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Samsung Z Flip 3 Long Term Review

Samsung recently launched the all new Z Flip 4 on Aug. 10, 2022. just under a year of the Z Flip 3 launch (Aug. 27, 2021). You may be wondering why would you care about the 3rd get model when the new one was just released.

This is a new era for smart phones and portable devices. Many years ago, we wouldn't have even fathomed a full touch screen device being able to fold into a tiny gadget. While I haven't purchased the newest Z Flip 4, I did pick up the 3rd gen device last year. It was the first time the flip version of Samsung's foldable line-up of phones seemed actually usable as a daily device as to our current smartphone standards.

The Samsung Z Flip 3 5G came with the following spec list:

  • Body: 166.0x72.2x6.9mm, 183g; Plastic front, glass back (Gorilla Glass Victus), aluminum frame; IPX8 water resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 mins).

  • Display: 6.70" Foldable Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1200 nits (peak), 1080x2640px resolution, 22:9 aspect ratio, 426ppi; Cover display:, Super AMOLED, 1.9 inches, 260 x 512 pixels.

  • Chipset: Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 5G (5 nm): Octa-core (1x2.84 GHz Kryo 680 & 3x2.42 GHz Kryo 680 & 4x1.80 GHz Kryo 680); Adreno 660.

  • Memory: 128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM; UFS 3.1.

  • OS/Software: Android 11, One UI 3.1.

  • Rear camera: Wide (main): 12 MP, f/1.8, 27mm, 1/2.55", 1.4µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS; Ultra wide angle: 12 MP, f/2.2, 123˚, 1.12µm.

  • Front camera: 10 MP, f/2.4, 26mm (wide), 1.22µm.

  • Video capture: Rear camera: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@60/240fps, 720p@960fps, HDR10+; Front camera: 4K@30fps.

  • Battery: 3300mAh; Fast charging 15W, Fast wireless charging 10W, Reverse wireless charging 4.5W.

  • Misc: Fingerprint reader (side-mounted); NFC; Samsung Pay (Visa, MasterCard certified).

As you can tell, the Z Flip 3 5G is a very capable device! There is no need to make excuses for it either. I mean, since my last flip phone - the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G is worlds apart. So, what are my thoughts?

I daily drove the Z Flip 3 for 10 months. Coming from the S21, I wasn't giving up much except for Samsung Dex and some battery life. However, that may not be the case for everyone. See, I am extra. I make it a goal to use every quirk and feature of every device I have. Let's be honest though, Samsung Dex is one of those features no one even knows about - and if they do, they don't use it simply because, they have a laptop, desktop, or tablet already. In my limited circle of family and friends that have a Samsung device, I find no one really uses Samsung Dex.

Before we get into battery life, I will make a notable point - the Samsung Z Flip 3 does not have a 3rd camera lens. The S20, S21, S22, even the Fold 3 all have a three camera set up. One main lens, one ultra wide lens, and one telephoto lens. The telephoto lens is missing on the Z Flip 3! While I'm sure this was to put as much splitting battery performance they could fit in a flip phone that can fit into your breast pocket, I won't give Samsung much grief on it. I like to take photos like any other average smartphone user. I'll take pictures of friends and family, my dog, or maybe a nice mountain shot during a hike. In this world of instantaneous photography, I find it rare to need to actually zoom in on the subject of my photo, honestly. Many of my readers know I have an eye condition, Keratoconus, which causes most of my near sightedness. I really only use extreme zoom to read the menu at the drive-thru.

That just leaves battery life. In 2022, we tend to love our devices. We use our phone to communicate, entertain, pass time, or shy away from an in person conversation when possible. My only real test for battery performance is to charge the device to 100, and use it on medium brightness for as long as it lasts before 20 percent. Let's be honest, many of us don't let our phones die. We may need them for an emergency or have a last minute run to the grocery store. With this 80% drain, I was averaging about 4.5-5.5 hours of screen on time depending on how taxing my use was throughout the day. Not the best per smartphone standard in 2022, however, more than enough to give me worry-free battery performance until dinner time when I usually throw my phone on the wireless charger.

So, do I recommend the device? Short answer - YES! Why wouldn't I? I don't think there are enough compromises to make excuses for the compromise to innovation ratio. The biggest benefit I found from using the Z Flip 3 - aside from the wondrous stares I got from flipping that bad boy open or the joys of slamming my phone shut on telemarketing callers - I actually wasn't using my phone so much. If you work behind a computer, you'll realize quickly that you're spending more than half of your day staring at some kind of screen. Doesn't that get exhausting? I mean, forreal, get off your phone, laptop, tablet, smart watch, TV, and go spend some time with someone important to you. Flip the phone shut, glance at notifications in the ample of a cover screen, and forget about it! You'll find yourself less likely to check notifications or pick up your phone!

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