ve been so much better.

As for storage, the Z Flip3 tops out at 256GB and it doesn’t support a microSD card. This should be plenty for most people out there but depending on your use case, you might need more. If that’s the case, this will be a limiting factor.

Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G is just a great phone that essentially performs just as great as any other flagship device out there, but just so happens to be foldable as well.

It may not be revolutionary, just evolutionary, but all the small things count. Snapdragon 888, 120Hz, IPX8, so on and so forth - those are all the refinements needed to make what was once a good phone, a great one.

If you’re interested in the Z Flip3, it will be available in two variants with storage capacity being the main difference. The four main colours are Cream, Green, Lavender and Phantom Black, but if you want other colours, Grey, Pink and White are also available and those are exclusive to the Samsung Online Store.

At just US$999.99 or S$1,398, the pricing is considered competitive for a smartphone with flagship hardware and design innovation. Samsung is clearly showing its intent to grow its market share.


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