Technophile

Galaxy Z Flip3 first impression: Just flipping for the Flip

Mala Bhargava | Updated on September 02, 2021

The ‘hand feel’ of this tiny smartphone and the way one can instantly imagine it nestling in a pocket, handbag or just in one’s palm is one of the most beautiful things about it.

Something about Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip3 is more alluring than ever this time around. Perhaps it’s that the cover screen has moved from seeming like an afterthought to being a usable and helpful extra. Or maybe it’s that the gadget just feels stronger and better built, and we’re told it can survive 200,000 folds and unfolds. Or it’s the knowledge that neither the Fold nor the Flip have shown any of the fragility they were suspected of having over the past and year that makes one trust the new folding phones more. But it’s for certain that I’m having a hard time just ordering it based on first impressions.

 

Easy to hold: The ‘hand feel’ of this little smartphone and the way one can instantly imagine it nestling in a pocket, handbag or just in one’s palm is one of the most attractive things about. You can immediately see it is convenient. And in many ways, it is because you can receive calls when folded using the cover screen. That little display can now show you the time, notifications, music controls, timer, alarm, weather and even recorder. It can also let you use the front camera with quite some control, switching modes, shooting video, etc. If you use the Flip’s ability to flex and stand it up on a surface, you can use your palm or a voice command to take a photo.

 

Fold, flex, shut: The Flip3 is almost like a ‘normal’ phone when used in unfolded mode. That’s what quite possibly makes it so convenient. Stay in fold to hold and carry and talk and open it up to do everything else. It’s a little narrower than other phones, so the virtual keyboard does get a little scrapped, but one can probably get used to it. The crease in the middle, which shows when you look at it from a slight angle, is something one learns to live with and is the trade-off one must make for this innovative form factor for now.

The rather nice thing is that some apps chop into two sections when the phone is in flex mode. Like the camera, for instance. Compared with the previous gen, a big list of apps can now be forced into this mode, though I didn’t always see its use beyond the novelty.

The specs mix: For a pricey device, the Flip3 should perhaps have had higher specs such as 12GB RAM. But it doesn’t seem to need it. Two variants with 8GB RAM and 128 or 256GB RAM cost ₹84,999 and ₹88,999. Not cheap. The display has a 120Hz refresh rate and the device has Gorilla Glass Victus and IPX8 water resistance. I wouldn’t swim with it. The cameras are adequate, but they’re neither a reason to buy the phone nor reject it.

There are a few colours available, and the one you choose will probably matter more on this phone than on others as the Flip3 is much more fashionable than any other on the market right now.

Published on August 23, 2021

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