Galaxy Z Flip 3 ongoing test: let’s talk about this title screen

Samsung Z Flip 3 and Samsung Z Fold 3

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 (in black) and Galaxy Z Flip 3 are Samsung’s newest versions of foldable phones.

Sarah Tew / CNET

When Samsung announced the Galaxy Z Flip 3 next to the new Galaxy Z Fold 3, I was most eager to try out the new Flip. That Original 2020 Z Flip is my favorite Android phone between ratings. As much as I’m enjoying the first edition of the Samsung clamshell phone, there are a number of things that annoy me. Samsung says it has improved and fixed many of the flaws that the original Flip had. And if that’s the case, I’m very happy. As I enter my third day of testing the phone, the initial “this is shiny and new” glare starts to wear off. Nonetheless, I’m still very much into it. I’m working on a final in-depth review, but for now, here is my ongoing journal of living with the Galaxy Z Flip 3.

By bringing the price down to $ 1,000, offering the new Flip in seven colors, and selling brightly colored cases that make it look like a toy, Samsung set up the Galaxy Z Flip 3 as the first foldable phone that many People will consider buying. I can almost hear Samsung at its best Frank Costanza Festivus voice Explain, “A foldable one for the rest of us.” Admittedly, that doesn’t rhyme as well as it does with Seinfeld.

In order for it to be widely used, Samsung needs to deliver these Z Flip 3 improvements. People need to see that they can use it and rely on it, just like they do with their current phone – which means the Z Flip 3 can’t make people interfere with their daily phone routines.

The Galaxy Z Flip 3 feels more uniform, like a normal phone

Samsung has made a number of improvements to the case, hinge, and screen of the Galaxy Z Flip 3. The case and hinge are made from a material Samsung Armor calls aluminum, which is tougher and more durable so it’s less likely to get damaged or scratched. The material is reinforced with other metals, similar to what happens when rebar is used to reinforce concrete for construction.

I can really feel the extra strength that Armor Aluminum adds to the phone. This makes the entire device feel like a single piece – while with the original Flip or even the Motorola Razr folding phone, I know the individual parts that make up the device. The Z Flip 3 lacks this feeling. It feels like a regular phone that is randomly folded in half.

The Z Flip 3 is roughly the same size and weight as the Z Flip 5G. But it feels different when I hold it. It’s wonderful in my hand. I am confident that I can treat it like any other phone that I test and review. By and large, the small changes Samsung made feel less like an experiment or a prototype on the Z Flip 3.

The screen still has a soft crease in the middle, and I don’t really care about that. It’s not distracting. It doesn’t stop me from using the phone in any way. When I interact with the center of the screen I notice it, but it’s not because it feels weak or like a bug. I have friends and colleagues who suggest that no one will ever buy it until there is no crease. My personal iPhone 12 Mini has a large black notch that eats into the display. That bothers me a lot more than the kink on the Z Flip 3.

The Z Flip 3’s screen has a new protective film that is smoother to the touch than the previous flip phones. It’s still not like using a phone with a glass screen, but it feels similar to a phone with a glass screen with a plastic protector on it.

The display has an adaptive refresh rate of 120 Hz, which is very nice so far.


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The Z Flip 3 has a much larger cover display

Perhaps the most unusual feature of the original Flip was its tiny, pill-shaped cover screen. It has a nice minimalist quality to it. And if you just wanted to see the time or the percentage of battery life, it was fine. But otherwise it was absolutely worthless. It couldn’t display entire messages, only the first part of it. So when a friend sends you a message, the cover display says, “Help! You have to come by immediately … “which is very different from” Help! You have to come by immediately, there is pizza in the break room. “

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On the left is the original Galaxy Flip. And on the right the new Galaxy Z Flip 3.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Fortunately, the Z Flip 3 gets a cover four times the size of the original. It can display up to four lines of text at a time. You can scroll through notifications. Samsung even added cover-screen widgets for the weather, alarm clock, a timer, music controls, your daily step count, and your schedule.

It’s such an improvement. The Z Flip 3’s cover screen is closer to the Motorola Razr’s Quick View display than the original Flip’s screen. However, it’s still limited. For example, I can view entire notifications, but still have to open the Z Flip 3 to interact or respond to a notification. On the Razr, I can do this without opening the phone.

When you double-tap the cover photo, you greet animated animals. It’s an unexpected and stupid joy. Technically, they phone appropriately similar animals as on the new Galaxy Watch 4. The animals don’t do anything other than jump up and down. That makes me happy.

I’ve only been trying out the Galaxy Z Flip 3 for a few days and my full impressions will be posted in a future review.

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