Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs. Z Fold 3: What's the difference?

Samsung's next pair of foldable phones share a lot of the same features, but there are some key differences.
Written by Jason Cipriani, Contributing Writer

Samsung just announced two new smartphones: Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3. The new phones made their respective debuts alongside new wireless earbuds, the Galaxy Buds 2, and the Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic smartwatches. 

Also: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3: How to pre-order and get the best deal

It feels like it was just a few months ago when Samsung debuted the original Galaxy Fold -- its first smartphone with a display that actually folds and bends. And now the company has seemingly killed off the Note line in favor of two smartphones, each of which with a unique approach to the foldable phone market. 

At first glance, it's apparent the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 are two totally different devices. Let's take a closer look at some of the more notable differences between the two phones. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs. Galaxy Z Flip 3: It's all about how it opens

Outside of the obvious overall design, one of the biggest differences between the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 is how they both fold, or open. The Fold opens like a book, while the Flip opens like an old flip phone. 

If you have a hard time remembering which device is which, the respective names of the phones make it easy to remember. The Fold folds open horizontally to reveal a tablet-like display, while the Flip opens vertically to reveal a standard smartphone-like display. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs. Galaxy Z Flip 3: Both have two displays

Both foldable phones have two screens. One on the front, and one on the inside. Samsung refers to the front display as a Cover screen on both models. 

On the Galaxy Z Fold 3, the cover screen is 6.4-inches and acts as the display on a standard smartphone. You can tap and swipe around the interface just like you would on a Galaxy S21, any other Android phone or an iPhone. 

On the Galaxy Z Flip 3, the cover screen is smaller, measuring 1.9-inches. Its primary purpose is to give you a glimpse at the information in an email alert, text message or even as a viewfinder to take a selfie. 

When you open either phone while viewing an alert or app on the cover screen, you'll find that the app is open and ready for you on the main screen. 


Samsung's Z Fold 3 opens like a book, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 opens like a retro flip phone. 

Image: Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs. Galaxy Z Flip 3: Pricing

Samsung has stated a few different times it's committed to making foldable phones more affordable. With the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3, the company has made some progress. Although, in the case of the Galaxy Z Fold 3, the new pricing likely isn't low enough for wide consumer appeal. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs. Galaxy Z Flip 3: S Pen

Without a new Galaxy Note for Samsung S Pen stylus fans, Samsung had to pick a device that would work with the digital pen. That device is the Galaxy Z Fold 3. 

You'll need to buy the S Pen separately, as Samsung isn't including one in the box. Also, the pen will only work with the main display of the Galaxy Z Fold 3, so you'll have to open the phone in order to jot down notes. 

Samsung created an S Pen Fold Edition specifically for the Galaxy Z Fold 3. It'll work with Air Commands, but lacks any of the finer Bluetooth features found in the S Pen Pro like Air Actions for controlling your device from across the room. 

The S Pen Fold Edition will retail for $49, while the S Pen Pro is $99. 

Z Fold 3 vs. Z Flip 3: Spec showdown

For those who prefer a straight-up spec comparison, you can browse at your leisure below. You'll notice there are a lot of similarities between the two. 

Galaxy Z Fold 3Galaxy Z Flip 3
Operating SystemAndroid 11Android 11
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 888Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
Main Screen7.6-inch QXGA+ Dynamic OLED 2x, 120Hz adaptive refresh rate6.7-inch FHD+ AMOLED 2x, 120Hz adaptive refresh rate
Cover Screen6.2-inch HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2x, 120Hz adaptive refresh rate1.9-inch Super AMOLED display
Rear Cameras12MP Ultra Wide f/2.2 123-degree, 12MP Dual Pixel AF, OIS, f/1.8, 12MP Telephoto12MP Ultra Wide f/2.2 123-degree, 12MP Dual Pixel AF f/1.8, OIS,
Cover Camera10MP Selfie f/2.210MP Selfie f/2.4
Under Display Caemra4MP f/1.3N/A
Water ResistanceIPX8IPX8
BiometricsCapacitive fingerprint sensorCapacitive fingerprint sensor
NetworkingLTE, 5G (NSA, SA, Sub6, mmWave)LTE, 5G (NSA, SA, Sub6, mmWave)
ConnectivityWi-Fi 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.2, USB-C, NFC, UWBWi-Fi 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.1, USB-C, NFC, UWB
Dimensions Folded67.1 x 158.2 x 16.0mm72.2 x 86.4 x 17.1mm
Dimensions Open128.1 x 158.2 x 6.4mm72.2 x 166.0 x 6.9mm
ColorsBlack, green, silverCream, green, lavender, black. Samsung exclusive colors: Gray, white, pink
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