Why I Stopped Using the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3

I deal with a lot of phone calls. I pass them through our review process and put them away for the most part. But once or twice a year, something piques my interest enough for me to get my own SIM for a few months.

The Galaxy Z Fold3 was one of those phones that piqued my interest because of its novel design factor. So after more than a month of using it as my primary phone, I’m switching back to the Galaxy S21 Ultra. (In the middle, there was also a OnePlus 9 Pro.)

The Z Fold3 is quite appealing. Let me list the features of the Z Fold3 that no other phone has:

  • Reading: I enjoy reading comic books, and the Fold is the only phone that can display a complete Marvel Unlimited or manga page at a reasonable size.
  • Gaming: I spent over 30 hours on the Fold playing games, and the experience is more immersive and arguably more enjoyable than on any other phone. I had the distinct impression that I was playing on a handheld gaming console.
  • Anything involving a map: I’m currently looking for an apartment and have spent a lot of time on Zillow and Trulia. On the Z Fold3, there’s just so much more room to look around.
  • Copying codes and numbers across apps is easier on the Fold3. Copying a password into OneNote, a hotel booking reference code into an email, a database record number into Slack…all it’s easier in split screen.
  • Having a good time: Several individuals complimented or nodded at my expensive phone. The Z Fold3 is a sign of affluence.
Galaxy Z Fold3 5G

What’s the Problem?

So why did I suddenly return to my S21 Ultra? Texting, mostly.
If you’ve read any Galaxy Z Fold3 reviews, you’re aware that the Fold’s cameras aren’t particularly good. I won’t go into detail about it. They’re adequate, but not exceptional. But I wasn’t expecting to have such a hard time typing on it. When it’s open, the 5-inch-wide gadget is just too huge for me to comfortably type on, even two-handed. And, despite the fact that it’s only 2.6 inches wide when closed, I made far too many mistakes on the keyboard.
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I’m aware that there are over 300 alternative software keyboards to try on Android, and I’m also aware that I’ve only used Samsung’s keyboard and Gboard. However, I believe that most individuals do not experiment with different keyboards. I find myself typing a lot on my phone, and the Z Fold3 was starting to bother my hands after a long.
In addition, the Z Fold3’s battery life in real-world use isn’t as good as the S21 Ultra’s, and it doesn’t fast-charge as quickly. Those weren’t deal breakers for me, but they did figure into my pros and drawbacks list. Between my heavy usage and not charging it long enough, I noticed that the phone was frequently between 20% to 50% battery.
I wasn’t expecting the extra ounce and a half above the S21 Ultra to make such a difference. Because the S21 Ultra is already 8 ounces and the Z Fold3 is 9.5 ounces, I was less likely to want to take it out of my pocket or purse and fiddle with it. I’ve been thinking for the past month that a Samsung Galaxy Watch4 would be a perfect companion for the Z Fold3, alerting you when you need to take your phone out, but the Watch 4 type I wanted (black, Bluetooth, 44mm) was out of sale until lately, so I couldn’t test it with the phone.
Then there’s the 5G angle: As I experienced in Korea, I believed video calling would be the “killer app” for folding phones and 5G. However, it turns out that I don’t do much video calling on my phone. In my daily life, I’m at my desk when I’m doing video calls. It’s an audio call if I’m calling someone on the street. As a result, I couldn’t discover or feel the 5G boost that would make a large, foldable phone unstoppable.
I set the Z Fold3 aside and examined my OnePlus 9 Pro and S21 Ultra before returning to the S21 Ultra (now with Android 12). The OnePlus 9 Pro is fantastic—I spent the majority of last year using the OnePlus 8 Pro—but when I compare the two, the S21’s 10x camera is simply too good to pass up. I’ll most likely switch SIM cards again early next year.

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