Anton D. Nagy contributed to this “Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 One Month Later: no longer the future?” post.
Alright, if we’re honest, no… You don’t need your phone to flip, just like you don’t “need” an electric car. Both gas and electric perform the same function with similar capabilities and a separate list of conveniences. Now, the reason I use the analogy is that right now the only reason most of us debate buying an electric car is their price difference. Like a foldable, an electric car is cool but has historically included a list of compromises for more money. So what would happen if you were offered a Model 3 for the same price as a Corolla? Would that change your perspective?
Ok, so what if there was a foldable that cost the same or less money than a regular flagship, and brought nearly zero compromises? Get where I’m going? This is the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3. The least expensive of the company’s new foldables, and yet the one I feel is the most important.
So, for the past decade, we’ve kind of seen history repeat itself. Phones are becoming larger as consumers demand larger screens for content consumption, and we have the iPhone 12 mini flop to prove it. In the 90s, phones were large simply because mobile technology was in its infancy. From briefcases to belt holsters, size was all over the place as a necessary evil.
This is why Motorola’s StarTAC was so revolutionary. It started the trend of “more” in less, as it wasn’t just compact, but you could flip it open when in use. The only reason it took almost a decade for the form factor to take off was that it was a crazy $1,000 in 1996, a seventeen hundred dollar equivalent in today’s money. Once technology caught on and the price dropped, flip phones became the standard by the early-to-mid 2000s. This is the reason why I feel the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is so important. Somehow Samsung managed to drop the price into flagship territory in just 3 generations, and fix the compromises in the process.
Now, like in the past, I think the most important premise is not that the phone can flip. I mean it can, but the reasons “why” are more important. As screens get larger, is a flat slab really the best form factor? Think about it: they require more resources. They need a stronger build so they don’t land on Zack’s shelf of shame. The result is a near tablet that’s thick, chunky, and heavy, which is hard to handle in one hand, and hard to carry in your pocket.
The Z Flip 3 addresses most of these issues by being a large phone when you need it, which then collapses in half when you don’t. Call it a gimmick all you want, but since it bends by design, rigidity is no longer a problem, allowing it to be thinner than most phones at just 6.9mm, and lighter at just 183 grams. It’s the reason why even when closed, it snugs in the bottom of your pocket without much bulk.
The second premise is that the Z Flip 3 pays homage to this category better than any other phone before it. I hate how the flip phone eventually dived so low into the cheap food chain. Maybe it’s the reason I like this phone in cream so much, it reminds me of my old Motorola V60i.
The matte borders in a near gold, plus the extension of this finish to the hinge, the glossy top, and bottom, the symmetrical cover display, like seriously, props to these designers cause this is the best looking phone of the year on my book. Place it on a table, and get ready to turn some heads just like the old days.
The only problem with this design is that there is no phone more slippery than this one. So far it’s fallen twice onto the tile, but the improvements in durability are clear. I have zero dents or scratches, which prove the Gorilla Glass Victus and the new Armor aluminum do walk the talk. Samsung even addressed the biggest pain point in making this phone IPX8 water-resistant for added peace of mind, but the X means no dust, so no Spartan Races either.
The cover screen also grew up from gimmick to useful. Give it all the style you want in the main face. Swipe left for notifications. Swipe right for widgets. Sadly you can’t really interact with alerts as many would want, but flipping this phone open with a quick gesture is far easier now than before. The hinge was clearly improved to help you open the phone with one hand, all while not affecting its flex mode if you want to prop the phone on a table.
Inside we have a near borderless 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED display that now brings major flagship improvements. Variable refresh rate is now here at up to 120Hz. Brightness is no longer a problem at 1,200 nits and you get the typical HDR10+ certification. Sadly it still doesn’t play well with polarized lenses, which somehow doesn’t affect the Z Fold 3. The Ultra-Thin Glass is now stronger, and heck even the screen protector has gotten so good at deterring fingerprints, it’s the first time I don’t remove it from a phone. Yes, there’s no way around the crease, but after a few days of use it never really bothered me. Best of all, we finally get dual firing speakers for enhanced content consumption.
The experience using OneUI 3 on top of Android 11 has proven to be mostly good. You kind of need it if you want to take full advantage of this form factor anyways. It’s the little things like having the side-mounted fingerprint scanner help you swipe down for the notification tray. Apps like YouTube supporting Flex Mode for you to watch a video as you multi-task with another app below. The fact that OneUI remembers these pairs for easy access as I switch between apps.
The Google Feed on the left of the launcher is an option to Samsung Free. Really the only thing I wish Samsung removed was the excessive animations by default. I mean you look at the spec sheet and the chip, the RAM and storage are all more than enough, and yet the UI sometimes doesn’t honor the horsepower or added refresh rate. (Check reviewers guide for any other software tricks)
During my month of testing, the upgrade to all versions of 5G proved to be great. I spent most of my time on AT&T’s 5G in New York City, and that handled itself pretty well. Phone calls were great, and even as I traveled abroad, my switch between countries on Google Fi remained seamless. I did hear complaints about this phone’s endurance, but it’s another reason I didn’t wanna rush this review. At first, it wasn’t great, but over time I have been able to end my days just fine. Not sure if the software updates I’ve received took care of that.
As for photography, this phone is an interesting animal. To keep it compact, it lacks the telephoto lens most flagships bring, and the primary sensor is slightly smaller than say a Galaxy S21. It does compensate with some unique tricks, like using flex mode to prop the phone on a surface for a shot, which is pretty useful. You can even take selfies with the outer screen and the primary camera for better quality, so long as you’re ok with squared results.
As for performance, honestly, I wasn’t expecting this phone to be this good. Even with a smaller sensor, the separation and shallow depth of field this phone provides are just too good. Clearly, Samsung’s processing has gotten a major boost because colors are not overdone. Switch to the ultrawide and distortion is almost inexistent, but the interesting thing is that even if you punch into a digital 2X I’d say most of these photos are good enough for social media.
Even selfies and portraits show some pretty good work in not overdoing skin tones creating separation that’s good enough to not blow out the background.
Switch to night mode and notice the sky is fully portrayed regardless of whatever focal length you choose. Sure the phone takes a bit to finalize the shot, but I find enough detail all over to continue being impressed.
And it’s the same case for video. We have 4K at 60 capabilities from all cameras with easy ways to switch. Dynamic range is preserved regardless of how you move. Stabilization is handled well even without the super steady mode. Ok, can I just say that just because this phone has one less camera than others, you can’t ignore the fact that results are worthy of calling this a flagship? I am seriously very impressed.
To conclude, yes, you don’t need a flip phone, just like you don’t need a smartwatch, or a tablet, or a flagship. If we were to base our buying habits on needs then a lot of products wouldn’t exist. The question is if the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is better than a regular flagship, and I think in many ways, it is, and in others, it’s just as good.
It nails the cool factor that every single product in this price range should have. It becomes a flagship when you need it, and then collapses when you don’t. Even the idea of collapsing this phone for you not to shatter the primary screen in regular use is also a value proposition. For all the above, the Galaxy Z Flip3 is our Editor’s Choice for best affordable foldable smartphone.
Match all that with cameras that are just as good or even better than most flagships in the market, and I think you know where I’m going.
I’m not saying it’s the perfect phone, but after a month of use, I seriously think you should give it a try. Sure, I’d love for it to have a telephoto to punch in further, and even S Pen support, but the most important essentials are all here. It seriously can’t be that flagships today are so boring that the only differentiating factor is a slightly better set of cameras. It’s as if most phones today look like the marching workers in the 1984 ad, and Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 3 is the new girl coming to break the establishment. To all that I say Bravo Samsung.
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Best deals today: Razer Blade 14, OnePlus 10 Pro, Samsung smart TVs, and more
Razer Blade 14
We’ve seen tons of amazing deals today after the announcement of Samsung’s new foldable devices, but deals don’t stop there as we have also spotted some interesting deals at Amazon, Adorama, and Best Buy, where you will find the Razer Blade 14 Gaming Laptop receiving a 16 percent discount. This model comes with an AMD Ryzen 9 processor, 16GB RAM, and 1TB SSD storage, but the latest savings will let you take one home for just $2,956, which means $544 savings for anyone interested in picking one up.
The Razer Blade 14 Gaming Laptop will deliver an outstanding gaming experience thanks to its 14-inch QHD display, which will reach 165Hz refresh rates, and a potent NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti graphics card that will help you run most games with great details.
Other gaming deals feature the Logitech G PRO X SUPERLIGHT Wireless Gaming Mouse, which now sells for $120 after scoring a $40 discount. In addition, you can enjoy your new gaming setup on a Convenience Concepts Designs2Go Trestle Desk that now sells for just $115.
Razer Blade 14
The Razer Blade 14 is an amazing portable gaming laptop that comes powered by an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX processor, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 graphics, and a 14-inch QHD+ display.
OnePlus 10 Pro
Next up, we have the OnePlus 10 Pro, which sells for just 850 after picking up a 12 percent discount at Amazon.com. This device usually sells for $970, which means that you can get this model with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, 12GB RAM, 256GB storage, and other cool features and still get to score $120 savings. And you can also purchase the less powerful OnePlus 10 Pro, which comes with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage space, for $779 after seeing an 86 discount.
Either way, you would receive an amazing smartphone, as both options are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor. They also share the same 5,000mAh battery, 65W SuperVOOC Charging, and a 6.7-inch 120Hz refresh rate display with LTPO 2.0 technology, so yeah, now you only have to choose whether you want your new phone in Emerald Forest or Volcanic Black.
OnePlus 10 Pro
OnePlus 10 Pro ships with a 6.7-inch QHD+ display that uses a 2nd generation LTPO panel. It also features the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and aims to deliver a unique camera experience with a 150-degree Ultrawide camera and implementations from the second year of the Hasselblad partnership.
Samsung Q80B QLED 4K Smart TV
You can also score some cool savings on the Samsung Q80B QLED 4K Smart TV that now sells for just $1,199.99 after a very compelling $300 discount on its 65-inch model. Samsung’s 65-inch Q80B QLED 4K Smart TV usually sells for $1,500, but you will only see these prices and savings when you add the product to your cart.
Samsung’s Q80B QLED 4K Smart TV will deliver dazzling details from bold contrast with this QLED 4K, deep blacks and pure whites from the precise backlighting of Direct Full Array, and its Quantum HDR 8X tech will automatically upscale your favorite content to deliver a jaw-dropping media experience.
Of course, you can also opt for more affordable options, such as Samsung’s 43-inch Class QLED 4K Q60B Series Dual LED Quantum HDR Smart TV that now sells for $478 after getting a $70 discount. Or go all out for the Samsung 85-inch Class Neo QLED 8K QN800B Series Mini LED Smart TV that sells for $5,298 after receiving an 18 percent discount that represents a whopping $1,200 savings.
Samsung Q80B QLED 4K Smart TV
Buy a new Samsung Class QLED Q80B Series and receive amazing image quality, a quantum processor Lite with 4K content upscaling, dual-LED technology to receive real-life colors, and more.
Microsoft Xbox Series S
We have more exciting deals for gamers out there, as you can now purchase s new Microsoft Xbox Series S for just $250 over at Adorama. This deal will get you $50 savings when you add this product to your cart. This will get you a new Xbox Series S gaming console with Xbox velocity architecture, support for 120fps gaming, Dolby Vision and Dolby True HD with Atmos, 10GB RAM, 512GB storage space, and other great features.
However, you can also opt to get your new gaming console from Amazon, where it now sells for $290 after receiving a $10 price cut. And if you already have an Xbox gaming console, you can also get an additional Xbox Core Wireless Controller for just $50 after seeing an 18 percent discount. Or get your hands on the Hyperkin Hyperkin Duke Wired Controller for Xbox Series X|S Xbox 20th Anniversary Limited Edition that sells for $59 after receiving a 35 percent discount.
Xbox Series S
The Xbox Series S is one of the best gaming consoles available today. It packs 10GB RAM, 512GB storage, a custom CPU/GPU, and other great features to have you playing your favorite games.
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
Finally, you can score some killer savings on the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 that now go for just $299 after the latest $80 discount that represents 21 percent savings. These wireless headphones come in two color options: Triple Black and Silver Luxe. They will provide powerful noise cancelation with 11 levels of ANC, crisp and clear details, deep bass, and up to 20 hours of non-stop music playback.
However, you can also listen to your favorite music on the second-generation Echo Show 5, which now sells for $40 after an insane $45 discount. This may not be the best smart display for those who have a little trouble seeing things, but at least it will work perfectly as a digital frame that lets you control your smart home devices and listen to your favorite music.
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 are some of the best wireless headphones on the market. They include eleven levels of active noise canceling to hear your favorite tunes without distractions, 20-hour battery life, and other great features.
Get your new Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 for less right now
Samsung has announced tons of new products; the best part is that they are already available for purchase. Of course, there are many ways for you to get your hands on a new Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, Galaxy Z Flip 4, Galaxy Watch 5, Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, or a new pair of Galaxy Buds2 Pro, but we have found better alternatives that will help you get incredible savings.
Indeed, you may have already scored up to $200 savings directly from Samsung.com, where you could reserve a new Samsung Galaxy smartphone, a new smartwatch, or earbuds, but we have found even more options to consider.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
The latest Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 comes with the most powerful Qualcomm SoC, a wider display, a better hinge mechanism, and many significant upgrades over its predecessor.
For instance, you can head over to Verizon.com, where you will find that you can buy a new Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 in your choice of Bora Purple, Graphite, Pink Gold, or Blue, starting at just $27.77/mo for 36 months when you purchase your new foldable on Verizon Device Payment.
If you want Samsung’s most potent and largest foldable, then you should know that you can get the Galaxy Z Fold 4 for just $49.99/mo for the same period of time with Verizon’s Device Payment. You just have to choose your favorite color option among Verizon’s three options: Greygreen, Phantom Black, and Beige.
Suppose you’re interested in the latest version of Samsung’s smartwatch. In that case, you can get the more affordable Galaxy Watch 5 starting at $9.16/mo for 36 months. Or get the higher-end Galaxy Watch 5 Pro for $13.88/mo in a 36-month installment plan. And check out the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, which are now available for $230.
Of course, savings don’t stop there, as you will also get the chance to save up to $800 off both new foldable phones with a select trade-in on a qualified 5G Unlimited plan. These savings will be applied to your bill every month for up to 36 months, and the best part is that if you switch from another carrier, you also get a $200 Verizon eCard. To make things even more interesting, Verizon will also upgrade your storage tier when you preorder your new 128GB Galaxy Z Flip4 or 256GB Galaxy Z Fold4.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
The latest Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 comes with the most powerful Qualcomm SoC, a better hinge mechanism, and a 1.9-inch Super AMOLED cover display.
Things can get a bit more interesting at AT&T, where you can now preorder the new Samsung Galaxy Z series and score insane savings. For instance, all customers can get a new Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 absolutely free when you trade in a Galaxy phone from any year and in any condition. In addition, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is getting a similar treatment, as you will be able to receive $1,000 trade-in savings when you trade in any Galaxy smartphone.
You can preorder your new foldable until August 25, so you have more than enough time to decide whether or not to take advantage of this deal. And to make things better, you would also get a free memory upgrade and a Samsung case to keep your new phone safe from accidents.
Finally, you will also be able to save on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 or the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, as preordering these models starting at $329.99 and $499.99 will get you a second one for up to $430 off, meaning that your second smartwatch would be yours free of charge.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 features iterative changes that improve the package sold previously. If you’re looking for an affordable WearOS-based smartwatch, this is the best option to consider. It comes with improved battery life and faster-charging capabilities.
Magenta is also getting in on the action, and it now allows you to get a new Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, Galaxy Z Flip 4, and the Galaxy S22 in Bora Purple. However, the most interesting part comes with the deals, as you will also be able to receive up to $1,000 savings with any of Samsung’s latest foldables. This means that you can get a new Galaxy Z Flip 4 with 24 monthly bill credits by trading in an eligible phone or when you add a new line on Magenta Max or get a new Galaxy Z Fold 4 for less.
Another interesting alternative will let you get half off the Galaxy Z Flip 4 or up to $500 off the Galaxy Z Fold 4 with 24 monthly bill credits when trading in one of your current devices or when you add a new line to most plans on T-Mobile. Customers will also receive a free memory upgrade when they pre-order their new foldable phones and a phone case free of charge.
If you’re more interested in a new Galaxy Watch 5, you will be able to score $99 savings by adding a new watch line or get a fantastic BOGO deal on the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro that will get you a second smartwatch when you add a new watch line.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro comes with a host of new features and a design that’s geared to the rugged lifestyle and is worth considering for your outdoor activities.
Of course, Samsung isn’t going to stay behind, as it also offers insane savings and trade-in discounts on almost every new product announced.
First up, we have the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, which can now be yours for just $99 after an eligible trade-in, as you will be able to receive up to $900 trade-in savings with one of your current devices, and the best part is that you will receive a Silicone Ring Case or Strap Case with your purchase. In addition, the larger Galaxy Z Fold 4 will receive up to $1,000 savings with an eligible trade-in, a Standing liCover with Pen case, and $100 Samsung Credit. And yes, you will also receive a free storage upgrade.
The new Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 series will come with a free Charger Duo and up to $75 Samsung Credit with eligible smartwatch trade-in. And if you go Pro, you will also receive a free Charger Duo, but you will receive $125 Samsung Credit with your trade-in.
Finally, users who want to pick up a pair of new Buds 2 Pro will receive a free wireless charger and up to a $50 Samsung Credit for trading in select previous Galaxy Buds models.
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
Samsung’s new Galaxy Buds 2 Pro features outstanding Intelligent Active Noise Cancelation to quiet even the loudest sounds around you, delivering an incredible studio quality experience, an IPX7 rating, and other great features.
Amazon and Best Buy
Amazon isn’t going to take long to start giving us incredible deals on the recently announced Samsung products, but unfortunately, we will have to wait a bit longer. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, Z Flip 4, Galaxy Watch 5, and more are already available for preorder but without visible savings.
Finally, you can get your new smartphone, smartwatch, or earbuds at Best Buy, but you would receive the same deals you’d get with your preferred carrier, but you are still free to check them out.
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