There’s a phone, there’s a tablet and then there’s a Galaxy Z Fold! Yes, people, Samsung is back once again with its new foldable line-up — the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G and the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G. Of course, there’s hasn’t been any mention of the Note family this year, which is kind of sad, but it’s the dawn of a new era, let’s see it like that.
So, I have had the opportunity to test the Samsung Galaxy Fold3 5G, and at the time of writing this article, I have already spent a day with the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G, and below are my initial impressions.
For me, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G is the definition of love at first sight. However, it is not just the looks that Samsung has worked on here, but it is the changes that have been made inside out, and that’s what makes the latest Z Fold3 a solid successor to the Z Fold2.
Yes, the price factor is there, and there’s no denying that the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G is costly, at least when you look at it from an Indian buyer’s perspective, but then again, the deal hasn’t been any better. Before delving into details, note that Samsung is selling two variants of the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G in India — the base variant with 12GB RAM coupled with 256GB storage, which is priced at Rs. 1,49,999 and the top-end variant with 12GB RAM and 512GB storage, which is priced at Rs. 1,57,999. And one more good news is that the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G, or for that matter, both the new foldable phones are powered by the Snapdragon 888 chipset, and not the Exynos chipset that we usually see in Galaxy flagships for India.
Galaxy Z Fold3 5G Design — Digging it!
You take the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G in your hands, and you instantly feel that you’re holding a beautifully crafted machine. Okay, that’s a bit exaggerated, but you get the gist, right? Because, as much as I am sounding like a fanboy, I am overwhelmed by the beauty and sleekness of the Z Fold3. Accepted, when you have the phone folded, you won’t call it sleek, however, when the phone’s unfolded, and that’s how many of the Fold buyers are going to use the phone, duh!; you’ll realise how sleek and sturdy this phone feels is in tablet mode.
The outer texture on this Phantom Black colour is definitely slippery, it reminds me of the Samsung Galaxy S21 5G, but boy does it feel premium! I mean, I can even go on record that the Armor Aluminum frame along with this matte coating up top looks and feels top-notch, and I like it better than my stainless steel’s iPhone 11 Pro’s frame. There I said it! Even the huge camera island from the Z Fold2 is gone and what you now get is a three-lens array placed in a vertical strip. It still protrudes, but it looks good, I dig it!
Apart from this, the hideaway hinge looks refined than ever. But yes, when folded, there’s still a gap between the screens so dust particles can still enter. Although, on a positive note, this phone is one of the first foldable devices to feature IPX8 water resistance, which allows this phone to survive a depth of 1.5m under water for up to 30 minutes. Which reminds me, both the cover screen and the main screen are protected by Corning’s latest Gorilla Glass Victus, and Samsung says, that this time around the main screen is 80% more durable than that of the Galaxy Z Fold2. To which, I think their claim is right. I mean, not only does the display feel much durable, it is the whole phone that feels solid. The Fold has come a long way, and gone are the days of it being fragile or flimsy.
Galaxy Z Fold3 5G Display — Oh So Dynamic!
Thanks to the under-display camera of the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G, you get an uninterrupted main screen experience. The 7.6” Dynamic AMOLED 2X display is “the” most gorgeous display I have ever seen on any smartphone and it also features a 120Hz Adaptive refresh rate along with HDR10+ support. So, It is a large canvas my friends, it is colourful, it supports peak brightness of up to 1200 nits, and the uniform bezels all around are a treat. Of course, the crease is there, but trust me, after using the device for a couple of days, you’ll forget that it’s even there. Lastly, this main screen also supports the mighty S Pen! And, as much as I am missing the Note line-up at this point, it is good to see the company passing its legacy to a device, which makes more sense, doesn’t it? I mean what would you rather have for jotting notes — a 6.8” regular screen or a large 7.6” screen? I would pick the latter, and I know, many of you would too. However, the catch is that if you need the S Pen, you’ll have to purchase it. And no, the old S Pens won’t work with the Fold 3’s screen, so don’t even think about that.
By the way, it is not just the main screen that has received the upgrades. The cover screen has also been updated from a 6.23” Super AMOLED on the Z Fold2 to a 6.2” Dynamic AMOLED 2X on the Z Fold3 5G along with a 120Hz Adaptive refresh rate.
Galaxy Z Fold3 5G Camera — Lens galore
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G is camera loaded. You see the cover screen, there’s a 10MP snapper. You turn the phone around, you get three 12MP lenses, comprising of a wide, an ultra-wide and a telephoto lens. Finally, you unfold the Fold, and that is where you don’t see a camera. I mean, it is only that you can’t see the camera until you turn on the camera. Don’t get what I am saying? Let me explain. So, the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G becomes the first foldable phone (again a first) to feature an under-display camera. And okay, it is only a 4MP lens that we are talking about here, but nevertheless, this is a huge technological feat and it is still a good enough camera for you to take selfies or to do those video calls in flex mode.
Of course, I have only spent a day with this phone, and haven’t had the chance to play around with the cameras much. But definitely, I’ll be covering the camera and all the other things in my full review, so stay tuned.
Galaxy Z Fold3 5G Software — Special Child
One UI is one of the best and my favourite take on Android. And while the One UI experience is more or less similar and consistent from budget phones to all the way to the flagship Galaxy S and Note phones; the experience on Z Fold3 is much better and practical.
Don’t get me wrong, if you have used One UI in the past, you’ll feel right at home when it comes to the basics. But, it is the special tweaks, features, and additions that Samsung has made in One UI 3.1.1 for these foldable phones, that the software experience feels much better and refined to say compared against One UI on an S21 Ultra; if you understand what I mean.
Since this is my first time reviewing a foldable phone, I am already excited and trying to know and enable all the features and settings I can think of. As of now, I have already pinned the taskbar on the right, which is a new feature in One UI 3.1.1 as a part of Samsung labs. In fact, Samsung Labs even lets you force multi-window for all apps, again a new feature. On top of that, Samsung has also worked with many third-party app makers to make Flex mode even more refined, so looking forward to testing that as well, and as I said, this and all the other stuff, you’ll be able to find in my full review, so stay tuned for that.
Galaxy Z Fold3 5G Specifications — At a Glance
Before giving my final words on the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G, here are the phone’s key specifications, all in one place.
— 7.6” Main Screen, Dynamic AMOLED 2X (1768×2208 pixels), 120Hz Refresh Rate, HDR10+, 1200 nits, Supports S Pen, Gorilla Glass Victus
— 6.2” Cover Screen, Dynamic AMOLED 2X (832×2268 pixels), 120Hz Refresh Rate, Gorilla Glass Victus
— Weight: 271g, Thickness: 6.4mm (unfolded), 16mm (folded)
— Armor Aluminum Frame, IPX8 Water-resistant
— OneUI 3.1.1 (Android 11)
— Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC
— 12GB LPDDR5 RAM
— 256GB/ 512GB UFS 3.1 Storage
— 4,400mAh Battery, Supports up to 25W Charging
— Wireless Charging, Reverse Wireless Charging
— Triple Rear Cameras: 12MP Main, f/1.8, OIS + 12MP Telephoto, f/2.4, 2x, OIS + 12MP Ultra-wide, f/2.2
— 10MP Front Camera, f/2.2
— 4MP UDC, f/1.8
— Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, USB Type-C 3.2, Carrier Aggregation and 5G
Galaxy Z Fold3 5G Final Words — This Is It!
At this point, I am absolutely overwhelmed by the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G. As a fan, as a reviewer or as a first time user of the Fold, saying that I am impressed with the Z Fold3 5G would be an understatement. But honestly speaking, I truly am impressed, and I really hope this honeymoon period lasts a long while!
In the meantime, I would get back and start putting the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G through its paces. If you’re reading this, and you have any doubts or queries, or thoughts or anything that you’d want to know about the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G, feel free to reach out to me in the comments or you can even connect with me on Twitter or Instagram. Thank you for taking out the time, have a pleasant day!