The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is determined to win over foldable phone skeptics. Concerned about the durability of the device? The display is up to 80% more resistant and the entire phone is waterproof. Want to do more with a massive 7.6-inch screen? There is a camera below the screen for a more immersive viewing experience. and the phone now supports S Pen input.
Do you think foldable phones are too expensive? Well, we can’t help you much with that. This sequel is still expensive at $1,799, but at least $200 cheaper than its predecessor when it launched. If you’re looking for a really affordable foldable device, the new $999 Galaxy Z Flip 3 is a better choice.
Other notable Galaxy Z Fold 3 upgrades include a brighter screen and improved multitasking capabilities, complete with a Windows-like taskbar.
While this foldable device is still a niche device, based on our ongoing Galaxy Z Fold 3 review, it seems that Samsung has refined the best foldable phone money can buy, making it a potentially great choice for power-making. users who want a phone and a tablet in one device. Stay tuned for test results, photo comparisons, and our final rating.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 Review: Pros And Cons So Far
- The camera under the display of the Galaxy Z Fold 3 impresses with its ability to disappear when viewing content. However, the 4MP resolution is definitely less sharp than the 10MP front camera based on the selfie I took.
- The 7.6-inch main display is easier to read outdoors, as the panel is up to 30% brighter. I also appreciate the adaptive 120Hz refresh rate, which allows smoother scrolling.
- I really like the system tray feature that lets you pin your favorite apps to the side of the screen and track you to any app. It’s just like with Windows. However, you have to dig into the Labs setting to enable this.
- There is no denying that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is a thick mobile phone when closed. You’ll definitely notice this phone-tablet combo when it’s in your pocket.
- It’s good to see more apps optimized for Fold 3, including Spotify. At the bottom left you will see a playback window and on the right all your discovery options. In Gmail, you’ll see your inbox on the left and the content of your message on the right.
- We haven’t received an S Pen yet, but we’ve got some impressions of our hands-on preview below.
- The camera quality of the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is generally very good as it takes sharp and colorful photos for the most part. Just don’t expect a powerful zoom.
SAMSUNG GALAXY Z FOLD 3: SPECS
- Price: $1,799 (256GB), $1,899 (512GB)
- CPU: Snapdragon 888
- RAM: 12GB
- Storage: 256GB, 512GB
- External display: 6.2 inches (2268 x 832) 120Hz Adaptive
- Internal display 7.6 inches (2208 x 1768) 120Hz Adaptive
- Rear cameras: 12MP wide (f/1.8); 12MP ultra-side (f.2.2, 123-degree FOV); 12MP telephoto (f/2.4, 2x optical zoom, 10x digital zoom)
- Front camera: 10MP (f/2.2)
- Under-display camera: 4MP (f/1.8)
- Battery: 4,400 mAh
- Charging: 25W (charger not included)
- Size: 6.2 x 2.6 x 0.56 to 0.62 inches (closed); 6.2 x 5 x 0.25 inches (open)
- Weight: 9.55 ounces
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 Release Date And Price
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is now available for pre-order, with a release date of August 27. Those who pre-order the Galaxy Z Fold 3 can take advantage of some benefits, including a $200 Samsung.com credit and 12 months of free Samsung Care+ when they sign up for a three-year subscription.
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 has a starting price of $1,799 for the 256GB model and the 512GB version costs $1,899.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 Design And Durability
A little slimmer and a lot stronger – this is the best way to describe the Galaxy Z Fold 3’s design, which contributes a lot to its durability.
You will love the fact that the new Galaxy Z Fold is IPX8 waterproof and can withstand up to 30 minutes in up to 1.5 meters of water. I doubt most people will submerge this foldable device, but it’s good to know it can handle anything from splashes to rain.
Unfortunately, we can’t test the water resistance of our test device, but we bought a Galaxy Z Fold 3 and will put this device to the test and update this test report.
Unfortunately, Samsung didn’t let us dip the Z Fold 3 during our hands-on session, but we hope to test this feature out soon. Keep in mind that the Z Fold 3 is not dust resistant, so I wouldn’t feel comfortable taking this foldable to the beach.
To further enhance the Galaxy Z Fold 3, the stronger aluminum housing and Gorilla Glass Victus display are designed to withstand scratches and drops. Last but not least, Samsung claims that the Z Fold 3 uses a new protective PET film which, when combined with “optimized” main screen layers, results in a screen that is 80% more durable.
Another plus: the Hideaway Hinge is thinner than before. In fact, the whole device is a bit slimmer than before. The Z Fold 3 measures 6.2 x 2.6 x 0.56 to 0.62 inches when closed and 6.2 x 5 x 0.25 inches open. And it weighs 9.5 grams. Compare that to 6.2 x 2.6 x 0.66 inches (closed), 6.2 x 5 x 0.27 inches (open), and 9.9 ounces for the Galaxy Z Fold 2.
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is available in three main colors: Phantom Black, Phantom Green, and Phantom Silver. I’m a fan of silver because it pops the most.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 screens
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 again has two screens: a 6.2-inch OLED cover display and a 7.6-inch main screen, which becomes visible when the device is opened.
Both panels offer an adaptive refresh rate of 120Hz, and I experienced smooth scrolling and overall performance during my hands-on time with the phone.
The resolution of the inner screen is the same as before at 2208 x 1768 pixels, but the good news is that the new screen is 29% brighter than before thanks to the new Eco-Display technology.
Personally, the main display of the Galaxy Z Fold 3 looks quite stunning, and a big reason for that is a new camera below the display. Rather than staring at a notch or hole, the UDC on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is almost invisible, especially when viewing content like photos and videos on full screen. When the screen is dark, like on the home screen, you can see the small hole, but it’s not that noticeable.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 S Pen
Since I’ve always found pen use cramped, even on the largest phablets, it’s refreshing to see Samsung add S Pen support to a 7.6-inch foldable phone. There’s simply more room to annotate, sketch or mark up documents without having to zoom in constantly.
The catch is that the S Pen isn’t included and there are two options: S Pen Fold Edition ($49) and S Pen Pro ($99). While both pens have a retractable tip to prevent damage to the screen, the S Pen Pro offers Bluetooth connectivity, for example, to control media playback or take photos remotely.
The good news? The S Pen Fold edition felt very responsive when I used it to take some notes. You almost forget that you are writing on a screen. It’s just a shame there’s nowhere to keep the pen on the phone unless you grab a case with a holster on it. The S Pen Fold edition with case costs $79, which I think is a must if you plan to use the pen often.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 multitasking and app support
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is a multitasking powerhouse. The multi-active window feature lets you run two apps side by side (drag and drop content between them) or run up to three apps at once. And now, with the improved App Pair functionality, you can later create shortcuts for two apps just as you opened them.
Don’t want to swipe in from the right to open the Edge Panel to see these and other apps? Samsung has added a new system tray feature that makes it easy to switch between apps. it just sits on the right side of the screen, similar to the Windows taskbar. To get the system tray working, I had to go into the settings menu and enable Samsung Labs, which most people won’t know.
Samsung Labs can also force apps that are not optimized for foldable screens to work in Multi-Active Windows mode. However, Samsung says it is working closely with third-party providers to provide more apps that work natively with the Z Fold 3. These include Snapchat, TikTok, Netflix, Spotify, and YouTube.
For example, if you’re using Spotify, you’ll see the Now Playing window on the bottom left and the rest of the Discovery menu on the right, making it easy to multitask.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 cameras
On the front of the camera, there isn’t really much news to report about the Galaxy Z Fold 3, except for the camera below the display.
The rear cameras again feature a trio of 12-megapixel lenses: an f/1.8 wide-angle lens, an ultra-wide f/2.2 camera with a 123-degree field of view, and a 12MP telephoto camera.
You can see in this shot of purslane flowers that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 can deliver vibrant colors, although the detail in the petals could be a little better when zoomed in.
In this portrait, the Z Fold 3 does a really good job with the bokeh effect, blurring most of the background, although the leaves on the right are quite pronounced. My blue shirt is really popping and my hair has a lot of details, but my skin tone is a bit faded.
Again, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 produces a colorful shot of various bell peppers with rich green, orange, yellow and red hues. And this time the details stayed pretty strong as I enlarged the sign and even the decals on some products.
The 4MP camera below the screen is fine. This lens has an f/1.8 aperture and an 80-degree field of view, meaning it’s fine for video calls, but wouldn’t be our top pick for selfies.
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 takes a decent selfie here, but it’s not as sharp as I’d like, and the overall image looks blurrier than what the 10MP selfie camera produced. Stay tuned for more image comparisons.
Too bad you only get a 2x optical zoom and a 10x digital zoom. For example, the Galaxy S21 Ultra offers two telephoto lenses with 3x and 10x optical zoom, and the space zoom (digital) on this phone goes up to 100x.
Fortunately, there are some new software tricks and features for the cameras, some of which are borrowed from the Galaxy S21 Ultra. These include night portraits, single shots (dynamic video), and director view (for using the front and rear camera simultaneously). Other highlights include the dual preview for selfies with the rear camera and the shooting playback mode.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 Performance
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 proved snappy in our hands-on time, and that’s because it has some pretty beefy hardware under the hood. A Snapdragon 888 processor runs the show and is backed by 12GB of RAM. Furthermore, there is standard 256GB internal storage, although you can also opt for 512GB.
This foldable phone didn’t flinch when I opened three apps on the screen at once, surfed the web, and played videos over a Wi-Fi connection. But we need to spend even more time to see how the Z Fold 3 performs and if it stays cool under pressure.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 battery and charging
The Galaxy Z Fold 2 lasted an admirable 10 hours and 10 minutes in our surf battery test, so we expect similar staying power from the Z Fold 3’s 4,400 mAh dual battery. This is slightly smaller than the Z Fold’s 4,500 mAh pack 2, but not much.
Samsung continues the trend of not carrying a charger, so you’ll have to buy one separately. For fast charging, the Z Fold 3 supports wired charging up to 25W and wireless charging up to 10W. You can also use the back of the Z Fold 3 to wirelessly charge other devices up to 4.5W.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 Outlook
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 looks almost identical to its predecessor at first glance, but the upgrades here are quite extensive, including a more robust design and S Pen support. And it’s good to know that more foldable apps are on the way.
On the other hand, I would have liked to see an integrated stylus holster for the S Pen, similar to what the old Galaxy Note phablets include, as well as more extensive camera upgrades to bring the Z Fold 3 on par with the S21 Ultra.
Ultimately, the Z Fold 3 is all about combining that “wow” factor with peace of mind for those who still want to invest the big bucks in the ultimate foldable phone. And from what I’ve seen so far, Samsung could very well succeed in this mission. Stay tuned for our full review and final rating. If you would like to protect your expensive Galaxy Z Fold 3, you should buy Spigen Z Fold 3 case to protect it.