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Foldable phones (1 Viewer)

Scott Merryfield

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Two and a half years later, and I am now the owner of a foldable phone -- the 2021 Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3. My old phone -- Samsung Galaxy S10e -- was coming apart due to the battery expanding, plus my wife needed a new phone, as her LG was not going to be compatible with T-Mobile's network when they retire parts of the Sprint network at the end of this year. Due to shortages in phone stock (another effect of the pandemic), we didn't have too many choices on replacement phones. I wanted to stay with Samsung, and T-Mobile gave us some nice credits and trade-ins on our old phones. The phone cost averages out to $360 each, spread out over 24 monthly payments. Not bad for a $1,000 retail phone. They didn't have any Galaxy S21 models -- the only other "better models" were the large Note and Ultra models, which are just too big for us.

So far, the device is doing what I need. When folded, it's nice and small, so it fits easily in my pocket. Only time will tell how durable the folding mechanism will be. My only complaint so far is the only color they had was purple. Oh well, I have a black protective case on order (should be here tomorrow from Amazon).
 

Scott Merryfield

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The two flips this year seems fully baked and wildly appealing. I could see the smaller one being a hit if priced right. Good luck with it!

The smaller Z Flip 3 was the model my wife and I both bought. When folded, it's as small as any flip phone I owned in the pre-Smartphone era, which is quite nice. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is a much larger phone -- when folded it's the size of a regular smartphone, and when unfolded is more like a small tablet. That's much bigger than either of us want or need.

Another nice benefit of the Flip is that the screen is naturally protected when closed, so I don't have to worry about scratches when the phone is stored in my pocket or golf bag (or in my wife's purse). I disliked every screen protector I ever tried, and stopped using them. With this phone, there is no need for one.
 
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Scott Merryfield

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We have been using our Samsung flip phones for a few months now, and my wife and I both really like the devices. The compact size is a huge plus (no pun intended), and the outer screen is a nice addition to allow you to check notifications, control music playback, etc. without flipping the phone open. Battery life has been fine for our use, as well. When flipped open, the phone works as well as any Android phone I've ever owned. I rarely can see the folding crease on the screen -- only with certain apps and when the light hits the screen in a certain way.

I did have an issue with dropping a phone call once. I was in the TMobile store for another reason soon afterwards, and the helpful person there suggested shutting off 5G when not needed, as 5G coverage is still spotty. Since I never need 5G data speed anyway, I tried the suggestion and have not experienced an issue since. Even during our long drive from Michigan to South Carolina and back, I only dropped my data connection briefly once (I use my phone for navigation via Android Auto, and it informs you when the phone goes offline). The connection was maintained even through the two tunnels we travel through on I-77 in Virginia.

The phone is also something of a conversation piece. Since the devices are new and still relatively uncommon, people are always asking me about the phone when they see me using it.
 

Todd Erwin

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The Flip 3 was under consideration, but nearly every customer review I read complained about the poor battery life.

Scott, I hope that is not the case with your phones.
 

Scott Merryfield

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The Flip 3 was under consideration, but nearly every customer review I read complained about the poor battery life.

Scott, I hope that is not the case with your phones.
Todd, for the way we use our phones, battery life has not been an issue at all. I have owned phones that support wireless charging for years, so have scattered wireless chargers around the house and condo in strategic areas. We are never away so long or use our phones enough to run the battery down even below 50% before we are back home and I can top off the battery if necessary. Heck, right now it's 1:45pm and my phone is still at 92% (I had it plugged into my car for about 30 minutes to use navigation earlier when I drove to meet a friend for lunch).

For someone who may use his/her phone constantly and is away from a charging device all day long, it may be an issue. For us, it's no issue at all.
 

Todd Erwin

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Todd, for the way we use our phones, battery life has not been an issue at all. I have owned phones that support wireless charging for years, so have scattered wireless chargers around the house and condo in strategic areas. We are never away so long or use our phones enough to run the battery down even below 50% before we are back home and I can top off the battery if necessary. Heck, right now it's 1:45pm and my phone is still at 92% (I had it plugged into my car for about 30 minutes to use navigation earlier when I drove to meet a friend for lunch).

For someone who may use his/her phone constantly and is away from a charging device all day long, it may be an issue. For us, it's no issue at all.
When I'm working out in the yard or cleaning inside the house, battery life is of utmost importance, as to relieve the boredom of those mundane tasks, I'll be wearing headphones listening to music or a podcast, which many times will drain the battery within a few hours.
 

Scott Merryfield

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When I'm working out in the yard or cleaning inside the house, battery life is of utmost importance, as to relieve the boredom of those mundane tasks, I'll be wearing headphones listening to music or a podcast, which many times will drain the battery within a few hours.
I was using the phone paired with my bluetooth ear buds listening to music while we sat down at the beach at our SC condo for several hours, and still did not have any battery capacity issues. I even watched a Steelers football game via video streaming down at the beach club one Sunday and still had over 50% battery remaining when we got back to the condo.
 

Scott Merryfield

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Well, it's been 15 months since my last post in this thread. While my Samsung Flip 3 is still working fine, my wife's died today. The screen developed a big black bar in the middle today, and began to spread, The upper half of the screen would not respond to any touches. It was pretty much useless. We ended up replacing it with a Samsung S22 5G, as that was the least expensive model that worked for her. We still owe about $250 on her flip phone (24 monthly payment 0% financing).

While I like the form factor, I think this will be our last time with a flip phone. That folding screen is just one more thing that can break.
 

Scott Merryfield

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So, one last post to this thread. My Samsung Flip 3's battery swelled to the point that the case backing on both halves separated (there are actually two batteries in the phone). I am not sure how long this has been happening, as the cell phone case was apparently keeping the phone together, but a couple of days ago I noticed the phone was not opening completely, which caused me to take the case off to investigate. A trip to the local cell phone repair place ended with bad news -- this is a common issue with this model phone, and getting batteries would take around a week (if they could get one). Since I cannot be without a phone for that long, I ended up replacing the Flip 3 with a Samsung Galaxy S23.

I looked on YouTube, and there are some videos on how to replace the Flip 3's two batteries. I did find an off brand battery for about $20 on Amazon, so if I get ambitious I may try to replace the batteries myself and keep the phone as a spare. The replacement process is rather involved, though, so I'm not sure if I want to try and tackle the replacement.
 

DaveF

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If manufacturer batteries cause the phone to become a ticking time bomb, are you really willing to trust it with cheap no-name batteries? This seems like a get rid of device and definitely out of the home situation to me.
 

Edwin-S

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I wouldn't recommend swapping the battery unless a person is very comfortable with the procedure, A badly installed battery could be disastrous.
 

Scott Merryfield

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If manufacturer batteries cause the phone to become a ticking time bomb, are you really willing to trust it with cheap no-name batteries? This seems like a get rid of device and definitely out of the home situation to me.

I wouldn't recommend swapping the battery unless a person is very comfortable with the procedure, A badly installed battery could be disastrous.

For now, the phone is turned off and in a drawer. I may also check with the repair store to see what they will charge for an OEM battery + installation. If it's too much $$$, then I'll just hang onto the phone as a potential trade-in (sometimes the carrier will take a phone in any condition as a trade-in promotion).

I do miss the small size of the Flip, but doubt we will ever get another foldable phone. We are 0-2 in our first experience. A guy I golf with has the newer Samsung Flip model, so I will be interested to see how his holds up over time.
 

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