Why We Don’t Think that Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 3 is the Future14.09.2021
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 may be the most advanced foldable phone ever made. Yet, we can’t imagine buying one. After all the hype surrounding foldable displays for years, the “what” and “why” have almost never been matched with compelling reasoning. Tech companies may be able to do something futuristic but that does not necessarily mean they should. This is what the Z Flip 3 proves.
The Z Flip 3 is a great phone. It has a beautiful display and a smooth refresh rate. It also delivers solid everyday performance. The Z Flip 3 even has a few screen bonuses that make it look cool and flashy in a commercial. In reality, however, these foldable-centric “features” don’t actually make the Z Flip 3 any more useful than the teetering-on-obsolescence iPhone.
They made “flip” possible
Samsung’s foldable journey has been a long and difficult one. The original Galaxy Fold cost almost $2,000 and was not guaranteed to work after one week. The Z Fold 2 was an improvement, which didn’t break and offered some novelty with different screen sizes. Its similarly high price made it one of the “really expensive toys that ordinary people don’t want”.
Galaxy Fold 3 is also a similar story. While it was a great product in theory and execution, it was too costly and didn’t have a life-changing value. Although the first Z Flip had some novelty (and nostalgia) it was still difficult to sell at $1,380. It also suffered from durability issues and cost problems.
The 5G version was a strange stopgap between 2021’s Flip and the OG model. Samsung finally solved the price problem with the Z Flip 3. They sold the base model at $1,000. It’s still a large sum, but at least it’s comparable to the price of other smartphones like the iPhone 12 Pro.
Samsung accomplished almost everything it set out. The folding phone isn’t terribly expensive and doesn’t seem to have any major flaws. Sharp and vivid, the 6.7-inch AMOLED main screen is bright and vibrant. This allows all your photos, videos and apps to shine. The 120Hz refresh rate is not to be overlooked. This makes simple tasks such as scrolling through Twitter much easier. The cover display is 1.9 inches in size and displays the time, weather, notifications, music, etc. at a glance. Although it isn’t huge, you can still see the key information for text messages and Twitter DMs.
The Z Flip 3 is a great performer thanks to 8GB RAM and a Snapdragon 888 processor. It was very responsive and didn’t experience any lag or hitching during our testing. This same processor powers many other flagships, including Samsung’s Galaxy S21 line.
The Z Flip 3’s dual-camera rear array (2 12MP lenses, 1 ultra-wide) features a complete suite of software-enhanced tools that cover everything from nighttime photography to portrait mode and AR doodling. The Z Flip 3’s foldable nature makes photography a unique feature. When you fold the phone at 90 degrees while in photo mode, a preview will be displayed on the upper half. Camera controls are relegated down to the bottom. This feature could be useful for low-angle shots. The main and cover displays can both show camera previews so that your friends can see what they look like while taking photos.
This phone starts at $1,000. You can find a wide range of non-folding phones that are very good for this price or less. Some of these smartphones are even made by Samsung! If you prefer Android, the Galaxy S21 or Asus Zenfone 8 are two options.
Kinect-ing the dots
Let us take a look at another example of “what” rather than “why”. Microsoft launched the Kinect motion-sensing camera peripheral in 2010 for Xbox 360. Its early marketing focused on the concept that “You are your controller.” Players could navigate menus and control games entirely by moving their bodies.
This approach had a few problems. There was nothing wrong with how we navigated menus and controlled games in the pre-Kinect times. (Except for accessibility issues, which Xbox fixed later). The Minority Report UI was a fancy CG effect, which was designed to look cool, rather than being an efficient and usable interface. The Kinect was frustrating to use at its best, and almost unusable when it got too slow. Kinect was innovation just for the sake.
Perhaps foldable phones will not be as popular as Kinect. There is a possibility that a company will find a commercial application for this technology, making portable flat panels obsolete. For example, the overpriced and inept Microsoft Surface Duo at least combined two large enough screens so that multitasking could be possible on a better model. The Z Fold 3’s larger screen allows you to use multiple apps simultaneously.
Because of how its screen is made, the Z Flip 3 is not capable of multitasking. It’s not large enough to allow multitasking, even when folded down. There’s also merit to the idea that a smartphone can be closed — in the days before flip phones, people weren’t constantly staring at their phones waiting for notifications to appear. But those phones had their keyboards and displays separated.
The Z Flip 3’s design is based on the idea that the entire screen can be folded in itself. That’s what makes it special. The phone offers two states: a flat, traditional smartphone experience, and a folded, weird state that allows apps to work differently. The Z Flip 3 is not ideal when unfolded.