he took it well

J’ai passed six mois en compagnie du Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3. Autonomie, résistance de l’écran et de la charnière, mises à jour, évolution du prix, utilisation au quotidien… on fait le bilan de ce smartphone vraiment pas like the others.

6 months with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3: it took the fold well
The Galaxy Z Flip 3 fits in the palm of your hand. // Source: Frandroid – Anthony Wonner and Arnaud Gelineau

I spent six months with him. Galaxy ZFlip 3. As a reminder, this is Samsung’s latest foldable smartphone with the “fold in the middle” format. It had three main advantages when it came on the market: a much lower price than its predecessors (1,059 euros at the time), a larger external screen, and a frankly attractive design and compact when it is folded.

After six months of good and loyal service, it’s time for me to leave my pocket. The questions that arise are therefore the following: if I had bought it when it came on the market, would I regret it? Is it still worth it six months later, now that the hype has passed? Let’s break it all down.

The price is a great yes

Regarding prices, we can say that the situation is even better six months after its launch. The phone has lost a lot of its value, even when it was new, making it a much better deal than when it came out. You can already find a Z Flip at a maximum price of 750 euros looking a little at the moment, with prices that are close to 600 and 550 euros in refurbished.

6 months with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3: it took the fold well
An idea of ​​the size of the Galaxy Z Flip 3. // Source: Frandroid – Anthony Wonner and Arnaud Gelineau

When it was released, its detractors pointed out -rightly- that the Z Flip cost almost as much as a premium smartphone such as a Mi 11 Ultra or an S21 Plus for example, without the traditional advantages of the formula (QHD screen, top photo, etc. .) In a sense, the Z Flip’s current cost feels more like its “natural” price to us, one where you can feel like you’re getting what you pay for.

Autonomy: the great defect

The first of the defects, the one that surpasses all the others, the one that must be imperatively taken into account before launching with enthusiasm into the beautiful design of the Z Flip 3, is undoubtedly its disastrous autonomy. We had already underlined it in our test, highlighting how the Z Flip 3 is not an autonomous smartphone (7h46 of battery through our ViSer protocol, a mandatory charge in the middle of the afternoon so as not to return any phone), we cannot stress enough that it is not improving at all.

I would have liked to give you concrete data on the autonomy of the Z Flip 3, with typical use cases, that kind of thing. But the truth is simpler: I spent these six months with a 25W Samsung charger (not included with the phone) permanently in my bag, to charge it once or twice a day to get it back on its feet.

6 months with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3: it took the fold well
The USB-C and the bottom speaker. // Source: Frandroid – Anthony Wonner and Arnaud Gelineau

The worst comes when you actually use the phone. I think of this morning that I left home at 9 in the morning with a full battery, that I crossed Paris by metro with the GPS, I took notes once I got to my appointment and where I reached 25% autonomy at 11:30. This phone is not only weak in autonomy, it also gets very hot as soon as it is used a little intensely. So it tends to download faster than average in my experience.

Personally (I work in an office, not far from home, I rarely leave my house for more than an hour in my day to day life), so I put up with this big defect without complaining too much, accepting it as an inconvenience that I could live with in my routine. Of course, I cursed here and there, like the times I had to wait to recharge it a bit before going for a run or going out to see friends. I got used to it, because my personal and professional life allows it. On the other hand, I wouldn’t recommend this phone to anyone who needs even a little bit of a battery that can almost withstand a shock. Or I would advise you to look for an external battery pack (just kidding, there isn’t one).

A smartphone that we close is a smartphone that we choose to open

It is even more irritating that the Z Flip 3 is, if we forget this battery problem, a smartphone that is very exciting on a daily basis.

The most interesting point in my eyes will probably not appeal to everyone. But if you’re prone to falling under the influence of your phone as soon as you see the slightest notification, the Z Flip has the immense advantage of letting you stay informed with its external screen, without having to swipe a finger or two. from Tik Tok or Twitter. It may not seem like much, but in an age where the slightest app wants to lure you into a behavioral addiction, this physical barrier (the phone is closed, I have to open it to get in) goes a long way toward maintaining a healthy distance. with his precious companion.

6 months with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3: it took the fold well
One of the widgets shows the weather. // Source: Frandroid – Anthony Wonner and Arnaud Gelineau

The counterpart of this design choice is immediate: for the slightest action, you must first open the phone. Some will see it as a real challenge on a day-to-day basis, while others will appreciate this little decompression chamber between the “I don’t use my smartphone” and “I use it” phase. A bit as if you suddenly found the sometimes blurred borders between these two states. It is curious to see that for a function that seems so anecdotal (the phone closes like a valve), we can reach such a different relationship with the object.

The inner screen holds the good end

Now let’s move on to analyze the phone once opened. First observation: I have continued, throughout these six months, to appreciate the fact that the Z Flip offers the best of both worlds: a compact phone when folded, while enjoying a large 6.7-inch screen. So compact that I literally forgot it in the bottom of my pocket and turned my entire apartment upside down thinking I lost it.

The screen ratio of 22:9 is also the point that has ended up causing the most fatigue over time. It’s nothing prohibitive, but no longer being able to enjoy YouTube videos without suffering from two huge black bars on the sides clearly ends up making you regret this choice a bit. Certainly, some more cinema-oriented content is much better suited to this format, as it removes the black bars at the top and bottom of the screen. There, it’s a real treat, but too rare a treat: only about 10% of what I saw on this phone fell into this box.

Where the Z Flip 3’s very elongated look is perfect, though, is on newer social networks like TikTok, for example, where verticality is central. I appreciated this little extra space that 22:9 offered me.

6 months with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3: it took the fold well
Galaxy Z Flip 3 // Source: Frandroid – Anthony Wonner and Arnaud Gelineau

Another rather unique advantage of the formula, which I continued to use for these six months on a very regular basis: the phone keeps its balance when it is folded at 90 degrees. You can even choose to display certain apps differently with the controls at the bottom of the screen and the app interface at the top. I no longer count the afternoons spent on my PC using the Z Flip as a hub, sitting quietly at my desk. It allowed me to scroll around a bit while chatting on Discord, managing my music, or whatever. If you can do all of that with a classic smartphone sitting on a stand, I still appreciated the convenience of a smartphone capable of delivering this kind of bare-bones experience. This is probably the feature I will miss the most.

Are you aging well?

In view of this fragile skiff, many are those who wonder about its solidity. This is therefore one of the obvious advantages of this long test, albeit a partial one. A smartphone in very good working order 6 months after purchase may lose reliability after a year, for example.

The exterior, for starters, seems to me to hold up fairly well to the ravages of time and retain most of its character. On the other hand, we invite you to bring a case for this phone. We noticed the gradual appearance of scratches on the cream part and small bumps on the edges of the phone, which are a bit softer than the rest of the device.

6 months with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3: it took the fold well
The hinge reveals the Samsung logo. // Source: Frandroid – Anthony Wonner and Arnaud Gelineau

Meanwhile, the screen holds up well except for one small detail. In general, we got used to the plastic aspect that is supposed to mimic the glass of the screen very well. It is also very resistant and does not mark on 98% of its surface. The problem is that on the hinge, in the last month of use, I began to notice that my thumb was hanging a little more. Very quickly, some micro scratches began to appear. Fortunately, these are not visible on a daily basis. Still, I only used the phone for six months, and let’s be clear, without its screen protector that was included with the purchase. Therefore, we can advise you to keep it.

Among the concerns about the durability of the object, it should also be noted that after four or five months, the phone no longer opens 100%, but around 99.8%, probably due to a build-up of dust. If this isn’t particularly annoying, it’s a bit frustrating to be able to open your hinge all the way.

Another important element for the life of the phone: I was able to update it under A 4 user interface (Android 12) and thus take advantage of all the little news of the latest version of the interface. Despite some bugs in the first month, the transition went smoothly and I even feel like the smartphone has gained some ease of use. Notifications, for example, take up much less space.

A Z Flip doesn’t offer what you’d expect from a premium smartphone, but it’s okay

In the end, I really enjoyed these six months with the Galaxy Z Flip 3. It is a smartphone like no other that is very comfortable to use on a daily basis, if you have a plug nearby.

6 months with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3: it took the fold well
Source: Frandroid – Anthony Wonner and Arnaud Gelineau

On the other hand, the Z Flip 3 is certainly too expensive for its own good, as it doesn’t offer the qualities expected of a premium smartphone in 2022. For example, I’ve talked very little about photos in this article, and this for One simple reason: these are much lower than anything flagships released in recent months can produce. The phone’s somewhat dated sensors certainly have something to do with it. That said, the quality is still pretty decent, don’t worry.

All in all, Samsung’s foldable phone isn’t really a premium smartphone in the traditional sense, but it does offer plenty of unique qualities that you won’t find anywhere else. Qualities that I continued to use daily during these six months. You would have thought that once the hype died down, I would end up using it like any other smartphone, but that’s not really the case. And the real good news is that six months after its launch, it no longer costs the price of a premium smartphone.

Therefore, the Z Flip 3 will remain a phone that should not necessarily be put in every hand. But if you think you are a customer of its multiple qualities, being able to ignore its flaws, it is simply the best smartphone with its format on the market. It’s not bad at all.

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