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Hands-on Review of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
So far, the best foldable phone.
Display: Foldable Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1200 nits (peak)
CPU:Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 5G (5 nm)
MEMORY:256GB , 512GB
CAMERA: 12 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/1.76″, 1.8µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS
12 MP, f/2.4, 52mm (telephoto), 1/3.6″, 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 2x optical zoom
12 MP, f/2.2, 123˚, 12mm (ultrawide), 1.12µm
SELFIE CAMERA: 4 MP, f/1.8, 2.0µm, under display
10 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), 1/3″, 1.22µm
BATTERY:Li-Po 4400 mAh, non-removable
Charging: Fast charging 25W
Fast wireless charging 11W
Reverse wireless charging 4.5W
DESIGN- Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 Review
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 keeps the same book-like form and functionality of its two predecessors, with a small but usable 6.2-inch Cover Display on the exterior that opens up to expose a massive 7.6-inch display on the inside.
The Z fold 3 has two displays, and a hinge mechanism allows it to fold and unfold the phone, making it the most eye-catching mobile gadget design in 2021. Yes, we’ve seen it before, but most of the individuals we showed the Galaxy Fold 3 have never seen anything like it before.
The 46mm watch face is bigger than even the bigger 45mm form of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, making it the new ruler of Big Smartwatches. While it does not have the turning bezel of the last mentioned, the OnePlus Watch has a similar 1.4-inch show size as Samsung’s lead watch, however you would get it was bigger, because of a dim bezel under the level glass.
The presentation is sharp and brilliant, exploiting the AMOLED tech to show rich darks – however given the moderate interface and predetermined number of applications, there isn’t much here that can exploit the screen, beside some upscale watch faces (swappable in the OnePlus Health telephone application).
And that’s what you’re paying for: the thrill of pulling a phone from your pocket and unfolding it to reveal a 7.6-inch tablet-like display while also demonstrating that you’re technologically ahead of the curve.
The hinge has been enhanced, and the materials used are more durable than in prior foldable phones we’ve reviewed. The Z Fold 3 is said to be 80 per cent stronger than Samsung’s previous foldable. When you unfold the gadget, you’ll notice a difference, especially if you’re upgrading from a Gen 1 model.
It’s more durable than the Fold 2, and the company’s Ultra-Thin Glass is less mushy this time, which is vital for playing games or scrolling through Instagram and TikTok videos.
Even though it isn’t always practical, the Z Fold 3 design is impressive.
DISPLAY- Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 Review
Samsung’s foldable smartphone’s tablet-like 7.6-inch screen with a 120Hz refresh rate remains its main selling feature.
With a 24.5:9 aspect ratio, the Fold 3 has quickly become our favourite phone for reading ebooks and surfing the web. Instead of being stacked vertically, columns on websites display next to each other. We were even able to complete spreadsheet work without feeling defeated, which is something we generally do on a traditional smartphone
You’ll have to get used to ignoring the still-noticeable central wrinkle on this inner AMOLED panel. But that was simple for us since we were instantly enthralled by the enormous screen and all it has to offer in everyday situations.
Playing games without our thumbs covering the entire display when reaching for on-screen controls gives us a lot of pleasure. We also presented a YouTube video to a group of people without handing over our tablet or forcing them to squint because the Z Fold 3 screen is so large.
Due to overwhelming feedback on the Z Fold 1, the Cover Display was increased to 6.2 inches when the Z Fold 2 came in 2020. It has the exact dimensions here – it’s cramped, especially when tapping away on the minor keys of the narrow Cover Display keyboard. Still, the screen refresh rate has been increased to 120Hz, which matches what we had previously on the inside display.
S PEN- Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 Review
The S Pen is compatible with the Galaxy Z Fold 3 – and it’s a game-changer for a phone that’s been dubbed the Note 21 Ultra successor unofficially.
Samsung is selling a brand-new S Pen that was created specifically for this foldable phone. The S Pen Fold Edition and the more significant S Pen Pro are available with Bluetooth for Air Actions and USB-C charging.
The bundled S Pen was toothpick-sized and housed within the phone’s body in the Note series, but these new S Pen attachments are separate purchases and more conspicuous, so they don’t fold into the Fold. However, we found the size to be more artist and note-taker friendly, akin to the size of the S Pen for Samsung’s tablets.
If you’re worried about puncturing the Z Fold 3’s sensitive screen, don’t be. If you apply too much pressure to its stylus tip, it will retract.
CAMERAS- Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 Review
The cameras on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 are competent but not outstanding; you’ll either be pleased with the beautifully detailed shots and video or frustrated that this Note 21 Ultra-replacement doesn’t go much further than the Z Fold 2. It all depends on how much camera-phone research you undertake.
The camera specifications are the same as last year: a 12MP f/1.8 main camera, a 12MP f/2.2 ultrawide camera, and a 12MP f/2.4 telephoto camera with 2x optical zoom. This new handset’s telephoto and ultra-wide cameras will have visual image stabilisation, but little else has changed.
As you’d expect from a Samsung phone in 2021, the Z Fold 3 takes clear, bright photos with vibrant colours. However, upon closer study, we discovered that the primary camera on the S21 Ultra from six months ago and the iPhone 12 Pro Max from nearly a year ago catches more detail. Unless you compare the findings side by side or have an excellent eye for detail, you might not notice it.
The Z Fold 3 has a conventional 2x optical zoom, which feels limited given how much Samsung has bragged about its Space Zoom cameras in the S21 Ultra, Note 20 Ultra, and S20 Ultra over the last 18 months. Sure, the 100x Space Zoom seemed excessive, but images were taken at 30x and 10x were decent, and the Z Fold 3 falls short despite its high price.
However, there is one space-age-like technique in the camera arrangement. The Galaxy Z Fold 3’s 7.6-inch main display has an under-display camera covered by a patch of pixels when not in use. The crosshatch design isn’t completely undetectable, but it does an excellent job of making the screen more uniform.
We discovered that when you aren’t staring straight at the internal display’s camera, the crosshatch stated above pattern allowing which that partially obscures it vanishes it, making it significantly less distracting than the black pinhole cutout that would’ve been there otherwise.
Regrettably, this cutting-edge technology is years ahead of its time. We discovered that photographs shot with the 4MP f/1.8 camera are substantially less sharp than those taken with the 10MP f/2.2 selfie camera on the Cover Display. And that’s a shame because the screen would otherwise make for a great video conferencing interface. But who wants to use the worst camera of the five onboard, which projects you as a slightly blurry figure? The idea is neat, but it’s half-baked.
Software, Specs and Performance
Regardless of where you are in the world, the Galaxy Fold 3 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset (there is no Samsung-made Exynos processor here, unlike past Samsung flagships that used a combination of own-brand and Qualcomm chips). It’s fast enough to handle the genuine app multitasking that a device like this requires.
That’s significant because Samsung has taken app pairing (the ability to run two apps at once) and its slide-out dock to new heights by allaswing you to make the app dock permanent and organise the interface (up to three app windows active at once) pretty much however you like.
This is a massive advancement for anyone wishing that their phone software behaved more like their laptop software. The ability to move between apps without returning to the home screen or sliding down a dock sounds like a game-changer for an Android phone, mainly because Android tablets have long lagged behind the iPad and iPad mini.
We’re on the verge of declaring this the most excellent Android 11 tablet available (although it would also be the most expensive one by some distance).
The Z Fold 3 comes in two configurations: 256GB with 12GB of RAM, which is more than enough for most people, and 512GB with 12GB of RAM. If you compare phone prices and realise that Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro Max starts at 128GB, the price gap narrows slightly.
The Galaxy Z Fold 3’s combination of RAM and the powerful Snapdragon 888 processor also makes it a gaming powerhouse, allowing it to handle graphically intense titles like PUBG, Call of Duty Mobile, and Asphalt 9 Legends on ultra settings without breaking a sweat.
While Samsung has previously provided phones with 1TB of capacity, there isn’t one here, and there isn’t a microSD card slot to expand storage beyond 512GB. Manufacturers have no ambition to go higher than this until 4K and 8K video recordings become commonplace, with cloud storage becoming prevalent.
BATTERY LIFE- Samsung Galaxy Z fold 3 Review
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 battery has a capacity of 4,400mAh, which may be due to Samsung cramming so much technology into the flexible body that it was compelled to shave 100mAh off last year’s capacity 4,500mAh.
The loss will be felt by power users, who are the target market for this phone. While we could get through the day using both screens, if we activated 5G and took advantage of the camera, we’d be reaching for the fast charger or a Qi wireless charger by the end of most nights.
The problem is that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 does not come with a charger, so you’ll need to use your existing charger or purchase one separately. Apple made a similar move with its iPhone 12 series. It’s designed to cut down on electronic waste, and it probably doesn’t hurt that all of these much thinner smartphone boxes will save on shipping costs, too.
Who should buy the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3?
Buy it if
You pride yourself on being an early adopter.
That’s it. Samsung Galaxy Z fold 3 is the folding phone that early adopters have been waiting for if they were hesitant to buy the first two Fold phones (which we don’t blame them for). You could have to turn in your early adopter registration card at the next meeting if you don’t buy this one. Sorry for the inconvenience.
You’re a scribbler or a sketch artist on the go.
The S Pen feels more mature here, as it’s an accurate pen-sized stylus with a broader canvas to work with. It won’t fit inside this phone (you’ll need a case to store it), and it won’t come with it like it would with a Note. Writing down important notes or sketching your next digital masterpiece also doesn’t feel like you’re clutching a toothpick.
For films and gaming, you’ll need a large screen.
You’ll come for the foldable magic, but you’ll stay for the 7.6-inch screen, which shines when viewing videos and playing games. Because most games employ on-screen controls, having a mini-tablet helps you focus on the action rather than your knuckles.
Don’t buy it if
You’re looking for the most fantastic photography phone Samsung has to offer.
With this phone, Samsung has made a few camera improvements year over year, which will disappoint Note 21 Ultra owners who could capture more detail and experience 100x Space Zoom photography with that phone. The S21 Ultra is still Samsung’s most excellent camera phone.
The foldable phone revolution hasn’t hit you yet.
While we can enthusiastically suggest the Z Fold 3 to early adopters who have been debating whether or not to buy a foldable phone, it is not suitable for the typical customer. Even if it is the superb phone of 2021, it is still far too pricey and impractical for most phone purchasers.
You purchased the Z Fold 2 from last year.
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 has considerable improvements – the S Pen and water resistance stand out the most – but you should probably wait for the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4. What are the chances? Perhaps by then, the Cover Display will support the S Pen, and the cameras will be comparable to those of a true Samsung flagship.