Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3: Everything you need to know about Samsung’s latest foldable flagship
Samsung launched its first foldable phone, the Galaxy Fold, back in 2019. Although the company showcased the phone early in the year, it took quite a while to hit the market due to an unfortunate series of events. Samsung re-launched the phone with some improvements later in the year, but it still had a fair few flaws.
A year later, Samsung launched its successor, the Galaxy Z Fold 2, which addressed some major issues. Thanks to the improvements, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 went on to become the best foldable phone of 2020. Samsung’s latest foldable flagship, the Galaxy Z Fold 3, is now finally here, and it brings several improvements over its predecessor.
The all-new Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 features an updated design and the latest flagship hardware, yet it’s a bit more affordable than the Galaxy Z Fold 2. That’s one of the main reasons we believe many more people will be interested in getting one for themselves. If you’re interested in picking one up and want to know all about the device before hitting the buy button, you’ve come to the right place.
In this post, we’ll share everything you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 to help you make an informed decision.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3: Specifications
|Specification||Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3|
|Dimensions & Weight|
|RAM & Storage|
|Battery & Charging|
|Software||One UI based on Android 11|
|Other Features||S Pen Fold Edition/S Pen Pro support|
Design & Build
The Samsung Galaxy Z fold 3 features several small improvements on the design front. The phone is a bit smaller, slimmer, and lighter than its predecessor. It has a more rounded frame, which should make it a bit more comfortable to hold. And it features a new camera module design. The phone’s folding mechanism looks to be the same as the one found on the previous model, but Samsung has somehow managed to make it thinner and water-tight. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is the first foldable phone to offer IPX8 water resistance and Samsung made some significant changes to its design to achieve this feat.
Along with the IPX8 certification, Samsung has made a couple of other changes in the latest Fold to make it a bit more durable. The phone features an “Armor Aluminum” frame that Samsung claims is 10% stronger than before, Gorilla Glass Victus on the outer display and back panel, and a new protective film for the inner screen that’s 80% more durable than the older model.
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 also comes with one other noteworthy change. Instead of a hole-punch camera on the inner display, Samsung has included an under-display camera sensor on the latest Fold, making it the first phone from the company to feature the new technology. Sure, the camera sensor itself isn’t anything extraordinary, but we’re glad Samsung has finally jumped on the under-screen camera bandwagon, and we can’t wait to see what the company has in store for us for its upcoming Galaxy S series lineup.
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 features a 6.2 inch outer display with a resolution of 2268 x 832 pixels and 387PPI pixel density. Although it has the same dimensions and resolution as the outer display on the Z Fold 2, Samsung has included some improvements on the newer model.
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 uses a 120Hz Dynamic AMOLED panel for the outer screen instead of a 60Hz AMOLED panel and offers adaptive refresh rate support. Additionally, the outer screen gets Gorilla Glass Victus protection.
On the inside, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 features a massive 7.6 inch with a resolution of 2208 x 1768 pixels and 374PPI pixel density. It’s a flexible Dynamic AMOLED panel with a 120Hz peak refresh rate and adaptive refresh rate support. It’s pretty much the same panel as the one on the Z Fold 2, but it has a redesigned protective layer on top that makes it 80% more durable than before.
Furthermore, the inner screen is now 29% brighter than the one on the previous model and it consumes 25% less power. Samsung is using an Eco Square OLED panel on the foldable, which gets rid of the traditional polarizer layer and offers better power efficiency. You can read more about the new power-efficient display here.
SoC, RAM, & Storage
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is a flagship device and, as such, it packs Qualcomm’s latest top-of-the-line Snapdragon 888 chipset. The 5nm SoC includes one Kryo 680 prime core (ARM Cortex X1-based) clocked at 2.84GHz, three Kryo 680 performance cores (ARM Cortex A78-based) clocked at 2.4GHz, and four Kryo 680 efficiency cores (ARM Cortex A55-based) clocked at 1.8GHz. It also includes an Adreno 660 GPU.
The Snapdragon 888 on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is paired with 12GB of LPDDR(?) RAM and either 256GB or 512GB of UFS 3.1 storage. Unfortunately, the phone doesn’t have a dedicated microSD card slot for expansion, so make sure you buy the higher-end 512GB variant if you need the extra storage.
As previous reports suggested, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 doesn’t feature an overkill camera system like the Galaxy S21 Ultra. Instead, Samsung has opted for a more modest camera setup on the device, presumably to keep the camera module relatively slim. Interestingly, the rear camera setup is one of the few areas where Samsung hasn’t introduced any improvements. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 retains the same triple camera setup as its predecessor.
The phone features a 12MP f/1.8 primary camera with Dual Pixel Auto-focus and optical image stabilization (OIS), a 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera with a 123° field of view, and a 12MP f/2.4 telephoto camera with PDAF, Dual OIS, 2x optical zoom, and 10x digital zoom.
Another thing the Galaxy Z Fold 3 has in common with the Fold 2 is it has two selfie cameras. The phone features a 10MP f/2.2 selfie shooter housed within a hole-punch cutout on the outer display and a 4MP f/1.8 sensor on the inside. But unlike the Galaxy Z Fold 2, the inner selfie camera on Samsung’s latest flagship foldable is placed under the display. This explains why Samsung went with a lower megapixel count for the inner selfie camera. The under-screen camera is placed at the top of the right half of the inner display.
Battery & Charging
Another area where Samsung hasn’t made any improvements is the battery. In fact, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 features a slightly smaller 4,400mAh dual-cell battery, while the Fold 2 featured a 4,500mAh unit. But that’s to be expected, as the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is a bit more compact than the older model.
As far as charging is concerned, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 features 25W wired fast charging support and 10W wireless charging support. But you’ll need to buy a 25W charger separately, as the phone only comes with a USB Type-C to Type-C cable in the box.
Thanks to the integrated 5G modem on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chip, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 offers 5G support. It supports both Sub6 and mmWave 5G (SA/NSA). It also features 4G LTE connectivity, Wi-Fi 6E, and Bluetooth 5.2. Other connectivity options include a USB Type-C port and NFC.
S Pen Support
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is Samsung’s first foldable to offer S Pen support. It features a Wacom layer for Universal Stylus support, and it supports both the new S Pen Pro and S Pen Fold Edition. While Samsung had mentioned the S Pen Pro during the Galaxy S21 series launch event earlier this year, the S Pen Fold Edition is a completely new product.
The S Pen Fold Edition is smaller, more compact, and can be stored with the phone using a compatible case. It supports writing input, air gestures, off-screen memos, etc, but it isn’t an active stylus like the Pro variant. The stylus features a retractable tip to prevent damage to the Galaxy Z Fold 3’s inner display.
On the other hand, the S Pen Pro is a bit larger and offers a host of additional features. It’s an active stylus that can be charged via the USB Type-C port on the top, and it supports Bluetooth controls, air gestures, a new copy/paste functionality using the onboard storage, device switching, and more. It also features a retractable tip like the S Pen Fold Edition.
It’s worth noting the S Pen Fold Edition is only compatible with the Galaxy Z Fold 3, and it won’t work with older Samsung smartphones. That’s because it operates at a different frequency. However, the S Pen Pro is backward compatible. For more details about the Galaxy Z Fold 3’s S Pen support, check out this post.
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 runs Android 11 out of the box with Samsung’s One UI skin on top. It offers all the features you get with Android 11, along with a couple of extras that will help you make the most of the foldable display. These include UX optimizations for Samsung’s stock apps, the option to pin Edge Panels to the screen for easier access to apps, optimizations for split-screen view, etc.
In addition, Samsung has included a couple of S Pen-specific features in the Galaxy Z Fold 3 as well. When using the S Pen Fold Edition with the phone in Flex Mode, you can press the button on the S Pen and double-tap the screen to open up the Notes app.
In the Browser app, you can use the S Pen to text feature to directly write within the address bar to perform a search. Furthermore, when writing with the S Pen, you can correct incorrect spacing between letters with an “attach” gesture, delete words by striking them out, and draw a “V” between words to add a space.
Other noteworthy features include Cover Screen mirroring, an open pop-up window at location gesture, a multiview mode for several apps, picture-in-picture mode, and an easy swap button.
Along with the One UI optimizations, Samsung has partnered with app developers to optimize their apps for the foldable form factor. Apps like Spotify, TikTok, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Office, Google Chrome, YouTube, and Google Duo will have an optimized layout for the foldable display. Samsung plans to add more apps to the mix going forward.
Cases & Accessories
To help you keep your Galaxy Z Fold 3 safe, Samsung is offering a host of first-party cases. These include:
- Galaxy Z Fold 3 Silicone Cover (Green, White, and Black)
- Galaxy Z Fold 3 Leather Flip Stand Cover (Green, Camel, and Black)
- Galaxy Z Fold 3 Leather Cover (Green, Camel, and Black)
- Galaxy Z Fold 3 Aramid Cover (Black)
- Galaxy Z Fold 3 Flip Cover with S Pen (Black)
If you plan on buying the Galaxy Z Fold 3, we’re sure you’ll need to get a case and maybe some accessories for the device. Check out the posts linked below for the best cases, wireless chargers, USB cables, and charging bricks for the flagship foldable:
- Best Galaxy Z Fold 3 cases
- Best Galaxy Z Fold 3 chargers
- Best Galaxy Z Fold 3 wireless chargers
- Best Galaxy Z Fold 3 USB cables
- Best Galaxy Z Fold 3 kickstand cases
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3: Pricing & Availability
As mentioned earlier, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is a bit more affordable than its predecessor. The phone starts at $1,799, and it went on sale on August 27th. It is available in three colorways — Phantom Black, Phantom Green, and Phantom Silver. Samsung will also offer a Thom Browne edition of the device. For pricing details for other regions, check out the table below.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold is up for purchase on Samsung’s website. While all of Samsung’s pre-order benefits have now expired, Samsung is still offering great trade-in benefits for the device. The company will let you trade in up to four devices for an attractive discount on the Galaxy Z Fold 3.
Other retailers are also offering great benefits on the purchase of a new Galaxy Z Fold 3. Check out this post for the best deals you can get right now. Also, make sure you read this post to see what you’ll get in the box with the Galaxy Z Fold 3.
If you’re based in India, you’ll have to wait a while to get your hands on the Galaxy Z Fold 3. The device will be available for purchase on September 10th. It’s also worth noting Samsung is only offering the Phantom Black and Phantom Green variants in the region, and it isn’t offering any trade-in benefits. There are some launch offers though, and you can read about them here.