Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 vs Flip3: which of these foldables is best?

Last updated: 10 September 2021   By Dr Lucy Brown, Editor

Samsung have two foldable smartphone options: the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 or Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3.

Although both are foldable phones, the higher specifications of the Fold3 make it the superior handset.

It comes with a larger battery to complement the larger screen but has a substantially higher price tag to match.

On the other hand, the Flip3 is a colourful device aimed at customers choosing their first foldable and is offered at a much cheaper price point.

samsung galaxy flip3 vs fold3

At a glance

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3
Price from £1,599 £949
Dimensions 6.2 x 5 x 0.25 inches (unfolded); 6.2 x 2.6 x 0.56 to 0.62 inches (folded) 6.5 x 2.8 x 0.27 inches (unfolded); 3.3 x 2.8 x 0.53 to 0.67 inches (folded)
Weight 271g 183g
Display Foldable Dynamic AMOLED 2X Foldable Dynamic AMOLED 2X
Resolution 1768 x 2208 (374 ppi) 1080 x 2640 (426 ppi)
Chip Snapdragon 888 5G Snapdragon 888 5G
Storage 256GB, 512GB 128GB, 512GB
Battery Li-Po 4400mAh Li-Po 3300mAh
Rear camera 3 x 12MP (wide, telephoto, ultrawide) 2 x 12MP (wide, ultrawide)
Front camera 10MP 10MP
Resistance IPX8 (water resistant up to 1.5m for 30 mins) IPX8 (water resistant up to 1.5m for 30 mins)
Colours Phantom Black, Phantom Silver, Phantom Green Phantom Black, Green, Lavender, Cream, White, Pink, Gray
5G ready Yes Yes


Winner: The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 is cheaper, both when purchased outright and when taken on contract.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 is the winner on price, starting at over £600 cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3.

If we look at pay monthly contracts from O2 and Vodafone (who both use 36-month handset contracts as standard), we can see how the price differences play out there.

Here is the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3:

Handset Minutes Data Initial price Monthly price
Vodafone Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 Unlimited Unlimited Max £29 £50
36 month term
O2 Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 Unlimited Unlimited £50 £58.99
36 month term

And here are the same deals for the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3:

Handset Minutes Data Initial price Monthly price
Vodafone Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 Unlimited Unlimited Max £49 £68
36 month term
O2 Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 Unlimited Unlimited £50 £76.99
36 month term

So, the Flip3 is the cheaper device whether we're looking to buy outright or take out a contract with a top mobile network.

There are various good reasons why the Flip3 is cheaper, and we explore them in more detail below.


Winner: The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 boasts an under-display camera that gives it the edge over its rival.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 has a triple rear camera set-up while the Flip3 only has two rear lenses.

All these lenses are 12MP with both phones having a wide and ultrawide lens and the Fold3 sporting a telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom. While this is a benefit for some users, it's not a major game-changer and wouldn't be enough of a reason to pick the Fold3 over the Flip3.

However, something the Fold3 does offer is a 4MP under display camera that's hidden within the top right corner of the 7.6-inch display when the screen is unfolded. This allows for video calls through the large main screen rather, although the quality obviously isn't going to be as good as the other lenses on the Fold3.

Both phones offer selfie cameras too. Again, these are both 10MP wide lenses, so there's not much to choose between them. On the Fold3, this front camera is situated on the 6.2-inch cover display when the device is folded while the Flip3's selfie camera is housed in the screen when the device is unfolded.

There is a workaround that allows users to take advantage of the rear camera unit placed beside the 1.9-inch cover screen and take a quick square photo that can be previewed in the cover display when the phone is closed, it isn't an ideal solution.

Overall, while foldable phones haven't yet wowed the market with quality cameras, the Fold3 is the better option thanks to the inclusion of the under-panel camera that allows selfies and video calls to take place even while the phone is fully open.


Winner: The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 has a larger main display plus a substantial cover display.

Due to sheer size, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 will win the battle of the displays - if a user is looking for the largest screen possible.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 has two displays: the 6.2-inch cover display that's visible when the phone is folded and the 7.6-inch main display when the phone is unfolded.

This large screen is arguably the main attraction of the Fold3, allowing the device to be used as a tablet with productivity in mind. To this end, multi-taskers can run up to three apps on the unfolded screen at the same time, plus Samsung are working with major developers to optimise their apps for the larger screen.

Even the closed 6.2-inch display is large enough for users to undertake all their normal tasks, so it's likely they will spend most of their time working on that screen and only unfold the device when they want to watch a video on a large screen or multi-task.

The Flip3 is a different story.

When open, the Flip3 has a tall 6.7-inch display that works well, even if it might be a little taller than customers are used to. But the cover display is only 1.9-inches diagonally, meaning few tasks can be undertaken with the Flip3 closed.

Users will be able to check notifications, change music tracks and other simple tasks with the device folded, but they are more likely to need to unfold the device than Fold3 users.

It's worth noting both handsets have a main Foldable Dynamic AMOLED 2X main display with a 120Hz refresh rate. Yet while the Fold3 6.2-inch outer screen also has these specs, the outer screen on the Flip3 is just a Super AMOLED display.

It depends on what a user wants from the device. If their aim is to use their smartphone as a tablet replacement for undertaking productivity tasks or streaming video, the Fold3 is the better option. However, everyday users looking for a compact device with a good screen when unfolded may lean towards the Flip3.


Winner: The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 is easier to carry and comes in a wider range of colours.

The way these two devices look is markedly different, and they arguably appeal to different types of customers.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 is a large device with two fully functional screens, including a 6.2-inch cover display that can be used when the handset is folded.

On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 is a compact device once it has been folded up and is small enough to slip into a pocket while that's something customers may struggle to do with the Fold3.

There are more colour options with the Flip3 too, with Phantom Black, Cream, Green and Lavender on sale from retailers and exclusive Gray, White and Pink versions available direct from the manufacturer. Conversely, just three colours are available with the Fold3: Phantom Black, Phantom White and Phantom Green.

These different colour options essentially match the different target audiences of the two devices. The Flip3 colours are fun and vibrant while the Fold3 options are more professional and polished.

Of course, the main difference between these two devices is how they fold and what display dimensions they offer to users. On this point, as discussed above, the Fold3 wins.

However, the compact nature of the Flip3 and its wider range of colours will appeal to many customers too.

It's close on this one, but we prefer the compact and practical design of the Flip3.

Battery and storage

Winner: The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 has a larger battery and a bigger storage option too.

If we look at the headline battery size of the two devices, it's clear there's only one winner: the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3.

The Fold3 comes with a 4400mAh battery that should last users all day - depending on how intensive the tasks they're doing on the main screen are, of course.

On the other side of the coin, the Flip3 battery is just 3300mAh. This may be a red flag for some users.

Again, though, it depends on what a customer is looking for and how they're likely to use the phone.

For example, using the main screen of the Fold3 fairly constantly is obviously going to run down the battery much more quickly than simply using the outer screen of that device as a main phone and using the inner screen less frequently.

The Flip3 outer display is much smaller and, as we've noted, only useful for minor tasks, but it has the benefit of not using as much power to complete those minor tasks as the outer screen of the Fold3.

On balance, the battery of the Fold3 is better but it's more likely to run down quickly too.


Both devices come with two storage options, but the Fold3 has 256GB or 512GB options while the choices with the Flip3 are 128GB and 256GB.

Neither device has a card slot, so customers will be stuck with the amount of storage they opt for at checkout (although there's always cloud back-up to consider too).

128GB is a perfectly respectable storage capacity and is the only storage option available with some other devices like the Google Pixel 5 and the Oppo Find X3 Lite.

It's likely customers who plan to make use of the productivity functions of the Fold3 will be the ones attracted by the 512GB storage option. Most users of the Flip3 will find 128GB sufficient or upgrade to 256GB to be on the safe side.

Other features

Winner: The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 triumphs thanks to its support for the S Pen.

Along with everything we've discussed above, there are a couple of other elements to consider when choosing between these two Samsung foldables.

Let's have a look at some of the most important.

S Pen

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 is the first Samsung foldable with support for the S Pen.

This means it can be used with the Samsung stylus, allowing users to write and draw on the device. Unfortunately, the S Pen must be purchased separately, although Samsung have brought out a special edition, smaller S Pen that will fit nicely in a special case (again, purchased separately).

There is no S Pen support on the Flip3, so this is a definite win for the Fold3.


Both devices use the Snapdragon 888 5G chipset, so users will see a similar performance whichever handset they choose.

However, the Fold3 has the edge on RAM with 12GB as standard compared to the 8GB offered by the Flip3. This should allow the Fold3 to perform more effectively when running multiple apps, but many users may not see the difference.

Resistance and protection

Samsung has brought the first water resistant folding phones to the market, with both the Fold3 and the Flip3 water resistant for up to 30 minutes at 1.5 metres.

The official rating for these devices is IPX8 with the 8 referring to the water resistance of the device. The X relates to the dust resistance and means these handsets are not rated for dust resistance.

So, while the water resistance is a nice feature to have, dust could be a problem for some users and both devices are equally vulnerable.

In terms of other protection, the back of both these handsets is protected with Gorilla Glass Victus, the strongest protective layer currently available from Gorilla Glass.

Both handsets have an aluminium frame and plastic fronts when unfolded, so there's little to choose between them in this respect.

However, the external display of the Fold3 is also protected by Gorilla Glass Victus, adding an extra layer of protection for the outer display.

Find out which are the top waterproof smartphones in 2021.


Overall winner: The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 is the superior device, but it's certainly a premium option.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 and the Samsung Galaxy Z Fip3 are targeted at difference audiences and have different strengths and weaknesses.

We like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 because:

  • It unfolds to reveal a large 7.6-inch display that can be used for everyday productivity tasks as well as entertainment
  • It has a functional 6.2-inch display when folded to act as a regular smartphone
  • It comes with S Pen support
  • It has a larger battery
  • It includes an under-display camera for video calling while the main display is active
  • It has more RAM as standard and comes with a higher storage option

On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 has some excellent features too:

  • It folds up into a compact device
  • It has a small external screen that can be used for everyday tasks
  • It has more colour options available

The most fundamental difference between the two devices is the price: the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 comes in at least £600 cheaper than the Fold3 and is the first folding device to dip under the £1,000 mark.

That's still a pricey entry-point, but £949 is much more palatable (and affordable) than £1,599.

If it comes down to price alone, the Flip3 wins by default, but it's difficult to ignore the higher specifications of the Fold3 including the stylus support, larger battery and its ability to act both as a smartphone and a tablet in one.


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