Can one mainstream a pioneering technology? It looks like with the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G, Samsung has finally cracked the code on the most appealing value:performance ratio and designed something that is unbeatable in its product category, technologically more advanced than its closest competitor and at a price point that makes it hard to resist.
There have been two iterations of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, and the newest Flip3 5G is definitely best in class.
How to create the Ultimate Foldable Smartphone
While the Galaxy Z Fold3 is essentially a small tablet that folds into a thin smartphone, the Z Flip3 5G has the form-factor of your regular, “candy-bar” type (6.7-inch) smartphone that happens to fold like a clamshell to become a small square with roughly the same dimension as a coin pouch. Considering that man purses are not exactly en vogue among a large swathe of gentlemen, this design consideration which allows the Z Flip3 5G to slip into the skinniest of jeans is not just a stylistic decision but a practical one. After all, the broad appeal of what a companion smartphone device other than its primary communications and internet connectivity functions, also stands as a redefinition of everything a clamshell foldable should be, while managing to excel, and even beat regular smartphones.
Slightly thinner, shorter and more refined, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G utilising a Snapdragon 888 chipset is a 3 GHz CPU with better AI engine boasting 25% higher CPU performance and power efficiency, putting it ahead of its competition. With 8GB RAM and available in 128GB or 256GB storage variants, the Z Flip3 5G delivers picture quality with a smooth 120Hz refresh rate between LCD and OLED levels of colour vibrance and crispness: as a result scrolling and animations are buttery smooth and natural rather than potentially jarring and jerky on phones with lower refresh rates. Its ultra-thin glass cover is 80% more resilient thanks to the latest Gorilla glass, and much smoother to the touch, allowing your fingers to glide over the surface as easily as a regular phone.
With earlier versions of the Z Flip, the phone couldn’t really be used when closed, but Samsung has taken the user experience to heart and and endowed the Z Flip3 with an external screen 4x larger, enough to show detailed notifications (almost an entire chat regular message), and equipped it with widgets that allow controlling the most vital aspects of the phone – that is to say: your calendar of activities, your music player of choice, messaging and weather, to name a few.
Best of all, the outside screen can serve as a camera viewfinder, allowing the user to take selfies with the 12MP f/1.8 main and 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide rear camera system instead of the default selfie camera, which is almost always inferior but on the Z Flip3 is still surprisingly powerful at 10mp.
Galaxy Z Flip3 5G: Compact practicality, Outsized Potential
The Z Flip3 runs the Samsung-customised OneUI 3.1 version of Android 11 like its other cousins but the most important aspect is the growing body of application developers and partners who will create special functionality to take full advantage of “Flex mode”.
Many commonly used applications on the Fold3 like Microsoft Outlook (email) and its suite of productivity tools already make use of the duality of screens; Samsung will be continuing to roll out more applications for the Flip3 as well. “Flex mode” splits the screen when you fold it into an L-shape for supported apps. It can move the video to the top and playback controls to the bottom for YouTube, or for the camera put the viewfinder at the top and the shutter button at the bottom, giving you a primary workspace on the top half of the phone while allowing you to multi-task with the bottom half of the phone. This is a real boon considering that even with thinner and lighter laptops, work-life integration brought on by the pandemic means that you never really know when work intrudes and you need to get some work settled before a movie or in between courses during a family dinner.
Sporting optical image stabilisation and an ultrawide angle camera, the Z Flip3 5G’s cameras are essentially the same as the two fitted on the brand’s S21+ flagship model. Capturing good images and solid video in most lighting conditions including low light environments, you can also turn on the cover screen when shooting a normal photo so that your subject can see themselves as you photograph them. Then again, when it comes to smartphone cameras, powerful optics aren’t the main draw – it’s the sheer convenience and nothing beats the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G: the phone is literally its own tripod – simply sit in on a table or up on a shelf or even on the dashboard of your car, and you have bonafide v-logging and content creation tool.
A literal sound investment
Its svelte form factor means that it can only pack 3,300mAh battery, far from the biggest battery among flagship phones, and while steadily drains over the course of a day of maximal usage: games, emails and video consumption, you can get through roughly 12 hours of usage on a full charge. Watching a half-hour Netflix show drained 3% of the battery which is quite standard.
Speaking of consuming media, Dolby Atmos for smartphones is a software-based solution that kicks in when playing back content over headphones. The mobile version aims to emulate the 3D audio effect you get with a typical surround-sound system as a result the new Galaxy Z Flip3 is capable of creating stereo sound to produce an immersive audio experience, making you feel like you’re in the movie. Stereo usually means audio is played from at least two independent audio channels and on the Z Flip3, the speakers on the top and bottom of the phone working together to create stereo sound or emulating three-dimensional sound that seems to come from various directions making the Galaxy Z Flip3 an excellent choice for listening to music, podcasts, and watching videos.
In today’s hyper-stimulating environments, being able to escape into a world of your own with arguably the world’s best foldable smartphone currently on the market, makes it a no brainer.
These videos were filmed in compliance with prevailing Safe Management Measures.
Production Assistant: Farhan Zakaria
HMUA: Zoel Tee
Set Design: Azleena Chng