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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 review

Samsung have made decent strides with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3, showing that it has both style and substance.

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
£949
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

Our review

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 is everything you could want from a modern-day flip phone. Featuring a new, bigger cover display, IPX8-rated water resistance and a new protective screen film, the phone feels a lot more durable and practical for everyday use.
Pros: IPX8-rated water resistance
Great colour options
New, bigger cover display
Compact size when closed 
Cons: Good, but not exceptional, cameras

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G is the brand’s third generation of the flip phone. Like with the new Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, Samsung has done its best to focus on making the foldable phones more suitable for the rough and tumble of everyday life.

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Unveiled at the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked on 11th August, new features include IPX8-rated water resistance, a bigger 1.9-inch cover display and Gorilla Glass with DX across the rear cameras for additional protection.

As with any new development, it is easy to be sceptical about how well this now third-generation flip phone can handle day-in, day-out use. Here is our Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G review as we put the phone’s design, features, battery life and camera to the test in the hopes of helping you decide whether it’s worth splashing the cash on.

Looking for more reviews of the best smartphones? Read our Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review and OnePlus 9 Pro review.

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 review: summary

Samsung’s efforts to make their new foldable phones more practical and durable for everyday life are not in vain. The addition of IPX8-rated water resistance, a new protective film on the display and Gorilla Glass with DX+ across the cameras are all good reassurances.

However, the biggest difference to the design is the improvements made to the cover display. The 1.9-inch Infinity Flex display is four times bigger than on the previous generation, and it makes a difference. The display is a lot more functional; it can be used to check notifications or pay at shops using Samsung Pay. All of which comes at a new, more affordable price of £949. Not exactly cheap but considerably less than the previous generation, and you’re paying for the novelty, nostalgia and tech advancements of having a flip phone.

Price: The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 costs £949 and is available to buy now at Samsung.

Key features:

  • 6.7-inch QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X main display
  • 1.9-inch Infinity Flex cover display
  • ‘Armor Aluminium’ hinge
  • IPX8-rated water resistance
  • Dolby Atmos

Pros:

  • IPX8-rated water resistance
  • Great colour options
  • New, bigger cover display
  • Compact size when closed

Cons:

  • Good, but not exceptional, cameras

What is the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3? 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 is the brand’s third iteration of the flip phone. The original Samsung Galaxy Z Flip was released early last year before being followed by the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G later in the year.

The new Galaxy Z Flip 3 was revealed at the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event alongside the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Samsung Galaxy Buds 2.

Read our first-look Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 review to see what we think of the brand’s new smartwatch.

What does the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 do?

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 has two displays; a 6.7-inch main display (unfolded) and a smaller, 1.9-inch cover display (folded). Samsung has also added new features, including a new protective film for the main display that is 80% more durable than on the previous generation.

  • 6.7-inch QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X main display
  • 1.9-inch Infinity Flex cover display
  • ‘Armor Aluminium’ hinge
  • IPX8-rated water resistance
  • Dolby Atmos

How much is the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3?

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 costs £949 and is available to buy now at Samsung. While that’s still on the premium end, it is £280 less than the older Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G that was released last year.

It is also the cheaper of the two new foldable phones from Samsung. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is a fair bit more expensive at £1,599.

Is the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 good value for money?

At £949, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 is still premium, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good value for money. With foldable phones still being somewhat of a novelty, and Samsung delivering good quality foldable phones with little competition, there is always going to be a higher price point attached. However, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 is a good deal less than the Galaxy Z Flip 5G was when it was released. Plus, new features such as IPX8-rated water resistance, Dolby Atmos and the bigger cover display help justify the cost.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 features

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

Some of the most popular features of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G remain but with some welcome additions. The Flex Play function (pictured above) will allow you to set the phone down and watch videos hands-free on the top half of the display, with the controls clearly visible on the bottom half.

To ensure the screen is unscathed from scratches, Samsung has fitted a new protective film that should be 80% more durable than that of the previous generation. The refresh rate of the display has also been improved. While the original Galaxy Z Flip only offered 60Hz, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 has a 120Hz refresh rate for smoother scrolling.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 battery

Battery life is where the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 falls down slightly. The smartphone will last throughout your working day but not much more than that. With fairly continuous use, including listening to music, streaming videos on Netflix and YouTube, making a couple of calls and scrolling on social media, the Samsung phone managed to last about 10 hours. It isn’t quite the ‘all-day battery’ we’ve come to expect but not terrible either.

However, charging is relatively fast. You have the option of both wired and wireless charging. Using the USB-C charging cable included in the box, charging from empty took around an hour and a half.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 camera

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 hands on 1

There are three cameras in total on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3; two rear cameras and one front camera on the main display. Covered by Gorilla Glass with DX for some additional protection, the rear cameras are a 12MP Ultra Wide and a 12MP Wide. The camera set-up doesn’t quite offer the specs of the brand’s flagship, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, which has a 108MP high-resolution main camera, but they should deliver what you need for casual everyday use.

The front camera is a 10MP selfie camera. This is likely the most useful camera as the foldable nature of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 essentially means that you have a built-in tripod. This is a great option for when you want to take selfies, but also so you can be hands-free when on video calls.

However, if camera quality is of the utmost importance for you, you might want to check our guide to the best camera phones too.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 design and set-up

Setting up the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G takes a total of 10 minutes maximum, but that does include all the boring tasks of entering in Wi-Fi passwords, transferring any photos or apps from your previous phone and running any updates.

While the basic shape and size of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 remain the same as the previous generation, the most obvious design difference is with the cover display. The cover display is now four times bigger at 1.9 inches to make it more practical to read notifications, and the display can now be used to pay contactless via Samsung Pay.

The remaining improvements to the design seem to have been done largely to make the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 more durable. The phone is IPX8-rated water-resistant, which is the highest standard of any foldable phone. It also features a new hinge made from a material that Samsung calls ‘Armor Aluminium’. According to the brand, it is stronger and lighter than that used in the previous generation of the Z Flip.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 is available in a total of seven colours; Phantom Black, Green, Lavender, Cream, White, Pink and Grey. The latter three are available exclusively from Samsung. Overall, there’s no doubt that the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 looks sleek and ultra-modern.

What is the difference between the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3?

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 and Z Fold 3

The two main differences between the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is the size and the price tag. The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 is the cheaper of the two devices at £949 and smaller. With a 6.7-inch main display, compared to the huge 7.6-inch display of the Z Fold 3, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 folds down into a pretty compact size that’ll easily fit in a small bag or pocket.

At £1,599, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is considerably more expensive but does have a couple of additional features, including S Pen support like that found on the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. However, the two foldable phones do share some features, including IPX8-rated water resistance, a new protective film for the main displays and Dolby Atmos. And, while the main displays are not the same size, they both deliver a 120Hz refresh rate for smooth scrolling.

Our verdict: should you buy the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3?

Marketed as the ‘stylish’ option of Samsung’s two new foldable phones, we were a little anxious to see if the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 could also deliver substance. And from our initial hands-on, it seems like it does. Features like the IPX8-rated water resistance, new protective film for the screen and Gorilla Glass with DX+ on the rear cameras should make it more durable, but the real difference is the cover display.

The bigger display is a lot more practical than on its predecessor and allows you to read notifications or pay for shopping via Samsung Pay easily without opening your phone. You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to colours, too. With seven colours in total, Samsung has gone way beyond offering the basics of black and grey to include lavender, green, pink and cream. At a new lower price of £949, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 is one of the best Android phones we’ve seen released this year.

Our rating:

Features: 4.5/5

Battery: 4/5

Camera: 4/5

Design: 5/5

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Where to buy the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G is available to buy now for £949.

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For more product reviews and guides, head to the Technology section. Or, try our list of Samsung Galaxy phones with prices for a full rundown of what the brand offers.