The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is now available for pre-order, with an August 27 delivery date. Pre-ordering the Galaxy Z Fold 3 comes with a few advantages, including $200 in Samsung.com credit and 12 months of Samsung Care+ for free when you sign up for a three-year subscription.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 starts at $1,799 for the 256GB variant and $1,899 for the 512GB model.
Design and Durability
Even though it’s still hefty, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 offers a lot in terms of durability.
You’ll be relieved to learn that the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold is IPX8 water-resistant, which means it can withstand being submerged for up to 30 minutes in up to 1.5 meters of water.
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 has a tougher Armor Aluminum body and a Gorilla Glass Victus display to protect it from scratches and drops. Last but not least, Samsung claims that the Z Fold 3 has a new protective PET film that, when combined with “optimized” main screen layers, makes the screen 80 per cent more durable.
When closed, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 measures 6.2 x 2.6 x 0.56 to 0.62 inches, and when open, it measures 6.2 x 5 x 0.25 inches. It’s also 9.5 ounces in weight. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 measures 6.2 x 2.6 x 0.66 inches (closed), 6.2 x 5 x 0.27 inches (open), and weighs 9.9 ounces. Even so, it’s thicker and heavier than other phones when closed, so you’ll notice it in your pocket.
Phantom Black, Phantom Green, and Phantom Silver are the three main colours available with the Galaxy Z Fold 3. Silver is my favourite since it stands out the most.
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 has two screens: a 6.2-inch OLED cover display and a 7.6-inch main screen that is revealed when the device is unfolded.
A 120Hz adaptive refresh rate is available on both panels.
The internal screen’s resolution remains the same as previously, at 2208 x 1768 pixels, but thanks to the new Eco display technology, the new display is rated to be 29 per cent brighter than before.
The main display on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is beautiful, thanks in part to a new under-display camera. Instead of having to look at a notch or punch hole, the UDC on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is practically invisible, especially when viewing content like images and videos in full-screen mode. When the display is dark, such as on the home screen, the little hole can be seen, but it is not particularly apparent.
In our lab testing, the Galaxy Z Fold 3’s display averaged 422 nits of brightness. That’s fine, but it’s less than half of the brightness of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra (821 nits), and the iPhone 12 Pro Max also managed 654 nits.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 multitasking and app support
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is a multitasking beast. You can run two apps side by side (dragging and dropping material between them) or up to three apps at once thanks to the Multi-Active Window feature. Additionally, the improved App Pair functionality now allows you to create shortcuts for two apps in the same way that they were open.
Don’t want to keep swiping in from the right side of your screen to see these and other apps? Samsung has included a new Taskbar function that allows users to switch between apps on the go; it just rests on the right side of the screen, much like the Windows taskbar. To get the Taskbar to operate, go to the Settings menu and turn on Samsung Labs, which most people aren’t aware of.
The Taskbar is a fantastic addition once it’s turned on. For example, you may quickly check how many alerts you have on Slack and then move to that app. Alternatively, you can access your preferred App Pair: Gallery and Messages, instantly.
Apps that aren’t suited for foldable displays can also be forced to work in Multi-Active Windows mode by Samsung Labs. You could, for example, park Netflix on the left side of the screen and continue watching Outer Banks while keeping an eye on messages on the right.
Drag and divide is another nice function. For example, if you’re browsing Amazon items in the Samsung browser, you can just drag one to the right to create a new window. You can then look at the details of one product while comparing the others on the left. Samsung Message, MS Office, One Note, and other apps offer this capability as well.
A lot of apps support Flex mode, which puts information on top and controls on the bottom of the display when you fold the Galaxy Z Fold 3 like a laptop. This works in YouTube and the Camera app, and you can use it during a Google Meet video conversation without having to use your hands. Flex mode can even be forced to display in apps.
Samsung is also collaborating with third-party developers to bring more native Galaxy Z Fold 3 apps to market. Snapchat, TikTok, Netflix, Spotify, and YouTube are among them. When using Spotify, for example, the Now Playing window is on the bottom left side and the rest of the discover menu is on the right side, making multitasking easier.
Chrome is the most optimized app for the Galaxy Z Fold 3. You’ll appreciate being able to see and move all of your tabs at the top, exactly like on a desktop.
Galaxy Z Fold 3 S Pen
It’s refreshing to see Samsung add S Pen functionality to a 7.6-inch foldable phone, as I’ve always found using a stylus on even the largest phablets awkward. Simply put, there’s more room to take notes, sketch, or mark up documents without constantly zooming in.
However, there is a difficulty with the Galaxy Z Fold 3’s S Pen support right away. The stylus will work with the foldable phone, but it isn’t included, and there isn’t a built-in slot for it as on Galaxy Note devices. Instead, the S Pen is a separate purchase that you must make in addition to the $1,799 you previously paid for your phone. You’ll need a specifically designed case to store the pen, which is an additional purchase.
The $49 S Pen Fold Edition and the $99 S Pen Pro are the two S Pen alternatives. The latter includes Bluetooth connectivity for features such as Air Gestures and other remote control functions. The S Pen Fold Edition is just a writing instrument with a collapsible tip that’s been engineered to function with the Galaxy Z Fold 3’s screen.
The S Pen Fold Edition was put to the test, and it’s a solid, black stylus. We had some trouble finding the S Pen’s button, which is unfortunate because you’ll need to tap it to activate functions like an off-screen memo and a quick note. Hovering the pen over the active screen of the Galaxy Z Fold 3 brings up the S Pen menu, which allows you to conduct a variety of functions using the stylus.
The Galaxy Z Fold 3’s large 7.6-inch canvas provides plenty of room to scribble a quick message — simply hold the S Pen’s button and tap the screen to begin writing. If the screen is off, all you have to do to generate an off-screen memo is press and hold the S Pen button and tap the screen.
Other productivity-enhancing S Pen features include Screen Write (a markup capability), Smart Select (grab text and images from other apps), and translate (where you can tap words to find out what they mean in different languages). Other capabilities, such as Live Message, which allows you to record an image and add text and doodles, and AR Doodle, which allows you to superimpose your drawings over real-world items, are more about having fun than being productive.
The S Pen may only be used on the main screen of the Galaxy Z Fold 3. The stylus cannot be used to input data on the cover display. This appears to be an oversight, as you might not want to bother unfolding the device if you just want to jot down a quick message.
With the exception of the under-display camera, there isn’t much new to report on the camera hardware front with 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 photos on the left and a live preview on the right.
Because it has some rather strong technology under the hood, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 proved largely speedy during our hands-on time. The Snapdragon 888 processor is in charge, with 12GB of RAM to back it up. There’s also 256GB of internal storage as standard, with 512GB available as an upgrade.
Whether I was running three apps at once or racing around the track in Asphalt 9, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 delivered fast performance in everyday use. However, there were a few issues, such as when switching from the cover to the main display.
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 scored 3,418 in the multi-core test and 1,107 in the single-core test on Geekbench 5, which measures overall performance. This compares favourably to the Galaxy S21 Ultra (3,400/1,123), but falls short of the iPhone 12 Pro Max (4,100/1,600).
On the 3DMark Wild Life graphics test, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 wasn’t quite as far behind the iPhone 12 Pro Max. The Samsung managed 33 frames per second, whereas the iPhone managed 39.
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 took 50 seconds to transcode a 4K movie to 1080p in a video editing test using the Adobe Premiere Rush software. That’s faster than the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s time of 1 minute and 2 seconds, but slower than the iPhone 12 Pro Max’s time of 28 seconds.
Battery life and charging
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 has a 4,400 mAh dual battery, which is somewhat less than the 4,500 mAh battery seen in the Z Fold 2. In addition, the results of our web surfing battery test, which entails surfing the web via 5G with a screen brightness of 150 nits, were disappointing.
In 60Hz display mode, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 lasted only 7 hours and 52 seconds, and much less in adaptive mode (up to 120Hz) at 6:35. On the same screen modes, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 lasted 10:10 and 9:05 minutes longer, respectively. We utilized T-network Mobile’s last year, so that could explain some of the difference. We’ll follow up with more test findings.
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 doesn’t come with a charger, so we used a 25W Samsung charger to see how long it takes to charge. The phone has reached 47 per cent after 30 minutes, which isn’t bad.
Wireless charging up to 10W is also supported by the Galaxy Z Fold 3. You can even reverse wireless charge other devices up to 4.5W using the back of the Z Fold 3.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G Key Specs & Features
|Model||Galaxy Z Fold 3|
|Release Date||2021, August|
|Dimensions||Unfolded: 158.2 x 128.1 x 6.4 mm
Folded: 158.2 x 67.1 x 14.4-16 mm
|Weight||271 g (9.56 oz)|
|Colours||Phantom Black, Phantom Silver, Phantom Green|
|Body Material||Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus) (folded), plastic front (unfolded), glass back (Gorilla Glass Victus), aluminium frame|
|SIMs||Nano-SIM and/or eSIM|
|Water & Dust||IPX8 water-resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 mins)
|Type||Foldable Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1200 nits (peak)|
|Resolutions||1768 x 2208 pixels
Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
6.2 inches, 832 x 2268 pixels, 25:9 ratio
|PPI||374 ppi density|
|Protection||Corning Gorilla Glass|
|2G||GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
CDMA 800 / 1900
|3G||HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700(AWS) / 1900 / 2100
HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
|4G||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 30, 38, 39, 40, 41, 46, 48, 66, 71|
|5G||2, 5, 25, 41, 66, 71, 260, 261 SA/NSA/Sub6/mmWave|
|Speed||HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE-A (7CA) Cat20 2000/200 Mbps, 5G|
|Rear Triple||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
|Features||LED flash, HDR, panorama|
|Videos||4K@60fps, 1080p@60/240fps (gyro-EIS), 720p@960fps (gyro-EIS), HDR10+|
|Front Dual||16 MP, f/1.8, 1.0µm, under display
10 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), 1/3″, 1.22µm
|OS||Android 11, One UI 3.5|
|Chipset||Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 5G (5 nm)|
|CPU||Octa-core (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 680 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 680 & 4×1.80 GHz Kryo 680)|
|Storage||256GB / 512GB|
|Fast Charging||Fast charging 25W|
|Wireless Charging||Fast wireless charging 11W
Reverse wireless charging 4.5W
|Sound||3.5mm Audio Jeck|
|Sensors||Fingerprint (side-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer
Bixby natural language commands and dictation
Samsung DeX (desktop experience support)
Samsung Pay (Visa, MasterCard certified)
Ultra-Wideband (UWB) support
|Bluetooth||5.2, A2DP, LE, aptX HD|
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS|
|USB||USB Type-C 3.2|
|Wi-Fi||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6e, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot|
Samsung holds the title of the finest folding phone with the Galaxy Z Fold 3, and it’s not just because there’s no competition right now. For a little less money than last time, you get a more durable design, enhanced multitasking, and better screens.
The under-display camera is a design improvement, allowing you to view more of the screen when it’s not in use. However, you’ll have to sacrifice some image quality from this 4MP camera. Samsung also deserves praise for collaborating with developers to make more apps foldable-friendly. The device is now available in all authorized retail centres ranging from GHS. 11,540 – GHS. 13,848 approximately if you are in Ghana.
*Note images are for illustration purposes and still belong to the rightful owners.