Weekly poll: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3, the new S Pen and the Galaxy Z Flip3

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Samsung is betting that foldables will be the next big thing in mobile and this week it unveiled its latest designs – the large and practical Galaxy Z Fold3 5G along with the compact and hot-looking Galaxy Z Flip3 5G. Are you on board with this new (and still fairly expensive) trend?

The Galaxy Z Fold3 5G improves both screens. The squarish 7.6” internal display has the same size and resolution as the Z Fold2 display, but is brighter and devoid of interruptions. The external 6.2” display now matches the internal display with 120Hz adaptive refresh rate for a smoother transition between the two.


Making the best out of the large 7.6
Making the best out of the large 7.6
Making the best out of the large 7.6

Making the best out of the large 7.6″ internal display

Samsung also did a lot of work to improve the build of the Z Fold3. For starters, it is now thinner, measuring 6.4 mm when opened (down from 6.9 mm) and 14.4-16.0 mm when closed (compared to 13.8-16.8 mm). The phone is lighter too, going down from 282g to 271g.

And it is IPX8 water resistant, the first foldable to have that distinction (alongside the Z Flip3). This should make the phone more durable (which was a major concern with early foldables), though we’re not seeing a dust resistance rating. Anyway, Samsung calls the frame “Armor Aluminum” and says it is its strongest aluminum frame yet.

Weekly poll: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3, the new S Pen and the Galaxy Z Flip3

Since you can use the external screen to take selfies either with its own 10MP camera or with the main camera (by opening the phone), the selfie camera on the internal screen was often just taking up space. So, Samsung decided to hide it by putting it behind the screen. It has a 4MP sensor with large 2.0µm pixels and a bright f/1.8 aperture. Perhaps not the best for selfie photos (again, the main cam handles those easily), but it will do a great job for video calls.

This may be the only change in the camera department since the triple 12MP setup on the back sounds exactly the same as on the Z Fold2. There haven’t been any major changes to the battery either, other than the capacity dropping a bit to 4,400 mAh.


The Galaxy Z Fold3 will be available in three colors
The S Pen carrying case
The S Pen carrying case

The Galaxy Z Fold3 will be available in three colors • The S Pen carrying case

The phone is powered by the Snapdragon 888 chipset (note: the vanilla chip, not the 888+). Like last year, there is 12GB of RAM and 256GB or 512GB of non-expandable storage.

We’ll get to the S Pen in a bit, but since it is an optional purchase we will start with this – will you buy a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G? Before you answer you should know that the price hasn’t changed since last year, the new Fold has the same €1,800/£1,600 price tag.

Note: if you have trouble voting in the embedded poll above, cast your vote here.

S Pen support is one of the major upgrades on this generation of Fold. Samsung has prepared two models – the S Pen Fold Edition and the S Pen Pro. The Fold Edition is smaller and fits into a specially-designed case for easy carrying. It is also similar to the older styluses used by Notes (no Bluetooth, meaning no Air Actions).

The Pro is for S Pen power users, it can be shared with other S Pen-enabled devices and does have Bluetooth/Air Actions. It requires charging, however, and that can’t be accomplished wirelessly – you need to plug it into a USB-C port.

Weekly poll: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3, the new S Pen and the Galaxy Z Flip3

Why would you want an S Pen? When you open the Galaxy Z Fold3 it is too large to use single-handed, so why not use the stylus – even the passive Fold Edition version has a button that can trigger certain shortcuts that you can’t do with your finger. And the writing of some eastern languages doesn’t fit as neatly on a keyboard as English, so handwriting may be the superior text input method.

So, if you are buying a Galaxy Z Fold3 will you pick up an S Pen to go along with it?

Note: if you have trouble voting in the embedded poll above, cast your vote here.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G also brings tangible improvements. The external display measures 1.9” (it is a Super AMOLED panel), making it actually possible to read an incoming notification or use it as a viewfinder. Yes, the external display on the original Flip could do those things too, it just wasn’t good at them. At all.

Weekly poll: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3, the new S Pen and the Galaxy Z Flip3

The main 6.7” display on the inside remains at 1080p+ resolution, but joins us in the year 2021 with 120Hz dynamic refresh rate, which has become a must for flagships. There’s no S Pen support here, in case you were wondering.

Like the Fold, the Z Flip3 is rated for IPX8 water resistance (again, no mention of dust resistance). Samsung didn’t really succeed in making this one thinner, though. It is a hair thinner when opened (6.9 mm vs. 7.2 mm), but it is actually thicker when closed (15.9-17.1 mm vs. 15.4-17.3 mm for the old model, accounting for the thinnest and thickest parts). Also, it weighs the same to the gram, 183g.

Weekly poll: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3, the new S Pen and the Galaxy Z Flip3

On the plus side, this model switched to Armor Aluminum for the chassis and Gorilla Glass Victus for the exterior panels, which should make it more durable.

Like its larger sibling, the Z Flip3 upgrades to a Snapdragon 888 chipset. It still comes with 8GB of RAM, but this time storage starts at 128GB to offer a slightly more affordable model (more on price in a minute). There is still a 256GB option for those who think they may need more (no microSD slot, so think carefully).


A few of the Galaxy Z Flip3 colorways
The funky official cases

A few of the Galaxy Z Flip3 colorways • The funky official cases

The battery remains unchanged at 3,300mAh and it charges at the same old 15W. Also, the camera remains the same as on last year’s model – 12MP wide (with OIS), 12MP ultrawide. There’s a selfie camera on the main display (10MP), but uses the old punch hole design.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G starts at €1,050/£950 for the 128GB model. For comparison, the Z Flip 5G (256 GB) started much higher, €1,350/£1,230. So, given the price cut and the improved features will you buy the new Flip?

Note: if you have trouble voting in the embedded poll above, cast your vote here.



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