Samsung is staying true to tradition this week as it releases the September 2021 security patch before any other company, in some cases before August had even finished. This update includes a new version of One UI for the Galaxy Z Flip and Z Flip 5G, bringing features from the new Z Flip3 to the older devices internationally.
Been caught gawking at a Galaxy Z Flip3? Don't want to buy it through your carrier? Not even through Best Buy? Samsung? Maybe you've got Amazon gift cards and credit card points burning a hole in your wallet? Well, U.S. Flip3 units are available from the site right now and at a modest, but nice discount, too.
Over the past months, I haven't been shy about expressing my appreciation for the Pixel 5's physical dimensions. After years of carrying larger and larger phones, which culminated with the Pixel 4 XL, it felt great to go back to a smaller device that just fits in my hands and my tiny female pants' pockets, and where I don't have to stretch my thumb like Mrs. Incredible to reach the opposite top corner. However, for a brief moment, it looked like we were starting to dig the grave to bury the idea of smaller phones, but there's a new wind blowing and it breathed new life into the category.
With lots of smartphones in 2021 now shipping with hole-punch front cameras, the Energy Ring app has become one of the coolest tweaks you can add to your handset. In case you're not familiar with it, it's made by developer IJP, and it allows you to display your phone's current battery level as a ring around your camera, instead of putting that space to waste. Earlier this year, it was made into a universal app (previously, every supported phone got its own individual app) with support for multiple devices like the Galaxy S21 and the Google Pixel 5. Now the app is getting support for a handful of new devices.
Samsung's newest folding phones may not be quite as expensive as prior generations, but they're still very spendy, with the Z Flip3 starting at $1,000 and the Z Fold3 at $1,800. The company's been known to offer remarkably fair trade values in recent years, though, and for these phones in particular, you can send Samsung a staggering four trade-in devices, potentially driving the cost way down. But things can get a little complicated. Here, we get into the nitty-gritty of what every phone is worth to Samsung, and how to get the best value for your trades.
Pre-orders for Samsung's most affordable foldable smartphone yet are over, but the deals screaming out at us about free Galaxy Z Flip3 devices are still fresh in our minds. If you're willing to make some compromises, though, you can get a Flip3 for just $600 right now. No kidding.
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The Z Flip3 is tantalizingly close to being everything I hoped it would be. Starting now, folding phones aren't just for early adopters. You can go out and order one right now, and you probably won't be unhappy with it — or pay through the nose for it. I still have some complaints when it comes to things like middling-to-poor battery life, and part of me wishes Samsung would just take a stance to either cut more corners or fewer, but we're basically "here."
The Z Flip3 is liminal, and in five years, we'll look back on it as marking the beginning of the true folding phone era.
Samsung's folding phones are proving to be more popular than you might expect. With sales growing and plenty of our readers seemingly snapping up the phones, some of you might be pondering what sort of case to get for your new $1,000-1,700 smartphone, and I'd recommend you give one of Samsung's first-party cases a try, for a few key reasons.
Samsung's big pitch for the Galaxy Z Fold3 and Flip3 appears to have landed a hit. The company has confirmed that it has logged the most global pre-orders for the new foldable phones ever, eclipsing sales of existing Galaxy Z models year-to-date. Unofficial numbers from South Korea may give us an idea of how big this stack actually is.