Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 Review: Should You Buy or Pass?

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 Review
Image credit - Samsung

Samsung is the star of the foldable market right now. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 has checked everything that lacked in the previous folds. Let’s dive into the Galaxy Z Fold 3 review –

Overview

Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Z Fold 3 on August 11, 2021. Fold 3 has two orientations like every other foldable out there. You can either use the Fold 3 like a normal smartphone when the device is folded. Also, you can use the Galaxy Z Fold 3 like a tablet by unfolding the device like a book.




The Fold 3 has a dual display, one is the exterior one and the other resides inside when the device is folded. You see, Samsung claims the new inner display is 80% stronger than the previous models and durable for longer usability. It is worth mentioning that, this device has an under-display selfie camera which is also the first Samsung device to have such technology. When you unfold the device, you will get a clean look at the display.

Even Fold 3 comes with a lot of upgrades, Samsung kept the price lower than the previous models. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 comes with a 256GB internal storage as a base model holding a $1,799 / €1,799 / £1,599 price tag. The load of money isn’t cheap but cheaper than other devices of the same kind.




The Specs

For starters, the exterior display is a 6.2-inch AMOLED with 2,268 x 832 resolution. This Gorilla Glass Victus has a 120Hz refresh rate of 387ppi. On the other hand, the interior display is a 7.2-inch AMOLED panel with 2,208 x 1,768 resolution. This foldable display also has a 120Hz refresh rate of 374ppi.

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chip with 12GB RAM. You can either choose a 256GB or 512GB UFS 3.1 internal storage option and there are no expandable memory options.

The Fold 3 has a three-cam module at the exterior back. There are three 12MP shooters, that include a wide-angle, ultra-wide-angle, and telephoto lens. However, the exterior front has a 10MP shooter. Not to mention there is a 4MP camera under the display of the interior as well.




The device comes with a 4,400mAh dual battery. You will get 25W wired charging and 10W wireless charging. Sadly, there is no charger in the box. This might disappoint you but it is what it is.

Apart from that, there are Stereo speakers, Dolby Atmos support, and no 3.5mm jack as well. You will get dual nano-SIM and also an eSIM support on the Galaxy Z Fold 3. You will get a side-mounted capacitive fingerprint reader for the security of course. All these awesome features come in a 271g chassis with three different color variants – Phantom Silver, Phantom Black, Phantom Green.

Build Quality

The initial Galaxy Fold was a total disappointment. Many review units broke quickly and there were issues with dust under the screen. The company decided all units be returned and delayed the launch of Galaxy Fold. With time, Samsung overcome the issues and made a better Fold, and now Fold 3 is the best foldable out there in the market.




The Z Fold 3 is way stronger and durable than the Fold 2. The device comes with an IPX8 rating which means it’s completely water-resistant for 1.5m up to 30 mins. However, dust particles are still a threat to Fold 3. You see, dust particles can enter the phone easily, the hinge is a weak spot for that. Samsung claims that its “sweeping hinge” can get rid of any dust particles and other protections are placed where necessary to protect the device from the dust.

This is the first foldable device with an IP rating. There’s nothing major to worry about if you are thinking of getting a foldable device and choose Fold 3.

The Shooters

Let’s talk about the Galaxy Z Fold 3 cameras once again. You see, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and the Galaxy Z Fold 3 shares more or less the same camera hardware. There are not many changes, however, the composition of each shot is processed differently than the previous model. You will be able to see some enhancement on the snaps. Apart from that, everything is the same.





Surprisingly, Samsung integrated the under-display camera technology into the device. The interior camera is not a punch hole or so but a camera hidden under the display with hexagonal pixels on top. This 4MP camera is good at clicking selfies. it does the job of video calling quite decently. Samsung claims that users are more into the main rear camera module for selfies and other shootings.

The existence of the UDC is noticeable while you are using the device. Pure and bright colors show a shadow of the lens. Not to mention, being a first-gen tech, you have to consider little issues as such. Hopefully, the future iteration of the technology will overcome most of these shortcomings.

Battery Life

Samsung reduced the battery size in the Galaxy Z Fold 3. The 4,400mAh is decent but may not be that great. The company claims a full day battery life and obviously better than the previous model. Theoretically, it can last up to your bedtime but in reality, you are gonna deal with 120Hz AMOLED displays.




If you are unfolding the device less and use the exterior display mostly, then you will get satisfactory battery life. Otherwise, you might find an OK battery life but not good. There is 25W wired charging and 10W wireless charging so why bother? Sadly, you won’t get the charger in the box. You have bought one if you need one.

Performance

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chip which is the top of the line right now. You will get 12GB RAM which is enough to handle all your tasks. You see, Galaxy Z Fold 2 was one of the best performing smartphones back in 2020. The previous Z Fold 2 is a lot similar to the new one. Thus Z Fold 3 won’t compromise with the performance in 2021.

Software

Samsung is offering three years of Android upgrades and four years of security patches for major devices. Thus you can get Galaxy Z Fold 3 and sit tight for the next 3 years if you want to. Since Z Fold 3 will be shipped with Android 11, you will get OS support up to Android 14 in the future.




There is a thing here, you see, Android 12 will come a month later the release of Galaxy Z Fold 3. As a result, you might have a chance to enjoy Android 15 as well. Not to mention what are the odds!

S Pen Support

Galaxy Z Fold 3 will get S Pen support. This is the first foldable device to get such styli support. Yeah, you read it right. This Fold 3 will get support for both the S Pen and S Pen Pro. The S Pen Pro is similar to the S Pen of Samsung Tablets and Samsung Notes which is an additional $100 purchase. You will get all the Bluetooth capabilities, gesture support, and other handy functionalities.

With the slimmer, thinner, and lighter S Pen, you don’t get all those supports. You also pay $50 less for this. You see, Galaxy Z Fold 3 has S Pen support but you need to purchase the S Pen for your needs.




What’s New

Well, if you’re thinking about what’s new on Fold 3 then you should look at the differences between Fold 2 and Fold 3. Here are some key differences-

  • Galaxy Z Fold 3 is thinner than the previous Galaxy Z Fold 2. That mean’s you will get a better and slimmer device that is more intuitive to keep in your pocket now.
  • As mentioned above, this is the first foldable device that has an IPX8 rating. Ergo, the previous models aren’t resistant to water or dust at all.
  • The new Fold 3 comes with 120Hz panels both in the exterior and interior displays. Apart from that Samsung claims the interior of Fold 3 is 80% stronger than ever.
  • Galaxy Z Fold 3 is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chip and Fold 2 has Snapdragon 865 under the hood. However, the RAM and internal storage remain the same.
  • Fold 3 is the first foldable to have stylus support, in this case, S Pen compatibility.
  • The first under-display camera technology has been used on Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 as the interior cam.
  • Galaxy Z Fold 3 has a 4,400mAh battery but Z Fold 2 features a 4,500mAh battery. Samsung claims even the battery is smaller by 100mAh, you will get better battery life because of optimizations.




Who Should Buy?

You see, you don’t have too many options if you are looking for a foldable device. Galaxy Z Fold 3 seems far better than other options out there. You get good hardware, extended software support, S Pen compatibility, decent display, decent battery life, and the list goes on. Yes, there could be issues with the interior under-display camera or with the hinge but if you’re considering something out of the box, you need to take risks.

Considering there will be no issues, this $1,800 buy is worth it. Such a precise and nice piece of the gadget will be worth your money. However, if you’re looking for something more compacted and reasonable, you can also check the Galaxy Z Flip 3. This one starts at $1,000 which is a lot less but you get the foldable option, and more or less everything else like the Fold 3.




Finally, keep in mind that, Galaxy Note series is not coming in 2021. So, if you are a fan of the stylus or S Pen, you should get the Z Fold 3. For productivity, this is the best when paired with an S Pen.

Wrapping Up

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is the best of all Foldables in 2021. Such a precise gadget takes a lot of work and Samsung did that. You get the top-notch technology with Z Fold 3. Stay tuned for more as this story is developing…




FAQ on Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

Ques: Does Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 has any in-display fingerprint reader?

Ans: No, there is a capacitive fingerprint reader on the side of the device to unlock the Z Fold 3.

Ques: How many SIM cards can I use on Galaxy Z Fold 3?

Ans: There are two nano physical SIM card slots in the phone and also support an eSIM. So theoretically, you will get three SIM cards to use on this device.

Ques: Does Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 has expandable memory options?

Ans: No, You have to choose between 256GB or 512GB variants.




Ques: Does Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 has fast charging?

Ans: Galaxy Z Fold 3 has 25W wired-charing and 10W wireless charging options.

Ques: Does Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 comes with a charger in the box?

Ans: No, if you need a charger, you have to buy one.

Ques: Does Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 has a 3.5mm headphone jack?

Ans: No, there is no headphone jack on Galaxy Z Fold 3.

Ques: Is Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 waterproof?

Ans: The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is IPX8 rated which means the device is water-resistant for 1.5m water up to 30mins.




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