There’s plenty to like on the Z Flip 3. The stylish and elegant flip phone design that gives you a large 6.7-inch display that folds into half to fit into the tightest of spaces, water resistant build, excellent flagship performance, and Samsung’s excellent One UI software make the Z Flip 3 a stellar package for $999.
But the Z Flip 3 is not perfect. Its cameras aren’t the greatest (though they are considerably better than those on the original Z Flip), and battery life is strictly average. And while it’s understandable that Samsung couldn’t fit a big battery in such a compact design, what I can’t just excuse is the excruciatingly slow charging speeds that accompany that tiny-by-modern-smartphone-standards battery.
15W stopped being fast a while back, even for a teeny 3,300 mAh battery
15W charging stopped being “fast” a couple of years ago, and Samsung knows this. That’s why all of its regular candy bar flagships and so many of its mid-range phones now come with 25W super fast charging. Many of its affordable offerings still use 15W charging because of price constraints, but when you’re paying $150 for a smartphone, it doesn’t really stick out like a sore thumb.
On the Z Flip 3, though, it feels like a joke. Nowadays, most phones that cost $300 or more and have not-so-great battery life at least give you the option to get back on track with a quick charge after the battery runs out or gets low. Not so with the Z Flip 3. It gives you the double whammy: A battery that drains fast, and charging that’s atrociously slow to be acceptable on a high-end phone in 2021.
And it’s a shame, really, because it puts a blemish on what is otherwise a pretty awesome user experience. Samsung is probably still going to sell a lot of these (pre-order figures suggest there’s huge demand), but the Galaxy Z Flip 3’s outdated charging specification means I won’t be one of the consumers picking it up.