Back in August, Samsung launched its new lineup of foldable phones in the Philippines, and recently, we got a chance to test out the Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G, Samsung’s more compact foldable.
Back in September, we reviewed the Z Fold 3 5G, the larger foldable from Samsung that was more like a foldable tablet thanks to its large square display. Personally, I loved using that phone as it combined the portability of a smartphone with a large display of a tablet, making it an even better partner for watching content and playing certain games (along with better productivity of course).
Meanwhile, the Z Flip 3 5G is a phone that folds similarly to old-school flip phones. So instead of folding out horizontally, it does so vertically, meaning you get a more standard smartphone shape when you use it.
While the appeal of the Z Fold 3 5G is its large display, the Z Flip 3 5G is essentially a Samsung flagship that you can fold to make it more portable. On the flip side (no pun intended), this phone is much more affordable than the Fold, meaning its price is closer to the flagship S lineup.
So, is this latest Z Flip a device that you should get if you’re in the market for a premium flagship smartphone? Find out here in our review!
To start things off, let’s take a look at the phone’s design. When unfolded, the Z Flip 3 5G looks a lot like a standard Samsung phone, albeit a bit taller and with more rounded corners. The phone’s front also has the selfie shooter inside the holepunch notch at the top middle part.
For comparison, above is a shot of the Z Flip 3 5G alongside Samsung’s Galaxy A71 from last year (which comes with a 6.7-inch display). This should give you a better indication of the phone’s size — it’s generally a slimmer and taller Samsung Galaxy phone.
At the back, the phone has a black portion at the top, along with a colored glass finish. At the middle, you can see where the phone’s folding joint is. While it may not have a gradient or a unique glossy finish, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G is still sufficiently premium in both look and feel personally.
When folded, you can see that the phone’s hinge features the Samsung logo. And at the sides, there are antenna bands that are rather reminiscent of previous iPhones.
Finally, this phone comes with a small outer display, hence the black portion at the top alongside the dual rear cameras. This 1.9-inch cover display shows notifications, widgets, and more.
The Z Flip 3 5G’s 6.7-inch AMOLED display not only has a taller aspect ratio, it also comes with a 120Hz refresh rate, as well as HDR10+. For binge-watching, this new foldable from Samsung is a great partner, especially if you love watching widescreen movies that can take full advantage of the unusual aspect ratio. Even if you watch something in 16:9, the phone is still a great binge-watching device as the AMOLED screen means the blacks are deep (those black bars won’t be distracting).
As for sound, even if it’s a small and slim device, the Z Flip 3 5G’s onboard stereo speakers are loud and have good quality. In fact, I wouldn’t mind watching movies/shows on the speakers, though I’d still recommend external speakers or headphones for the best experience. Make sure to use wireless headphones or speakers though given that this phone does not have a headphone jack.
The Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G is powered by the latest Snapdragon 888 processor — the same SoC as the Z Fold 3 5G. Given this, it should come as no surprise that this Samsung foldable is a great gaming device.
Unsurprisingly, less demanding games like Wild Rif ran without a hitch on the Z Flip 3 5G, even at max settings. Weirdly though, the phone can’t yet play the game at 120FPS, though this should come in a future update.
The phone also works for other popular games such as Call of Duty: Mobile, which ran at the max settings smoothly. Though this phone shines with games that support 120FPS thanks to its high refresh rate panel.
One thing to note is that the phone’s taller (or wider) aspect ratio can take some time getting used to for gaming. Though after a while, playing on a wider screen such as this feels natural.
Now, here’s a look at the phone’s synthetic benchmark scores:
Geek Photoshoot Capabilities
Given the slim size of the phone, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G packs only a 12MP + 12MP ultra wide dual rear camera setup, as well as a 10MP selfie shooter. While it may lack a telephoto camera, the Z Flip 3 5G’s cameras are still definitely flagship-worthy.
First up, its 12 main shooter takes excellent photos in daytime and indoors, complete with lots of detail and vibrant colors. While the colors may be a bit oversaturated for some, turning off the scene optimizer does turn down the saturation.
At night, the main shooter also takes quality photos, especially thanks to its Night Mode. If you have scene optimizer on, Night Mode will automatically deploy in low light situations. Though if it doesn’t, you can manually enable Night Mode in the app.
The 12MP ultra-wide is also a great shooter as both daytime and night shots are of high quality. Though for low light photography, you’ll have to use Night Mode manually as the Scene Optimizer doesn’t turn on Night Mode automatically when using the ultra-wide camera.
Finally, selfies are social media ready when using the 10MP main camera. But if you want even better selfies, you can take one using the rear cameras thanks to the cover display (more on that below).
Aside from great gaming performance, the Z Flip 3 5G is also a fast and snappy phone for everyday use. Whether you use it for social media, emails, or even some creative apps like photo/video editors, this Samsung foldable will have no issues. What’s also great about the phone is that it’s 5G ready, meaning you can take advantage of faster mobile internet speeds if you’re in an area with 5G coverage.
As for its battery life, the Z Flip 3 5G isn’t the longest lasting phone out there. With only a 3300mAh battery, we found that the phone needs to get charged at the end of the day of medium to heavy use. This means you’ll need a power bank or a charger if you want use your phone heavily throughout the day.
An interesting thing about the Z Flip 3 5G is that you can use it while folded only partway. In this mode, some apps adjust to take advantage of this unique use case. For example, you can use the phone itself as a stand for taking selfies, or for video calls. You can also watch a YouTube video on the top half while checking comments on the bottom. While I didn’t find it as useful as the Z Fold 3 5G’s similar feature, there are some use cases for it.
Finally, the phone’s cover display not only displays notifications; you can also insert various widgets such as a stopwatch, alarm, music control, and more. On top of these widgets, pressing the power button twice will activate the camera, so you can take selfies even without unfolding the phone fully. To take a photo in this mode, you simply need to tap the cover display and it will take a picture after a few seconds.
Final Geek Lifestyle Verdict
The new Flip device from Samsung is a polished device, and it feels more like a reliable flagship phone instead of a first-generation device with some kings. Thanks to its great performance, quality display, and capable cameras, the Z Flip 3 5G is a great phone overall, even if the battery life could be a bit better.
So, is it worth the price? At a starting price of PHP 52,990, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G is a bit more expensive than Samsung’s S21 lineup, though it does come in a unique form factor that’s more portable. If you value portability, or if you just want a unique flagship phone without sacrificing performance and camera quality, the Z Flip 3 5G is definitely worth considering.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G Specs:
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G processor
- Adreno 660 GPU
- 8GB RAM
- 128/256GB storage
- 6.7-inch (2640×1080) Foldable Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, HDR10+
- 1.9-inch Super AMOLED (260 x 512) cover display
- 12MP main + 12MP ultra-wide dual rear cameras
- 10MP front camera
- 5G, 4G, LTE
- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6e, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
- Bluetooth 5.2, A2DP, LE
- Side-mounted fingerprint sensor, USB Type-C port
- 3300mAh battery w/ 15W fast charging, 10W fast wireless charging, 4.5W reverse wireless charging
- Android 11 with One UI 3.1.1
- 128GB variant – PHP 52,990
- 256GB variant – PHP 56,990