Is the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 a sign that the halcyon days of flip phones are back?
As with all pioneering technology, when Samsung released the foldable smartphone Galaxy Z Flip, critics were questioning whether the technology was really ready for use. Today, the 3rd generation of the Samsung Z Flip debuts to great aplomb and close to three years of consumer usage (counting from 2019’s Fold), giving Samsung a wealth of consumer feedback which sees thoughtful consideration of the user experience through both software and hardware implementations in their latest Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G.
As multitasking will look to be a core selling point for foldable phones, it is imperative that the execution be simplified and intuitive. – Christopher Dodge, Associate Director, UXIP
Back in 2019, a report from the User Experience Strategies group at Strategy Analytics found that the perceived value of the foldable form did not outweigh the added cost. That while the idea of idea of having a larger-displayed smartphone in a portable size is perceived as valuable to the vast majority of consumers in key markets, costs and the natural inclination to use smartphones one-handed gave the pioneering smartphone innovator lots of challenges in terms of architecture and user experience. The Samsung Z Flip 3 5G addresses many of the initial user adoption issues and demonstrating the fullest potential for a foldable device.
Everything to know about the all-new Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 –
Samsung Z Flip 3: Potentiality and Purpose meet
Digital experiences are now a daily reality and with the Galaxy Z Flip 3, Samsung has opened up new possibilities that put the user at the heart of that experience: Think of it as your life enhanced. While the smartphone was a remarkable piece of consumer technology that has enriched our lives for the past 20 years, the chocolate-bar form factor has remained relatively unchanged. With the Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G, the tech pioneer collaborated with Google and Microsoft to create a truly comprehensive and complementary app eco-system to fully utilise the potential of this nascent form factor.
By re-imagining the smartphone experience, Samsung flips the status quo by re-orienting its research and development to addressing the most pressing concerns in the foldable smartphone genre. With the Z Flip 3, Samsung included greatly improved water resistance, S Pen Support and a lighter, slimmer, form factor.
The multitasking experience was also further improved by working with app partners properly develop applications which take maximum advantage of the foldable screen format rather than by simply “adapting” to the larger screen. By thoughtfully making use of expandable screen real estate, the Samsung Z Flip 3 5G has finally begun to solve some of the adoption pain points experienced by early adopters of the technology.
Premium craftsmanship and durability
The most advanced foldable yet, the new Z Flip 3 is built with an iconic design based on consumer feedback: the new Z Flip features a larger, upgraded Cover Screen with more functionality than the predecessor model. This is a new interpretation of a habit we have come to acquire after two decades of bar-form smartphone use – the “at a glance” reading of notifications and messages. Camera optics have also been improved, utilising both the utility of how it folds and the newly improved Cover Screen to give you additional options when it comes to taking selfies or exploring those new difficult to capture camera angles.
Improved IPX8 Water Resistance, a first for foldable phones is one of the simple but crucial ways that Samsung has updated the new Z Flip 3 5G. Most modern smartphones are IPX4 rated. That is to say, it is resistant to water splashes from any direction; an IPX8 rating makes the latest Z Flip 3 best in its class by being able to resist submersion in watery depths of over a 1 meter. While IPX4 is sufficient for listening to a podcast or watching a v-log on YouTube while washing your hands, the Z Flip 3’s IPX8 water resistance means you literally have the option of having the foldable phone with you in the shower. While it’s not the healthiest habit to have, the option of being able to unwind to Netflix without having to worry about having your phone plunging to its demise in the bathtub is a source of great comfort.
Furthermore, this top notch craftsmanship is matched by material advances. The new Samsung Z Flip 3 features Gorilla Glass Victus, a screen 50% stronger than Gorilla Glass 6 used in the original. First used on the Galaxy Note 20, Gorilla Glass Victus was able to achieve a drop performance up to 2 meters on hard surfaces comparative to competing Aluminosilicate glass used in competition models which usually fail when dropped from less than 0.8 meters. This durability translates into another practical daily use consideration: scratches. According to glass supplier Corning, Victus is two times more scratch resistant than its predecessor and up to four times more scratch-resistant than its competitors.
Backed by another major improvement, a new protective film on the main screens makes it 80% more durable than the previous Z Fold 2 and Z Flip, allowing the foldable to retain its pristine condition for much longer. With these updates, Samsung has essentially solved early criticism that older Flip models were magnets for scratches.
The other bane of “mostly glass” smartphone ownership? That inevitable drop to the floor. Victus screens allow the Z Flip 3 to benefit from 25 per cent increased impact resistance over its competitors, giving some protection against accidental drops. Matched with a metal frame and hinge (the area that will experience the most daily wear from usage), the new material dubbed “Armour Aluminium” is also 10 per cent stronger than the alloy used in the predecessor Z Flip: a nigh miracle considering that the Z Flip 3 5G is 2mm thinner than previous generation.
Foldable phone and a Fashion Statement
With the updated Z Flip 3, Samsung enhanced the iconic design to be fun yet compact. Paired with ring grips or strap-type accessory, the new Z Flip 3 makes easy work of creative selfies. A fashion statement as well, the Z Flip 3 is easily personalised with colour choices in Cream, Phantom Black, Green and Lavender. Exclusive to Samsung.com, further options for White, Pink and Grey are also available. Matched with a brand new collection of cover options and fashionable straps, we foresee style to be an equal partner in practical functionality.
Slimmer and more “pocketable”, Samsung has also made the Z Flip 3 more compact, shaving off precious millimetres for the tight jean-wearing trendsetter without sacrificing screen size. When unfolded, the Z Flip 3 reveals 6.7 inches of Infinity Flex Display with 120Hz screen refresh rate for optimal media consumption. Functionality has not been compromised over lifestyle, the Z Flip 3 5G’s redesigned cover screen makes it easier to do more with quick settings, notifications, widgets and that all important Samsung Pay access delivered across a 1.9 inch Cover Screen that is 4 times larger than the previous Z Flip. No longer just for at a glance reading of notifications and messaging, eight currently available widgets allow you check out daily weather reports and monitor your step count among the few lifestyle enhancing features.
Game Face On: Improved Camera Optics
Protected by Super Clear Gorilla Glass with DX, Rear Camera functionality comes by way of a pair of wide 12 MP Dual Pixel F1.8 and Ultra Wide 12 mp F2.2 lenses delivering superior imaging functionality and selfies on the go without unfolding the device. You might be wondering whether there’s still a need for a 10mp Front Camera since you can now take selfies with a full feature rear camera – well, in the age of Zoom meetings and video chat, this camera is more than sufficient for your virtual face to face engagements.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3: Price
At launch the Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G will retail for US$999 (RM4,230).
Do expect a continuing collaboration with Thom Browne and a full review once we get our hands on the Z Flip 3 and the Z Fold 3.
This article first appeared on Augustman Singapore.