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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 review: the first mainstream foldable phone

"It’s a flipping foldable phone!" That was my honest initial reaction when I got to use the original Z Flip last year, and one year later, I’m still as amazed that we have a modern clamshell phone that easily fits in a pocket and that I can flip to open and slap shut to end a phone call. Just like the good old times.

The Galaxy Z Flip 3 that I’ve been using in the past few days is all about retro vibes, from the cream color version that reminds me of the color of plastics used in electronics in the 90s to the whole foldable action. If you want a cool phone that also happens to be vastly different from the me-too onslaught of smartphones out there, the Z Flip 3 is definitely among the first things that come to mind.

And Samsung has now dropped the price to a way more reasonable $999, still premium flagship territory, but not crazy expensive as the original Flip that cost nearly $1,400. The price gets you all the modern flagship internals, and this being an Android phone, means Qualcomm’s most powerful Snapdragon 888 chip coupled with 8GB of RAM. It also gets a few important fixes, the most important one being a 4X larger and now actually useful Cover Screen up front, finally, a 120Hz main display, better loudspeakers and waterproofing!

While Samsung hasn’t compromised on camera quality, you don’t get a zoom lens like on the S21 Ultra. And the biggest compromise might just be the minuscule by Android standards 3,300mAh battery inside this phone. Even the compact (and cheaper) Galaxy S21 ships with a 4,000mAh cell, and that barely lasts a day.

So… with excitement and a few concerns, let’s dive bravely in this adventure called the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and see if Samsung can convince the world that the future of the smartphone is... well, a foldable smartphone!

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