Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G announced: here to play with the big boys

We may earn a commission if you make a purchase from the links on this page.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G announced: here to play with the big boys
Samsung has tinkered with not one but two different folding phone concepts over the past couple of years. There’s the Galaxy Z Fold, which is a narrow smartphone that can unfold to become a tablet-like device. Then there’s the Galaxy Z Flip, which is more like a clamshell phone that also happens to be a full-fledged smartphone when unfurled.

The first Galaxy Z Flip aimed to be a more affordable foldable smartphone — but it had to cut corners when it came to hardware to make up for that. It was a 2020 smartphone that came with a 2019 flagship processor — the Snapdragon 855+. And yet, it still came with a price-tag of $1,379. Some months after, the Z Flip 5G was launched — mostly the same phone, but now with a Snapdragon 865+ processor inside, and 5G connectivity. Alas, this iteration actually went up in price, hitting $1,449.

Well, it’s time for the 3rd iteration of the Z Flip, and thanks to a slew of upgrades — it’s now ready to play with the big boys. Flagship-level hardware? Yes, please. Water resistance? Whew, finally! Compact when you need it to be? Most definitely! A price that’s actually easier to swallow? Yeah!

Samsung Unpacked August 2021:

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G price and release date

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

128GB, up to $700 off with trade-in
$324 99
$999 99

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

256GB, up to $700 off with trade-in
$374 99
$1049 99

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 will be up for pre-order today, the 11th of August! It starts at $999.99 for the 128 GB model and the phone will launch on the 27th of August. Those who pre-order will get 1 year of Samsung Care+ protection. Users’ phones will be covered from accidental damage, including screen replacement, water damage and back cover replacement.

The price is pretty much on par with other flagship phones out there — like the Apple iPhone 12 Pro or Samsung’s own Galaxy S21+. The good news? There are tons of deals that significantly chomp down on that price running right now! These include trade-in offers but also outright price cuts with various cariers or under various conditions. Be sure to check out all of them below!

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G design

If you’ve seen a Galaxy Z Flip or Galaxy Z Flip 5G in the past, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 will feel instantly familiar. Same rounded-off corners, same bumper on the inside to keep the screen safe when you are clapping the phone closed.

Though the frames of the phone do look a bit bolder and tougher — no doubt part of Samsung’s effort to make these with improved aluminum so they could last more abuse.

The small ticker display on the outside has been upgraded now — it’s bigger and bolder, giving the outside shell a duo-tone look with its black panel. The camera module also appears less shy, with nice, big cutouts for the lenses, suggesting that the phone means business when it comes to photography.

As before, the ticker screen can be used as a camera viewfinder, a widgets control center, message display screen, or for quick payments via Samsung Pay. It also supports extra widgets for your favorite apps. It’s just that — thanks to being bigger — it’ll now be more useful for all these tasks.

Also, a cool new feature of the small display, you can sync its wallpaper to mirror the watchface on your Samsung Galaxy Watch, if you happen to own one.

When unfolded, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 reveals a 6.7-inch display with a 120 Hz refresh rate for super-smooth animations! 120 Hz is not new to Samsung phones, but is a first on the Z Flip series specifically.

As before, biometric security unlocking is performed via the power button on the side of the device. Its a flat, pill-shaped surface along the right frame of the phone — not a favorite for people who pick up their phone with their left hand. Here’s a tip — you can register the fingerprints of your left hand index and middle fingers — it worked for us with the previous Galaxy Z Flip iterations.


Yep, just like the Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G is water-resistant! Rated for IPX8, it can survive for 30 minutes when submerged in 1.5 meters of water. Take care, though, it is not dust-protected, so sand and small particles can still get inside! Definitely don't test this in salt water, or anywhere on the beach for that matter. Come to think of it, active users should consider owning a backup phone for hikes, trips, and any activity that involves a bit more dirt and rough handling.


The Galaxy Z Flip 3 comes in 4 different colors — phantom black, cream, green, and lavender. Aside from that, Samsung is putting emphasis on the plethora of cases it’ll offer for the Z Flip 3 — ones with integrated pop sockets, rings, and straps, for those that are “glued to their phone” but would enjoy a hands-free experience by just letting it hang from a loop, always ready to be used. These cases come in all sorts of vibrant and expressive colors.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G camera

We’ve got a dual camera module on the back — a 12 MP main camera with an F1.8 aperture lens and optical image stabilization, and a 12 MP ultra-wide camera with an F2.2 aperture. Specs-wise, it looks similar to what the Galaxy Z Flip 5G had to offer, but the camera lenses are now covered by “Super Clear Glass with Gorilla Glass with DX”. We’ll have to see how much improvement that brings.

The selfie camera is situated in a punch-hole in the main screen and houses a 10 MP sensor with an F2.4 lens.

One of the Galaxy Z Flip 3’s main features is that you can set the hinge in any position — essentially you can have the phone “sit up” when laid on a table, so you can hold videl calls or set up different creative selfies with it. You can also use the main camera for selfies, but utilizing the ticker screen as a viewfinder. It is also easier to control the camera using only the small display on the outside — swiping on it can swap between the main and ultra-wide cameras as well as switch between photo or video mode.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G hardware

The original Galaxy Z Flip had midrange hardware to cut some corners and make it more accessible. Well, no more! The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor — a full-fledged flagship SoC, found on the Galaxy S21 line as well as the Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G.

The Z Flip 3 comes with either 128 GB or 256 GB of storage and both variants have 8 GB of RAM. It’s not over-the-top killer amount of memory, but it should do more than fine by contemporary standards.

The phone also rocks stereo speakers — a first for the Flip line. Located at the top and bottom of the device, the speakers are Dolby Atmos compatible, and we would hope they get close to the sublime sound of the Galaxy Z Fold 2 of last year.

The Galaxy Z Flip 3 is powered by a 3,300 mAh battery — kind of small, yeah, but not very different from last year’s model. In our experience, it can last a day just fine.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G expectations

In all honesty, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G doesn’t bring that many new features as to entice one to upgrade from the Galaxy Z Flip 5G. However, it does have enough — like the stereo speakers, 120 Hz screen, and powerful hardware — to make newcomers seriously consider a foldable phone for the first time.

With a price tag that’s not very different from other flagships, like the Galaxy S21+ 5G or iPhone 12 Pro, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G is actually a good alternative for those that are curious about the clamshell design and its use in the modern age.

Thanks to a wider selection of colors, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 seems to be targeted to a wider audience of users and has a good chance of being picked up — it will definitely turn some heads as foldable phones still aren’t a regular thing to see.
Loading Comments...
FCC OKs Cingular\'s purchase of AT&T Wireless