Galaxy Z Flip3 Galaxy Z Flip3


From slate to foldable: What is it like to switch to the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G?

Taking a leap outside of my comfort zone with slate and slab phones



My affair with foldable phones has been similar to my dating life. I’m always cynical and skeptical at the premise of something promising. When you’ve lived life knowing a kind of love that only crashes and burns, you revel in the comfort of that familiar feeling.

That’s similar to how I felt when I saw the first generation of the Galaxy Z Flip. I lashed and criticized how impractical foldable phones would be — despite knowing deep down I’m attracted to it. A projection, you might say, because I haven’t faced the fact that sometimes it’s okay to like something that seems a little different from what you’ve known.

But that was a few years ago. My perspective changed when I realized how enchanting foldable phones were. And using the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G now was definitely a game-changer. And I just couldn’t let it go.

So gorgeous, it actually hurts

It was a fine evening back in February 2020 at Grand Hyatt Manila when I first saw the Galaxy Z Flip showcased together with the S20 series. It felt like ‘right phone, wrong time’. We simply weren’t aligned. What with the exorbitant price tag and my unwelcoming remark towards the foldable phone.

18 months later, the flip phone and I met again — but better versions of ourselves. With new iterations and better appreciation of the form factor, it was like a divinely orchestrated reunion. This time, I think it was right.

It’s okay to like something that seems a little different from what you’ve known.

Seeing the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G in luscious cream color, equipped with the latest specifications and sporting necessary features that I need, as it sleekly opens tugs a string in my heart; I’ve never wanted something like this in my life. Heart racing from excitement. Nervously grasping how beautiful it was. Seemingly magnetic that I want to grab it with my hands.

And yet, I wonder. Is it another love at first sight? Am I diving in headfirst without knowing what red flags might occur down the line? I couldn’t care less. That’s what it means to take a leap outside of your comfort zone, right?

And all at once, you’re all I want

The Galaxy Z Flip3 5G has certainly been getting a lot of attention when it was launched during Unpacked 2021. The lower price tag and an even more beautiful iteration of its predecessors; I was lucky to get a preview of this charmer before the whole world saw it. Quietly, intimately. And from the moment I laid eyes on it, I knew I had to make it mine.

And that’s what happened when the flip phone launched and it landed into my arms the next day. I was disheveled, seemingly jumping out of glee. It’s here. It’s right here.

Galaxy Z Flip3

I caressed it, stunned at its marvelous sight. My eyes glimmered with enthusiasm as I flipped it open for the first time. Even though I’m unsure what hiccups I might encounter while using the phone, I decided it’s going to be my daily driver.

Switching from slate to foldable wasn’t something I expected I’ll be doing soon. Sure, I did try the Galaxy Z Fold2 and it somehow became a phone that I used to do my work remotely or for tuning in at Clubhouse. But I was still using the usual slab phones as my daily driver. So switching to the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G as a daily driver was a serious jump.

Galaxy Z Flip3

Isn’t it delicate?

When I shared the flip phone on my social media platforms, friends and acquaintances alike gasped in admiration, and posed a crucial query: Isn’t it delicate?

Indeed, the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G felt fragile when you constantly flip the phone close and open. I remember walking around and taking it out of my pocket. Using it bare without a case, I held it tightly even when it’s closed and compact that it rests easily in my palm. I couldn’t be sure.

Galaxy Z Flip3

That’s when I realized how important it is to dress the phone with a case for a worry-free experience. Samsung introduced a bunch of cases to match different personalities, so you can always order one in case you’re worried about the Flip.

But then again, it’s unfair to treat it like a glass cannon. The Galaxy Z Flip3 5G packs so much power without forsaking its defenses. Its frame uses armor aluminum — the same strong material used on the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G — and a Gorilla Glass Victus for the glassy portions, an added protection against scratches and accidental drops.

Galaxy Z Flip3

Its screen panels are also strengthened. Flipping it close and open constantly won’t do harm and no, the screen and hinge won’t break apart. Although over time, the hinge started to loosen up compared to when I first used it. But, that’s expected for anything tight and with a hinge — they loosen up after constant usage. 😉

Galaxy Z Flip3

More importantly, the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G has an IPX8 certification now — the highest rating for waterproofing. You can submerge it up to 1.5 meters underwater, for up to 30 minutes. Although, its dust protection is questionable since it doesn’t have any rating.

Nonetheless, I wasn’t afraid to use the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G for my day-to-day chores. The IPX8 rating gave me peace of mind that I can use the phone even if my hands were sweaty from working out, or when I’m in the shower.

Have I known you 20 seconds or 20 years?

Galaxy Z Flip3

When opened, it’s just like your average smartphone like the Galaxy S21. It makes so much more sense than using the Fold since the Flip still gives that familiar vertical slate when opened. Some curious cats asked, “How about the crease?”

Galaxy Z Flip3

I’d say, you won’t feel it if you’re scrolling from the bottom half of the phone. But if your finger scrolls in the middle, you’d definitely feel the crease and get annoyed with that uneven part.

The power button slash fingerprint scanner along with the volume rockers are placed a little bit higher than usual, though. So you might need to adjust to it.

But for the most part, the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G lets you experience the best of both worlds: keeping that familiar slate affair without shying away from a new form factor.

High above the whole scene

Galaxy Z Flip3

What makes the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G interesting is the flexibility and versatility it offers. And how it makes everything convenient. When closed, I can adjust my music playback on the cover screen. And it comes with different widgets that you can customize, most of which are tools you’d normally use on your smartphone.

Galaxy Z Flip3

But being able to check the notifications as you would on your smartwatch, that felt really convenient. I can see from a glance who messaged me, and I can decide quickly if the person involved — or their concern which they sent as a message — is important enough for me to respond as soon as possible.

This helps me manage my time and prevent unnecessary scrolling on my phone. When you have a phone that’s too lovely to hold, it’s easy to get addicted and use it for hours.

Setting off, but not without my muse

The best part, for me, is utilizing Flex Mode. I had a marvelous time playing around with it and realized how it’s the little things that set this foldable apart.

For one, it’s easier taking calls with my colleagues or catching up with my partner — without the need for a phone stand since the Flip itself can prop as a tripod. I also had a wondrous time scrolling and checking updates from my favorite artists. And it kind of looks good when you play your music or watch videos while on Flex Mode.

Even my best friend had a wonderful time using the Flip and used it as a compact mirror when she needed to reapply her lipstick. She even likened how easy it is to carry and put inside her pocket and purse.

Above all, I could call the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G my muse especially for taking inspiration for my art and for helping me with my photographs. Its versatility adapts in any situation, helping me in capturing sceneries and even mastering the art of selfies. Whether it’s by Flex Mode or using it as your familiar slate.

Undoubtedly, it’s equipped with a flagship-level camera because, surprise, it’s still a flagship phone. Its cameras may not be as excellent as the Galaxy S21 Ultra, but it’s still enough to take Pinterest- and Instagram-worthy photos that you’d love to print some time.

Use my best colors for your portrait

Now that we’re on the topic: there are several ways you can maximize the Flip’s cameras. And that all depends on your shooting style and scenarios.

Most of the time, I use it like a regular smartphone. It captures nicely — perfect for my Instagram Stories and snaps to update my partner about my day.

It has the same functionalities as the S21 series, so you get to experience near-quality cameras, too.

Shooting in Flex Mode doesn’t have to be used for selfies alone. I use it to take low-angle shots for worm-eye views to make the subjects appear big and long — which can be useful for your travel photos if you’re a shorty who wants to look tall.

But Flex Mode has been perfect for recording my training which I send to my coach while we’re still not allowed to go back to the gym. And for what it’s worth, the Flip’s cameras can work for anyone — even if you’re going to use it for your TikTok jams.

Onto its Cover Display, you can shoot photos and videos even with its compact size — making it apt for those who want to shoot their vlogs and record videos while they walk. The only caveat, which Michael Josh has pointed out in his review, is how the output is limited to a square aspect ratio.

Nonetheless, it still solidifies the truth that anyone can use this foldable — only if your mind, heart, body, soul, and wallet are open for the experience.

I don’t want to look at anything else now that I saw you

Just when smartphones are getting unexciting, the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G flipped things around. I’m no longer hesitant in trying new form factors, but more importantly, I’m in love with this foldable. I never want to let go.

Do I regret switching from slate to foldable? Not even a little bit, not even at all. Is it my GadgetMatch? Looks like it. Frankly, ’tis an experience I welcome in 2021 — and a moment to try something new. Sometimes, it’s okay to like what’s odd, eccentric, and unfamiliar.

You might have to sail through unchartered waters not knowing what awaits when you switch to a foldable, but the experience will be oh so worth it.

In any case, like the Galaxy Z Fold lineup, there’ll be a certain allure that you can only experience when you get your hands on a foldable phone. And if you spend time using it for quite a while. That je ne sais quoi is probably what made me fall in love.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 review: Foldable you can afford


Samsung Galaxy S23, S23+ and S23 Ultra Hands-On

Worthy upgrades!



Samsung has finally Unpacked the newest Galaxy S23, S23+, and S23 Ultra in San Francisco.

This is actually Samsung’s first in-person event during the pandemic.

With all the design and hardware improvements, do you actually need to upgrade?

Watch our Samsung Galaxy S23 Series Hands-on video to help yourself decide.

SHOP S23 Ultra





SHOP S23 & S23+





DISCLOSURE: GadgetMatch earns a commission from qualifying purchases from any of these links.

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HONOR X9a 5G Hands-On: Tough and capable

Strong 2023 start for HONOR?




HONOR is determined to make some serious noise in the smartphone space in 2023. In the Philippines, they’re looking to start strong with the release of the HONOR X9a 5G. 

If you follow any tech publications and some influencers and endorsers online, you likely saw the drop test videos the company had literally everyone do. That includes GadgetMatch. 

For what it’s worth, the thing is really tough. During our quick shoot, we dropped it around 3 times on concrete. No major damages suffered. The 0.65mm ‘Deeply Reinforced Glass’ on the display is, for the most part, not just a gimmick. Still, don’t go dropping the phone carelessly if you do decide to get it. 

We’re already talking about the display anyway, so let’s dig into it a little more. 

Pleasant to the eyes


The HONOR X9a 5G sports a 6.67-inch OLED Curved Display. It has a 394 pixels per inch count with a 2400 x 1900 resolution and 800 nits of peak brightness. Marketing materials also tout its 1.07 billion colors and TUV Rheinland Low Blue Light Certification. 

For the most part, the phone is everything it says it is on paper. The curved display affects more how the phone feels on-hand than it does for your eyes. It makes the phone’s profile feel slimmer than it actually is. And it’s not too curved to the point that it distracts from whatever you’re watching. 

Colors also look great. We can confidently say that you’ll have a good time watching videos on the HONOR X9a 5G. Whether that’s one of our YouTube videos, mindlessly scrolling on TikTok, or catching up on your favorite series. 

It also delivers a buttery-smooth feel, it has a 120Hz refresh rate and a 300Hz touch sampling rate. 

Familiar look 


Going over to how the rest of the phone looks, it gives off a Magic-ish, Mate-ish vibe. The circular camera module on the back plays a huge part in that. We’ll get to the camera details later on. For now, let’s focus on the look. 

One glance and you could mistake it as an HONOR Magic or even a HUAWEI Mate phone. After all, they share a similar design language. 

All the buttons (power and volume) are on the right. 

And at the bottom, you’ll find the SIM Card tray, USB-C port, and speaker-grille. Pretty standard stuff. 

Globally, the phone comes in three colors: Titanium Silver, Emerald Green and Midnight Black. In the Philippines, it appears only the first two colors will be available at launch. 

Overall, it’s your standard slab with a signature look. That camera module is certainly doing a lot to separate it from the pack. 

Capable cameras 


Now onto the cameras. Here they are by the numbers: 

  • Main (Wide): 64MP, f/1.8, PDAF
  • Ultrawide: 5MP, f/2.2, 
  • Macro: 2MP, f/2.4, (macro)
  • Front (wide): 16MP, f/2.5

And since video taking seems to be all the rage these days, you might be pleased to know that both the front and back cameras can take 1080P at 30fps footage. 

Again, these are pretty standard numbers for midrangers. The same is true for the actual output. There’s nothing here that’s mind blowing. But for posting on socials and just capturing stuff on the daily, it’s more than serviceable. 

Take a look at these samples: 

Steady performer


The HONOR X9a 5G is powered by the Qualcomm SM6375 Snapdragon 695 5G processor. In the Philippines, it comes with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. It also has a massive 5,100mAh battery. Software-wise, it’s running Magic UI 6.1 based on Android 12.

In practice, all these components come together to deliver a steady performer of a smartphone. The HONOR X9a 5G is reliable in all the ways that matter. The processor, while not new by 2023 standard, still does what you expect it to do. That is to keep the stuff you need running in the background as needed. 

It also has a decent power efficiency, which, paired with the massive battery, delivers an overall battery life that won’t have you running to the nearest power outlet as the day winds down. 

We didn’t do much gaming on the phone, but given that it’s the same processor that was equipped on mobile gaming-inclined phones in the past, we’re confident it can steadily run plenty of the most-played games on mobile. 

Solid start for HONOR


The HONOR X9a 5G is a tough, capable smartphone that’s easy on the eyes. It’s the quintessential midrange smartphone. Everything we’ve come to expect from midrangers is present on this phone while also being extra tough and lasting extra long. 

With this being HONOR’s first offering in 2023 in the Philippines, the company is off to a solid start. 

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HP Envy Laptop 16: For Creatives On The Go

HP’s new laptop is stylish yet powerful



HP’s Envy line of laptops are designed for users who need a bit more power and performance, including creative professionals — like Michael Josh.

The HP Envy Laptop 16 is designed on the Intel EVO platform, which deliver superior performance when you need it most.

Watch Michael Josh’s First 24 Hours with the HP Envy Laptop 16 and more about the HP laptop here.


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