Samsung revolutionizes the smartphone market, one flip at a time

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Photo courtesy of Samsung

The Galaxy Z Flip 3 is a fresh of breath air in a stagnant smartphone industry with its intuitive design.

Max Belyantsev, Opinion Writer

Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 3 is shaking things up with its revolutionary design, branching out from the stale climate of the current smartphone market. Featuring six color options, a distinctive design, a flexible display and the newest software the company has to offer, the Z Flip 3 is a fantastic addition to its collection.

Samsung is a key manufacturer of display technologies and chipsets, producing over 300 million AMOLED displays – a smoother and more efficient version of OLED. Powerhouses of the tech industry such as Apple, Microsoft and HP implement Samsung’s display tech into their products.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 posed a serious challenge in 2017 to its main rival – the iPhone X. Both smartphones had an incredible screen-to-body ratio, complete with the latest hardware and software advances, yet the S8’s screen quite literally had an “edge” over the X in its utilization of Samsung’s flexible OLED tech allowing for a curved-edge display. Samsung has broken from tradition in the past and has done it again with the new Z Flip 3. 

In recent years, the smartphone sector has become stagnant in terms of design innovation. Apple has made relatively minor design changes to its phones following the overhaul that was Apple’s notched iPhone X. The iPhones from the X generation to the most recent 13 series are virtually indistinguishable from each other, with the exception of available color choices, camera configurations and minor frame adjustments – all of which barely contribute to a better experience for the average consumer. 

Apple’s restrictive ecosystem of products and services has been a topic of controversy for several years and continues to turn away consumers. The decision between a new iPhone or Galaxy device is clear. “I’ve had a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 for about three years. … I would obviously trade it in for a Z Flip 3 because I’m just not an iPhone fan,” says sophomore Zameel Mohammed. “iPhones just aren’t that good. They’re harder to use. So I would take a Samsung over it.” 

Though flip phones are now antiquated, the Z Flip 3 brings customers a blast from the past and uses a hinge that lets the flexible full-screen display fold in half lengthwise. In its unfolded state, the Z Flip 3 boasts 6.7 inches of Samsung’s crisp Dynamic AMOLED display at a stunningly-smooth 120Hz refresh rate. According to Samsung, the exterior side of the Galaxy Z Flip 3 features two 12MP camera units and a small 1.9-inch additional display that can play music, take photos and show messages without needing to open the phone. 

However, it remains to be seen whether foldable designs are enough to persuade the majority of consumers. “I don’t see the point of a flip phone. And I am currently an Apple user,” sophomore Joanna Wu said.

Similar designs have been implemented by other brands in the past. Motorola released the original Razr in 2019 and an updated model in 2020. According to TechRadar, the Z Flip’s design, display tech, camera system, chipset and battery life are all superior to the Razr’s.

In August of this year, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 started shipping to customers at a base price of $999. According to Pocketnow, the Z Flip 3 and the Z Fold 3 have sold over one million units collectively. Samsung said that the Z Flip 3 accounts for the majority of total sales.

At $999, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 is a worthy challenger to the iPhone 13 Pro, which starts at the same price. It has features that the iPhone can not match: in addition to the “flip-phone” design and the extra screen, it can stand on its own because of its hinge. Thanks to its compact design, the Z Flip 3 can easily slip into small pockets, making it remarkably portable without sacrificing screen size. The Z Flip 3 is the foldable king: supremely intuitive, great specs, and a worthy rival to this year’s ever-popular iPhone lineup.