It may not be the first, but Samsung has successfully positioned itself as a category-defining brand for foldable products. Its latest Galaxy Z Fold 3 may become the standard to measure similar style competitors (at least before Fold 4 arrives).
Z Fold 3 aims to meet expectations in three areas: as a valuable improvement in the company’s foldable mobile-to-tablet products produced so far, as a platform where Samsung can test and implement its latest and greatest technology, and as a general A representative of foldable innovation; as an indicator of how mature the technology (and related costs) has been in a relatively short period of time.
Buy Galaxy Z Flip3 5G to get Galaxy Watch4
For a moment, Samsung's foldable future barely got out of the door.
To be sure, the original Galaxy Fold was a pioneering consumer technology, but it also encountered some very important engineering and build quality issues. For those who appreciate the technical complexity of creating one of the first consumer-ready foldable products, most of them are not surprising. In his comments, Henry Burrell, the then consumer technology editor of Tech Advisor, described the phone as a "mess", which still feels relevant even in hindsight from the development of the folding line.
Three years later, the original folded anatomy still exists in the fourth iteration, but it is full of signs of the lessons Samsung learned in the process.
You will still get a wedge-shaped, book-like, vertically-folding shape with an outer cover display and a spacious inner screen, all of which are called "Armor Aluminium" (or "Aluminum" to our US Local) readers). Durability is one of the biggest upgrades of this generation, combining polished and brushed aluminum alloys, the display and spine that surround the most important hinge of the phone.
Although the polished surface will be stained with stains and smudges, the way the Z Fold 3 is assembled and held in the hand is pleasingly confident and precise. It is thinner than its predecessor (16 mm at its thickest point when closed, and 16.8 mm when closed) and lighter (271 grams vs. 282 grams), and Samsung has performed what I think is some kind of dark magic (although it is more likely It is a mixture of grease, rubber and CIPG) to make this Fold (together with Flip 3) the first waterproof foldable product ever.
Although this new feature is impressive, considering the moving parts at work, I do worry about the long-term validity of the phone’s IPX8 certification; especially with more traditional “static” candy bar devices (such as the company’s own Galaxy S21) When compared. More importantly, despite the dust cover (which was originally added on Fold 5G), the fear of fine dust, grit or powder entering the Fold 3 mechanism still feels very real.
Although there were no mechanical problems in the test for more than a month, the teardrop outline when Fold 3 was closed-formed in the negative space created by the continuous inability of the series to be placed flat-did welcome the accumulation of dust and lint. There is a possible entry point; it needs to be wiped off each time it is unfolded and placed in a pocket for more than a few minutes.
Speaking of unfolding, the hinge mechanism is very sturdy-giving confidence in long-term reliability-and can remain fixed at any point within its range of motion. However, some knurling or textures can increase grip along the frame at the seam line, which will make opening the fold 3 easier and less dangerous.
Unlike last year, Samsung bundled the design of the Fold 2 camera module with the Galaxy Note 20 series that it launched with it. The stepped array on the upper right corner of the back of the Fold 3 avoids the bold "contour cut" camera island' in this year's It is found on the S21 series, but it provides something that is obviously not so compelling.
If you don't choose the Thom Browne limited edition, this year's color scheme will be more low-key (compared to its predecessor); phantom black, phantom silver or the iconic color-phantom green. Like Fold 2 purchased directly from Samsung, the hinge of Fold 3 cannot be customized.
Using folding is the story of two screens: the tall and narrow 6.2-inch 25:9 overlay display on the outer surface-which most closely depicts the traditional smartphone experience (even if it is tall and thin)-and the nominal 7.6-inch folding main The display, when you open and close Fold 3 for the first time, when you see the pixels bend each other, it will exceed expectations.
When the phone was released, Samsung claimed that folding users used as many overlay displays as their home screens, so upgrading the refresh rate of the two panels to a consistent 120Hz would help to achieve a seamless transition between the two.
Samsung is also committed to improving the hardware provided. According to reports, the main panel is "29% brighter" than similar products in Z Fold 2, and it is clearly 80% durable. In actual use, I still did not brazenly insert my nails to see if any marks were left, but it did provide greater peace of mind for still undoubtedly one of the most fragile components on expensive equipment.
Perhaps one of the most important questions is "Can you see or feel the fold line extending down from the center of the main display of Fold 3?" In short, "Yes", but this is not what some people might think. The shortcomings of human weakness, but the inherent quirks of the current state of folding display technology.
In most cases, when viewing from the front, you can’t see the crease at all; compared to other parts of the panel, when viewing at an off-angle, the color and contrast will only be out of balance (if you look at things with your friends and you Are sitting in an offset position, you are more likely to notice). Therefore, in most cases, the visual fidelity of the main screen is comparable to that of Samsung's other flagship phones in 2021 (although the pixel density is lower, 374ppi-the 6.7-inch S21 full HD display is 394ppi).
The 4:3 aspect ratio is unconventional by modern standards—providing something equivalent to two standard smartphone displays side by side and fused together—but the result is an impressively wide canvas, not only showing certain types It is suitable for more screens and larger-scale content (such as 16:9 video) than traditional mobile phones, but it also allows multiple applications to be used at the same time (up to three, based on Samsung software).
As if sticking a folding screen on a mobile phone is not a challenge enough, Samsung has also increased the bet on the Z Fold 3 panel by adding its first under-display camera (more on that later) and implementing S Pen support; making it the current The most feature-rich displays on consumer mobile devices are in a considerable range.
Although Samsung’s iconic stylus is an optional additional feature (and you need a special foldable variant that has a softer and flexible tip to use on the Fold 3’s display), it’s compatible with the foldable The extended canvas forms a powerful pairing.
The S Pen foldable version still provides the familiar stylus experience, with sensitivity comparable to touch input (even drawing on the slightly recessed crease of the display) and latency, which feels more than usable for the supported experience.
If you want to jot down notes, do some quick doodles, or do some digital illustration exercises, the S Pen is perfect for this type of task. For more serious matters, Apple's latest iPad Pro and Apple Pencil combination or dedicated graphics tablet may provide you with better services.
Although stylus input is suitable for most applications, only a few make use of the S Pen's pressure and tilt recognition, which limits its full potential-Samsung must work hard to improve its various S Pen-enabled phones and tablets.
Although it has been running on Samsung’s own Android 11 from the beginning (committing years of follow-up updates), OneUI version 3.1.1 comes with optimizations specific to the folding experience.
You will still find a large number of Google and Samsung apps pre-installed on Fold 3 (with only a slight overlap), while additional apps on both sides of the fence (such as note and calculator apps) can be obtained from their respective app stores ; Let you choose according to your needs.
It’s more about how to use your favorite apps on the Fold’s two displays to control whether this form factor is suitable for your needs, and Samsung strives to equip its latest foldable device with a series of products designed to maximize this Function function.
In addition to the obvious inclusions, such as one-handed mode and-when using the main display-an optional split keyboard, which makes it easier to perform two-handed typing and they serve the two discreet use cases of the layout.
With the screen space provided by the main display, Fold 3 can hold up to three applications at the same time (the best way to showcase its productivity), and can dynamically zoom, resize and reorder selected applications, and even save them As a trio of shortcuts, you can tap to reopen it at any time.
The only quirk is that since Android is still struggling as a native tablet operating system, Samsung's window management is on top of Android's basic split-screen multitasking (only two applications are supported). If Samsung simply hides or disables Android's own implementation, it will be clearer and simpler; ensuring that users only interact with OneUI's optimized features for this (essential in the case of folding).
There are even options to force the application to respect certain aspect ratios-which is necessary for games such as Call of Duty Mobile-otherwise it will fill the screen with awkward resolutions or strange UI elements. However, some of the more powerful settings allow bulky applications to submit submissions like this is still hidden in the lab menu, which ordinary users may miss.
Unlike the S21 series, Fold 3 does not have a regional chipset, which means that no matter which one you pick up, you will get a device equipped with Qualcomm’s top Snapdragon 888 SoC and 12GB of memory (with 256GB or 512GB of fast memory) . UFS 3.1 storage).
Compared with competitors, even with more demanding hardware requirements (including the 120Hz refresh rate of two displays), the benchmark test still compares Fold 3 with equivalent devices (such as Huawei Mate X2 and other more traditional high-performance mobile phones, such as Realme's GT and Samsung’s own Galaxy S21.
Of course, it’s not a number-based leaderboard, but the real-world results seem to just show flagship-level performance; there is no significant lag, bumps, or heat build-up. Even though some games need some optimizations during the setup process to run as expected, you can fully enjoy the game on both monitors.
Perhaps the most impressive is the continuity provided when switching from the cover display to the home screen. Even during video playback, Fold 3 did not skip any beats, audio and video were not delayed, although Fold technically had to dynamically rescale the application when moving from one aspect ratio and resolution to another.
The body is similar to two mobile phones welded together, in fact there are two batteries-one on both sides of the hinge mechanism-to power Fold 3, totaling 4400mAh (slightly less than the capacity of Fold 2).
Fortunately, you still have only one USB-C port to deal with-fixed on the right half of the fold when opened-it supports Samsung's 25W fast charging, as well as up to 11W wireless charging and 4.5W reverse wireless charging . For example, this feature is called "wireless power sharing" and is ideal for charging compatible true wireless headsets or the company's latest Galaxy Watch 4.
Although 25W is undoubtedly behind the curve-especially when compared to products like Oppo, Realme and OnePlus, which easily exceed 65W-use Samsung's official charger (not included, no power adapter) to charge the Fold 3, It takes a still considerable 90 minutes. The test using a third-party 27W PD charger actually shortened a few minutes, reaching 100% in only 83 times. In both cases, it reached more than 40% in half an hour.
As for the life, in addition to the factors that affect all modern smart phones, such as display technology (ie LCD or OLED), adaptive brightness and refresh rate-depending on how you use the two displays of Fold 3, it will have a huge impact on battery life.
If you are on the go, you are likely to prefer a smaller display screen, and you may reduce the use of mobile phones (because the narrow panel is not conducive to improving work efficiency), and the days spent at home or at the desk may be popular More frequent use of the main display with both hands will result in faster battery consumption due to the larger panel during work.
Therefore, in the test, I experienced a big change, a charge can provide 7.25 hours of screen on time, and another time only resulted in 4.25 hours.
For those who wish to get more time from folding-in addition to turning to the phone’s battery-saving settings-the Galaxy Fold community recommends some small adjustments to help extend the life of the folding 3 (except for deliberate use); for example, In Fold 3's connection settings, dark mode is enabled and "scanning for nearby devices" is disabled.
Unlike the Huawei Mate X2, which is equipped with the brand's best mobile phone camera to date, the Galaxy Fold 3 does not try to go all out in the same way. Instead, three 12Mp rear sensors are provided, which can capture images similar to the S21, although a smarter, optically stable 2x telephoto snapper is used instead of the S21/S21's 64Mp sensor.
The three sensors on the back of the Fold 3 are impressive; they have surprisingly comprehensive and comparable color accuracy and low-light performance.
Compared with camera kings such as Apple and Google, Samsung’s iconic color vividness and more extreme contrast may be seen as a relatively lack of dynamic range at the flagship level, but the consistency and usability of the image has reached other high levels. degree. The terminal phone does not always match.
One might argue that the insignificant 2x magnification of the telephoto sensor raises questions about the value of its inclusion—especially at the maximum 10x digital zoom, where the details become terrible—but the real culprit here is Snapper on the front of the main display.
Although the cover display also has a (10Mp) front camera that can take selfies with good color reproduction (although the touch may be over-sharpened), Samsung believes that making a folding display that supports S Pen is not challenging enough Sex, decided to use it as a stage, they will also debut the camera under the display on the mobile phone.
Although the technological feat itself is impressive, the general consensus is that things would be better if Samsung did not bother. The idea of the camera under the display is to hide the black cutout that the camera in the display usually creates behind the pixel grid, but the implementation of Fold 3 has the opposite effect.
ZTE’s Axon 30 5G has adopted the second-generation under-display camera technology, hidden behind a pixel grid with the same density as the rest of the display; making it almost imperceptible. In contrast, the resolution achieved by Fold 3 is very low, and you can actually pick out individual red, green, and blue pixels with the naked eye.
There is also the fact that even though Samsung’s imaging team clearly coded all the post-processing to try to clean up the resulting image, the 4Mp sensor used is usually terrible, with narrow dynamic range, poor color reproduction, and poor low-light support, especially when shooting videos. Time.
The silver lining to all of this is the cover screen preview, which allows you to take a selfie with the main rear camera when the fold is opened, while displaying a viewfinder preview on the cover display. Even so, Samsung's under-display technology used on Fold 3 should remain in the laboratory until it is more mature and comparable to competitors before it can enter consumer-ready products.
Samsung plans to release the Galaxy Z Fold 3 on September 10th, starting at 1,599 pounds/1,799 dollars/1,799 euros/149,999 rupees, which actually makes it more affordable than its predecessor—despite significant improvements in design and performance. —— Samsung may work hard to further increase the attractiveness of the folding mobile phone concept to consumers.
Even if the price is lower than Fold 2, this year's Fold is still higher than the level of more traditional super flagship products, such as Samsung's Galaxy S21 Ultra, Xiaomi's Mi 11 Ultra, and Apple's iPhone 13 Pro Max; this means that only those who don't want to price for Huawei People who are wobbly on the higher Mate X2 (or just want to use the current generation of foldable devices for Google Play services) should apply.
If you like the space-saving aspect of the foldable form factor, but want a more compact form factor, then the Galaxy Z Flip 3 launched together with the Fold 3 is worth considering. It benefits from a more significant price reduction than its predecessor, and retains top performance and water resistance, just like Fold 3.
Purchase Z Fold 3 from Samsung website, retailers (including Amazon), and operators (such as Vodafone (the supplier of the device used in this review)). They provide the phone according to the latest EVO plan, and trade-in in the UK is acceptable. Equipment up to £504.
Or, check out our complete guide on the best Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 deals to save more on the company's smartest foldable device.
Galaxy Z Fold 3 has many improvements over its predecessor; it adopts a cleaner and more robust design, somehow integrates water resistance, an expanded feature set (including S Pen support), and a lower starting price.
Although processing, gaming, and camera performance may not be industry-leading, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 focuses on making the foldable concept easier to implement without making any real sacrifices in any specific area.
However, what Fold 3 does in this emerging product category is that it is difficult to create an experience for the folding shape, and now, Samsung is the main driving force for all of this to become easier.
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