Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs Galaxy S21 Plus: Which one should you buy?
Samsung has two new foldable smartphones — the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Galaxy Z Flip 3. If the massive size and the overall bulkiness of the Galaxy Z Fold 3 deters you from jumping on the foldable bandwagon, you may find the Galaxy Z Flip 3 to be a little more palatable. Between Samsung’s two foldable form-factors, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is closest to the traditional phone design. It looks similar to the flip phones of old, and it’s like pretty much every other smartphone on the planet when folded out. Thanks to its top-of-the-line specs, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is ready to take on regular flagships, like the Galaxy S21+. But will it be able to?
Navigate this guide:
- Design and Display
- SoC, RAM, and Storage
- Battery and Connectivity
- OS and Android Updates
- Pricing and Color Options
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs Galaxy S21+: Specifications
|Specification||Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3||Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus|
|Dimensions & Weight||
|RAM & Storage||
|Battery & Charging||
|Front Camera(s)||10MP f/2.4||10MP, f/2.2, 1.22µm|
|Port(s)||USB Type-C||USB Type-C|
|Software||One UI based on Android 11||One UI based on Android 11|
Design and Display
The designs of the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy S21+ are very distinct, given their different form factors. With the Galaxy Z Flip 3, you get a foldable main display, a secondary cover screen, and a side-mounted fingerprint sensor. On the other hand, the Galaxy S21+ comes with a single conventional smartphone screen and an in-display fingerprint sensor. The foldable display also allows the Galaxy Z Flip 3 to become relatively small when folded. That said, the flexible screen of the Flip is less durable than the S21+ display, which uses Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus.
You get a 6.7-inch full-HD+ screen with a 120Hz refresh rate on both smartphones in terms of the display specs. But their resolutions are slightly different. You get 1080 x 2400 pixels on the S21+, whereas the Galaxy Z Flip 3 has 1080 x 2640 pixels. Because of this resolution difference, the Flip 3 screen has more pixels per inch (PPI). Additionally, the secondary cover screen on the Flip 3 has a 1.9-inch size and 512 x 260 pixels resolution.
SoC, RAM, and Storage
Both the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy S21+ are evenly matched on the SoC, RAM, and storage fronts. You get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chip on both phones in North America, paired with 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of onboard storage. On the international models of the S21+, Samsung uses the Exynos 2110 chip, in which case, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 performs better with the Snapdragon 888.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs Galaxy S21+: Cameras
Things become slightly interesting on the camera front. In terms of raw camera specs, you get three cameras on the back of the S21+ — a 12MP wide-angle auto-focus shooter, a 12MP fixed-focus ultra-wide-angle camera, and a 64MP telephoto shooter with phase-detection auto-focus and 3x hybrid-optical zoom support.
On the other hand, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 rear camera setup houses a 12MP wide-angle camera and a 12MP ultra-wide-angle shooter. There’s no telephoto camera on the Flip 3. Additionally, the two phones carry a 10MP selfie shooter.
The presence of the telephoto shooter gives the Galaxy S21+ an advantage over the Galaxy Z Flip 3. But if telephoto isn’t a big deal for you, the other cameras on both phones won’t be massively different in terms of performance.
Battery and Connectivity
The battery is one area where the Galaxy S21+ easily beats the Galaxy Z Flip 3. The clamshell foldable has a total battery capacity of 3,300mAh, whereas, on the S21+, you’ll get a 4,800mAh battery. With the Galaxy Z Flip 3’s small battery and 120Hz display, you would struggle to even get through the day if you’re using the main screen a lot. In contrast, the Galaxy S21+ will easily get through the day and even a significant portion of the second day.
Another disappointing thing about the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is the lack of fast wired charging. Samsung has included support for just 15W fast charging on the phone. On the other hand, the Galaxy S21+ comes with 25W fast charging, which isn’t groundbreaking, but still comparatively better. So if battery life is going to be a big concern for you, you’re better off with the Galaxy S21+ than the Galaxy Z Flip 3.
The phones are pretty much on the same level on the connectivity side. There’s 5G, Wi-Fi 6, NFC, and USB Type-C. In terms of Bluetooth, you get Bluetooth 5.0 on the Galaxy S21+ and Bluetooth 5.1 on the Galaxy Z Flip 3.
OS and Android Updates
Android 11 with One UI is present on both the Galaxy S21+ and Galaxy Z Flip 3. While most of the software experience is the same on the two phones, the company has added some tricks to take advantage of the flexible screen on the Galaxy Z Flip 3. All these features are foldable specific, and apart from minor productive improvements, they don’t make a big difference.
Samsung will also offer the same duration of software support on the two phones. So overall, in terms of the software and updates, the Galaxy S21+ and Galaxy Z Flip 3 are level.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs Galaxy S21+: Pricing and Color Options
Samsung is selling two storage variants each for both the Galaxy S21+ and the Galaxy Z Flip 3. The 128GB Flip 3 is priced at $999.99, and the 256GB Flip 3 at $1,049.99. Although the Galaxy S21+ was launched at the same pricing as the Galaxy Z Flip 3, the phone has since been discounted to $799.99 for the 128GB and $849.99 for the 256GB model.
Coming to the color options, the company is offering the Galaxy Z Flip 3 in seven exciting colors, of which three are samsung.com exclusive. The S21+ comes in only three colors.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 is exciting. It has several things going for it, including enticing pricing. So if you have the budget and the drawbacks of the phone are not deal-breakers for you, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is worth taking a hard look at.
On the other hand, the Galaxy S21+ is a safer choice, and it’s much more affordable now than its launch.
So which of the two Samsung smartphones are you planning to buy? Let us know in the comments section. If you’re planning to buy the Galaxy Z Flip 3, check out our best deals and best cases articles to further help you with your purchase.