BEAUTY IN THE FRIDGE

What real people would care about when comparing the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 and Z Flip3

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When Samsung releases two foldable phones at a time, what is one to do but compare them? Though the Galaxy Z Flip3 and Galaxy Z Fold3 share the same concept, both execute them in slightly different ways.

In this article, we’ll be checking out exactly how different (or similar) these phones may be when it comes to real-life usage.

Aesthetics

Starting from the outside, we have the phone colours, finish, and cover displays to compare. Both phones boast a premium matte finish, which makes them nice to look at and hold.

The Phantom Black Flip3 and Phantom Silver Fold3

In terms of colours, both phones come in the timeless Phantom Black, and while the Fold3 offers more muted variants like Phantom Silver and Phantom Green, the Flip3 is available in brighter options like Cream, Green, and Lavender.

But colours and finishes alone don’t make up the full aesthetics of the phones, as one thing that makes these phones stand out from flagships in the market is the cover display.

The Flip3’s cover display is a lot smaller at 1.9 inches with 260x512px, though it’s an upgrade from the Flip2’s 1.1-inch cover display.

On the other hand, the Fold3’s cover display is a much larger 6.2-inch one, similar to that of the S21’s, albeit a lot narrower width-wise.

Very big differences in cover displays

Due to the size difference, it’s clear that the Fold3’s offers more functionality, yet it doesn’t exactly mimic the experience of using a regular phone. Just expect everything to look a lot more “squished”, for lack of a better word.

FeatureZ Flip3Z Fold3
Bolder coloursYesNo
Cover display functionalityMinimal, you only get:
– Quick settings
– Check notifications
– Widget control
– Quick shot (selfie-taking with the main cameras, without unfolding the phone)
Similar to operating a regular phone, plus it functions as a larger display to get the perfect selfie pose with the main cameras (when the phone is unfolded)

Main display

Both the Flip3 and Fold3 have the same main display, which is a Foldable Dynamic AMOLED 2X one with an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate.

A gorgeous display on both phones

It goes without saying that these allow for a beautiful display, making it great for work or play. They share the same Snapdragon 888 processor too, and perform well when running multiple apps in the background or a demanding game like Genshin Impact.

The Fold3 has a slightly bigger battery, 4400mAh compared to the Flip3’s 3300mAh, but both do not have great battery life. With regular use, expect to run out of juice close to the end of the day, or even earlier if you’ve been using your phone for entertainment.

Tweaking several settings like power-saving mode and turning off the adaptive 120Hz refresh rate can extend your phone battery’s daily lifespan.

FeatureZ Flip3Z Fold3
Main displaySameSame
ProcessorSameSame
Battery3300mAh, but won’t last as long as regular flagships4400mAh, but won’t last as long as regular flagships

Cameras

One thing to get out of the way before we even go into details is that if great camera quality on phones matters to you, you’re not going to be satisfied with what the Flip3 and Fold3 have to offer.

A more seamless main camera housing on both phones

The Flip3’s 12MP main cameras are unchanged from the old Flip, immediately putting it behind the standards of flagship phone cameras.

Despite that, those who aren’t too particular about having top-of-the-line camera specs will still find the Flip3’s cameras more than usable.

Its 10MP selfie camera is alright, but you may prefer taking selfies with the clearer main cameras instead, using the cover display to perfect your pose.

Onto the Fold3—some have said that its 5 cameras are overkill and, in a way, I’m inclined to agree with them, especially when none of them performs on par with flagship ones either.

It’s got a 10MP cover display selfie camera, which brings about the same quality as the Flip3’s. Once you unfold the phone, you’ll see Samsung’s first attempt at an under-display camera (UDC).

Safe to say, there are improvements begging to be made. Not only is it a feeble 4MP one, but it doesn’t even camouflage itself too well, especially with lighter backgrounds.

That being said, I’m holding out hope that Samsung will soon improve its UDC tech and introduce something better next year, whether in another foldable or its flagship phones.

With regards to its 3 main 12MP cameras, they suffer the same fate as the Flip3’s by being below flagship standards, but are on par when compared to each other (save for the Fold3’s additional telephoto lens).

Selfie time with the main camera, checking ourselves out with the cover display
FeatureZ Flip3Z Fold3
Cover display cameraNone10MP, fairly standard
Main display camera10MP, fairly standard4MP UDC, poorer quality pictures
Main cameras12MP, minute details in pictures aren’t super clear12MP, minute details in pictures aren’t super clear

Foldability

The main stand-out feature of these phones is of course their foldability. The Flip3 and Fold3 fold in rather different ways; the former closes into a small clamshell shape, while the latter goes from mini-tablet to almost regular phone size.

However, because of this foldability, they both end up rather bulky. The Flip3’s clamshell shape makes up for the bulkiness though, as it’s still able to fit in most pockets securely.

Don’t hold out hope for the Fold3 doing the same. (Note: it also weighs a hefty 271g, compared to the Flip3’s 183g.)

A mini-tablet experience VS a foldable regular phone one

As for the smoothness of their foldability, the Flip3 does feel a little sleeker when opening and closing it, but I’m not sure if it’s actually due to differences in their hinges.

What makes the Fold3 harder to fold and unfold is its mini-tablet size too, which makes it awkward to fumble around with at times. But either way, both phones aren’t easy to open with only one hand, and it’s best to use two if you don’t want to risk damaging the flexible screens.

When it comes to picture-taking, the Fold3 and Flip3 are able to “stand” on their own and act as a tripod of sorts so you can snap a picture hands-free.

They give you slightly more flexibility than what you’d get from a regular smartphone, but you’re still better off using an actual tripod if you want true freedom.

The screen crease is equally noticeable on both, but do not impede usage. One thing that you will have to get used to with these phones though is how most (if not all) YouTube videos played in full screen will have black bars on their sides, if that’s something that annoys you.

One advantage that the Fold3’s larger screen does offer is the ability to open up to 3 different windows at once for multitasking. When testing, all 3 open windows would run without a hitch. Meanwhile, the Flip3 affords you 2 different windows.

FeatureZ Flip3Z Fold3
PortabilityGoodLimited
Open one-handedNoNo
Hinge smoothnessVery goodGood
Hands-free photographyLimited flexibilityLimited flexibility
Multi-window tasking2 windows3 windows

Verdict

It’s hard to compare the Flip3 and Fold3 in an objective “which one is better for me?” way because both have their individual appeal to different users.

They both serve slightly different functions, and you could conclude that the Flip3 provides you with a regular phone experience enhanced by its foldability.

The Fold3 is more of a mini-tablet which gives it an added productivity theme, especially considering that it’s now S Pen-compatible, albeit only with the S Pen Fold edition and S Pen Pro.

If you’re not keen on going too far outside your comfort zone when it comes to smartphones, then you’ll have fewer issues with the Flip3. That’s not to say that the Fold3 is only for early adopters though, but it’s definitely more of a still-novel experience that not many may readily like.

At the end of the day, they’re decisions best made by first getting a feel of the phones, whether through someone who has them or at the store, particularly when you consider the price tags: RM3,999 for the Flip3, and RM6,699 for the Fold3.

  • Read our full reviews of the Z Flip3 here, and the Z Fold3 here.
  • Learn more about the Z Flip3 here, and the Z Fold3 here.

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