Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G Review

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The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G’s giant screen gives it productivity powers no other phone can match.


Working SystemAndroid 11
CPUQualcomm Snapdragon 888
Dimensions5.04 by 6.22 by 0.25 inches
Display Measurement7.6 inches
Display Decision2208 by 1768 pixels
Digital camera Decision (Rear; Entrance-Going through)12MP, 12MP, 12MP; 10MP; 4MP
Battery Life (As Examined)11 hours 25 minutes

Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold3 5G stands alone. The one big-screen folding cellphone within the US does issues no different cellphone can do, letting you play video games, learn PDFs, and create content material in distinctive methods. Greater than some other cellphone, it may be your sole gadget for many of your day. As with the Galaxy Z Fold 2, the one motive we’re not giving the Galaxy Z Fold3 our Editors’ Selection award is that it prices $1,799. Samsung has an ideal array of trade-ins and reductions for this cellphone; however, a cellphone priced like a laptop computer simply will not be the mainstream selection.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

From Notice to Fold

The idea of big-screen folding telephones was all the fashion in 2019; however, Samsung is the one maker within the US that continues to tug the trick off. Huawei is out of the image right here; ZTE tried once and shrugged, LG gave up on phones totally, and Google and Apple’s folding telephones stay rumors. Motorola has the RAZR; however, that fills a distinct area of interest (and one which Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 3 does higher): a regular-sized cellphone that folds up even smaller.

This 12 months’ Galaxy Z Fold 3 is the religious heir of the now-dead Galaxy Notice line. The Galaxy Notice began as a nearly comically massive, stylus-enabled cellphone for creatives and poor imaginative and prescient folks. Its market cut up into individuals utilizing the stylus for productiveness and individuals who simply wished a giant cellphone for giant icons and textual content. There are many massive telephones now, so the Fold3 ups the ante once more for the productive crowd, with an enormous display that it is like an entirely new world.

There have not been considerable modifications from the Galaxy Z Fold 2. The obvious one is the S Pen assist. As soon as I mocked the Notice for being too massive, effectively, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is considerable, particularly with the elective S Pen holder case. For those attempting to purchase a cellular pocketbook or sketchpad, the large canvas is irresistible. You may even go for the more extensive S Pen Professional, which may be saved with the cellphone however offers you a bit extra leverage on the marginally slippery display.

In any other case, modifications are delicate. The cellphone is extra sturdy and, at last waterproof, which is sweet for safeguarding your $1,800 funding. The cellphone is rated IPX8, which implies it’s protected in opposition to water, however not in opposition to particles like sand and dirt. Following Samsung, that is simply the worth of getting a hinge, but it surely means you should not get the cellphone sandy on the seaside. For those who’re nervous about sturdiness, Samsung provides a prolonged guarantee known as Samsung Care+ ($12.99/month) that covers unintended harm, with as much as three gadget replacements in a 12-month interval.

Samsung needs to make a big deal of the under-display digital camera. Confident, it is a technical feat; however, a hole-punch by no means bothers individuals as soon as they get used to it.

A Complete Lot of Cellphone

Make no mistake: The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is a thick, heavy cellphone. It weighs 9.56 ounces, which is less than the Z Fold 2 but more significant than other flagship cellphones. Closed, it measures 2.64 by 6.22 by 0.63 inches (HWD). Open, it is 5.04 by 6.22 by 0.25 inches (HWD). It is a brick.

However, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 works the place the Microsoft Surface Duo did not. As a result, Samsung understands a critical factor about primary cellphone ergonomics: thick is healthier than extensive. The Duo is flattened out, and consequently, it is tough to use in a single hand and ridiculous to carry as much as your head. However, the flipped-closed Galaxy Z Fold 3 is thick and slim, making it truly more straightforward to use in a single hand than most different smartphones. The 6.2-inch, the 2,268-by-832 exterior display is 60Hz, versus the 7.6-inch, 2,208-by-1,768 inside display’s 120Hz, and it would not assist S Pen use. But it indeed’s a handy display that every one your apps will run on.

Open up the Galaxy Z Fold 3, and it is an entirely new world. It’s sq. which generally is awkward to carry but pays off if you’re studying, shopping online, or utilizing electronic mail apps. The crease is unquestionably nonetheless seen and tangible, and the display protector nevertheless would not go entirely in which to the sting. Neither factor bothers me, mainly because the crease is usually (however not all the time) a piece of information to two-paned UIs. In the event you’re taking part in video games, it disappears in the event you maintain the cellphone on the proper angle.

I discovered that it was truly simpler to kind on the surface display than the inside one; however, some individuals will find the contact keyboard only a bit too small. There is a vary of keyboard choices, all with a little bit of a Goldilocks downside: a small keyboard on the entrance display, a default cut up the keyboard on the massive display, so you do not have to stretch your thumbs too far (however, you should maintain every thumb on the exemplary aspect of the collection) and a centered keyboard on the massive display, which requires a bit extra thumb stretch. Relying upon your thumb nimbleness and attain, at the least, one needs to be the precise measurement for you.

Folded mode
Some apps, similar to YouTube, current particular UI modes when the cellphone is half-folded. (Molly Flores)

A New Paradigm

To essentially get a deal with this cellphone, I would like to use it for weeks, not days, and I must get my very own information on it. I do not sometimes load my private information on evaluating telephones; however, this one actually modifications how you’re employed.

As an example: there are tabs in Chrome now. In an Android browser, it is laborious to recollect what different pages you might need to be had open due to their hidden so that you sometimes open several duplicate pages. Not anymore, as a result of tabs!

Chrome with tabs on the Z Fold3 screen

There’s an entirely new paradigm for multitasking; you swipe open a job bar from the aspect of the display, after which swipe an app icon over half the collection to create a cut-up window. It is sensible when you get used to it; however, you must get used to it.

If you’d like, you may sit the Galaxy Z Fold 3 on a desk, half-open, and pressure any app only to show itself on the highest half of the cellphone; this works effectively for watching the video and, in some circumstances, video calls.

DeX and full Bluetooth mouse and keyboard assist for those who want an excessive desktop scenario. DeX helps you hook the Fold3 as much as a TV (by way of Wi-Fi) or monitor (by way of a USB-C–to-HDMI cable) and get a desktop-like mode with real windowing. (It works identically on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 as on different current Samsung gadgets.)

The massive display means you could probably lean on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 to get extra executed on the go without opening your laptop computer, then with different telephones. I spend nearly day-after-day totally in my kitchen, aka my work-from-home workplace, so it is laborious for me to strive or feel this utterly different sort of use. However, I am taking an enterprise journey at the end of the month, and I am excited to see how I find myself utilizing the Galaxy Z Fold 3.

Loads of Energy

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor with 12GB of RAM and 256GB or 512GB of storage. It runs Android 11 with Samsung customizations for the folding UI; Samsung stated it’ll obtain a replacement for Android 12; however, it did not promise when. The corporate has committed to three generations of Android upgrades on the Fold sequence, so in this case, so far as Android 14.

It benchmarks very effectively, with PCMark scores slightly increased than the Galaxy S21 Ultra or OnePlus 9 Pro‘s. Onscreen graphics benchmarks completely zip alongside when the cellphone is closed but decently on the massive important display.

The 4,400mAh battery is sweet sufficient for all-day use, particularly with Samsung’s energy administration software program. We received 11 hours, 25 minutes of video playback time with the cellphone open.

Like all Samsung telephones, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 would not cost significantly rapidly. It would not include a charger, only a cable. On a 22W Samsung charger, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 took 40 minutes to get to a half cost and 95 minutes to full charge. (Technically, the cellphone helps 25W charging; however, Samsung’s quick chargers function at 22W.) The cellphone additionally supports slow, 10W wi-fi charging and even slower, 4.5W reverse wi-fi charging. You may, at the least, prime up your watch or earbuds with that one.

As you may anticipate, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is sweet for studying. That is the one cellphone place you may genuinely learn a full comedian web page on Marvel Limitless, a full manga web page in VIZ, or an entire PDF restaurant menu without zooming. You see extra of every net web page or information article than you’d get on one other cellphone.

Opposite to what you may anticipate, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 will not be suitable for watching the video. The 4:three display would not match typical video facet ratios, except watching the Snyder Reduce or the previous TV reveals, each of which looks terrific. The Galaxy Z Flip 3 is higher for holding and watching most movies because it’s lighter and has extra widescreen form.

Stardew Valley

Video games benefit from the Galaxy Z Fold 3‘s massive display.

What shocked me is that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is superb for gaming. Video games, particularly open-world ones, sometimes adapt effectively to the shape issue and offer you extra room to maneuver around and do matters. The 120Hz important display is easy, and the processor can deal with intensevideo games like Genshin Impression without breaking a sweat. Strolling across the Genshin world is extra immersive on the massive display than on a conventional cellphone. In Stardew Valley, a farming simulator, I had more entry into the extra territory around me than on traditional telephones. Even Mini Metro was a bit simpler to play.

Glorious Connectivity; Sound, Not So A lot

There is nothing new or completely different regarding the radios within the Galaxy Z Fold 3 that are successfully identified as within the Galaxy S21 line. Constructed around a Qualcomm X60 modem, it helps all the applied sciences US carriers presently use, in addition to the longer-term C-band networks Verizon and AT&T are organizing.

I watched in parallel with the Galaxy S21 Ultra and a Galaxy Z Flip 3 on T-Cell’s mid-band 5G community. I successfully discovered the identical (good) efficiency on all three telephones, with the Galaxy Z Fold 3 reaching most speeds of 675Mbps down and 116Mbps up. I additionally received comparable Wi-Fi efficiency to the Galaxy S21 Ultra on the two.4GHz and 5GHz bands.

For calls, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is ready up with the very best high-quality EVS codec when carriers make that obtainable. The speakerphone is surprisingly slightly quieter than on the Galaxy Z Flip 3 or Galaxy S21 Ultra—it maxes out around 92.7dB at six inches—but it indeed’s nonetheless undoubtedly usable. The slim kind makes it straightforward to carry as much as your head, but it indeed’s too heavy to take action for lengthy durations of time. Your best choice is to use Bluetooth headphones; the cellphone labored tremendous with my Jabra Elite 75t earbuds.

Sound, total, is a blended bag. There isn’t any headphone jack, in fact, and Samsung needs you to make use of wi-fi earbuds just like the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2. In our lab exams, speaker quantity maxed out fairly loud: 92.7dB in calls and a loud 103.3dB taking part in a music video folded open. However, while you maintain the Fold, it is very tough to not cowl at the least one of many audio systems along with your hand, so the sound is usually muted. It is annoying. Simply use earbuds.

Some worldwide variants of the Galaxy Z Fold 3  have three SIM slots (two bodily and one eSIM); however, the US mannequin is a single bodily SIM solely, identical to different Samsung telephones offered by carriers right here. The eSIM characteristic exists; however, Samsung stated it has no plans to allow it proper now. I do not suggest shopping for overseas fashions to be used within the US because they’re usually incompatible with US networks.

Take a Memo

The concept of utilizing the S Pen with the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is an excellent one. The massive canvas is nice to attract or take notes on. However, Samsung would not reasonably stick the touchdown right here because the cellphone lacks a handy strategy to retailer the stylus, and you’ll simply discover it while you misplace it.

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 works with two S Pens that are bought individually. The $49.99 S Pen Fold Version is a matte black Wacom stylus, spherical with one flat aspect, slightly chubbier, and somewhat longer than the Galaxy S21‘s pen. It has a single button on the element, and the tip retracts if you press on it too laborious.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G Review


The $99.99 S Pen Professional is for much longer, extra like a paintbrush. The Fold 3 uses a distinct pen transmission frequency than different S Pen gadgets, so older S Pens do not work on the Fold3, and the Fold Version pen would not work on various devices. The Professional has a chance to flip it between frequencies, so it works with all the things.

The Fold Version pen would not want charging, and it comes with a slightly plastic case. The issue is, it would not connect to the cellphone in any approach, and it could be beeped or positioned electronically. Hence, the possibility of it vanishing into your sofa cushions is extraordinarily excessive. (The more oversized Professional pen will be beeped utilizing your SmartThings app.) It took me lower than a day to misplace mine.

There is a $79.99 flip cowl with an S Pen slot that Samsung did not ship me, which I feel you’d need if you wish to carry the pen around with you. That slot suits the Fold Version pen solely; the S Pen Professional is just too massive.

The essential S Pen Fold Version expertise is identical to on different pen-compatible telephones. It is pressure- and tilt-sensitive, and you’ll activate palm rejection in most apps so you may write or draw freely along with your hand on the display. However, the tip feels a bit slippery on the Fold’s display. I am undecided if it is affirmation bias right here; however, attempting to use the S21 pen (which does not work) on the identical display feels slightly higher. The S Pen Fold Version comes with three substitute ideas; however, they’re all equivalent. I feel like this downside will find yourself being solved utilizing third-party equipment; all we want is a set of ideas with a bit extra drag to them.

It is price noting that the S Pen Fold Version would not assist us with Bluetooth remote management, as the Galaxy Notice 20 pen does. For that, as soon as once more, you want the S Pen Professional.

Unremarkable Cameras

The Z Fold 3 has five cameras. Again, there is a 12MP f/2.2 ultrawide; a 12MP f/1.eight important digital camera with optical picture stabilization (OIS); and a 12MP f/2.Four 2x zoom with OIS. On the entrance, there is a 10MP f/2.2 digital camera. And now, inside, there is a 4MP front-facing digital camera underneath the show, primarily for video chatting when the Fold3 is open.

For a $1,799 cellphone, these cameras are slightly disappointing. They’re excellent in a best-case state of affairs; with a gentle hand, a topic that is not too far-off, and good mild, pictures seem like they had been taken with a Galaxy S21 Ultra. However, most eventualities aren’t best-case ones.

In additional distant photographs of the construction, I misplaced the element on brickwork that I received with an S21 Extremely. An avenue shot at night time appeared to have a slight haze over it compared with the S21 Extremely. Low-light photos had been additionally generally a bit higher targeted on the S21 Extremely. With a most 2x zoom, there’s additionally no comparability to the S21 Extremely’s 10x zoom.

The front-facing digital camera has a deeper depth of subject than the S21’s, making for sharper backgrounds. Whether or not that is good in a selfie is a matter of style; many individuals like a slight bokeh impact on their selfies brings the primary topic to the fore.

The under-display selfie digital camera will not be friendly. It has no nighttime mode, which meant my low-light selfies had been just about blacked out. Daylight photographs had been flat and washed out. It is 4MP however defaults to cropping at 1,392 by 1,856, or 2.58 megapixels. That is actually near 1,080 by 1,920, so the easiest way to consider this digital camera is equal to the mediocre webcam in your laptop computer, designed for 1080p video calling; however, not a lot else.

I do not see the cameras as deal-breakers; however, there is an argument to be made that all the things in a $1,799 cellphone need to be greatest at school.

Merely Incomparable

There’s nothing just like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3. It is so heavy it is nearly unmanageable; however, open it up, and it is a cellular workplace and gaming system in contrast to the rest in the marketplace. It is several cell phones. It is not for everybody. The individuals it’s for will completely adore it.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, the Galaxy Z Flip 3, and the Galaxy S21 Ultra make for an aggressive trio of flagships. Worsfold 3 is about utilizing your cellphone extra at the coronary heart, and the Flip3 is about using it much less. With the Fold3, you are constantly dealing with a display, and generally, that display is significant; it is virtually begging you to get issues executed. You are additionally going to need to justify the trouble of hauling it around. The Flip3 is lighter and smaller, and when it is closed, it feels extra like a sensible pocket watch than a cellphone. In contrast, it has an identical chipset and most similar capabilities because the others have a much more informal perspective. The S21 Extremely has a well-recognized kind issue and an impressive digital camera.

Past that, what can I examine the Galaxy Z Fold3 to? Nothing. I am going to simply say it is not for you in case your essential considerations are capturing and sharing pictures and video or in the event you’re an extra informal smartphone person. The primary group will be better served by the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra or the Apple iPhone 12 Pro; the second could be ultimately pleased with a midrange like the Google Pixel 5a.

For those who’re a true smartphone specialist, you may be fascinated by holding out for a type of rumored future folding telephones from different producers. Remember that rumored phones are always good because they’ve all of the imaginary options you need and not one of the real-life compromises that allow you to down. I do not assume Google can have its folding cellphone earlier than the subsequent 12 months. It’s possible to have higher cameras than the Galaxy Z Fold3’s; however, the software program will not be as custom-made for foldability. And as for what Apple is planning—nobody is aware of.

So that leaves the Galaxy Z Fold 3 standing alone. You will need to cling onto it for three years at a worth like this, so assume twice earlier than taking the plunge (although I feel it’s going to have first-rate resale worth). But it indeed’s an absolute blast to make use of, and in the event, you wish to stay massive, you will adore it.


  • Distinctive folding kind issue
  • Enhanced sturdiness and waterproofing
  • S Pen assist


  • Very heavy
  • Very costly
  • Cameras might be higher


The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3  5G’s large display offers its productiveness powers no different cellphone can match.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

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