The clamshell was once among the hottest mobile phone form factors. With chic and iconic phones like the Moto Razr, the Nokia N93, and the HTC Star Trek, the satisfaction in flipping a phone open and then shutting had an enviable glamour and pizzazz. For anyone not familiar with the zeitgeist, this era existed before slabs of glass and metal took over the entire smartphone business.
Now, the boom of foldable and flexible displays marks the revival of flip phones for anyone who is over the unstimulating block design. Brands like Motorola and Samsung are bringing flip phones to the fore, and the category of folding phones is once again set to upswing with forecasted sales of $29 billion by 2025. If the layout piques your interest, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 is definitely one of the best devices. While the first-gen Galaxy Z Flip — both LTE and 5G variants — felt primitive because of the tiny and monochrome outer display and a fragile design, the Z Flip 3 brought a major upgrade with a more rigid inner foldable display, a bigger and colorful outer screen, and better performance. Despite the improvements, however, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 misses out on a crucial feature without which it feels incomplete as a flip phone.
Anyone who has ever owned or used a flip phone while phones with a keypad were still in vogue will remember the swanky gesture that made them iconic pieces of mobile phone history. Back when people still used phones to make calls a lot, you could flip open a folding phone to pick up a call and fold it to end the call. This gesture was more than just a utility; it was a statement marked by a dapper attitude and unmatched style. But the Galaxy Z Flip 3, despite all its mojo as a smartphone, lacks this feature.
While we hope this feature is among the improvements Samsung includes on the Galaxy Flip 4, there is a quick and easy way to activate the gesture on a Galaxy Z Flip 3 — or the older Galaxy Z Flip phones.
Since the Galaxy Z Flip 3 does not inherently support the gesture to pick up and end calls by flipping it open or shut, we need to program this to happen. We will use an app that can automate actions and automatic events on your Galaxy Z Flip 3. There are plenty of automation apps in the Google Play Store, but we are using MacroDroid because it eliminates the requirement to root your Android phone.
Step 1: Download MacroDroid from the Google Play Store.
Step 2: Now, open the app on your Galaxy Z Flip 3 and patiently read through the descriptions of triggers, actions, and constraints.
If you still missed it, here is what they mean:
* a trigger is any event that will cause any programmed activity to initiate,
* an action will be the result of that trigger,
* a constraint limits certain circumstances where the trigger will cause the action, and
* the complete set of instructions is called a macro.
Step 3: Once you are on MacroDroid’s homepage, tap Add Macro.
Step 4: Enter a name for the first macro to create. In our case, we need two different macros — one to pick up the call when the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is flipped open, and another to end the call when the phone is closed. Add the name for the first macro in the field at the top of the page. I will name it “Flip Call Pick,” but you can feel free to name it anything to your liking.
Step 5: Now, tap the plus icon in the Triggers section labeled in red.
Step 6: Go to Sensors. Here, you will find an option for Light Sensor. Tap it.
We are choosing the ambient light sensor as a trigger. When the phone is folded, the screen will still be turned off even when a call arrives, and the light sensor will be shut. Some imperfect ways to trigger the action would be to associate it with the phone unlocking, the screen turning on, or a person touching or pressing the power button. But in all cases, the call would get picked up automatically — even if only the outer screen lights up.
Step 7: We want the phone to get picked up automatically as soon as the least amount of light hits the sensor. So, we will set the value of Increases to = 0.01 lux. Then, tap Okay.
Step 8: Now, we are back on the main macro page where we need to enter an action. In our case, the action is to pick up a call. Tap the plus icon in the Actions section and locate Phone.
Step 9: Tap Answer Call. You will be requested to allow MacroDroid to manage your phone calls. Tap Allow.
Step 10: You can choose to add a delay so you have enough time between opening the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and placing it next to your ear. We chose a delay of 2 seconds.
Step 11: We are back to the main screen where we need to add any Constraints or conditions that are necessary for the trigger to lead to the action. Tap on the plus icon in the green section.
Step 12: Go to Phone and then tap Call state. Select Not in call and tap OK. This will prevent the call from being picked up in a particular scenario: When you are already speaking to someone using a Bluetooth headset and flip open the phone upon seeing another call is waiting.
Step 13: You can also add constraints if you want the action to work with a certain minimum battery percentage or during a certain time of the day for the action to only work during those hours. I set mine between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. to avoid having to take calls unprepared and half asleep.
Step 14: Save the macro by pressing the button near the bottom right corner.
In this step, we need to create a new macro to end calls in a similar way as above but with different configurations.
Step 1: Start by tapping Add Macro again.
Step 2: Name the macro something like “Flip Call End.”
Step 3: The Galaxy Z Flip 3 must be triggered to end the call when it is closed. Since non-system apps like MacroDroid do not have permission to know when the phone is flipped open or shut, we will associate a trigger with the locking of or turning off the display.
Step 4: You know the drill. Tap on the plus icon for triggers and choose Device events, then tap On/Off.
Step 5: Choose Screen off and tap OK.
Step 6: Next, add the action to end the call. Tap on the plus icon and scroll down to Phone. Select Call reject as the action.
Step 7: The next step is to add a constraint. We want to ensure the call stays connected if you are using a headset. Therefore, we will choose the option for Headphone Connection under Media.
Step 8: Select Headphone not connected and tap OK. This will ensure that the macro only works when a headphone is not connected.
Step 9: We also want to ensure the call doesn’t get connected when the screen is turned off due to the proximity sensor when the phone is placed next to the ear. So, we will set the trigger to only lead to an action when the Proximity sensor is Far.
Step 10: Make sure the relationship between the constraints is set to AND. This will ensure both constraints apply instead of just one.
Step 11: You are all set up. Save the macro by pressing the button at the bottom right corner.
Step 12: Make a call to test whether the macros are working or not. Troubleshoot by going over the above steps again if needed after deleting the existing macros.
Note that this trick also works on the Galaxy Z Flip and the Z Flip 5G. It should also be applicable to any upcoming vertically flipping phones from Samsung, unless it adds an option to do so by default. The feature is in our list of things we want from the Galaxy Flip 4.