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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs Galaxy Z Flip 3

Samsung just announced a whole new bunch of gadgets at Unpacked 2021. However, the centre stage was taken by the company’s third generation of foldable phones — the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Flip 3.

Now there are a lot of similarities between the phones, including the processor, RAM and, up to a certain extent, the display, but that’s pretty much all. In every other aspect, these phone’s are significantly different.

In this article, we’re putting the two foldables head to head so you can better decide which one will be the better fit for you.


Display

With a folding phone, the most crucial factor is going to be the display. The Fold 3 and the Flip 3, while in totally different form factors, share many things in the display.

For starters, both these displays are now 120Hz, and they both get a protective (and stretchable) PET film that’s supposed to increase durability by about 80%. Now while that’s obviously the best-case scenario, it’s still much better than worrying about accidentally scratching your foldable screen all the time. 

The cover screen on the Fold 3 is 6.2-inches, AMOLED and runs at 2268 x 832, while the inside folding screen is 7.6-inches running at 2208 x 1768. The Flip 3 also has a cover screen, although you’re only going to be able to use it for things like widgets, checking notifications and as a viewfinder. The inside screen on the Flip 3 is also AMOLED, pretty similar to the Fold 3, except it runs at 2640 x 1080.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs Galaxy Z Flip 3 | Candid.Technology
The Fold 3 now gets S Pen support | Source: Samsung

You also get S Pen support on Fold 3; however, it doesn’t come without its hiccups. You can’t just use any S Pen with your new Fold. It has to be the special Fold edition S Pen which is going to be a separate purchase. The new S Pen features a softer rubber tip and a spring inside it to dampen any hard touches. The new S Pen Pro can also be used with the phone, and it does feature a special Fold 3 toggle. The Flip 3 misses out on S Pen support for this generation, at least.

Both phones also get a bit of an overhaul in the design department; they’re lighter, thinner and more compact than the previous iterations, meaning they are now nicer to hold and feel more durable in hand. 


Durability

Durability has always been a big question revolving around phones. Questions like how long the hinge will last, whether or not it’ll be impacted by water or dust and how hard it is on the screen have plagued foldable for some time now.

Samsung has ironed out most of these issues with its third generation, but a few remain. For starters, both phones now have an IPX8 rating. This means that they’ll survive water splashes from any direction and can even get through being submerged in water. However, dust can still be a major problem as there’s no official certification for how it’ll impact the phones.

Both phones also feature Gorilla Glass Victus and a new Armor Aluminum coating claimed as the toughest Aluminium ever used on a Galaxy device.


Performance

You’re not going to be short on performance with the Snapdragon 888 inside both the Flip 3 and the Fold 3. The latter gets more RAM at 12GB and larger storage options, but the Flip 3 with its 8GB RAM isn’t a slouch either.  Both phones also get 5G as well.

Samsung has also optimised its One UI 3 for both phones, meaning you get even better performance, features and overall optimisations. The octa-core processor in both phones can go as high as 2.85GHz, which should be plenty for all your multitasking needs. 


Cameras

Cameras are an undeniably important factor of smartphones in 2021. However, the new foldables from Samsung aren’t as impressive as some of their bar phone counterparts.

The Fold 3 has three separate cameras — the triple rear cameras, the hole-punch selfie camera and the under-display selfie camera behind the main foldable screen. 

On the back, you get a 12MP ultra-wide, another 12MP main shooter and a 12MP telephoto with 2x optical zoom. While these cameras aren’t terrible, compared to other flagships such as the S21 Ultra or iPhone 12, they’re going to fall short. The 10MP selfie camera on the cover is the same story, not bad, but definitely not flagship standard.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs Galaxy Z Flip 3 | Candid.Technology
Cameras on the new foldables are respectable but not quite flagship-level | Source: Samsung

The most surprising camera on the Fold 3 is the under-display selfie camera coming in at a strong 4MP, and yes, you read that right. However, with one selfie camera already on the cover screen and three respectable cameras on the back, we can imagine that Samsung used this one to try out the new under-display camera tech and throw in a spare for convenience.

The Flip 3 isn’t all that different in the camera department either. You get one 12MP main shooter and another 12MP ultrawide. The inside display has a 10MP hole-punch camera similar to the Fold 3’s cover screen camera. The photos aren’t as good as other flagships, but they’ll do. 


Battery life

The Fold 3’s battery life has dropped by 100 mAh coming in at 4400 mAh compared to the Fold 2’s 4500. With the addition of the 120Hz refresh rate display and the power-hungry internals, it doesn’t look great for battery life, considering the now smaller battery has to power two or even three displays at times.

On the Flip 3, you get 3300 mAh of battery, which again feels a bit short considering it has to power the 120Hz display and the Snapdragon 888. However, with the Flip 3’s more pocketable size, carrying a power bank around won’t be as much of a headache.


Spec comparison

Here’s a full comparison of all the specs between the two foldables.

SpecificationsGalaxy Z Fold 3 5GGalaxy Z Flip 3 5G
Cover Screen6.2-inch HD+ AMOLED, 2268 x 832, 387ppi, 120Hz adaptive refresh rate
1500 nits peak brightness
1.9-inch AMOLED 260 x 512 302ppi
935 nits brightness
Main Screen7.6-inch QXGA+ AMOLED, 2208 x 1768, 374ppi, 120Hz adaptive refresh rate
1200 nits peak brightness

6.7-inch FHD+ AMOLED 2640 x 1080 425ppi
120Hz adaptive refresh rate
1200 nits peak brightness
ProcessorSnapdragon 888 5nm 64-bit Octa-Core processor up to 2.85GHzSnapdragon 888 5nm 64-bit Octa-Core processor up to 2.85GHz
Memory12GB RAM with up to 512GB internal storage (UFS3.1)8GB RAM with up to 256GB internal storage (UFS3.1)
Battery4400 mAh dual battery
25W fast charging
10W wireless fast charging
4.5W reverse wireless charging
3300 mAh dual battery
15W fast charging
10W wireless fast charging
4.5W reverse wireless charging
OSAndroid 11Android 11
Front Camera10MP, F2.210MP, F2.4
Under Display Camera4MP, F1.8
Rear Camera12MP ultrawide (FOV 123 degrees)
12MP wide-angle (FOV 83 degrees)
12MP Telephoto (2x optical zoom)
Dual Optical Image Stabilisation, HDR10+ recording, Tracking AF
12MP ultrawide (FOV 123 degrees)
12MP wide-angle (FOV 78 degrees)
Dual Optical Image Stabilisation, HDR10+ recording, Tracking AF
ConnectivityWiFi 6: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax HE160 MIMO,
1024 QAM Bluetooth v5.2 (LE up to 2Mbps)
WiFi 6: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax HE80 MIMO,
1024 QAM Bluetooth v5.1 (LE up to 2Mbps)
SensorsCapacitive Fingerprint sensor, Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro sensor, Geomagnetic sensor, Hall sensor, Proximity sensor, Light sensorCapacitive Fingerprint sensor, Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro sensor, Geomagnetic sensor, Hall sensor, Proximity sensor, Light sensor

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