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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Three Overview: A Refined Novelty

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Three is the corporate’s most bold, productivity-centric smartphone but. This third-generation mannequin feels extra refined because of enhancements corresponding to an IPX8 ranking and S Pen help. It has all of the makings of a correct flagship on paper however can it’s an choice for on a regular basis use or is it nonetheless a novelty merchandise? For lots of people with deep pockets (each figuratively and actually), the large query nonetheless stays – does it make sense shopping for the Galaxy Z Fold Three over one thing just like the Samsung Galaxy S21 Extremely or an iPhone 12 Professional Max?

By the point this assessment is printed, I might have spent a bit greater than every week with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, and whereas that is actually not a really very long time for such a tool, it is sufficient for me to return to an understanding about who ought to truly purchase this cellphone. Let’s start as there’s quite a bit to unpack.

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The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Three is a tall cellphone however it’s slim when folded, making it simple to deal with

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Three pricing and variants

First, a fast worth examine. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Three begins at Rs. 1,49,999 in India with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. There is a second variant with the identical quantity of RAM however twice the storage (512GB) priced at Rs. 1,57,999. It has been launched in three colors internationally, nonetheless on the time of this assessment, Samsung solely has the Phantom Black choice accessible for Indian clients. That is an costly cellphone and there isn’t any two methods about it. Nonetheless, in the event you picked it up throughout the pre-booking part, likelihood is you’d have gotten some reductions and extra advantages corresponding to Samsung Care+ with it.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Three design and ergonomics

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Three appears similar to its predecessor, apart from a minor design change to the rear digital camera module. This cellphone is a bit bit slimmer than its predecessor when unfolded and the general weight is a bit decrease at 271g (vs 282g), however it’s nonetheless simply as chunky in its folded state and the 2 halves do not sit flush in opposition to one another, leaving a spot when the cellphone is closed.

Samsung boasts that it’s now utilizing a stronger aluminium materials for the chassis in comparison with the earlier mannequin. I like the truth that the body and glass again panel have a matte end, which contrasts properly with the shiny hinge and outer show. One factor that I nonetheless must get used to is simply how slippery your complete physique feels. Opening the Galaxy Fold Three takes a little bit of an effort as a result of sturdy resistance of the hinge, and the slippery end of the body would not make this any simpler.

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The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Three is constructed very properly and is now IPX8 rated for water resistance

Within the folded state, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Three is simple sufficient to carry however feels fairly cumbersome in a pocket. It is practically as tall as an iPhone 12 Professional Max, however narrower, which makes it extra comfy to understand. Nonetheless, you have to two palms to unfold it. If we have a look at the cellphone as two halves, then the higher one has the stereo audio system on the highest and backside, plus a microphone and a dual-SIM card tray on the appropriate, whereas the decrease panel has the remainder of the microphones and the USB Kind-C port (USB 3.1 Gen1).

The outer show or ‘cowl display’ on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Three is kind of the identical because it was on the Galaxy Z Fold 2, besides that it now helps an adaptive 120Hz refresh fee. It is a 6.2-inch AMOLED panel with an HD+ decision (2,268×832) and Corning Gorilla Glass Victus. This show is vibrant and vibrant, and is helpful for easy duties corresponding to scrolling via your Twitter feed or taking part in informal video games, however it’s not supreme for typing on except you are a talented swipe-typer due to how slim it’s. There is a hole-punch digital camera on the highest, which might be masked through the use of neatly designed wallpapers.

The principle attraction is after all the folding 7.6-inch AMOLED show which has the next decision of two,208×1,768, together with HDR10 playback and a 120Hz refresh fee. Extra importantly, Samsung claims it has used a a lot stronger ultra-thin glass (UTG) over the AMOLED show which ought to provide extra sturdiness.

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The under-display digital camera within the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Three is clearly noticeable with lighter backgrounds

Thus far, with my super-careful utilization, I have never observed any dents or different points with the folding display, however for my part it nonetheless feels extra fragile than even this cellphone’s personal outer show. Making use of gentle strain with my fingernail left a bit mark on the display, which explains why Samsung needed to develop a particular S Pen only for the Galaxy Z Fold 3. The underside line is – do not go poking at and even tapping on the folding show with something sharp.

A model new characteristic of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Three is its under-display digital camera. It is a bit stunning to see Samsung use such nascent expertise in its most costly smartphone, however right here we’re. The thought is to present the consumer an uninterrupted view of their content material, and when it really works, the impact is superb. Nonetheless, in case your consideration is concentrated, it is easy to inform the place the digital camera is as a result of low pixel density within the round space over it. It’s totally apparent underneath gentle backgrounds, and the digital camera is totally seen when the display is off.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Three is available in a barebones bundle. Within the field, you get solely a SIM eject device and a USB Kind-C cable. You may have to make use of your individual charger.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Three specs and software program

Samsung hasn’t skimped on the specs of the Galaxy Z Fold 3. You get a top-tier Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC plus ample RAM and storage. The cellphone helps a complete of 16 5G bands in India. For authentication, you need to use face recognition with both of the selfie cameras (inside and exterior) or the fingerprint sensor that is built-in into the ability button. The Galaxy Z Fold Three has a barely smaller 4,400mAh battery than the earlier mannequin, however with the identical 25W quick charging functionality. You need not purchase a Samsung-branded charger as most USB-PD chargers as much as or larger than 25W ought to have the ability to quick cost the Galaxy Z Fold 3.

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The IPX8 ranking means you’ll be able to proceed to learn your comedian books on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Three even within the rain

One of many large additions is an IPX8 ranking for water resistance, which suggests this cellphone needs to be much more resilient for on a regular basis use in comparison with the earlier mannequin or every other foldable for that matter. Remember the fact that the ‘X’ within the ranking means it hasn’t been licensed to be dust-proof in order that’s one thing you are still going to must watch out about.

As I discussed earlier, the Galaxy Z Fold Three additionally helps Samsung’s S Pen ‘Fold Version’ and the brand new S Pen Professional, however different S Pens from older Galaxy Word telephones will not work. Sadly, Samsung would not embody one with the cellphone; it is an non-compulsory accent. That additionally means there isn’t any silo within the cellphone’s physique to stash the stylus when not in use. Samsung did not ship both of the suitable S Pens for this assessment so I will not have the ability to say a lot about how properly this works.

The entire premise of Samsung’s Fold collection is to have the ability to multitask extra effectively and to have a extra gratifying content material consumption expertise. This has solely improved because the first mannequin, and the Galaxy Fold Three has some new software program tips which can be price speaking about.

My assessment unit was operating One UI 3.1.1 primarily based on Android 11. Any app that you just open on the quilt display will transition to the principle show in its very same state, be it video games, media, social apps and many others, the second you unfold the cellphone. Nonetheless, as a way to proceed utilizing an app from the folding show on the outer show, you will have to manually allow an choice, in any other case the app will merely shut whenever you fold the cellphone.

One other helpful characteristic price enabling is ‘Cowl display mirroring’. You may discover this underneath the House display settings, and it primarily mirrors the app and widget format of 1 display to the opposite. For the static row of icons on the backside, solely the primary 5 on the principle display might be mirrored to the outer display.

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Samsung’s software program lets you’ve got a pinned ‘taskbar’ (left), open three apps directly (center), and open further apps as floating home windows (proper)

For multitasking, you’ll be able to confide in three apps concurrently, and the window for every one will routinely conform to the house you drag it into. The three-dotted menu permits you to rapidly shuffle the positions of the apps, or you’ll be able to manually resize the home windows. You too can have as much as 5 extra apps operating as floating home windows on high of those three. You possibly can even run unsupported apps corresponding to video games in break up view. I used to be capable of play Name of Obligation: Cellular, browse Twitter, and watch a YouTube video on the identical time, with none points. I am undecided who would wish to multitask like this, however you are able to do it in order for you.

Samsung’s personal apps are already optimised for multi-window use however the firm has additionally collaborated with others together with Spotify for higher experiences on the Galaxy Z Fold 3. In the event you open Spotify on the quilt display and proceed to apply it to the principle display, the Now Taking part in widget and controls will persist with a set place to the left, when you seek for music on the appropriate aspect of the app. Samsung’s personal Net browser now permits you to drag and drop any hyperlink from a webpage into a brand new window for a split-screen view.

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The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3’s Flex Mode permits you to power a break up view in unsupported apps (high), re-configure your digital camera controls (backside left) and use any of the rear cameras for a selfie (backside proper)

The Labs menu within the Settings affords further performance corresponding to the power to pin the floating carousel as a everlasting ‘taskbar’ or power Flex Mode in apps that are not supported. The latter characteristic works greatest with apps such because the Gallery, YouTube, and Digicam app. This pushes a part of the content material to 1 aspect of the big internal panel and the remaining to the opposite aspect whenever you partially fold the show as a way to keep away from the backbone. Forcing this characteristic in unsupported apps merely pushes all content material to the highest half, whereas giving your controls for the notification shade, screenshot, show brightness, and quantity on the backside, which isn’t notably helpful.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Three helps Dex too, permitting you to undertaking the contents of your cellphone in a desktop-like format to your laptop computer or a suitable TV, both wired or wirelessly. I examined this on my Panasonic 49GX750D and it labored fairly properly. As soon as linked, you need to use the Galaxy Z Fold 3’s foremost or cowl display as a trackpad.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Three efficiency and battery life

Every week with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Three is fairly quick however efficiency was top-notch all through. Apps transitioned properly from one display to the opposite, the shows had been vibrant with good color saturation, and the whole lot felt fluid and snappy. When it got here to typing, I practically all the time needed to unfold the cellphone and use the principle display because it’s extra comfy. The keyboard routinely splits into two sections for higher reachability in your thumbs. A swipe-down gesture from the underside of both show shrinks its contents for even higher attain. The crease within the folding display continues to be very a lot there, however when viewing content material in full-screen and head-on, it is barely noticeable.

The principle show is solely attractive for consuming content material. Movies typically have thick black bars on the highest and backside due to its dimensions, however most apps will allow you to fill the complete display at the price of cropping the body. The stereo audio system sound actually good and get fairly loud too. Apart from movies, the Galaxy Z Fold 3’s foremost show is nice for studying books on, be it novels or comedian books.

Video games look superb on the principle show, it doesn’t matter what you play. Productiveness apps corresponding to Microsoft Workplace and Google Sheets are a lot nicer to make use of when you’ve got a lot display actual property. After all, there are a bunch of Android apps that do not adapt to the big display in addition to they need to, corresponding to Slack, and a few that do not work properly in any respect, like Instagram.

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Video games look spectacular on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3’s foremost show

You may have to shut the cellphone if you have to reply an incoming name, or use the loudspeaker. For video calls, the outer selfie digital camera undoubtedly affords a sharper and clearer image, however the under-display digital camera embedded into the principle show shouldn’t be too dangerous so long as there’s ample gentle round you.

Battery life was a little bit of a combined bag in my expertise, and can depend upon how a lot you utilize the principle show. On a day with gentle utilization, after I did not watch a variety of movies or play video games on the principle display, and solely opened it to answer to chats and emails, I used to be nearly capable of sail previous one full day on a cost. Getting something extra out of the Galaxy Z Fold Three was troublesome.

With heavier use of the principle display, battery life was a lot shorter. This was additionally mirrored in our HD video loop take a look at, which ran for simply 12 hours and 20 minutes. Charging the battery is not the quickest when in comparison with different flagships, and it takes greater than an hour to totally high it up, even when linked to a high-wattage USB-PD energy adapter. You too can cost the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Three wirelessly and use the cellphone itself to wirelessly cost different gadgets.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Three cameras

Let’s begin with essentially the most fascinating and arguably the bottom high quality digital camera of the bunch – the under-display selfie digital camera. It is decision is simply 4-megapixels and the aperture is f/1.8. Whereas it is serviceable for video calls or face recognition, it is not superb for taking images. Samsung’s post-processing tries its greatest to sort things however there’s nonetheless a noticeable distinction in high quality between it and the 10-megapixel selfie digital camera within the cowl display, regardless of the latter’s even narrower aperture. Because of the folding nature of the cellphone, you’ll be able to bypass each selfie cameras and easily use the rear cameras to take a selfie, thereby supplying you with vastly higher high quality and suppleness when it comes to lenses.

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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Three daylight selfie digital camera comparability

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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Three low-light selfie digital camera comparability

Apart from the under-display digital camera, the remainder of them are precisely the identical as what the Galaxy Z Fold 2 had, besides now the 2X telephoto digital camera can also be optically stabilised. The three foremost cameras – huge, ultra-wide, and telephoto – all have 12-megapixel sensors. I might have favored to see digital camera enhancements from the Galaxy S21 Extremely make their method right here, corresponding to laser autofocus or larger optical telephoto magnification, however sadly, none of that’s current.

While you open the digital camera app from the quilt display, you’ve got the choice of utilizing the rear cameras to take a selfie. Opening the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Three midway permits you to see your most up-to-date images and movies on the left, whereas the viewfinder and controls are on the appropriate. Switching to a panorama orientation in the identical half-folded state, the controls then transfer to the underside together with the preview of your final photograph.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Three foremost digital camera pattern (faucet to see full measurement)

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Three ultra-wide digital camera pattern (faucet to see full measurement)

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Three telephoto (2X) digital camera pattern (faucet to see full measurement)

Digicam efficiency total is fairly strong, simply not in the identical league because the Galaxy S21 Extremely. Landscapes and close-ups look good throughout the day, with first rate particulars and punchy colors. Finer particulars corresponding to textures on distant objects aren’t resolved in addition to what the Galaxy S21 Extremely can handle, however you actually must go trying to find variations as a way to spot them. Shut-ups pack in good particulars with a lovely degree of background blur. The ultra-wide digital camera does a good job too. The telephoto digital camera is barely disappointing because it solely affords 2X optical zoom and a most digital zoom of 10X.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Three low-light foremost digital camera pattern (faucet to see full measurement)

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Three low-light foremost digital camera pattern (faucet to see full measurement)

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Three low-light ultra-wide digital camera pattern (faucet to see full measurement)

Night time mode kicks in routinely when ambient gentle is lower than supreme, which helps getting well-exposed panorama photographs with the principle and ultra-wide cameras. I struggled a bit with close-ups in low gentle, as even with optical stabilisation and regular palms, getting a blur-free shot was a bit difficult. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Three can document movies at as much as 4K 60fps and there is an choice for taking pictures HDR10+ clips too. Video high quality and stabilisation is sweet throughout the day, however in low gentle, there’s noise and noticeable jitter whenever you’re strolling round.


The expertise behind folding smartphones has been progressing quickly through the years. Samsung’s newest foldables are proof that this isn’t going to be merely a one-off novelty characteristic however one thing that would finally turn into the norm. That future nonetheless appears far off although, as folding shows have a variety of catching as much as do earlier than they are often as sturdy or dependable as commonplace flat shows.

Nonetheless, in the event you’re somebody who needs to stay on the bleeding fringe of tech, then the Galaxy Z Fold Three is presumably essentially the most refined foldable available in the market proper now. It is nonetheless a little bit of a novelty merchandise however a well-refined one. You continue to should be aware of how you utilize the folding show as it may get broken simply regardless of Samsung’s claims of improved sturdiness. There’s additionally the Galaxy Z Flip Three to contemplate, however that is focused at a unique viewers and we’ll dive into extra particulars on that in its full assessment.

For all these undecided between the Galaxy Z Fold Three and the Galaxy S21 Extremely, it is fairly easy. If cameras and battery life are essential to you, the Galaxy S21 Extremely is the higher selection. Alternatively, in order for you to have the ability to have a tablet-sized display in your pocket and are prepared to stay with some compromises corresponding to ergonomics, cameras and battery life, then nothing comes near the Galaxy Z Fold 3.

Are the Galaxy Z Fold Three and Z Flip Three nonetheless made for fanatics — or are they ok for everybody? We mentioned this on Orbital, the Devices 360 podcast. Orbital is obtainable on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.


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