Stylish clamshell: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 foldable smartphone review

At the beginning of August Samsung held a traditional presentation of its autumn flagships. Instead of updating the line Galaxy Note the developers presented new flexible smartphones from the line Galaxy Z – large Z Fold3 and small Z Flip3, – as well as fresh watches Galaxy Watch 4 and TWS-headphones Galaxy Buds 2

Today we will take a closer look at the compact clamshell Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3, which has recently entered our editorial office.


In a world where smartphones are becoming more and more difficult to distinguish every day, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 instantly attracts the eye. When folded, it resembles a compact square box or powder box, which is convenient to put in a pants pocket.

The clamshell form factor evokes nostalgia for devices from the late 90s – early 00s, which is why it just wants to open and close without stopping. And you can do this for quite a long time, since Samsung in this device has tried to pay special attention to reliability by modifying the hinge mechanism. All gaps are now covered with seals, and the cleaning mechanism using a roller brush does not allow fine dirt to get inside the device. In addition, the smartphone has received protection according to the IPX8 standard, which means it is not afraid of water, so with it you can safely dive a meter under water for half an hour, but protection from small particles like sand is unlikely, as the letter X tells us.

The hinge is quite rigid, it fixes the screen at any angle. Opening a smartphone like any old clamshell with one hand is much more difficult due to the size and stiffness of the hinge.

On the inside, the foldable screen is also tricky. It has three layers. The first is the AMOLED panel itself, followed by a thin protective glass, and the final layer is a special wear-resistant plastic film, which in no case should be removed. It is she who provides protection to a fragile display. According to the manufacturer, its durability is 80% higher than that used in the previous model. It feels more like glass than plastic wrap. The front camera is embedded in the screen from the top in the middle. The frame surrounding the display has earpiece holes.

The exterior is reminiscent of the Galaxy S21 with a matte Victus Gorilla Glass body that is resistant to greasy fingerprints, and an emphasis on the camera modules highlighted by a glossy glass platform. The slightly protruding lenses of the main camera are also protected by glass, but already Gorilla Glass DX with high light conductivity. Most of the platform is occupied by the external screen, which has grown in comparison with the previous clamshell model.

The entire structure is protected by the armored aluminum frame Armor Aluminum, which has stronger properties than conventional aluminum frames. The arrangement of buttons, connectors and holes, despite the unusual form factor, is fairly standard. On the left side of the upper half there is a slot for one nano-Sim card without additional space for expanding the device’s memory, and on the right there are a volume rocker and an unlock button, which has a built-in fingerprint scanner. On the bottom half of the bottom there are holes for the microphone and multimedia speaker, as well as a USB-C connector for charging and data transfer.


The official cost of the Galaxy Z Flip3 in Russia in the 8 + 128 GB version is 89,990 rubles, and with 8 + 256 GB memory – 94,990 rubles. The smartphone is available in four usual colors (black, green, beige and lavender), as well as in three exclusive (gray, white and pink) for the official Samsung store.

We received a test sample of the device in black. It came with a USB-C cable and 7.8W charging. True, you will not see the latter in the usual configuration, but there will be a paper clip for removing the tray. Everything here is in the best traditions of the trend set by Apple in favor of the environment.


The smartphone lies well in the hand, both folded and unfolded. Thanks to the matte surface of the glass on the back, it does not slip, and the rounded edges of the case allow you to comfortably grip it with your hand. The case has no sharp edges. The power button with a fingerprint sensor, due to the two-part design, is a little further when unfolded, and you have to reach out or rearrange the grip with your palm to unlock the smartphone.

Compared to the previous Flip, the diagonal of the main foldable screen has not changed – the smartphone still has a 6.7-inch display with a resolution of 2640 x 1080 pixels and an aspect ratio of 22: 9. The pixel density is 425 ppi. The manufacturer replaced the matrix with Dynamic AMOLED 2X, which supports a refresh rate of 120 Hz and HDR10 +. Adaptive display mode up to 120Hz improves smoothness when navigating menus and games that support this refresh rate. This and the large screen makes surfing the web and reading very convenient, and support for high dynamic range allows you to watch HDR content in applications such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube.

The brightness of the screen when set manually at 100% is about 500 nits, and in direct sunlight it can reach just over 930 nits in automatic mode. PWM is used to adjust the brightness, like all phones with AMOLED. The DC Dimming feature was not added, so the display is definitely not for people with sensitive eyes. But there is a comfort function for the eyes, which reduces the harmful blue spectrum and makes the picture warmer. By default, the screen works in saturated colors for those who like bright and vivid pictures. Optionally, you can adjust the color temperature and white balance in it. You can also set the screen to natural color mode, making the bright palette more neutral.

As for the kink, it still hasn’t gone anywhere. It can be clearly seen at oblique angles or when the smartphone screen is turned off. In addition, a slight deformation of the surface is felt in this area when touched. This, of course, is a bit of an eyesore, but when viewing bright content at a right angle, the break is not visible, and only in scenes with an abundance of black in the center of the screen does it again make itself felt.

The external screen of the smartphone has a diagonal of 1.9 inches. It uses a Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel with a resolution of 260 by 512 pixels and a pixel density of 302 ppi. This display is used to display the time, notifications, and also as a viewfinder for those who like to take high-quality selfies. However, due to the size of the screen, not the entire frame is displayed. In addition, there is support for widgets, thanks to which you can display the weather on the screen, control music playback, voice recorder and much more. To activate the small display, just touch it, but it does not turn on instantly, but with a slight delay. Control between the screen and widgets is carried out using swipes to the right and left.

Both Z Flip3 displays have always-on display support. This function allows you to display the time and notifications on the off screen of the smartphone. A wide range of settings allow you to customize the main screen to your liking, including using your own photos.

The security of personal data is provided by several built-in protection options. As usual, these are both settings for blocking by password, picture and pin-code, as well as using a fingerprint scanner and a front camera. The fingerprint sensor works without any problems, but the front camera has them in poor lighting conditions. If you wear a medical mask on the street, then the front camera will recognize you only if the mask is lowered below the lips, which is considered the norm for this function.

The device runs out of the box operating system Android 11 with One UI 3, which has been modified to interact with a curved screen. For this, the operating system was equipped with the Flex mode, which in a semi-folded form in a number of applications divides the screen into two identical areas. For example, in the Camera application, the camera image is displayed on the upper half of the screen, and all control functions are displayed on the lower half. So you can use the front-facing camera to take selfies or record videos for social media while placing your phone comfortably on your desk. You can also conveniently use video calls in instant messengers or watch videos on YouTube without any problems if you suddenly do not have a phone stand at hand.


The speaker on the bottom edge, as well as the spoken driver above the display, are responsible for the stereo sound of multimedia content. Speakers are not tied to the role of the right and left speakers, but it depends only on the position of the smartphone in the hands. The specialists from AKG are responsible for setting up the speakers. The device supports Hi-Res Audio with a sampling rate of 384kHz at 32 bits. The sound quality is on par with the flagship S21 line, that is, decent. The speakers are very loud and there is a lot of bass.

As with all the latest models from the company, the phone has support for Dolby Atmos technology for creating surround sound multimedia content and games. In the settings, you will also find a 9-band equalizer and assets for various popular music genres. There is also a sound adaptation function that boosts different frequencies depending on the selected age of the user.

There is no standard 3.5 mm audio jack in the smartphone, and since there is no adapter or headphones with a USB-C plug in the kit either, then everything depends only on you and the desire to listen to music over the wire. If you are an adherent of wireless technologies, then it is worth getting headphones with support for the HD LDAC codec, since the device does not provide support for aptX and aptX HD.


Despite the presence of many interesting solutions, the Galaxy Z Flip3 cameras will hardly surprise you, because the manufacturer uses exactly the same modules that were on the previous generation Flip.

The main camera on the back consists of two modules. The first is the Sony IMX563 wide-angle camera module with a resolution of 12 megapixels. The lens has an equivalent focal length of 27 mm with an aperture of f / 1.8. It is equipped with optical image stabilization and Dual Pixel PDAF autofocus. The second lens is the ultra-wide Sony IMX258 module without autofocus and a resolution of 12 megapixels. The image coverage angle is 123 degrees, and the aperture is f / 2.2. For the front camera, the IMX374 module is responsible for 10 megapixels with a focal length of 26 mm and an aperture of f / 2.4, which has been used by the manufacturer since the time of the S10 line.

The photo quality of the main 12 megapixel module is quite good. In daytime shooting, detailed shots are obtained with vivid colors, high contrast and a decent level of dynamic range. The night mode is turned on automatically when insufficient illumination in the frame is detected. The shots show a good level of detail and great colors with a large dynamic range, but noise is expected. The ultra-wide shooting quality is slightly inferior to the previous module, but in good lighting the colors are still as bright as the contrast and dynamic range of the images. At night, the ultra-wide module shows darker images, and the presence of noise is much more pronounced. The front camera in normal shooting mode shoots a little worse than the main module. Portrait shots come out great with a nice and even background blur effect. True, you can shoot selfies and videos with the main camera thanks to the external screen. To activate the camera when folded, it is enough to quickly press the power button a couple of times, and then the screen will instruct you how to use the camera functions using swipes in different directions.

Both modules of the main camera support shooting at a maximum resolution of 4K at 60 frames per second. There is electronic stabilization, as well as optical, but only in the main wide-angle module. The latter copes well with shaking during fast movement, but it comes at a price with video resolution, which drops to Full HD at 30 frames. The front camera is also capable of 4K @ 60fps, but without any image stabilization.


The heart of the Galaxy Z Flip3 is a 5nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 8-core processor, which has 1 Kryo 680 Prime (Cortex-X1) core clocked at 2.84 GHz, 3 Kryo 680 Gold (Cortex-A78) cores by 2 , 42 GHz and 4 cores Kryo 680 Silver (Cortex-A55) at 1.8 GHz). It works in conjunction with the Adreno 660 graphics accelerator and 8 GB of LPDDR5 RAM. The built-in memory in the tested device is 128 GB of UFS 3.1 standard. As we already said, you cannot expand the memory, so you have to choose – save 5 thousand rubles or take the 256 GB version. But in addition to one physical SIM card, you can also bind a second e-SIM – their operators in the Russian Federation began to support them more actively.

The smartphone supports all modern networks up to 5G, which has not yet become widespread in our country. In addition, it supports modern wireless standards such as Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1, and is equipped with a navigation system with support for A-GPS, Glonass, Beidou and Galileo.

The internal components of the smartphone are powered by a 3300 mAh non-removable lithium-ion battery, which migrated here from the previous Flip. For the sake of maintaining the weight, and even more so the size of the device, engineers had no choice but to use the same battery. True, new components such as a more powerful CPU and a 120Hz screen are no less power hungry. Under high load during games and benchmarks, the battery lasted only 4 hours. With active surfing on the Internet and using instant messengers, it lives for about 8-9 hours, and when watching a video from the internal memory, about 11 hours. The model supports 15W wired fast charging and 10W wireless charging. Charging in the test sample allowed the smartphone to charge from 0 to 50% in 43 minutes, and fully in 1 hour and 34 minutes.


In the basic AnTuTu and 3D Mark tests, the phone was identified as Samsung SM-F711B. In AnTuTu, the smartphone scores 640088 points and takes 38th place among solutions on Android:

  • CPU 190180
  • GPU 202600
  • MEM 123451
  • UX 123857

In terms of CPU throttling, the CPU Throttling Test dropped to a maximum of 78% in the standard 15-minute test.

We test this device in projects such as Genshin Inpact, P.U.B.G. Mobile, Dead Trigger 2 and Asphalt 9. In general, no performance issues were noticed in games. In the phone menu, the average processor and battery temperatures were 33 and 30 degrees, respectively. In heavy games, after an hour of gameplay, these values ​​already rise to a maximum of 48 and 35 degrees, respectively. The body of the smartphone heats up in the area of ​​the camera and the external screen, which made it not very comfortable to play.


Samsung continues to actively develop the still young foldable smartphone format, and the company is doing very well. Top-end screens, a compact stylish body, powerful hardware, water resistance and a slightly more affordable price tag compared to the first models without exaggeration make the Galaxy Z Flip3 the best offer with a flexible screen on the market. The only frustrating thing is the autonomy of the device, which you have to get used to because of the original format of the device, and the presence of a kink on the screen.

Author: Sergey Dyakonenko (Madnfs)

Photo: Alexey Olkin

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