After all these years, Samsung is finally returning to the trusty old flip phone.
The Motorola Razr was one the world’s most successful mobile phones, practical it could easily be flipped open for use and then slipped back into a pocket or handbag eliminating the bulking that today’s 6.7″ display smartphones create. Samsung has bought back the Flip phone with their new Galaxy 5G Z Flip 3, and I think that what they have delivered is already a benchmark for ‘Flip’ devices.
This is one of the most interesting products I have reviewed in a while because of its nostalgic form factor and the fact that I think Samsung is really onto something when they claim the future for smartphones is “foldable”.
What’s staggering is that since the original Razr we have not really seen a new generation version of this device other that the 2019 version bought out by Motorola which was a total disaster.
I go to the beach most mornings, and there is nothing more irritating than having to carry a large format smartphone, in fact the size creep of smartphones has seen active wear fashion houses design clothing to specifically incorporate large smartphone whether it’s a large pocket inside a jacket or a discreet pocket on the side of a pair of tights.
What Samsung has done is pack in the functionality of their Samsung Galaxy S21 into a Flip phone that is seriously stylish practical without compromising functionality.
Holding the Flip 3 in the palm of my hand and then then flipping it open has a real satisfying feel about it, it’s a simple process and a seriously practical way to use a smartphone.
When you do flip it open you will see a slight crease in the AMOLED display but it’s not noticeable and after a few seconds you don’t even notice it is there.
I also like the side button with the built-in fingerprint sensor, this is a lot easier than having to hold your finger on the screen as one naturally holds the sides of a smartphone making it easier to finger press the sensor.
You can also easily set up other forms of biometrics such as face recognition or a pattern unlock.
The built in Dolby stereo speakers sound great while listening to audio and watching movies though I prefer to plug in a pair of Samsung Buds as the sound is clearer and you don’t disturb others.
When I showed it to several people waiting for coffee at Balmoral Beach this morning one person said “why has it taken so long to replace the Razr concept”
Another 25-year-old female said “Wow, this is really cool”.
When resting the device on my wireless charger in the closed position I was still able to see my call information and messages clearly.
Priced at $1,499 this device has a small external display on the outside that lets you see notifications on a 1.9-inch Super AMOLED cover screen at a resolution of 260 x 512.
It’s a highly practical front facing touch screen with the two cameras lenses embedded into the small cover display, text on the screen is sharp and readable even when sitting at a desk while device is powering up a wireless charger.
One big improvement is the introduction of “Aluminum Armor” backs, and 80% improvement in screen protectors and IPX8 rated water resistance.Though I did notice some degree of battery drain and the device did get war an issue I will address after a week of using this device.
If you scroll vertically on the front display you can toggle through a multitude of information sources from the time and alarms which neatly appear in the same colour as the device to volume control and Samsung Pay information.
Flipped open you immediately get access to a 6.7″ screen that delivers FHD+ resolution display at a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate, in fact the screen display looks very similar to the Galaxy S21 though it is slimmer making it very comfortable fit in the hand.
My first initial reaction was that the camera was set to be inferior to my Samsung S21 5G Ultra.
While the camera rig on the S21 is superior the image quality of the Galaxy Flip 3 is highly acceptable as these images below reveal.
Cameras include a 12MP f/1.8 wide-angle camera and 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera. 10MP f/2.2 cover camera. 10MP selfie camera.
The shooting options are 3.4, 9.16, 1.1 and an ultra-wide 9.22.
The Galaxy Flip 3 also has a side fingerprint sensor and comes in seven colours: Black, Cream, Green, Lavender, Phantom, Gray, White, and Pink.
Inside the small footprint Flip 3 is the all-powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 while the Razr is powered using Snapdragon 756G.
The Flip 3 has 8GB of RAM and 128/256GB of storage.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 has a battery size of 3300mAh which is smaller than the larger Galaxy cameras, but this is due to the compact size of the device.
What I didn’t get with this device is one of the seriously neat looking cases that come with its’ own attach strap.
The covers we have seen look seriously stylish and I am confident that this device is going to appeal to females not only because of its size but the stylish look of the device and the sheer practicality that the size and the flip function delivers.
Specifications: Samsung Galaxy Flip 3 5G
Processor: 5G Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
Main display: 6.7 inches, 2640 x 1080 pixels resolution, Dynamic AMOLED Infinity Flex with adaptive 120Hz refresh rate
Cover display: 1.9-inches, 260 x512 pixels resolution, Super AMOLED
Operating system: Android 11
RAM: 8GB LPDDR5
Storage: 128GB internal storage (256GB available) UFS3.1
Cameras: 12MP f/1.8 wide-angle camera and 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera. 10MP f/2.2 cover camera. 10MP selfie camera.
Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n/ac/ax WiFi, Bluetooth 5.1, GPS/Galileo/GLONASS/Beidou, NFC, UWB
Sensors: Accelerometer, Barometer, Fingerprint Sensor, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Light Sensor
Water resistance: IPX8 rating
Battery: 3300 mAh non-removable with fast wireless charging. Wireless PowerShare is also available.
Dimensions (folded): 86.4 x 72.2 x 17.1mm and 183 grams
Dimensions (open): 166.0 x 72.2 x 6.9mm
Colours: Cream, Green, Lavender, Phantom Black, Gray, White, Pink