Phone makers have been trying to make the venerated flip phone cool (and useful) again, but no one has quite pulled it off—until now. Samsung just took the wraps off the Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G, and it’s a little more than a mere spec bump. The phone got a bit of makeover and is now available in seven different colors.
The Galaxy Z Flip 3 now features a high-res screen with a faster refresh rate and a slightly larger cover screen to give you a little more oomph than what you had back in the day. The Z Flip 3 is a modern take on yesterday’s flip phone, after all. Plus, Samsung finally sealed up the chassis, so the folding phone is water-resistant and more durable, which is a key concern when it comes to foldables.
The Galaxy Z Flip 3 sports a 6.7-inch FHD+ Infinity Flex interior display. The screen’s 120Hz refresh rate is double that of the Galaxy Z Flip, which will make a significant difference as you’re panning between screens and thumbing through the simplest of mobile games. On paper, it’s a slightly better screen than what’s in the Galaxy Z Flip, though it’s the same pixel density.
The exterior display (what you see when the phone is flipped close) also received a bump. It’s now a 1.9-inch Super AMOLED Display, up from 1.1 inches, with a 260 x 512 screen resolution and pixel density of 302 pixels-per-inch (PPI). That’s high for a screen that small, which means text and graphics for the notifications that come through will look crisp and clear—not to mention selfies.
The Galaxy Z Flip 3 features a 5nm octa-core processor and 8GB of RAM. It’s available with either 128GB or 256GB of storage space. There’s also a 3,300 mAh dual battery powering it all up, which is a little smaller than the one in Samsung’s Galaxy S21, which features a slightly smaller display and a 4,000 mAh battery. The Galaxy Z Flip 3 runs Android 11 out of the box.
Samsung opted for a more matte look to the Z Flip 3 rather than the shiny, mirror-like effect it had going with the first generation. The Z Flip 3 will be available in colorful shades, including cream, green, lavender, and phantom black. There will also be a gray, white, and pink shade available exclusively online.
Samsung claims the Armor Aluminum shell on the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is its strongest aluminum frame yet. We’ll have to get a feel for it during our review. But the most significant change to the Z Flip 3's chassis is its water resistance. The biggest issue with the first Galaxy Z Flip is that it couldn’t withstand the occasional bout with water, which tends to happen when you’re living life with your smartphone in your hand or your pocket. The Galaxy Z Flip 3 is rated IPX8 for water resistance, meaning it’s able to stand submersion for up to 1.5 meters of fresh water for up to half an hour. It can handle a dip in the bath, but Samsung advises against beach or pool use. It is not dust resistant.
We can’t forget the cameras on the Galaxy Z Flip 3. The 10-MP front-facing camera has an f/2.4 aperture and an 80-degree field of view. The front-facing camera works through the front display with a feature called Quick Shot, so you don’t have to open the phone to snap a selfie.
There are two rear cameras for all other photos: a 12-MP ultra-wide camera with an f/2.2 aperture and a 123-degree field of view, and the primary lens, a 12-MP wide-angle camera with dual pixel autofocus, OIS, an aperture of f/1.8, and a 78-degree field of view, plus up to 10x digital zoom.
Since color is a big part of the Galaxy Z Flip 3, Samsung made matching accessories to help you lean into the aesthetic. Samsung will offer five different colored cases for its lineup of flip phones. Two of the cases are available in white and navy with contrasting hand straps for secure holding. There are three other cases available in olive green, red, and purple with phone rings on the back for those who prefer holding on that way. Samsung’s flip phone isn’t exactly a standardized model, so it’s nice to see some options for stylish protective cases available off the bat.
Most importantly, Samsung has slashed the starting price for the new Galaxy Z Flip to $1,000, making it a compelling alternative to the iPhone 12 Pro and other flagships.
The Galaxy Z Flip 3 is available for preorder starting Aug. 11 and is on sale Aug. 27. That $1,000 base price gets you 128GB of storage. You can choose from seven colors, with three of them sold exclusively online.