Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 evaluation: from experiment to mainstream


Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 review

Eric Chan / Engadget

For products that adopt new technologies, everyone may be discouraged because of high prices or unfamiliar things. Folding screen mobile phones are an example. In the past two years, they have been dismissed as too expensive, the screen creases are too obvious, not practical, and so on. Based on this opinion, the pricing of Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 has become in line with the general flagship mobile phone. First, we will solve the biggest threshold for everyone. Are you willing to try? Should I look at other people’s opinions? Let me share some experiences and feelings for everyone here.

Exterior design

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 review

Eric Chan / Engadget

As introduced in the previous hands-on play article, the latest Z Flip 3 is similar to the previous Z Flip in terms of measurements, so the feeling of holding it in your hand is very familiar. However, there are still differences in hand feel. The more obvious part is the middle frame. Samsung uses the new Armor Aluminium, which has a matte finish, and the lines are relatively straight, so the feeling will be tougher when held in your hand. . At the same time, Corning Gorilla Glass Victus is used on the glass part of the fuselage, which has higher protection against scratches and drops.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 review

Eric Chan / Engadget

The hinge part in the middle of Z Flip 3 is also real, which can provide stepless rotation. Samsung has also improved the dust removal mechanism in the middle this time. More importantly, this mobile phone with movable joints is actually waterproof, and it is also a high-grade IPX8, which means that even if the Z Flip 3 is dropped into the water for a while, it can survive. In this way, everyone can have greater confidence in daily use for the durability of this folding screen mobile phone.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 review

Eric Chan / Engadget

Samsung made a double-layer design for the Z Flip 3 back, mainly with matte glass. The front end is slightly higher with glossy glass, and on top is the external screen and dual cameras. Because the external screen has become larger, the camera has also become a vertical position. The LED fill light is placed along the matte part to bring continuity to the two materials. In other words, the shiny part also reminds me of the shiny and bright design of the previous Z Flip, but overall it is still a low-key style.

The physical buttons of Z Flip 3 are concentrated on the right side of the upper middle frame. There are volume buttons and a power button that doubles as a fingerprint reader. The speaker at the bottom of the machine is a pair with the earpiece above the inner screen, which brings a stereo with Dolby panoramic sound effect. These are the same designs as the previous generation.

In the expanded form, the Z Flip 3 is actually a 6.7-inch phone with a narrow and long ratio. It feels like a Sony Xperia 1 III and is especially suitable for one-handed operation. And it can be more like in the past, when you use the phone, you can fold it up and store it (this seems to be mentioned in the previous Flip article), which is very interesting.

External screen

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 review

Eric Chan / Engadget

The Flip model is designed in the direction of folding the general-sized mobile phone in half, and the use of the external screen is relatively simple, but this does not mean that the usability is ignored. The external screen of Z Flip 3 is a 1.9-inch Super AMOLED Display with a resolution of 512 x 260. Because the display area has increased four times compared with the previous generation, the pictures and text can be richer and more specific. Especially for the purpose of Selfie assistance, it is also relatively easy to see the framing picture, which will not be the smallest picture of the vision test.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 review

Eric Chan / Engadget

In conjunction with gesture operations, the external screen may enter the clock, notification information, Samsung Pay interface, and widget pages, allowing users to do more work without having to turn on the phone. The most commonly used editor is to look at the clock. Now there is a complete time, as well as date and battery information. The notification center is limited to only two lines of text due to the height of the screen, but it is better than nothing. Among the gadgets, the most practical one is actually a recorder. Originally, I expected that the control gadgets for music players and Galaxy Buds 2 would be the most commonly used, but what I didn’t expect is that because of the recent trials of the sound effects of real wireless headphones, the recorder that can be started directly on the external screen of Z Flip 3. But unexpectedly became the gadget with the highest attendance rate. Yes, Samsung mobile phones support Bluetooth headsets as the sound source of the recorder, which is quite convenient. The second most commonly used is the timer, which can be applied to cooking and exercising.

Inner screen

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 review

Eric Chan / Engadget

The screen of Z Flip 3 is 6.7-inch FHD+ with the same size as the previous generation, but the panel is upgraded to a Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel that supports 120Hz high-fluency display, and supports adaptive picture refresh rate changes. At first glance, the crease in the middle is obvious. This is the current major shortcoming of Samsung’s foldable screen technology, and it is also the reason why many people suspect contemporary folding screen mobile phones. Of course, the editor will not judge whether these people are simply talking about it, or they are not given a chance after research, but since Samsung is determined to make Z Flip 3 a folding screen mobile phone that can enter the mainstream market, this Crease is also a problem that needs to be faced and solved eventually.

To be honest, the editor didn’t care about the crease very much. During the evaluation, I was refreshing watching Netflix and playing games (well, it’s work needs). The viewing sensation is similar to that of the Xperia 1 III tested earlier, because both use ultra-long ratio screens, but Samsung’s panel is a relatively high 22:9, so the screen content will be larger.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 review

Eric Chan / Engadget

Another change that did not notice is the screen protector. Samsung emphasized that they used new materials this time to make this special foldable screen protector more durable. For the average person, this is also a bonus position. Because the screen protector is a kind of consumable, it may be replaced once a month or two because of the collapse (some people continue to use it even if it is broken enough to be unnecessary), but at least Samsung has found one that may highlight the Z Flip 3. More durable intimate selling point.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 review

Eric Chan / Engadget

Next, Samsung emphasizes the application of Flex mode on Z Flip 3, which means using the phone in half. It feels a bit like a dual-open app, but it adds more “three-dimensional” elements. In the past, on Z Flip, only a few designated apps could enjoy Flex mode, including camera, media browser, etc. However, this time Samsung has brought to the table the laboratory functions that were supposed to be early adopters, and encouraged all users to try out the experimental functions that they are still testing and have not yet officially launched.

Z Flip 3 Flex mode

The Flex mode for Z Flip 3 is that after the phone is folded 90 degrees, the long screen can be split in half, and the original app content is displayed in the upper half, and the lower half is the quick control tool of the mobile phone. If it is an optimized app, such as a media player, it will have its own trackpad and thumbnails (the first and second from the left in the figure above); but if it is not optimized, it will give a list of four fast Functions: notification center, screenshots, brightness and volume (the second from the right in the above picture); the media player app will have more play buttons (the first from the right in the above picture). In terms of use, there is no benefit for apps that are not optimized in Flex mode. Samsung’s purpose may be to collect user habits from actual usage scenarios and accelerate the expansion of the compatibility of Flex mode. .

camera

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 review

Eric Chan / Engadget

Since it is to enter the mainstream high-priced mobile phone market, the camera of the Z Flip 3 cannot be too inferior. In terms of specifications, the Z Flip 3 uses the same dual 12MP camera group as the previous generation, providing wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle shooting. But this time Samsung has added Super Clear Glass with Gorilla Glass with DX from Corning. As the name suggests, this is a glass material that can improve image clarity, but what is the way behind it?

The editor went to read Corning’s introduction, which showed that the Gorilla Glass with DX used in this camera is actually the outermost piece of glass, providing high protection and low reflectivity. In this way, there will be fewer scars on the surface of the mobile phone lens that will affect imaging, and it can also reduce the problems of “ghosting” and “halo” caused by light reflection. The latter is usually seen when people are directly taking pictures of light sources, such as light bulbs, sunsets, etc.

Actually picked up Flip 3 to take photos, the resulting image is very Samsung, with bright colors, high sharpness, and violent HDR can capture clear and high-light-difference landscapes in daylight. Low-light environments, such as the furnishings in a shopping mall, can be shot smoothly, and the white balance can also be handled well, without fear of complicated indoor lighting.

Of course, Flip 3 will continue to have various shooting modes that make good use of the half-folding mechanism and the internal and external screens. Because the practicality is already sufficient, it is okay for Samsung to not use other strange shooting functions. And because the display screen of the external screen has become larger, the experience of using the external screen + main camera to take pictures is much better than the previous generation.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 external screen selfie

Eric Chan / Engadget

Although the proportions of the outer screen, inner screen, and photo are different, after practicing, you can put the subject you want to shoot in the center of the photo. Here is a small step to share. Always remember that the viewfinder frame of the external screen is only about one-third of the middle of the photo. The upper and lower ends are obscured. The actual image will have a full height. Take selfies as an example. If you put your head in the viewfinder of the external screen, the selfie will be right in the middle (above). After you have the concept, you can adjust the angle by your own feelings.

Core specification, performance test

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 review

Eric Chan / Engadget

Z Flip 3 is still at the flagship mobile phone level anyway, so it is inevitable that it will be equipped with Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor, with 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage space. Speaking of Snapdragon 888, it is worth mentioning that although the fever of Z Flip 3 is certain, it feels not as high as the mobile phone reviewed before. Later, I remembered that the Z Flip 3 is technically divided into two sections, so the high temperature of the buried device is still there. Only the heat stays in the upper half and will not be transmitted to the lower half. It does not cause the “whole phone” to be damaged. Hot issue.

Let’s take a look at the performance test scores. In other words, Z Flip 3 is probably one of the relatively low-end S888 phones reviewed, because it only has 8GB of RAM, and the other is Xiaomi 11. Flip 3 got the following scores in each of the commonly used evaluation tools. It was found that RAM did not have much impact on the running scores. The scores were only a bit close to that of Xiaomi Mi 11, and they were all within the error range.

  • 3D Mark Wild Life Extreme: 1,413

  • PC Mark 3.0: 14,230

  • Geekbench 5: 1,027 (Single-Core); 3,456 (Multi-Core)

Seeing that the weight of the Z Flip 3 has not changed, keeping the same 183g as the previous generation, everyone may have guessed that the battery capacity is the same as 3,300mAh. For a light mobile phone, the weight and battery are in proportion, but can the endurance survive one day in the 5G era? Still need to charge more a day? With moderate use by the editor, such as surfing the website and watching videos, it is still okay for most of the day. However, if you run outside all day, you need to look at maps, take photos, etc., the power consumption will obviously increase, so everyone should prepare an extra external battery.

Summarize

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 review

Eric Chan / Engadget

At the end of the day, Samsung’s biggest selling point for the Galaxy Z Flip 3 has not actually been mentioned, and that is its price. The name of Z Flip 3 is to make folding mobile phones into the mainstream. In addition to meeting the requirements of general users, the price is more important. In China, the price of Z Flip 3 starts at 7,599 yuan, which is a price on par with other mainstream flagship phones. In this way, when the average consumer buys a mobile phone, Z Flip 3 can also enter everyone’s budget belt, not only the loyal fans who are willing to spend a lot of money to buy it.

Of course, if you compare the Z Flip 3 with flagship phones of other brands in the same price range, its feature is really a foldable screen. In terms of performance and camera, it may be compared. But to show off, folding the phone in half is really straightforward.

Compared with the previous work, the changes in Z Flip 3 are in durability and usability. In terms of system version number, it is from beta to GM, or even the official version. After all, it is a model for the public to buy, so Samsung will not make big moves at this time, but it is to improve the existing functions and experience, so the difference in direct comparison is not very big. After the actual use, the Z Flip 3 is indeed in this direction, giving users the confidence to spend real money to get this next-generation mobile phone that is not the same as the current mobile phone.

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