The samsung flip phone 2003 is a gorgeous piece of engineering that folds effortlessly to reveal a large 6.7-inch display. Its screen is bright, has good anecdotal color and feels durable. And its secondary hinge-mounted display is surprisingly useful, turning into a selfie viewfinder and a convenient way to check notifications.
Samsung’s 2021 flip-phone, the Z Flip 3, is a big upgrade over its predecessor in terms of both design and functionality. One of its biggest physical upgrades is a new water resistance rating that’s the first for folding-screen phones. It’s rated IPX8 for 1.5 meters of immersion for 30 minutes, matching the best regular smartphones. It also has a special anti-corrosion treatment that keeps the hinge and folding areas safe from damage.
Another major improvement is a larger Cover Screen that’s optimized for self-expression and productivity. It’s four times as large as the original Z Flip’s and can display up to eight lines of notifications or messages, along with a quick glance at your calendar or reminders. And it’s where you’ll find the full suite of Samsung Pay functions that let you make payments with a simple touch.
The only thing missing from this impressive device is a fingerprint reader. Samsung’s product manager explained to me that it’s difficult to add one to a clamshell phone, since the outer layer of the Z Flip isn’t as hardy as the inside. But the company is experimenting with a small, side-mounted biometric sensor that might make its way into future models.