Samsung announces Galaxy Z Flip 3 with bigger cover display
For all the multitasking prowess and sheer productivity potential Samsung’s new Galaxy Z Fold 3 offers, there’s something about the just-announced Galaxy Z Flip 3 that’sso exciting, it could be the look: one of its colors is a fantastic cream hue that reminds me of vintage ‘70s gadgets. Or more likely, it’s the larger outer display that’s so much more practical and useful than the teeny, tiny cover display on the original Flip. There’s are factors about this phone that I can’t just comprehend. Honestly, there’s just a feeling of fun to the Flip 3 — right down to the stylish cases Samsung is making for it.
A lower price is certainly part of the appeal: the Galaxy Z Flip 3 starts at $999, bringing Samsung’s foldables down below the $1,000 mark (without discounts) for the first time. That’ll get you 128GB storage and 8GB of RAM. Like the much pricier Fold 3, the Flip 3 is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888, has robust 5G support, and is IPX8 water resistant — so it can survive a swim.
The primary 6.7-inch, 22:9 display has been upgraded from 60Hz and now has a smoother 120Hz adaptive refresh rate that adjusts automatically to optimize battery life. There’s still a selfie camera cutout at the top of the screen
The Flip 3 is said to be 30% stronger than the fold 3. That could lead to fewer blemishes and indentations on the screen protector. But hopefully it’ll also mean fewer phones that break unexpectedly from perfectly normal, daily use — a frustration experienced by some owners of the original Flip and Fold 2.
A smoother primary display is certainly a welcome improvement, but the most critical upgrade to the Z Flip 3 is that outer cover screen. It’s now four times larger than the small oval that was of such little use on the original Z Flip. This time you’ve got more room. More room for widgets (music, calendar, timer, weather, etc.) and more room for checking notifications: Samsung says the cover screen can show several lines of text. Clearly Samsung has taken some lessons from Motorola’s Razr foldable here.
In fact, the cover screen is now big enough that you can use it as a viewfinder when taking selfies. Samsung says it can be used for video recording and vlogs, but to me that would be pushing it. You can also access Android’s quick settings or use Samsung Pay from the cover display.
Expanding the size of that outer screen makes the whole concept of the Z Flip 3 so appealing. It feels like Samsung has made enough refinements that you’ll be able to pull the folded phone out of your pocket, respond to a notification or text without having to open it, and tuck it back away. It lends the phone’s purpose more legitimacy.
Other upgrades to the Z Flip 3 that aren’t so obvious at first glance include new stereo speakers that support Dolby Atmos audio. And Samsung says the Flip 3’s “Flex Mode” — activated when the phone is partially folded — will put media like videos or album art at the top half and automatically relocate controls to the bottom.
The Galaxy Z Flip 3 is being offered in seven colors: cream, green, purple, black, gray, white, and pink; the latter three are exclusively available from Samsung’s website. Preorders started on the 16th of August, 2021, and the phone will be available in stores on August 27th.