Innovations have made Samsung a leader in many markets. The company has launched many smartphone series which has won people’s hearts in different parts of the world.
The new Galaxy Z series which has foldable housings and flexible screens is the latest smartphone from the company. It is called Galaxy Z Fold 3. It is said that it most advanced Samsung smartphone.
• Excellent construction quality (at the forefront with water resistance)
• The hidden camera allows you to enjoy the entire screen
• The best software on the market
• Displays that can be taken as role models
• Great speakers
• The price is the main obstacle
• Not everything is top shelf – Samsung is better at approaching battery and camera topics
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 review in three summary sentences
Galaxy Z Fold3 is unmatched on our market. Samsung is constantly improving the best in its class and it’s hard not to praise individual changes
Set, technical specifications and price of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3
The Galaxy Z Fold3 5G is the most expensive smartphone in the Samsung portfolio. The user receives only a USB-C – USB-C cable, basic leaflets and a key for the SIM card tray in the box. The power supply is missing, which can be understood somehow, but the case should already appear.
Technical specifications of Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3
6.2-inch external Dynamic AMOLED 2X
resolution: 2268 × 832 (24.5: 9, 387 ppi)
image refresh rate: 120 Hz
brightness up to 1000 nits (maximum 1500 nits)
7.6 inch internal Dynamic AMOLED 2X
resolution: 2208 × 1768 (22.5: 18, 374 ppi)
88.8% surface filling
image refresh rate: 120 Hz
brightness up to 900 nits (maximum 1,200 nits)
– Snapdragon 888 5G chip
lithography: 5 nm
1x Kryo 680 (2.84 GHz)
3x Kryo 680 (2.42 GHz)
4x Kryo 680 (1.8 GHz)
– GPU: Adreno 660
– 12 GB RAM
256 or 512 GB of on-board user memory
– UFS 3.1
– no MicroSD support
external: 10 MPx (f / 2.2)
internal (under flexible screen): 4 MPx (f / 1.8)
main: 12 MPx (f / 1.8, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS)
telephoto: 12 MPx (f / 2.4, PDAF, OIS)
wide: 12 MPx (f / 2.2)
– battery with a capacity of 4400 mAh
– 25 W wired fast charging
11 wireless charging (4.5 W reverse)
– USB-C (3.2), 5G, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi 6e (802.11ax), UWB, Samsung DeX, stereo speakers (AKG), fingerprint reader, IPx8 certified, S Pen support, Dual SIM (with eSIM)
– Android 11 (One UI 3.1.1)
– folded: 158.2 x 67.1 x 14.4-16 mm
unfolded: 158.2 x 128.1 x 6.4 mm
– weight: 271 g
– front and back: Gorilla Glass Victus
– body: aluminum
– inside: plastic
– color versions: Phantom Black, Phantom Silver, Phantom Green
Construction and build quality
Samsung says it has used the strongest type of aluminum. This strong aluminum makes the construction of the Galaxy Z Fold3 very impressive. It has matte finish surface which gives it a stunning look.
Nevertheless, when looking at this surface, we will appreciate the thin, even frames around the screen. Similarly, we can praise the factory-applied foil, as well as the selfie camera. This one may not be the newest, but it still offers images with high detail and sharpness. Above the display we can see a very thin gap, which is the output of the sound from the speaker for calls.
The cool edges of the Galaxy Z Fold3 both to the touch and its appearance prove that we are dealing with premium equipment . On the individual sides we find:
– top – loudspeaker grille, set of microphones
– bottom – main microphone, speaker grille, USB-C connector
– left side – hinge with the company logo
– right side – tray for SIM cards, physical keys including locks combined with a fingerprint reader
A set of oppositely placed speakers is perfectly suited to almost any position in which we can hold the smartphone in question. Undoubtedly, they are one of the best sound sources in mobile devices. They are loud, full of bass (for the size), with a wide stage, and above all with a clear stereo effect. The fingerprint reader used copes well with user recognition. The only thing Samsung needs to improve in the design of the Galaxy Z Folds is the skew visible from the edge. After folding, the equipment is not even and there is a gap at the hinge, which is an ideal place for the accumulation of smaller and larger dirt. In this regard, the company should see how Huawei managed to fix it in the Mate X2.
After unfolding the Galaxy Z Fold3, it still shows up with a clear crease on the flexible screen that you can naturally not only see, but also feel under your finger.
The camera still stands out when the screen is turned off, but we will most likely use it in the form of face recognition. Its quality is clearly limited and it is by far the worst form for taking a selfie. The flexible panel has been covered with a foil that cannot be removed. It is inherently delicate, but after more than two weeks of testing, I did not notice any damage or scratches. The protection itself is also ensured by thin frames that protrude above the display surface.
The hinge used allows you to unfold and lock the Galaxy Z Fold3 in any position in a very wide range, which Samsung naturally used in the software. Among other things, this solution allows you not to use the internal camera for photos.
Displays and image quality
The cover screen of the Galaxy Z Fold3 is primarily distinguished by very high brightness. Samsung knows that we will mainly use it in the sun, so we do not have to worry about the readability of the panel.As part of everyday use, the extended display offers about 500 nits, but it is enough for the software to sense the bright environment and this value increases by more than 2x to nearly 1100 nits. The quality of the external screen also performs very well with full sRGB and DCI-P3 support. Support for HDR materials was also confirmed. Importantly, wide settings allow you to choose the settings for yourself. For dessert, the Koreans added the image refresh rate at 120 Hz, which is not only one of the points in the specification on paper, but actually translates into the entire system and the vast majority of applications.
The camera under the flexible screen is definitely the future
After all, we expect the most from the internal display. You already know that you get used to the recess. It is practically imperceptible when we look directly at the panel. Only the foil used seems shinier than the outer one and this is the key difference between the screens. After the measurements, we also notice lower brightness, although still very high. In traditional conditions, we can still count on nearly 500 nits, while the automatic backlight boosting allows us to reach over 900 nits. The screen quality is admirable and we are again talking about full DCI-P3 and sRGB coverage. There was also support for HDR10 +, HLG and Widevine L1, so we can play all materials in high quality.
Of course, the flexible display of the Galaxy Z Fold3 is distinguished by a camera hidden underneath. Inevitably, when we display dark images, we can easily find an eye , but light or colored backgrounds effectively mask the matrix. Naturally, when we know where to look, we will notice a clearly lower pixel density . However, in daily use, the recess situation repeats itself. We know something is there, but we are fine with it and enjoy a full-fledged panel.
Lastly, a lot of praise for the adaptive screen refresh rate. The smartphone supports 30, 48, 60, 90 and 120 Hz, dynamically adapting to the current needs. Even when we play movies in 24 frames per second, the smoothness is raised to 48 Hz. In most applications, the software tries to use 120Hz, which is not so obvious. In fact, on the fingers of one hand, I am able to count the titles that were blocked at 60 Hz. By the way, if we want, in games we can just force a specific refresh rate. That is why Samsung did a great job and comprehensively in this respect.
Battery – working and charging time
On paper, the Galaxy Z Fold3 has a pretty small battery (smaller than its predecessor) for its large display. Samsung still assumes that we will not use it constantly and that we will only need a smaller external screen for many daily activities. After all, in my case I could actually do a lot on the smaller panel, so in the end the working day was not a bigger problem. This is obviously an average result by today’s standards, but the minimum was met. In the case of the time of the displays on, we can count on:
– 6 hours of easy work (social media, Chrome, YouTube, Google Sheets and Docs)
– 3 hours of work at full speed.
The reviewed smartphone heats up slightly during more demanding processes, but it does not burn in the hand. Meanwhile, charging shows us the most that Samsung could not have given us everything. The smartphone supports a maximum of 25 W (in the USB Power Delivery standard), so the full regeneration of the cell takes two hours without a quarter of an hour. The first thirty minutes allows you to recover 33% of your energy.
Cameras – the quality of photos and videos
The camera application in most smartphones can be considered successful when it makes our work easier and allows for personalization. In the case of Samsung, we can also count on it. However, this is only the beginning of the possibilities. After all, an advanced hinge allows you to dynamically adapt the interface to the prevailing conditions. Being able to take selfies from the main cameras is also an option. Added to this is a successful assistant that helps you choose the best shot. If one shot is not enough for us, then in a special mode with this name it is enough to wave the smartphone for a moment and create many of them. Not only in the context of photos, but also animations and films. In short, there is everything and more.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 allows you to record video in the following resolutions:
– 720p at 30 fps.
– 1080p at 30 and 60 fps.
– 4K at 30 and 60 fps.
– slow-motion up to 960 fps.
We will only use a wide-angle and telephoto lens in combination with each resolution with 30 frames per second.
The high price requires the best of everything
Of course, the Galaxy Z Fold3 is a flagship, so it’s hard for Samsung to use any unnecessary camera. However, the Koreans certainly do not focus on the latest technology, because the matrices used are already years old, but the company has proven many times that this is not a problem . After all, it’s the software that matters a lot. Theoretically, the rating of the smartphone’s camera can be shortened that it is very good, but it is not the level of this year’s flagships.
In good lighting conditions, the quality of the photos is definitely above average. However, we can see that the smartphone can register noise in the sky. Of course, the game comes with software at the forefront of AI, which means that most of the shortages in the matrices used are practically eliminated. We will notice the most of these in the case of a sensor connected to a wide-angle lens. It lacks additional stabilization, which translates into a lower level of detail, although still at a good level. This particular camera suffers from a narrow tonal range. Meanwhile, the telephoto lens, which natively zooms in 2x the image, is just good and very similar to the main matrix. Only from time to time, mainly with single-colored spots, he sometimes introduces noises.
At night, Samsung once again reminds you of its great software and advanced mode designed for such conditions. By default, all matrices do not register too much noise, but sometimes they have a problem with sharpness. Koreans like to blur the picture sometimes , although we still cannot complain about the detail of the recorded pictures. Traditionally, the wide-angle lens fares a bit worse.
Meanwhile, the movies, as always with Samsung’s top models, have to be praised for the speed of focusing and overall stabilization. Of course, the detail, color reproduction and tonal range are also at a high level. An additional advantage to stabilization is the possibility of applying EIS, which clearly improves the image and at the same time you do not see any artifacts .
Software and performance
The camera application has already shown you that Samsung gave more than just a flexible screen. The software has also been adapted to the possibility of an unusual design. This means that the screen content will be adjusted to the current layout. It is true that not all applications have been adapted to divide the interface into two parts, but the Koreans give different forms of predefined use. You can find examples of course below. Apart from the specific structure, I consider One UI from Samsung to be definitely one of the best Android overlays.First of all, it has been refined in terms of ergonomics, so regardless of the form of use, we can be sure that the software will help us. At the same time, the company does not forget about additions, which are abundant. A wide range of personalization, support for the S Pen, special modes for players, the sensational DeX and many, many more you will learn in the gallery below with screenshots from Galaxy Z Fold3:
In terms of performance, the reviewed smartphone theoretically also lacks anything. It is very fast and you will not notice any problems during everyday use. Nevertheless, the benchmarks showed that the Snapdragon 888 does not offer as much computing power as other devices with this chip . Samsung could have deliberately limited performance to avoid overheating of the device, and after all, the system used has problems with this with competitors. Meanwhile, Galaxy Z Fold3 never showed me that it was too warm