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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs Galaxy Z Flip: What’s new?

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs Galaxy Z Flip
(Image credit: Future)

Now that the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 has been officially revealed, you may be wondering if it's the next Android flagship phone for you. And if you have the original Galaxy Z Flip (or its 5G variant) then you might be weighing up if it’s worth upgrading. 

While the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is the bigger foldable phone star for the South Korean company, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 isn’t to be dismissed. On the whole it’s not massively different to its predecessor, but there are changes that certainly boost its appeal. 

So read this Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs. Galaxy Z Flip comparison for a complete look at what Samsung's changed from version to version.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs. Galaxy Z Flip: Specs  

Galaxy Z Flip 3Galaxy Z Flip
PriceFrom $999From $1,199
CPUSnapdragon 888Snapdragon 855 Plus
RAM8GB8GB
Storage128, 256GB128, 256GB
Cover display1.9 inches (260 x 512)1.1-inch (300 x 112)
Main display6.7 inches (2640 x 1080); 120Hz adaptive6.7-inch (2636 x 1080); 60Hz
Rear cameras12MP (f/1.8) main, 12MP (f/2.2) ultra-wide ultrawide12MP (f/1.8) main, 12MP (f/2.2) ultra-wide ultrawide
Front camera10MP (f/2.4)10MP (f/2.0)
Battery3,300 mAh3,300 mAh
Charging15W wired, 10W wireless (not included)15W wired, 10W wireless
Size 3.4 x 2.8 x 0.63-0.67 inches (closed); 6.5 x 2.8 x 0.27 inches (open)3.4 x 2.9 x 0.61-0.68 inches (closed); 6.6 x 2.9 x 0.28 inches (open)
Weight6.5 ounces 6.5 ounces

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs. Galaxy Z Flip: Price  

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs. Galaxy Z Flip

(Image credit: Future)

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip debuted at $1,380 in early 2020, but saw its price drop over the subsequent 18 months to $1,199 for the 5G version. That price tag is a lot more palatable than the original sticker price, but it still made the foldable phone as expensive as the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

The Galaxy Z Flip 3 sports a more aggressive price tag from the ge- go with the entry-level model with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage starting at $999. Double the storage sees the price jump to $1,049, which gives the Galaxy Z Flip 3 a flagship price tag, but one that easily beats its predecessor’s at launch. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs. Galaxy Z Flip: Design and display  

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs. Galaxy Z Flip

(Image credit: Future)

At first glance not a lot has changed between the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and the Galaxy Z Flip. Both retain the same vertical folding flip phone design. 

But the Galaxy Z Flip 3 now has a larger rear camera section, and a bigger cover display that measures in at 1.9 inches as opposed to the slender 1.1-inch display of the first Flip. This makes reading notifications at a glance a lot easier on the new foldable phone. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

(Image credit: Future)

The main display measures the same for both phones at 6.7 inches, with both the original Galaxy Z Fold and the newcomer offering a full-HD+ resolution. But the Galaxy Z Flip 3 comes with a 120Hz refresh rate on its main display, giving it a much snapper response time to the Galaxy Z Flip’s 60Hz panel. 

There's still a distinct crease in the Galaxy Z Flip 3’s display, and until we compare it side-by-side with the original Flip, it’s tricky to tell if the folding area of the display is less noticeable.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs. Galaxy Z Flip

(Image credit: Future)

The Galaxy Z Flip has a solid range of colors — Mirror Purple, Mirror Black and Mirror Gold. The Galaxy Z Flip 3 drops the fingerprint-attracting mirror finish but has a wider range of colors: Phantom Black, Cream, Lavender, Green, Grey, White and Light Pink. The Lavender finish is particularly striking and offers a glossier take on the attractive Phantom Violet seen on the Samsung Galaxy S21.

There's an additional key difference between the two phones but it's not visible to the naked eye. The Galaxy Z Flip 3 comes with IPX8 water resistance, which means it should survive a dunk in water more readily than the Galaxy Z Flip, which had no water resistance rating to speak of. The new Flip also comes with Armour Aluminium, which is “the strongest aluminum ever used on a smartphone,” according to Samsung. There's Gorilla Glass Victus on the new phone's chassis, too.

In short, it’s a case of evolution not revolution in terms of design between Flip generations. But the larger notification display and the 120Hz refresh rate certainly make the Galaxy Z Flip 3 more appealing than its predecessor.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs. Galaxy Z Flip: Cameras  

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

(Image credit: Future)

Both Flip phones have a pair of rear cameras. And both come with 12MP sensors, with one main camera and a secondary snapper designed for ultra-wide angle photography. 

As such, don’t expect a massive boost in smartphone photography chops from the Galaxy Z Flip to the Galaxy Z Flip 3. But Samsung has been refining its camera software, with enhancements to portrait mode and indoor photography. 

We’d need to compare the two phones side-by-side before we come to any concrete conclusions, But it would appear that the Galaxy Z Flip 3 will have a slight edge. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs. Galaxy Z Flip: Performance and software  

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

(Image credit: Future)

With the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 beats the Galaxy Z Flip’s older Snapdragon 855 Plus chip. The latter is by no means a slouch, but if you want the most powerful flip phone, then the latest Flip is the phone to get.

From some early hands-on use, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 feels snappy and responsive, though how much of a performance difference you’ll notice between it and its predecessor will likely depend on what apps and games you’re running. The 120Hz display of the Galaxy Z Flip 3 will likely be the biggest contributor to how smooth the new foldable feels over its predecessor.

With both phones sporting 8GB of RAM, either Galaxy Z Flip model can handle multiple apps open at once. We'd perhaps have liked Samsung to have put12GB in the Galaxy Z Flip 3 given its flagship price tag, but 8GB is still plenty.

Samsung came out with separate LTE and 5G versions of the original Galaxy Z Flip. A 5G modem comes included with the Snapdragon 888 system-on-chip so the Galaxy Z Flip 3 can work with the new networking standard.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

(Image credit: Future)

With Android 11 and One UI 3.1 out of the box, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 comes with more advanced software than the Galaxy Z Flip did, though that phone will still get the latest Android and Samsung updates.

However, Samsung claims it's made improvements to the nifty Flex mode. That mode allows users to view content in the top half of the screen while the lower half is used to prop up the Flip and control it; not unlike a very small laptop. Samsung said that the Flex mode Panel option now provides more convenient controls and noted there’ll be more apps that support it than there were with the original Flip. Again, we’ll need more time to try this out before we come to any major conclusions.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs. Galaxy Z Flip: Battery and charging

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

(Image credit: Future)

Like its predecessor, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 uses a 3,300 mAh battery and charging remains at 15W. The original Flip didn't exactly impress us in terms of longevity, lasting 8 hours and 16 minutes before it gave up the ghost in our battery test (continuous web surfing over cellular). 

No battery boost or faster charging is a bit disappointing in the Galaxy Z Flip 3, though hopefully, the Snapdragon 888 proves to be more power efficient. But we’d not hold out too much hope that this foldable will have the endurance to find a spot on our best phone battery life list.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs. Galaxy Z Flip: Outlook  

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs. Galaxy Z Flip

(Image credit: Future)

From our first impressions and hands on, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 offers a decent upgrade over the Galaxy Z Flip — just not enough of one to rush out and buy it if you have the original Flip. 

However, if you’re looking to move away from standard smartphones into foldables in a flip form factor, then the Galaxy Z Flip 3 looks like the one to get, especially given the substantial drop in price.

We’re a little disappointed that there's no major camera upgrade or battery boost over the older Flip. But the 120Hz display, larger cover display and lower price help go some way to making the Galaxy Z Flip 3 a rather appealing foldable phone. Make sure to check back with Tom’s Guide for our full review once we finish testing our Galaxy Z Flip 3.

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer is U.K. Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.