Hands-On With Samsung's New $1,800 Galaxy Z Fold 3
Samsung earlier this month unveiled the new Galaxy Z Fold 3, its latest flagship foldable smartphone. We thought we'd check out the Z Fold 3 to see the technology improvements that Samsung has made to its foldable smartphone lineup.
Foldable smartphones are still expensive, and as a Samsung flagship, the Z Fold 3 is priced starting at $1,799.99, which is more than you have to shell out for some computers. Of course, this is meant to serve as both a phone and a tablet, so there's a little more versatility than your average smartphone.
Design wise, the Z Fold 3 is Samsung's best foldable device yet because the camera is under the display for an all-display design. It looks great and while it's not entirely hidden, it maximizes available screen space.
The Z Fold 3 is a book-like device where the two sides come together in an inward fold. When folded, the outside display measures in at 6.2 inches, and when unfolded, it has a full 7.6-inch display inside. We found the display to be brighter, sharper, and more vibrant than Samsung's Z Fold 2.
Other than the fold and the in-display camera, the Z Fold 3 is basically on par with other smartphones. It has a 120Hz display, three 12-megapixel rear lenses, and a 10-megapixel front camera. It features IPX8 water resistance, a 4,400mAh battery, and a protective display film that's more durable than Samsung's past foldable devices.
The Z Fold 3 is Samsung's first foldable that supports the S Pen, and Samsung designed an S Pen just for the new smartphone. It has a tip that's designed to retract a bit while you're writing to prevent damage to the display, and it features the same S Pen functionality available with other Samsung devices. The S Pen is an optional add-on, though, so there's no dedicated storage.
As for the folding functionality, Samsung did a better job with the hinge this year and the folding mechanism feels more durable and like it will better hold up to damage.
At this price point, the Z Fold 3 is still a niche device that most people aren't going to want to pay the price for, but it's a definite improvement over the prior Z Fold 2. Samsung now has a few years of foldable device development on Apple, so it will be interesting to see how Apple's foldable iPhone measures up should one ever see a release.