Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs Galaxy Z Flip 3: Which foldable should you get?

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs Galaxy Z Flip 3: Which foldable should you get?

Samsung has just launched two of its latest foldable phones, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Galaxy Z Flip 3. While both phones can fold in half, the way they do that is quite different. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is a phone that can unfold to become a portable tablet while the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is a clamshell-style device that flips open to become a fully-fledged smartphone. There’s a big difference in the target audiences of both smartphones as well. If you’re looking to get yourself a shiny new foldable and are confused as to which one is best suited for your needs, this is the comparison you need.

Let’s take a look at all the major differences between the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and help you decide which one to buy.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs Galaxy Z Fold 3

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs Galaxy Z Fold 3: Specifications

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
CPUSnapdragon 888Snapdragon 888
Body
  • Folded: 72.2×86.4×17.1mm
  • Unfolded: 72.2x166x6.9mm
  • Weight: 183g
  • Folded: 158.2 x 67.1 x 16.0mm
  • Unfolded: 158.2 x 128.1 x 6.4mm
  • Weight: 271g
DisplayMain screen:

  • 6.7-inch FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display
  • 120Hz adaptive refresh rate
  • 22:9

Cover screen:

  • 1.9-inch Super AMOLED Display
Main screen:

  • 7.6-inch QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • 22.5:18

Cover screen:

  • 6.2-inch HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display
  • 24.5:9
  • 120Hz
Camera
  • 12MP Primary, f/1.8 (OIS, Dual Pixel AF)
  • 12MP Secondary f/2.2 ultra-wide
  • 10MP Front-facing, f/2.4
  • 12MP Primary, f/1.8 (OIS, Dual Pixel AF)
  • 12MP Secondary f/2.2 Ultra-wide
  • 12MP Tertiary, 2X Telephoto
  • 10MP Front-facing, f/2.4
  • 4MP Under Display Camera
Memory
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128GB/256GB UFS 3.1 storage
  • 12GB RAM
  • 256GB/512GB UFS 3.1 storage
Battery3,300mAh dual battery4,400mAh dual battery
Network
  • LTE: Enhanced 4X4 MIMO, 7CA, LAA, LTE Cat. 20
  • 5G: Non-Standalone (NSA), Standalone (SA), Sub6 / mmWave
  • LTE: Enhanced 4X4 MIMO, 7CA, LAA, LTE Cat. 20
  • 5G: Non-Standalone (NSA), Standalone (SA), Sub6 / mmWave
Water ResistanceIPX8IPX8
SensorsCapacitive fingerprint sensor (side), Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro sensor, Geomagnetic sensor, Hall sensor (analog), Proximity sensor, Light sensorCapacitive fingerprint sensor (side), Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro sensor, Geomagnetic sensor, Hall sensor (analog), Proximity sensor, Light sensor, Wacom layer for stylus input
OSAndroid 11Android 11
ColorsCream, Green, Lavender, Phantom Black, Gray, White, PinkPhantom Black, Phantom Green, Phantom Silver
MaterialArmor Aluminum Armor Aluminum
PriceStarts at $999.99Starts at $1,799.99

Build and Design: Both can fold, but in different ways!

Both the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Galaxy Z Flip 3 can fold in half — but along different axes!

Front view of Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 with previous generations

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 folds along a vertical axis like a book and opens up into a portable tablet when you need a larger canvas.

Z Flip 3 in flex mode

The Galaxy Z Flip 3, on the other hand, folds along the horizontal axis like a traditional flip phone from back in the day. The whole point of the Galaxy Z Flip 3 folding is that you can have a fully-fledged phone folded in half making it compact and easy to carry.

Both phones have received a major overhaul in terms of build quality and the materials used in construction. For starters, Samsung claims both new foldables have about 80% stronger display films, and the chassis, which they’re referring to as Armor Aluminum is 10% stronger than the last-gen. Moreover, both foldables even have an IPX8 rating making them the first foldables to have some sort of water resistance.

In terms of design, it all comes down to what you want personally. Do you like a compact form factor that can unfold into a conventional phone or do you want a tall, heavy device that can double your productivity by opening up into a tablet whenever you want it to?

Display: Size matters!

Here comes the second most obvious difference between the two phones — the display(s).

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 with case on

Let’s start with the internal folding screen first. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 has a large 7.6 inch AMOLED display with a refresh rate of 120Hz. The display offers an uninterrupted viewing experience thanks to an under-display camera. The huge display means you can enjoy consuming media on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and it also enables a host of multitasking features like running multiple apps side by side and even running multiple instances of the same app.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 in four colors with screens on

The Galaxy Z Flip 3, on the other hand, has a 6.7-inch display when unfolded that’s similar to any other conventional smartphone. It’s also a 120Hz panel and has a hole-punch cutout at the top. While the display on the Z Flip 3 is also quite big, it doesn’t offer nearly as much surface area to view content on as the Galaxy Z Fold 3.

Even on the cover display, the same situation continues.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, folded, with display on

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 has a much larger cover display that makes the Z Fold 3 seem like a normal phone when folded.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 in all four colors with screens on

The Galaxy Z Flip gets a tiny 1.9-inch cover display that’s still a big upgrade compared to the 1.1-inch almost unusable panel on the original Galaxy Z Flip. You only get limited functionality on the cover display of the Galaxy Z Flip 3 like the ability to view notifications, control music, use it as a viewfinder to take selfies, etc. The Galaxy Z Fold 3’s cover display lets you do everything that you would generally do on a smartphone.

Galaxy Z Fold 3 folded halfway with an S-Pen Pro nearby

Another big difference in terms of the display on both phones is the support for the S Pen. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 has a special Wacom digitizer that enables you to use either the S Pen Fold Edition or the S Pen Pro on the inner display, making it a perfect replacement for the Note series. The Galaxy Z Flip 3 isn’t compatible with any S Pen.

Performance: Nothing much to tell apart

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 with Galaxy Z Flip 3

Both the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Galaxy Z Flip 3 have flagship hardware on the inside. The Snapdragon 888 handles CPU duties on both phones which means there’s no real difference in terms of raw performance on both devices. However, due to the larger display on the Galaxy Z Fold 3, it’s much easier to run multiple apps and multi-task. Even the software on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is more optimized for a foldable and lets you resize app windows and run up to three apps side-by-side.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 used with multitasking apps

There’s more RAM on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 which means you can run more apps and if you play a lot of games, the immersive experience that you get on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 will be hard to match by the Galaxy Z Flip 3. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 also has support for Samsung Dex so if you want to use your phone as a portable computer by connecting it to an external display, you can’t do that with the Galaxy Z Flip 3.

Camera and Battery Life

While both the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Galaxy Z Flip 3 are flagship phones that cost a lot of money, neither of them has a true flagship-grade camera system. The primary and secondary cameras on both phones are the exact same — 12MP main and 12MP ultra-wide. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 gets an additional 2X telephoto lens for zoom and that’s pretty much it.

The kind of images you’re going to get from both phones are going to be very similar. We were hoping Samsung would bring the versatile camera setup from the Galaxy S21 Ultra to the Galaxy Z Fold 3 but that, unfortunately, didn’t happen this year.

Under-screen selfie camera of the Z Fold 3

Both phones also have a 10MP selfie shooter embedded in a hole-punch cutout on the cover display on the Z Fold 3 and on the main display on the Z Flip 3. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 also has a 4MP under-display camera on the internal screen which isn’t great for pictures but gets the job done for video calls.

Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3

The Galaxy Z Flip 3 has a modest 3300mah battery which, given the 120Hz display, seems slightly alarming. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 has a 4400mAh battery which again may seem slightly on the lower side, given there are two 120Hz displays and the internal one is a large, 7.6 inch panel. Of course, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 will give you much better battery life than the Galaxy Z Flip 3 so if you want the best endurance, go for the bigger foldable.

Conclusion: Which one should you buy?

Z Flip 3 cover screen as viewfinder

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 retails for $1,799.99 and the Galaxy Z Flip 3 retails for $999.99. Apart from the price, the major factor that should influence your buying decision is whether you want a portable tablet that can fold into a phone or if you want a phone that can fold into a compact device that fits easily into your pocket.

If you want a productivity powerhouse that fits into your pocket and gives you a large canvas whenever you want it, you just can’t go wrong with the Galaxy Z Fold 3.

    Galaxy Z Fold 3
    The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is Samsung's latest foldable phone which has support for the S Pen.

If you want a taste of foldables and don’t have too much money to spend, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is a nice, cute phone you can pick up and it would still turn a lot of heads.

    Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
    The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 is the latest clamshell foldable in town with new internals and a bigger cover display.

About author

Sumukh Rao
Sumukh Rao

A tech fanatic with a hunger for knowledge in the ever-growing field of science and technology. An avid quizzer and a gadget critic who loves simplifying tech for the masses has a keen interest in modding Android devices.