The third time is the charm – Technology News, Firstpost
Chandrakant IsiSep 29, 2021 3:42:36 PM IST
Smartphones and the features they come with get better with each iteration. Each generation change brings better cameras, faster processors and awesome screens for smartphones. However, we have yet to see a disruptive change in the vein of the iPhone’s introduction all these years ago. Of course, a few companies have experimented with new foldable form factors. However, due to the lack of mature hardware and prohibitive prices, these devices have not yet become mainstream. Samsung plans to change this perception with its Galaxy Z Flip 3. Let’s see if it is worth its price of Rs 84,999.
The Galaxy Z Flip 3 strikes the perfect balance between incredible engineering and impressive style. Its unique hinge and flexible display won’t go unnoticed wherever you go. Usually when I switch to a review unit, a few friends ask me about the device, and that’s it. However, with the Flip 3, almost everyone I have met has been amazed by its futuristic look.
Such fascination with this handset is understandable, because the last time anyone saw a popular phone fold was the iPhone 6, and it wasn’t meant to happen. In addition to extreme engineering, the handset is also a triumph when it comes to ergonomics. Its compact form factor is a breath of fresh air in a sea of bulky, bulky smartphones.
Open it up and the Z Flip 3 is as thin as any conventional flagship phone. Due to the use of aluminum alloy and a perfectly tuned hinge resistance, the Flip 3 is incredibly sturdy. What’s more impressive is that Samsung has made the device water resistant.
The flexible display on the Z Flip is the star of the show. Developed in-house by Samsung, it is a 6.7-inch Full HD OLED panel with a resolution of 2640 x 1080 pixels. The company tuned the screen for a refresh rate of 120Hz. With a maximum brightness of 1200 nits, the screen supports HDR10 +. It has a perforated design to accommodate a selfie camera. The crease is noticeable every time you slide down the middle, but it’s hardly a distraction.
The Flip 3 comes with a secondary cover screen. This is a 1.9 inch pill-shaped panel with a resolution of 260 x 512 pixels. The panel has a neat mirror finish which creates a two-tone look. Samsung has done a great job of making this screen useful. You can check messages, call notifications and control music from this screen. It can also be used as a camera viewfinder to take photos when the camera is folded. There are also several ways to customize the display of the cover.
The Z Flip 3 is a futuristic device that brings back the charm of the clamshell mobiles of yesteryear. Opening the device and answering a call takes you back to the 2000s. Samsung also thought about software customization. Based on Android 11, the highlight of Samsung’s OneUI skin is Flex Mode.
Flex mode starts when the device is partially opened like a laptop. For example, if you open the camera in Flex mode, the live frame moves to the top half of the screen and the camera settings slide to the bottom half. It’s a cool feature, but currently only a handful of apps support this mode. Samsung says its software team is working to make more apps compatible over time.
If you don’t mind diving into Settings, you can head to Advanced Features – Labs – and enable Multi Window for more apps. However, it just adds brightness, volume, and screenshot controls for more apps. Since this feature has not yet been released from Labs, expect a few bugs.
While the Flip 3 is more focused on style, Samsung hasn’t compromised on performance. The South Korean brand has opted for the Snapdragon 888 chipset from Qualcomm. It goes without saying that the phone handles all the games you throw at it, at the highest settings. However, this sleek phone lacks effective thermal management. As a result, the Flip 3 does not offer sustained performance. This will not be noticeable under normal use conditions; however, if you plan to play COD: Mobile for hours on end, thermal limiting will make its presence felt.
The Flip 3 is 5G compatible, but for obvious reasons we couldn’t test it. That said, the phone had no issues with 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS. Moving on to other features, the side fingerprint reader is quick and the built-in stereo speakers deliver surprisingly good sound.
The Galaxy Z Flip 3 comes with a dual camera setup. It includes a standard 12 MP lens and a 12 MP 123 degree wide lens. Due to its unique form factor, the Flip 3 opens up many possibilities in photography. For starters, in the partially open position, the bottom half of the phone works like a small tripod. It is perfect for capturing time lapse videos. Likewise, you can also place it on the dashboard of a car.
When it comes to image quality, the standard lens and wide angle lens produce excellent results in daylight. The wide camera has noticeable barrel distortion around the edges, but that’s not much of a problem. In low light conditions, the main camera holds up quite well. It should be noted that you need to keep the phone still for two to three seconds for good results. While it captures a fair amount of detail, the dynamic range is where it really shines. The wide camera struggles in low light conditions with visible noise in almost every shot.
Samsung’s latest phone also offers an interesting twist on selfies. While the 10 MP camera that sits in the punch hole is quite good. However, if that’s not your thing, the phone’s external display allows you to frame a selfie using the 12 MP main camera.
The Galaxy Z Flip 3 can record 4K videos at up to 60 fps. The results are excellent with great detail. Plus, thanks to Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), videos are quite smooth.
If there’s one department where the Flip 3 drops the ball, it’s battery life. The Flip 3 is a compact device, so it’s no surprise that it packs a tiny 3,300mAh battery. Having used this device for two weeks, I can say that it lasts no more than 12 hours on a single charge. While this might not be a problem in the current WFH scenario, once the offices start to open, you will likely need to haul a power bank.
Samsung could have alleviated the situation with fast charging technology. So that you can quickly charge the device during the downtime. However, the brand stuck with a 15W load, which is slower than Mumbai’s rush hour traffic.
The Galaxy Z Flip 3 sports a futuristic look without compromising on elegance. He is unique enough to trigger a feeling of astonishment among people, but never seems out of place. Of course, it’s maintained by its disappointing battery life. Plus, most people won’t find it practical. However, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 – with its unique clamshell design – is like the Jaguar E-Type of the smartphone world. It has its fair share of quirks and might not be for everyone, but it’s undeniably awesome.
Excellent build quality
High-quality OLED display that folds up
Optimized for 120Hz refresh rate
Charming secondary screen
Integrated stereo speakers
Fast charge capped at 15W
Does not come with a charger
Design and build 5/5
Display 4.5 / 5
Drums 2.5 / 5
Value for money 3.5 / 5