Samsung appears to have spared no expense with its third generation of foldable. Samsung’s world’s best folding phone, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, comes with additional RAM, storage, an improved external screen, bigger panels, sharper cameras, new screen protectors, and compatibility for the renowned S Pen. It may have the same physical camera technology as the Galaxy Z Fold 2 from last year, but software upgrades make it a far better camera than the specs reflect.
Given the attention placed on the new water resistance feature— which users have learned to expect in flagship phones — the Z Fold 3’s compatibility with the S Pen is a truly innovative feature. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 form factor, which will be the unofficial replacement for the Galaxy Note series in 2021, fulfills a goal that no other Note phone has ever been able to: the sense of sketching and writing in a foldable phone seamlessly.
With the initial Galaxy Fold in 2019, Samsung established the market for foldable phones. Because of the technologically superior folding display, it provided the functionality of a tablet in a device that could fit in your pocket. The Fold, on the other hand, was frail and beyond of reach for most people. With the Z Fold 2, Samsung resolved the fragility, but not the pricing. Samsung has made progress in almost all aspects with the Galaxy Z Fold 3 this year, owing towards a more durable folding screen and a reduced starting price.
These improvements enable the Galaxy Z Fold 3 to maintain its position as the gold standard for folding phones, putting many competitors in the mud. Huawei is currently the sole serious competitor, however, their folding phones are only available in limited quantities. With very few folding phones on the market, Samsung has essentially cornered the market. Will any phone manufacturer ever move ahead and catch up to the levels of Samsung? Learn what makes the Fold unique.
Galaxy Z Fold 3: Design
You wouldn’t be able to tell the Fold 3 apart from its predecessor just by looking at it. The two are nearly identical in size, with this year’s model being slightly thicker. Fold 3 is 0.8mm slimmer than Fold 2 when folded, albeit gaining 0.4mm when unfolded. When Samsung perfected its hinge mechanism, it appears that it was able to narrow the space between the two portions of the screen.
However, without a thorough comparison, you’re unlikely to notice these small changes. You might also be surprised to learn that the Fold 3 is 10 grams lighter than its predecessor but that’s just a spec sheet comparison as this change will be difficult to notice in the real world. It is, nevertheless, significantly heavier than most other phones.
The hinge is still a work of art. The phone is protected by a thick aluminum spine that runs the length of the device. All of the mechanisms are concealed within the device, giving the end-user a smooth experience when unfolding and folding it. The hinge is seamless and flexible in motion, and it retains the Z Fold 3 at any angle, allowing you to use the phone in a variety of ways. The way the spine vanishes as you open unfold the phone is extremely appealing.
The Z Fold 3 5G is Samsung’s toughest foldable ever, with an IPX8 water resistance rating that means it can be submerged in water for up to 30 minutes at a depth of 1.5 meters. Samsung claims to have achieved this by coating internal components with water-resistant coatings, adding rubber seals, and customizing the wiring of the phone’s Hinge. However, it lacks official protection against dust and tiny particles, so you might want to keep them away from dust and sand.
A new, tougher protective film has been added to the Fold 3’s main screen, as well as a slightly modified layer structure that, according to Samsung, has increased display durability by up to 80%. However, it still feels uncomfortably fragile, and I would advise keeping the phone closed as much as possible to avoid scratching it.
The metal frame and hinge are made of a new material called “Armour Aluminium” by Samsung, which is said to be 10% tougher than last year’s model. The cover screen and back glass panel are likewise protected by Gorilla Glass Victus.
Even with the tougher design upgrades, the Z Fold 3 is somewhat lighter and thinner than its predecessor. This year’s Fold is substantially more portable than last year’s, weighing only 271g and measuring just 6.4mm thin when unfolded. The phone is available in three colors: Phantom Black, Phantom Silver, and Phantom Green, all of which have a significantly matte finish.
The camera array is the one simple design feature that has been modified. The Z Fold 3 replaces the huge, rectangular camera module found on the Z Fold 2 with a smaller, rounder three-lens strip that matches the design of the Note 20 series.
The buttons are embedded into the frame’s edges and are nearly identical to those on last year’s phone. The lock button, which also serves as a fingerprint reader, is located on the right edge of the frame, almost in the middle.
The fingerprint reader is rapid and accurate. It’s wonderful to have specific biometrics that functions so nicely. The volume button is a touch short, but the travel and feedback are excellent. The USB-C port, as well as a speaker grille and microphone, are incorporated into the bottom edge. The phone’s top edge is perforated with a matching speaker grille and more microphones.
The Z Fold 3’s main screen has an under-display selfie camera, which you probably won’t notice. The 4MP (f/1.8) camera is still in the same place in portrait mode — the top-right corner – but it no longer blocks your vision. The top, bottom, and side bezels have all been reduced in thickness.
You may be interested in: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 review, full specs, and price
Given the fact that S Pen compatibility is the most groundbreaking new feature, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 doesn’t come with one and doesn’t even have a place to put one. So you have to buy one for $50.
If you’re afraid about denting the Z Fold 3’s sensitive screen, don’t be. If you apply too much pressure to the pen tip, it will automatically retract.
Galaxy Z Fold 3: Display
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 comes with two major display upgrades. The smaller outside panel now runs at the same stunning 120Hz as the inner display which makes it silkier when switching between the two.
If you can believe it, the phone’s new PET screen protectors have a greater impact on quality than the upgraded outer screen. These covers, unlike the Galaxy Z Fold 2, feel like glass and aren’t readily scratched. In fact, they’re crucial to the Z Fold 3’s ability to support the S Pen.
The screens on the Z Fold 3 are basically “unchanged” and by “unchanged” I mean there are only minor tweaks to each panel when compared to its predecessor. Let’s take a look at each one independently.
The outer panel
The external display has the same size and shape as the Z Fold 2, but it has a few extra pixels and a refresh rate of 120Hz instead of 60Hz. This improvement isn’t spectacular, but it’s welcome anyway.
The outer screen of the Z Fold 3 is an AMOLED display with a vivid Samsung design that provides more than enough real estate for most functions. It’s vibrant, vivid, and simple to use outside in the sun.
Because of the small design of the outside screen, it’s a logical place to check your email or go through your social media feeds, or make a call. The 120Hz rate, which adapts dynamically based on the work at hand, greatly increases scrolling fluidity.
Samsung added just the necessary touches to make utilizing the outer screen more enjoyable.
The inner panel
The main display is the same in size and resolution as its predecessor but it is robust as it features a new screen protector and panel design.
Both screens are bright and clear, with vibrant, true colors, as you’d expect from a high-end Samsung phone. Watching movies and playing mobile games is a breeze on the huge main screen. One issue I discovered is that the primary screen is really shiny and reflective as such it may be distracting and unpleasant to use in direct sunlight.
The inner panel is a 7.6-inch dynamic AMOLED 2X screen with a resolution of 1768 x 2208 pixels. It’s a nice panel with lots of room for multitasking, playing video games, and watching videos. Samsung preserved the same resolution as last year’s phone, resulting in a great full-HD experience with a lot of pixels here (525ppi). The screen also has an adjustable refresh rate of 120Hz.
Even though this screen folds in half, the contrast, brightness, and color are all excellent. Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and other video providers’ full HD content appear great, albeit the panel’s strange aspect ratio implies there are bigger black bars above and below the content you are watching.
If you’re not paying close attention, you might miss one of the new features. Because Samsung has substituted the hole punch style camera with their first-ever under-display camera, the full phablet display is now uninterrupted. Pixels are put to the top of the camera hole, making it appear almost totally undetectable. When streaming movies, playing games, or making video calls, it really does improve your experience. When the screen is fully white, black, or when the light strikes it, you can still see the lens.
Switching between the two screens is now seamless. When you fold the phone over, you can configure the phone to move the app you’re using from the main display to the cover screen, however, the cover screen is a little too narrow for some more complicated tasks.
Because the ridge from the crease isn’t as deep as it was in earlier generations, the main screen appears to be more durable, but the fold in the middle still makes it appear weaker down the middle. You can’t see the crease straight on; it’s only when you look at it from an angle that you can see it.
Galaxy Z Fold 3: Camera
Except for the under-display camera, there isn’t much new to say on the front camera hardware of the Galaxy Z Fold 3. However, some of the best camera capabilities from the Galaxy S21 Ultra have been carried over, like Single Take (Dynamic Video) and Director’s View (for using the front and back cameras at once). Other notable features include a rear-facing selfie camera and a Capture View Mode that displays your shots on the left and a live preview on the right.
A trio of 12MP lenses makes up the back cameras: an f/1.8 wide-angle lens, an ultra-wide f/2.2 camera with a 123-degree field of view, and a telephoto lens. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 captures vibrant and very sharp photos. However, in terms of details and more accurate colors, it lags behind the Galaxy S21 Ultra. You also miss out on the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s zooming capabilities.
As you’d expect from a Samsung phone in 2021, the Z Fold 3 takes clear, bright photos with vibrant colors.
Performance & software
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset, which is more than fast enough to handle the true app multitasking that a device like this needs to be capable of.
Samsung has taken app pairing (the ability to run two apps at once) and its dock to new heights by allowing you to make the app dock permanently and organize the interface pretty much however you like. This is a significant advancement for anyone who has ever desired their phone software operates more like their laptop software. The ability to navigate between apps without having to return to the home screen sounds like a game-changer for an Android phone, especially because Android tablets have traditionally lagged behind how the iPad operates.
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.
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 past 512GB.
Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G comes with Android 11 and Samsung One UI 3.1 out of the box. Samsung has a strong track record of releasing Android security updates on time, so I expect the August update to be available at retail.
All of the enhanced Flex Mode, App Continuity, Standard View, App Pair, Drag & Split, and other advanced software innovations seen on the Z Fold 2 are still available. Samsung has also added Galaxy Labs to the settings menu, which allows you to compel apps to behave the way you want them to on the Fold 3.
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 battery is 4,400mAh. Be ready to be disappointed if you thought a large phone equaled a large battery. The battery size of the Galaxy Z Fold 3 was reduced by 100mAh when compared to the Z Fold 2, which highlights the fact that the Fold 3 is somewhat slimmer than the Fold 2. A full day’s worth of use, in my opinion, is something you’ll unlikely to attain while using the phone to its maximum extent. It’s not that the battery life is poor; it’s just that it isn’t exceptional.
Despite the immense advancements in phone charging times over the last few years, there was a reasonable hope that Samsung would make a major leap forward with the Fold 3. Regrettably, charging times are no faster than on the Z Fold 2. While wireless charging at 10W is a little slow, the 25W wired charging is more than sufficient for a speedy charge at any time of day. It’s only a bummer there’s no 25W charger included in the box.
|Announced Date||11th August 2021|
|Release Date||27th August 2021|
|Dimensions||Unfolded: 158.2 x 128.1 x 6.4 mm|
Folded: 58.2 x 67.1 x 14.4-16 mm
|Display Size & Type||Foldable Dynamic AMOLED 2X|
7.6 inches (Main display)
6.2 inches (Cover display)
120Hz refresh rate
Peak Brightness: 1200 nits
|Screen Resolution||1768 x 2208 pixels (Main display)|
832 x 2268 pixels (Cover display)
|Screen-to-body ratio||~88.8% (Main display)|
|Pixel Density||~426 PPI|
|Software||Android 11; OneUI 3.1.1|
|Chipset||Snapdragon 888 5G (5 nm)|
|12 MP (f/1.8) Wide lens|
12 MP (f/2.4) Telephoto lens
12 MP (f/2.4) Ultrawide lens
Supports [email protected]/60fps, [email protected]/240fps, [email protected], HDR10+ video recording
|4 MP (f/1.8) Under display lens|
10 MP (f/2.2) Wide lens
Supports [email protected] video recording
|3.5mm Headphone Jack||No|
|Network||2G, 3G, 4G, 5G|
Supports nano SIM + nano SIM
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6e, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot|
|Battery||-Non-Removable Li-Po 4,400 mAh|
-USB: Type-C 3.1, USB OTG
-Fast battery charging: Yes (25W)
-Wireless Charging: Yes (10W)
-Reverse charging: Yes (4.5W)
|Colors||Phantom Black, Phantom Silver, Phantom Green|
|Price||Starts from ~$1,799|
*Pls Note that the price of this device may change with time.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 price in Nigeria & availability
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is expected to be released on 27th August with a price tag of $1,799. Phantom Black, Phantom Silver, and Phantom Green are the color options available for the phone. There are no details at the time of writing this post as to whether or not this phone will be released in Nigeria on the same mentioned date. However, we expect it to be available by next month with a price range of N900,000 – N950,000.
Should you buy it?
If you want the best folding phone ever manufactured, you should get this: On the Z Fold 3, Samsung improved almost all of the flaws of the Z Fold 2. Everyone will benefit from water resistance and substantially better screen protection, and the reduced price makes it possible now for average people to afford one.
Secondly, if you’re a whiz at multitasking: Every activity is made easier with two unique screen sizes, and the option to split the huge screen into 3 makes it difficult to overlook how effective multitasking is on this phone. Combine it with new multitasking features that make it easier than ever, as well as a specialized dock similar to what you’d see on a desktop OS.
If you want the best cameras, you shouldn’t get this: The cameras on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 are really not horrible by most standards, but they’re not the finest you can buy. Samsung’s Galaxy S21 series outperforms it in almost every manner, and there are other phones with better cameras if you want them.
Secondly, if you are the type that wants a longer battery life: Despite the Fold 3’s size, Samsung did not include a substantial battery. You won’t be able to get through an entire day on a single charge. This phone also doesn’t have lightning-fast charging that is seen in most Android Flagships.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is unquestionably superior to either of its predecessors. Samsung has done an excellent job of improving the hardware in the correct places to provide a better experience. Samsung redesigned the folding display technology to make it more durable, not only in terms of strength but also in terms of support for the S Pen pen for enhanced usefulness. Both displays have been improved, as have all of the other specifications, and the chassis is now at least waterproof.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G appears to be a folding phone worth investing in if you’re the type that can benefit from it.
It isn’t flawless in every way. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G will still be too expensive for others. Others will find it a little too thick. The under-display camera may also be unimpressive, and the crease may still get in the way. There are a few things Samsung might do better in this area.
Despite a few flaws, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G remains the greatest folding phone available today. It will increase your mobile productivity and allow you to play more immersive games on the main screen.
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is a fantastic device that takes advantage of the poor of competition. So far, there’s no Foldable phone that can compete with the Z Fold 3’s refined foldable experience. The Z Fold 3 seems to be the most popular phone that turns into a tablet that can be carried in your pocket.
Samsung discontinued the Note series for the year, however, the S Pen functionalities of the Note were moved to the Z Fold 3 and Galaxy S21 Ultra. While the Z Fold 3 supports the strong stylus tools we’ve come to expect, the S Pen is an optional accessory that isn’t included with the device. If the stylus was somehow integrated into the hardware, I’d feel more confident calling the Z Fold 3 a Note alternative. Unfortunately, this is not the case. For those looking for a Note replacement, the Z Fold 3 is a double up-sell. The phone is not just significantly more expensive than the previous Note series, but the S Pen only adds to the price.