The third generation of both the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 have arrived at AT&T and we’ve been testing them for a month now. Three generations in, folding phones are no longer the novelty that they once were. And that is great news because that also means that the prices of these luxury devices have dropped to a somewhat more accessible level. So now that the 3rd gen is here for both of these devices, and their prices have come down, it’s finally time to consider getting a foldable phone. But which Samsung foldable device is right for you?
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs Z Flip 3
The two form factors of the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 could not be any more different. The Z Flip 3 clamshell packs in a 6.7-inch 120hz inches display that unfolds vertically, alongside a new larger external 1.9-inch display. The internal display packs in a lot of screen real estate when unfolded, making it a pleasure to use for everything from watching videos with to gaming.
The Fold’s new external cover display is a whole lot more practical than the tiny low-res display that we complained about on the Flip 2 and first-gen Flip. The cover display on the Flip 3 provides a brief view of the essentials – it lets you easily see missed notifications, the weather, control music, or view your daily agenda, without having to flip open the device.
But when you do need to flip open the device, it’s an absolute pleasure to flip it open. And this is just one of the ways that the Flip 3 shines. The weight and ergonomics of the device feels perfectly balanced, lightweight, and just right for everyday use, especially when flipping it open and closing it.
The Flip 3’s external design is also one of the most handsome on the market. Between the two-tone look and its wide assortment of fun color choices, Samsung has redesigned the Flip 3 in a way that makes it look both sophisticated and unique. We’ve lost count of how many people have commented on how attractive the Flip 3 is. This phone is an absolute head-turner. You’ll hate covering it up in a case, but fortunately, Samsung has a fantastic selection of cases available for it.
In contrast, the Fold 3 is quite unwieldy to use as an everyday phone. Weighing in at 271g, it’s nearly as heavy as an iPad Mini. And measuring 16~14.4mm it’s also a lot thicker than a typical smartphone. Its larger-than-average body means that it doesn’t feel as natural to handle as the Flip 3. We’re not very fond of its external display either because it’s too narrow and rectangular (2268 x 832) for our taste.
Furthermore, because of its weightiness, thickness, and slippery combination aluminum glass body, we found the Fold 3 too easy to potentially drop and smash up. A case is a must for most phones, but it’s especially necessary for this pricey device. That said, Samsung has made the latest Fold 3 tougher with IPX8 certification, a new protective film for the inner screen that is 80% more durable than the older model, and the phone features an Armor Aluminum frame that should be 10% stronger than its predecessor.
Don’t get us wrong, the internal display on the Fold 3 is a pleasure to use too. Having that large 7.6-inch OLED screen at your disposal is wonderful. And powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor and AT&T’s 5G network, along with S Pen support, the Fold 3 is a very versatile and powerful device.
Furthermore, while being stationary on a flight, or at a cafe, the Fold 3 is awesome to use, but it’s not necessarily practical on the go in the street. At the end of the day, we’ve come away convinced that the Fold 3 is really a luxury tablet replacement more than it is a practical everyday phone.
With all of that said, the Fold 3 and its form factor are absolutely necessary for innovation – it really is a vision of the future. But it still requires additional design refinements and a lower price tag for it to be suitable for the masses.
We love opening up the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 like a book, we enjoy using it to watch videos on, to game with, or using it to scribble notes and draw with. But realistically, you can get a tablet that does all of that for a fraction of the price. Ultimately, the Fold 3 isn’t ready for primetime, especially not at its current $1,799 price tag.
On the other hand, despite the just-ok camera, the Flip 3 is one of the most innovative phones Samsung has ever made. It’s also one of the most attractive phones on the market today. Most people flip out overseeing the Flip 3 flip open for the first time for good reason.
Three generations in, the gorgeous and practical Flip 3 is ready for the masses, but the Fold 3 isn’t there yet. Ultimately, most users looking to jump on the folding phone bandwagon should opt for the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3. It’s more practical than the Fold 3 as an everyday phone, and its price tag is more reasonable.
With all of that said, the Fold 3 is a kick-ass device, but it’s ultimately a luxury tablet replacement. For the vast majority of people, the Flip 3 is the more practical everyday phone, and we highly recommend it.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 can be purchased at AT&T for $50 per month or $1,799. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 retails for $27.78 per month or $999 at AT&T. You can get up to $1,000 in trade-in credit when purchasing the devices from AT&T.