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Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 3 is a cute foldable phone for less

samsung’s-galaxy-z-flip-3-is-a-cute-foldable-phone-for-less

Samsung’s other folding phone just got a long overdue refresh.

On Wednesday, Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked brought us the Galaxy Z Flip 3, an update to its original clamshell-style folding phone that launched well over a year ago.

Compared to the far more rigid phablet-like Z Fold 3, the Z Flip 3 is more like the younger sibling. Its clamshell design is super compact and it comes in fun colors — like cream and lavender — with accessories to match.

It’s not a drastic change from the first-generation model, but it still offers some notable upgrades, including a larger cover display, higher refresh rate, and a lower price tag.

Unlike the Z Flip 5G, which was released last August starting at $1,450, the base Z Flip 3 will retail for $1,000. It’ll be available for pre-order on Aug. 11 with full availability set for Aug. 27.

A slightly revamped, more durable design

Those familiar with the first-generation Z Flip will notice the Z Flip 3’s cover display is now much bigger. Coming in at 1.9-inches diagonally, as compared to the original 1.1-inches, the Super AMOLED display shows you more notifications at once. You’ll also have access to widgets for weather, step count, Samsung Pay, multimedia controls, and more.

Hello, bigger cover display.

Hello, bigger cover display.
Credit: brenda stolyar / mashable

Since the exterior screen is still relatively small, it will only allow you to see four lines at once, but you have the ability to scroll down to view more. It’s a welcome change from the last Z Flip which forced you to watch notifications slowly roll across the display like a ticker.

The exterior isn’t the only external change, the Z Flip’s body is made of a new material Samsung calls “Armor Aluminum.”

It’s IPX8 certified, too, which means it can be submerged in up to 5 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. That also means you don’t have to worry about taking it out in the rain.

Don't worry, the rain won't hurt the Z Flip 3.

Don’t worry, the rain won’t hurt the Z Flip 3.
Credit: brenda stolyar / mashable 

As for color options, the Z Flip 3 is available in cream, green, lavender, and phantom black. They’re not as fun as the shiny, metallic colors the O.G. Flip came in, but these are still really nice.

Let’s talk about that foldable display

The clamshell foldable opens up to reveal a 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED display with 2640 x 1080 pixel resolution (425ppi). It also has a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate — adaptive meaning the refresh rate increases to 120Hz for content like mobile games, and decreases down for things like social media apps and emails.

Like the Z Fold 3, the Z Flip 3 uses the same display technology that Samsung says is more durable than the previous Fold and Flip. In addition to Ultra Thin Glass (UTG), it features Corning Gorilla Glass Victus — Corning’s strongest display technology, yet. Of course, we’ll be the judge of just how durable it is once we get our hands on the device.

Ultra Thin Glass + Gorilla Glass Victus makes for a very durable combo.

Ultra Thin Glass + Gorilla Glass Victus makes for a very durable combo.
Credit: brenda stolyar / mashable

The main display plays nicely with more than 50 apps now as well, including YouTube, Spotify, TikTok, and more.

With the new Labs feature, you’re able to customize the size of the app window to use in split-screen mode. For some apps that aren’t optimized, like Instagram, you’ll also have the ability to adjust the aspect ratio to use in fullscreen mode.

The Z Flip 3 also has another new feature called Flex Mode Panel. When you’re using the device in Flex Mode (with the device folded halfway), the panel will provide shortcuts like Screenshot, Volume Control buttons, Screenshot, and Brightness. So, for example, if you’re video chatting with a friend, it’ll shift the video to the top half of the display and give you the controls on the bottom half.

As for what’s inside the Z Flip 3’s…

Under the hood, the Z Flip 3 packs Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 complete with 5G connectivity (with support for both sub6 and mmWave). It also comes in two storage configurations: 8GB of RAM with 128GB of internal storage or 8GB with 256GB of internal storage — the latter of which will be a bit more expensive at $1,050.

You'll have the choice between two different storage configurations.

You’ll have the choice between two different storage configurations.
Credit: brenda stolyar / mashable

The device comes equipped with 3,300mAh dual battery, which is the same one included in its predecessor. The Z Flip 3 is also capable of fast charging up to 15W and fast wireless charging up to 10W.

Same sensors, with a new camera feature

Finally, Portrait Mode

Finally, Portrait Mode
Credit: Brenda stolyar / mashable 

The Z Flip 3 still includes the same dual-camera setup as the original Z Flip. It consists of a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera (f/1.8 aperture) and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera (f/2.2 aperture). On the unfolded front-facing display is a 10-megapixel selfie camera.

A new video capability has also been added to Samsung’s Quick Shot. The feature originally allowed you to shoot photos right from the cover display, but now you can capture video footage as well.

Some fun accessories, too

Ok, the grip case is KINDA cool.

Ok, the grip case is KINDA cool.
Credit: brenda stolyar / mashable

Samsung is offering grip and strap cases designed specifically for the Z Flip 3. Both cases are supposed to help make holding the Flip 3 feel more secure. It’s basically the company’s attempt at making its own PopSockets.

But considering how compact the device already is, it’s tough to justify buying one of these accessories. Regardless, both cases will cost you $40 each.

I think I’ll just take the Z Flip 3 the way it is, though.

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