They say that the third time’s the charm, and with the new Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G, the Korean chaebol is looking to cement their lead in the premium foldable mobile phone segment.
It’s been prohibitively expensive for the general user to own previous Fold models, due to the high price tag. But with all things tech, prices fall and the latest Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G now starts from S$2,398 for the 256GB model, making Samsung’s attempt at productivity on the go slightly more affordable.
The device is powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, with 12GB of RAM and up to 512GB of internal storage, and is no slouch when compared to other devices in the market.
Sadly the only casualty with Samsung’s latest wave of foldable smartphones is the notable absence of the Galaxy Note series, which ironically made its debut 10 years ago, in 2011. What a way to celebrate a decade. Of course, it’s safe to surmise that the lack of processors and chips in the market is likely to have prompted Samsung to focus on the Fold and continue to market the Galaxy S21 as its flagship for the year.
Unlike other notable Samsung phone releases, both the Fold 3 5G and Flip 3 5G models this year will come with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor, with Samsung’s own Exynos chipset taking a back seat. This is a good thing, as many Android enthusiasts prefer the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor over the Exynos.
Even though the 7.6-inch device can be folded in half, the new Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G is still a hefty device that many will struggle to fit into their pocket. Measuring 67.1 x 158.2 x 16 mm while folded, the phone comes in at 271g, which is slightly lighter than the 7.6-inch Fold 2 (282g).
In our exclusive hands-on, we were left admiring the beautiful 2208 x 1768 120hz Dynamic AMOLED 2X display of both the 6.2-inch cover screen and the unfolded main screen. The massive 7.6-inch main display is more than sufficient for anyone to multitask on the go. To access the main screen, users will need to unfold the phone like a book hence the name. But we cannot help but wonder if it might be more sensible to simply work off a laptop instead. However, for the power user, there’s plenty of real estate to play around with on the main screen, combined with the option to split up the display to use a variety of apps at the same time. We expect many users to be watching videos and taking notes while looking at a reference document all on a single display.
The biggest upgrade to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G’s main display would be the Under Display Camera which seamlessly blends into the screen if there is any media placed over it. When held up close, the camera becomes quite apparent, but when held away, it’s not obvious at all so goodbye punch-hole camera designs, you won’t be missed.
Rounding up the rest of the cameras on the device, we have the front Cover Camera which has a 10MP F2.2 lens and in the rear, we have a suite of three 12MP cameras – F2.2 Ultra Wide, F1.8 Wide-angle, and an F2.4 Telephoto lens, which allows for 10x digital zoom, and HDR10+ and 4K recording.
Like the Samsung Galaxy S21, the Fold 3 5G is compatible with Samsung’s S Pen accessory as well. It’s sold separately if you don’t own one, and available in two models – the S Pen Fold Edition (S$78) and S Pen Pro (S$168). Plus, the S Pen Fold is only compatible with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G so if you want cross-device compatibility with other S Pen supported devices, you need to grab the S Pen Pro instead.
With no receptacle to house any of the S Pen devices though, you will also need to purchase the Flip Cover with S Pen (S$118), to protect the phone and store the S Pen accessory safely. All things considered, the cost does slowly add up if you’re looking to make full use of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G up to this point.
|MODEL||SAMSUNG GALAXY Z FOLD 3|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5㎚ 64-bit Octa-Core Processor|
|Storage||256GB / 512GB|
|Display||Main Screen – 7.6-inch QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display (22.5:18) Infinity Flex Display (2208 x 1768), 374ppi, 120Hz adaptive refresh rate|
Cover Screen – 6.2-inch HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display (24.5:9), 2268 x 832, 387ppi, 120Hz adaptive refresh rate
|Camera||Cover camera – 10MP Selfie Camera: F2.2, Pixel size: 1.22μm, FOV: 80˚|
Under display camera – 4MP Under display camera: F1.8, Pixel size: 2.0μm, FOV: 80˚
Rear triple camera – 12MP Ultra Wide Camera: F2.2, Pixel size: 1.12μm, FOV: 123˚
12MP Wide-angle Camera: Dual Pixel AF, OIS, F1.8, Pixel size: 1.8μm, FOV: 83˚
12MP Telephoto Camera: PDAF, F2.4, OIS, Pixel size: 1.0μm, FOV: 45˚
Super clear glass with Corning® Gorilla® Glass with DX
Dual OIS, 0.5x out and 2x in optical zoom, Up to 10x digital zoom, HDR10+ recording, Tracking AF
|Dimensions||Folded – 67.1 x 158.2 x 16.0mm|
Unfolded – 128.1 x 158.2 x 6.4mm
|Colours||Phantom Black, Phantom Green, Phantom Silver|
|Price (SGD, including GST)||$2,398 (256GB) / $2,548 (512GB)|
|Availability (Singapore)||September 2021|
Gerald currently straddles between his love of video games and board gaming. There’s nothing that interests him more than trying out the newest and fanciest gadget in town as well. He dreams of publishing a board game sometime in the future!