Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 and Z Flip3 hands-on review

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 and Z Flip3 hands-on review

an introduction

It’s been a road paved with leaks and teasers, but we’ve finally come to the unpacked destination, where Samsung’s latest foldable devices have been waiting for us. They have a pair of watches and TWS earbuds with active noise cancellation to keep them company, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

If you follow closely, you have to know what the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G and Z Flip3 5G are, what they offer, and even the cost. We’ll go over it all in this hands-on, but we’ll also give you our first impressions of Samsung’s foldable marvels.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G

Galaxy Z Fold3 5G is the star of the show. They’re more of an improvement to the Galaxy Z Fold2 5G than a huge leap forward, aiming to put any remaining concerns about foldable phones’ durability to bed and become a true daily driver in the eyes of a much wider audience.

For starters, we finally have resistance to the elements, which is a must for many. It’s not full IP68, but rather IPX8, which means it should withstand submersion up to a meter and a half, but it’s not dust-tight. Samsung Galaxy Note loyalists will certainly appreciate the S Pen support as well, while photography aspirants may end up being disappointed with the largely unchanged camera.

A quick overview of the specifications of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G:

  • Body: pleated: 67.1×158.2x16mm-14.4mm; Unfolded: 128.1 x 158.2 x 6.4 mm, 271 g; Glass front (folded), plastic front (not folded), glass back, aluminum frame, IPx8 water resistance.
  • Screen: 7.60 inch foldable AMOLED 2X, 120 Hz, HDR10 +, resolution 1768 x 2208 pixels, aspect ratio 18: 22.5, 374 ppi; Cover screen: Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, Corning Gorilla Glass Victus, 6.2 inches, 832 x 2268 pixels, 24.5:9 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 3.5.
  • Rear camera: Wide (main) : 12 MP, f/1.8, 26mm, 1/1.76″, 1.8 µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS; Ultra wide angle : 12 MP, f/2.2, 123°, 12mm , 1.12 micrometer; telephoto : 12 megapixel, f / 2.4, 52 mm / 1, 3.6 “, 1.0 micrometer, PDAF, OIS, optical zoom 2x.
  • Front camera: Under-display camera : 16 MP, 1.0 µm, 4 MP photo collage, under screen; Camera Cover : 10 mega pixels , f / 2.2, 26 mm, 1/3 “, 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; Bixby natural language commands and dictation, Samsung DeX (desktop experience support), Samsung Pay (Visa, MasterCard certified), Ultra Wideband (UWB) support.

Compared to its predecessor, the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G is slightly lighter (11 grams), with the overall size slightly reduced (the thickness of the unfolded phone has been reduced by 0.5 mm). Its screens have retained the resolution and diagonal, but both now refresh adaptively up to 120Hz (the Galaxy Z Fold2 5G cover screen locked at 60Hz). The 7.6-inch screen is said to be 29% brighter than the Galaxy Z Fold2 5G’s screen thanks to what Samsung calls “echo square technology”.

The Galaxy Z Fold3 5G is getting tougher, too. Like its predecessor, it uses Gorilla Glass Victus in the glass cover display, but the aluminum used in the body is 10% stronger than before. Samsung calls it Armor Aluminum and says it’s the most powerful phone you’ll ever put on a phone.

The inner screen is still plastic, but it uses a new protective film, which is said to be 80% more durable, which helps smooth out scratches and lets you go longer between changes.

Speaking of the S Pen, the Galaxy Fold3 supports two of those – the S Pen Fold Edition and the S Pen Pro. The former is lighter (8g) and smaller, and lacks Bluetooth, while the Pro is larger and heavier (14g) and supports Bluetooth and device switching (Pro works with Galaxy Z Fold3 5G, Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G, Note20 series, Galaxy Tab S7/S7+, Galaxy Book Pro and 360). The S Pen Pro has built-in USB charging, an LED indicator and supports both air commands and air actions, so you can take photos on your Galaxy with the stylus.

Four of the five cameras have been moved from the Galaxy Z Fold2 5G. The rear triple setup features three 12MP units for wide, ultra-wide, and 2x zoom, the only difference being that 2x is now optically stable. The cover screen uses the same 10MP unit inside a punch-hole as well.

New here is the 4MP rear camera inside the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G. The camera uses a 16MP sensor, which combines 2-in-1 pixels to produce a final 4MP image with 2µm pixels.

Thanks to the invisible camera, the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G’s 7.6-inch screen is uninterrupted and flawless.

The final improvement is the move to the 5nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor, which is a step above the 7nm Snapdragon 865+. Note that the new fold uses the non-extra chipset variant, even if the Xiaomi Mix 4 that was announced yesterday already has the top version of the watch.

One of the few advantages on paper that the Galaxy Z Fold2 5G has over its successor is the 4,500mAh battery, which is 100mAh bigger than the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G. But we expect the move to a more efficient chipset will more than make up for it.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G starts at €1,799 / £1,599 and goes on sale later this month. This is significantly cheaper than the Fold2 cost at launch, which will help propel it to become mainstream.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G puts more emphasis on style and distinction. It comes in seven pastel colors with two colors.

Like the larger Z Fold3 5G, the Galaxy Flip3 5G is water-resistant and protected by Gorilla Glass Victus and Armor Aluminum on the outside.

Compared to the Galaxy Z Flip 5G, the Galaxy Flip3 5G has a 1.9-inch screen that is four times larger. While the previous Flip’s 1.1-inch AMOLED cover screen could only display a line of text, the Galaxy Flip3 5G’s screen could theoretically be used for Google Maps and Samsung Pay to search for notifications and more, as well as better serve as a viewfinder for taking selfies with the main camera.

The neat feature is that you can sync the new Galaxy Watch4 wallpaper with the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G cover screen.

The 6.7-inch screen that unfolds is better this year, too. While it’s the same in size and resolution, it now supports an adaptive refresh rate of 120Hz, while the previous generation was locked at 60Hz.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G Specifications Glimpse:

  • Body: folded: 72.2×86.4×17.1mm-15.9mm, unfolded: 72.2×166.0x6.9mm, 183g; Plastic front, glass back (Gorilla Glass 6), aluminum frame, IPx8 water resistance.
  • Screen: 6.70 inches Dynamic AMOLED 2X, HDR10 +, resolution 1080 x 2640 pixels, aspect ratio 22: 9, 425ppi; Cover screen: Super AMOLED, 1.9 inches, 260 x 512 pixels.
  • 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: 128 GB, 256 GB, 8 GB RAM; UFS 3.1.
  • Operating System/Software: Android 11, One UI 3.5.
  • Rear camera: Wide (main) : 12 MP, f/1.8, 27mm, 1/2.55″, 1.4 µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS; Ultra wide angle : 12 MP, f/2.2, 123°, 1.12 µm .
  • Front: Camera 10 mega pixels , f / 2.4, 26 mm (width), 1.12 micrometer.
  • Video capture: Rear camera : 4K @ 30 / 60fps, 1080p @ 60 / 240fps, 720p @ 960fps, HDR10+; Front camera : 4K @ 30fps.
  • Battery: 3300 mAh. 15W fast charging, 9W fast wireless charging.
  • misc: fingerprint reader (side-mounted); NFC; Samsung Pay (Visa, MasterCard certified).

The other big improvement is the move to the 5nm Snapdragon 888 chipset, which is paired with 8GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage.

What’s left of the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G is a rework of the Galaxy Z Flip 5G — a 3,300mAh battery, two 12MP cameras for ultra-wide and ultra-wide, a 10MP selfie on the inside and a side-mounted fingerprint reader.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G starts at €1049 / £949 and goes on sale later this month.

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