Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G Review
We could have sworn that Samsung’s original indulgence in foldable screens wasn’t long ago. It definitely feels that way. However, here we are with the latest and greatest Z Fold3 — a third-generation product, or maybe even a fourth, depending on how you count the initial, failed Fold launch back in the day. Foldable devices are maturing and are already a staple, of sorts, within Samsung’s lineup. In fact, the Korean giant has now been constantly introducing foldable devices on an annual schedule, and this year, it came at the expense of its new Galaxy Note lineup. Oh, how the tables have turned.
In fact, the Z Fold3 is arguably closer to the Note than ever. One of its most important features is the S Pen support. The first with a foldable screen and quite a technical challenge to pull out. Speaking of first and technical challenges, the Z Fold3 is also the first foldable to carry an official ingress protection rating. There’s nothing too ambitious, just IPX8, but the engineering challenge is the pull too.
A quick overview of the specifications of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G:
- Body: 158.2 x 128.1 x 6.4 mm, 271 grams; Glass front (Gorilla Victus Glass) (folded), plastic front (unfolded), glass back (Gorilla Victus Glass), aluminum frame; IPX8 water resistance (up to 1.5 meters for 30 minutes), stylus support.
- Screen: foldable : 7.60 inches Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120 Hz, HDR10 +, 1200 nits (peak), resolution 1768 x 2208 pixels, aspect ratio 11.24: 9, 374 pixels per inch; Cover screen : Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, Corning Gorilla Glass Victus, 6.2 inches, 832 x 2268 pixels, 25:9 ratio.
- الرقاقة: Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 5G (5 nm): Octa-core (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 680 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 680 & 4×1.80 GHz Kryo 680) ؛ ادرينو 660.
- Memory: 256 GB 12 GB RAM, 512 GB 12 GB RAM; UFS 3.1.
- Operating System/Software: Android 11, One UI 3.1.1.
- Rear camera: Wide (main) : 12 MP, f/1.8, 26mm, 1/1.76″, 1.8 µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS; Telephoto : 12 MP, f/2.4, 52mm, 1/ 3.6″, 1.0 µm, PDAF, OIS, 2x optical zoom; Ultra Wide Angle : 12 MP, f/2.2, 123°, 12mm, 1.12µm.
- Front camera: Bottom screen : 4 MP, f / 1.8, 2.0 μm, under the screen; Cover Camera: Widescreen (main) : 10 mega pixels , f / 2.2, 26 mm, 1/3 inch, 1.22 micrometer.
- Video capture: Rear camera : 4K@60fps, 1080p@60/240fps (gyro-EIS), 720p@960fps (gyro-EIS), HDR10+; Front camera : 4K @ 30fps, 1080p @ 30fps, gyro-EIS.
- Battery: 4400 mAh. 25W fast charging, 11W fast wireless charging, 4.5W reverse wireless charging.
- misc: fingerprint reader (side-mounted); NFC; Samsung DeX, Samsung Pay, and Ultra Broadband (UWB) support.
The list of improvements to the Z Fold3 also includes an under-display selfie camera instead of the old punch-hole camera. Another great engineering move, but one that has its pros and cons, which we will touch on. The smaller external display is also a little different this time around in terms of dimensions, but most importantly it can now refresh at 120Hz, just like the main foldable panel.
There are, of course, other, smaller differences between the older Z Fold2 and the Z Fold3 here and there, and we’ll do our best to highlight them in our review. Things like more durable aluminum are built on the new model. And with all said and done, the Z Fold3 isn’t a massive upgrade over its predecessor. It’s pretty gradual. Another fact that has its advantages and disadvantages.
Before we get to all of that, let’s start with the packaging and accessories opening experiment. No point beating around the bush here, Samsung really skimped on the accessory package here. All you get inside the box is a relatively short Type-C to Type-C USB cable, a SIM eject tool, and a few posts. That’s it. No charger, no case, nothing.
And remember, the Z Fold3 is by far the most expensive phone in Samsung’s lineup. Certainly, the environmental angle of not including the charger is valid. However, we feel Samsung could have thrown a case for that kind of money. Contains previous foldable devices. In fact, the Z Fold2 got a nice pair of Type-C headphones from AKG. The accessory pack has really gone downhill.
At least there are some good rewards for pre-ordering the Z Fold3 in most markets. Be sure to check with your local retailer, but most seem to get an official case, the S Pen Fold version, which fits in said case and a 25W wireless charger. Not a bad package.
As for the retail box itself, it sure looks elegant and classy. Nothing too luxurious or prolific in terms of materials, but a solid two-piece box, with plenty of padding inside, as one would expect.