Samsung has recently unveiled its latest flagship foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G, which is the third generation of its kind. The design has not undergone major changes compared to its predecessor. The screen’s diagonals remain the same for both the inner and outer displays. However, the device’s functionality has been improved. The folding screen now supports the use of an S Pen stylus, and the company has also introduced a selfie camera that is concealed beneath the screen. Additionally, the device now includes a housing seal for added durability. Having had the opportunity to hold the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G in hand, my first impressions are very positive.
One of the biggest concerns with the Galaxy Fold has always been the risk of damaging the expensive phone. It is the most expensive phone in Samsung’s offer and requires special care to avoid any harm. Even small debris, sand, or water can pose a threat to the delicate folding screen and complex mechanism. However, it seems that the Galaxy Z Fold3 has largely addressed this issue.
The latest model comes with an IPX8 sealing standard, and the frame and hinge are made of the strongest Armor Aluminum to date. Additionally, the new protective foil on the folding screen increases display durability by 80%. The manufacturer has even allowed the use of the S Pen, without fear of damaging the screen. The new S Pen, dedicated to the Galaxy Z Fold3, has a special anti-damage mechanism that hides the tip of the stylus under high pressure. However, the spring is so strong that it is not easy to hide it with your finger. With the Galaxy Z Fold3, you no longer need to handle it like an egg.
It is worth noting that the S Pen from other Samsung devices will not work with the Fold. A dedicated stylus is required, which comes in two variants. One is a small version that works only with the Fold S Pen Fold Edition, while the other is the S Pen Pro with the dimensions of a full-size pencil. The S Pen Pro is charged via USB C and comes with an LED indicator and a frequency switch that allows you to use it with any Galaxy device operating the S Pen.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 comes with an external screen that has a diagonal of 6.2 inches and a resolution of 2268 x 832 pixels. With the latest update, it now offers a refresh rate of 120 Hz and uses Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel technology. This makes it one of the best displays used by Samsung in any smartphone.
One of the most interesting features of the Galaxy Z Fold3 is the internal selfie camera that is hidden under the bent display. This is the first time Samsung has used this solution, and it is currently only available in the Galaxy Z Fold3. The camera allows for a large screen with a diagonal of 7.6 inches that is completely free of cutouts. Although the camera has a lower resolution of 4 megapixels, the quality of the selfie is still good. If you want better photos, you can always use the main cameras and preview them on the front screen after unfolding the phone.
The 7.6-inch screen has a resolution of 2208 x 1768 and is made with Dynamic AMOLED 2X technology. It has a refresh rate that can be adjusted from 10 to 120 Hz. More and more applications now support this screen without any problems, including Instagram. The fold of the screen is visible after opening it, but it does not interfere with anything. Additionally, the combination of the camera with the possibility of partial bending of the screen gives us a handy tripod for photos with a long exposure time and for longer teleconferences without having to use any accessories.
The Galaxy Z Fold3 has only upgraded its selfie lens on the big screen, while the rest of the cameras remain the same as the previous Folda 2 model. The three main cameras still have 12 megapixels and the same brightness of lenses, including the wide-angle, standard, and telephoto lenses with double optical magnification. The selfie camera above the smaller screen has also not changed. Though these cameras provide good results, they cannot compete with the Galaxy S21 Ultra, which offers higher resolution, 8K video, and super zoom with x10 magnification. In short, the Galaxy Z Fold3 is not a photo smartphone.The specification, however, has been updated with the newest and most powerful Snapdragon 888 processor, replacing the Snapdragon 865+. It remains to be seen how much this processor heats up in the Fold3 housing. The model is only available with Snapdragon, and the Exynos is not an option. The amount of RAM is still 12 GB, but there are two storage options available: one with 256 GB of storage for system and user files, and the other with 512 GB of built-in memory. The Galaxy Z Fold3 is still a smartphone for the wealthy and demanding users, but it now offers more practical benefits than just being a gadget. With a more robust design, protection against spills, and stylus support, it is more suitable for everyday use. I am more confident in recommending this device than the previous generations. The concept of having a tablet-sized screen that can be carried around like a regular phone is enticing, but still expensive. I have some questions regarding the battery life, charging speed, and CPU heating, which will only be answered through a full review. However, my initial impressions of the device are positive.
Price: $1,799 (256GB), $1,899 (512GB)
CPU: Snapdragon 888
Storage: 256GB, 512GB
External display: 6.2 inches (2268 x 832) 120Hz Adaptive
Internal display 7.6 inches (2208 x 1768) 120Hz Adaptive
Rear cameras: 12MP wide (f/1.8); 12MP ultrawide (f.2.2, 123-degree FOV); 12MP telephoto (f/2.4, 2x optical zoom, 10x digital zoom)
Front camera: 10MP (f/2.2)
Under-display camera: 4MP (f/1.8)
Battery: 4,400 mAh
Charging: 25W (charger not included)
Size: 6.2 x 2.6 x 0.56 to 0.62 inches (closed); 6.2 x 5 x 0.25 inches (open)
Weight: 9.55 ounces