It was one of the few ‘wow’ products that came to market in 2021, including the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3. If you haven’t seen anything quite like it in your life, then you’re missing out on a great deal by not getting your hands on this phone. As though I’m looking into the future, it’s eerie.
The under panel camera (UPC), which aims to hide the selfie camera from view, is a key component of that display. Although the Z Fold 3’s efforts were not totally successful, this video shows the device’s tremendous ambition.
This third-generation device has a few extra improvements to make it more tempting than ever before: the asking price, while still hefty, isn’t as large as its predecessor at launch. In addition, the S Pen stylus is now supported.
Will a foldable device’s high ambitions be enough to make it a success in the market, though?
Our Quick Take
On the surface, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 appears to be very similar to the previous Z Fold 2. Even so, it maintains its status as the most popular foldable phone. Even though the under panel camera (UPC) isn’t always completely convincing, the large foldable display is a terrific eye-catcher.
The fact that the Z Fold 3’s price has remained unchanged is a clear statement of purpose. Its asking price is actually lower than when its predecessor was first released. Don’t get us wrong: it’s not cheap, and you have to be serious about investing in this ambitious concept, especially the parts that don’t feel quite ready.
The screen reflections, central crease, and an under-display camera are the apparent flaws of owning a folding device, but the Z Fold 3 is an unparalleled piece of modern technology for the sheer show-off factor.
Galaxy Z Fold 3 revisited: Long Term Test
In the months following the debut of any phone, a lot can happen. After all, the speed with which new product revisions can arrive is incredible. A number of firms have released folding phones after the Z Fold 3 was first released. Honor announced the Magic V, which is similar to the Samsung but isn’t widely accessible yet.
The Oppo Find N, on the other hand, is the one that really stands out to us. While it’s now only accessible in China, it demonstrated that Samsung’s design approach wasn’t the only option to make a book-style foldable. It isn’t as slim and long as the Samsung, but it has a larger front-facing display that is more useful for a variety of jobs.
Still, we revisited the Z Fold 3 for a few weeks, and there are a few characteristics that stand out now – perhaps even more than they did when it first launched. To begin with, the long, narrow display on the front offers actual advantages. It appears to fit more rows in when reading message threads or Twitter feeds. But, more importantly, the small size makes it very easy to respond to people with just one hand.
In this day and age, having a phone that is genuinely good for one-handed use is a rarity. So you can take a quick photo, respond to a message, or read an email without using both hands.
Second, and perhaps more importantly, Samsung’s software updates have been a breath of new air. It has improved from one of the poorest at releasing updates and security patches to one of the best. It’s even beaten Google’s Pixel to the punch on occasion. That toughness provides you peace of mind, knowing that your equipment won’t be forgotten after the first year.
Displays and Design
- Colours: Phantom Black, Phantom Green, Phantom Silver
- Dimensions (folded): 67.1 x 158.2 x 16mm / Weight: 271g
- Dimensions (unfolded): 128.1mm x 158.2 x 6.4mm
- Front display: 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED, 2268 x 832 resolution, 120Hz dynamic refresh
- Unfolded display: 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED, 2208 x 1768 resolution (XQGA+), 120Hz dynamic refresh
The Z Fold 3 is slightly smaller than its predecessor when folded, measuring 16mm on the folding edge and 14.4mm on the opposite end, but that’s hardly slim by today’s standards. In this ‘regular phone’ configuration, it’s a large wedge to hold.
The front panel is also slightly different from before, now delivering the 120Hz refresh rate and 24.5:9 aspect ratio, reducing the overall footprint height by a centimetre. Although you won’t feel it in your palm, this main display does cover the bulk of the device’s front, which wasn’t the case with the first-generation model. However, the front display has an almost perplexingly little feel to it – it’s just a tad too narrow in this folded sandwich-style to truly feel like a big flagship tablet.
The actual reason to buy the Z Fold 3 is for its enormous foldable screen, which reaches 7.6 inches diagonally when open and offers a high-resolution and 120Hz refresh rate. Sounds familiar, right? That’s because it’s almost identical to what the Z Fold 2 has to offer. As a result, it’s not bigger, sharper, or better. Read also; Samsung Galaxy S21 FE to Launch
It’s said to be better for one key reason: the under-panel camera (UPC). However, after being first impressed with this hidden camera, it has become evident that it is just as distracting – if not more so – than a punch-hole camera in some situations. White backgrounds, for example, expose a criss-cross mesh that will mistakenly draw your eye, so you’ll notice it unless there’s ‘busy’ stuff hiding it.
Even while this huge screen is intriguing, it still has the problems that each foldable gadget has. Because the OLED panel beneath needs to be protected – and glass can’t fold, so that’s not an option – a plasticky coating is used to allow for all of the bending and flexing. This is OK, except that plastic is reflective, catching reflections significantly more than a well-made glass panel.
It’s also why foldable panels often have a crease across the fold, where the panel isn’t quite perfectly flat – which is true with the Z Fold 3, but as a face-on user, you’ll barely notice (those viewing adjacently are more likely to notice the crease catching reflections, but that’s not a realistic use-case, and more just the viewpoint of a curious observer).
But all of this comes with having a foldable phone because the payoff is that massive screen. It’s bright and colourful here, and it’s been fantastic for consuming information. The scale is approaching that of a tablet.
After moving our apps and digital life to the Z Fold 3, we’ve found that it works just as well as we thought it would. It is a very powerful device because it comes with a Snapdragon 888 processor and a large amount of RAM (12GB). This makes sure that running multiple apps, even ones made for the bigger screen, works quickly and smoothly, and that switching between them is easy.
Just like we said about the Z Fold 2, once you get used to this huge screen, you’ll start to appreciate how well it works with different app layouts. For example, Outlook has the inbox on the left and the preview on the right, so this very unusual aspect ratio and amount of real estate makes a lot of sense.
When it comes to gaming, the much larger aspect ratio is like a whole new way to see virtual worlds. Our favourite games take advantage of the extra height when played in landscape mode. There are also controls in Game Booster to make sure that other apps don’t get in the way, which is very helpful.
In general, we haven’t found the battery life to be too bad. With normal use, which includes some gaming, it will take about 12 to 14 hours to use up the last 20% of charge, which is just enough for a work day. That’s about right, given that this phone has a 4,400mAh battery and a huge screen.
Samsung doesn’t include a real wall plug in the Z Fold 3’s box, which is a shame. Only a USB-C-to-USB-C cable is included (i.e. small fitting at both ends). This isn’t very useful for us because we don’t have any spare power plugs with USB-C ports. Instead, we only have Type-A plugs (the larger fitting). Since we write about technology and get a new phone to review about every other week, if that’s a problem for us, most buyers will have a hard time charging their phones.
So Samsung should have really put the charger for a wall socket in the box. We switched to a standard plug and cable that we got from somewhere else. This meant that we couldn’t use the fastest charging speeds (up to 25W). There is also wireless charging (up to 10W), so it might be best to buy a Qi wireless charging pad. Read more; Samsung Galaxy A53 5G vs. Apple iPhone SE 3
Triple rear cameras:
- Main: 12-megapixel, f/1.8 aperture, Dual Pixel autofocus
- Tele (2x): 12MP, f/2.4, optical stabilisation (OIS),
- Wide-angle (0.5x): 12MP, f/2.2
Cover camera: 10MP, f/2.2 / Under display camera: 4MP, f/1.8
Samsung hasn’t made a big change to the Fold 3’s camera specs. It still has three 12-megapixel cameras with wide-angle, ultra-wide, and 2x telephoto zoom (with up to 10x digital zoom), but they’re still pretty good.
The camera housing is the biggest change for this third-generation device. It looks much better in a smaller container, and it doesn’t stick out of the back of the phone in an ugly way. It looks more like the other Samsung products as a whole. Still, we would have liked to see some higher-resolution options this time around, which would have put the Fold on par with Samsung’s best. This is where the next-generation Z Fold 4 will improve things in 2022.
Anyway, let’s get back to the phone. Taking pictures with the Z Fold 3 can feel a little strange at times, since the size of the phone when it’s folded out makes it feel more like shooting with a tablet. But you don’t have to open up the phone to use the cameras. You can use the same cameras when the phone is folded up, but the image preview is a little small and a lot of the screen is blacked out to keep the shooting aspect ratio.
The app is pretty easy to use. It has smart autofocus, face detection, and a tap-to-focus feature that works well whether you want to focus on something close up or far away. You can also switch between wide, normal, and zoom with the touch of a button, which is nice and simple.
All three give good results, which shows that you don’t need the depth sensors, black-and-white sensors, and other features that other manufacturers are so eager to sell you. By keeping things simple and making sure the software works well, Samsung shows what can be done with the basics. The results from the three cameras are also mostly the same, which is a sign that the job was done well.
Samsung has also done a great job with low-light capture, which means taking pictures at night or when there isn’t much light. When there isn’t a lot of light, the camera just seems to know and switch to the right auto-night mode, so you can still get good picturesștiinștiin.știin. Sometimes the numbers don’t really matter. What matters is how things turn out, and this foldable does a good job.
Even though it’s not very different from its predecessor, Samsung’s new foldable phone is still the best on the market. Any device like this is bound to have some problems. In this case, there are screen reflections, a crease in the middle, and the under-panel camera (UPC) doesn’t work as well as it could. However, the Z Fold 3’s uninterrupted view really makes it stand out.