The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3: Why I won't be getting one

August 16, 2021

Samsung announced the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 last week. Both are impressive folding phones that are improved and more affordable than last year. Despite the improvements and lower prices, I am still not planning on getting either device. Below are the reasons why.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

My biggest gripe with the Z Fold 3 is the price. Starting at $1,800 it is one of the most expensive phones on the market. No amount of rationalization has allowed me to defend spending $500 extra dollars on the fact that the screen folds. Yes, you do essentially get a single device that can act as a phone and a tablet. But, with that added functionality comes a bunch of drawbacks. The Z Fold 3 is more fragile and bulky compared to traditional smartphones. Other flagship phones have better cameras and battery life. Although there is water resistance this year, there is still no dust resistance. I am not confident that the Z Fold 3 can survive 3+ years of use because of its fragility. The under-the-display front-facing camera is 4 MP. The quality of the photos it takes is poor. You can use an s-pen now, but you have to carry it separately or use a bulky case. The drawback outweighs the benefits. Paying an extra $500 is just too hard to swallow.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

The Z Flip 3 is also too expensive. At $1,000 it is closer to a typical smartphone price, at least when you first look at it. In reality, the features on the Z Flip 3 are closer to that of an upper mid-range phone. The Z Flip 3 is missing a telephoto camera. Its battery life is much smaller at 3300mAh than other comparable phones. Like the Z Fold 3, the Z Flip 3 will be more fragile and less water-resistant than similar phones. The Pixel 5 has a similar camera array, better battery life, and costs $300 less. Samsung's S21 5G has better cameras, battery life, same processor, and costs $200 less. I don't think it is worth the extra cost just because the phone folds.

Wrapping up

Based on early impressions, the phones seem like they would be enjoyable to use. For me, the value proposition isn't there. I would rather wait till the hardware becomes more mature and app support becomes widely available. There's no reason to settle for these compromises just because foldables are the cool new thing.

Do you think foldable phones are worth their price? Leave a comment below.