The Galaxy Z Fold 3 Promises an Everyday Foldable Reality

The Samsung Galaxy Fold3 with an S Pen.
Samsung

Not that long ago, foldable phones seemed like a distant future out of reach for most people. But Samsung seems determined to change that, and now the Galaxy Z Fold 3, the third iteration of the Fold, just might achieve the dream. From a lower price to features that let you take it nearly anywhere.

Note: Samsung announced several new products at its Unpacked event, including the Galaxy Z Flip 3, the Galaxy Watch 4, and the Galaxy Buds 2. Check out our buying guide to save hundreds on your pre-order.

With each iteration, Samsung has refined the features of the Galaxy Z Fold, trying to cram in the pieces that were missing into an impossibly thin and folding phone. The second version saw a larger exterior screen and better cameras, for instance.

But with the Galaxy Z Fold 3, Samsung’s goal seems to have shifted from addressing major missing items to refining the foldable into the phone anyone could own. With the previous versions, durability was often a question. How sturdy is the hinge? How fragile is that inner screen? What if you get water on it?

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 answers all those questions. For this model, Samsung switched to a new more durable hinge it’s dubbed Aluminum Armor. The company naturally put the phone through a torture test and promises the Fold 3 can fold and unfold up to 200,000 times. Samsung also used Gorilla Glass Victus, the successor to Gorilla Glass 6 and the company’s most durable glass yet.

But in a real surprise, Samsung also announced that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 earned an IPX8 rating, making it (and today’s Galaxy Z Flip 3) the first foldable with any water resistance rating. That’s good enough to keep you safe in the rain, but you wouldn’t want to take it to the beach. And notably, it’s not dust resistant. The hinge itself saw some upgrades, including shorter bristles, to help keep dust out during your folds.

The Samsung Galaxy Fold3 in tablet mode with apps in split-screen.
Samsung

With the Fold 3, Samsung stuck to a 7.3-inch 2208X1768 interior display, giving the device tablet-like proportions when you open it up. But look closely and you might not spot the interior camera this time around. Samsung buried a 4-megapixel camera beneath the screen to complete the Infinity Flex display. Just a few pixels cover the camera, so it’s not a completely opaque look, but that lets the camera see through the display.

The display itself sees some upgrades too, including a new 120 Hz refresh rate, and durability and brightness improvements. That durability improvement extends to another new feature—S-Pen support. For the first time, Samsung’s foldable devices will support the S-Pen, and to celebrate that Samsung will release two new S-Pen options. The S-Pen foldable, as the name suggests, is smaller and lighter and works specifically with the new foldable phones. It doesn’t have Bluetooth though, so you won’t be using it with other devices.

The S-Pen Pro does have Bluetooth, and a device switching button so you can move back and forth easily. It also has enough onboard memory to let you copy from one device and paste to another, making data transfer all the easier. Both pens feature a retractable tip that will prevent you from applying too much force and damaging the screen.

The outer “Cover Screen” also sees some notable improvements, which is impressive given the Fold2’s Cover Screen is a major step up from the original. Like the inner-display, the Cover Screen upgrades to a 120 Hz refresh rate, and it increases resolution slightly to 2268X832. It’s hard to say if that extra bit of pixels will be noticeable on the cover screen, though it does retain the last gen’s 6.1-inch size.

The Samsung Galaxy Fold3 in green, black, and silver.
Samsung

The camera system remains near-top tier, whether that’s the 10-megapixel option on the cover screen that serves as the selfie cam or the triple-array system on the back. In that triple array, you’ll find a 12-megapixel wide, ultrawide, and telephoto lens. And naturally, you can pick and choose with displays to show preview your photos on, or use more than one at the same time so everyone can see.

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 incorporates the latest technologies too, from Android 11 to a new 5nm 64-bit Octa-Core Processor, which is the smallest yet in a Galaxy device. It also packs in fast-charging, fast wireless charging, a 4,400 mAh battery, reverse wireless charging, NFC pay, stereo speakers, 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, and Bluetooth. It comes with 12 GBs of RAM and your choice of 256 GBs or 512 GBs of storage. Despite all the improvements, the Fold 3 is actually lighter and thinner than its predecessor.

Samsung will offer the Galaxy Z Fold 3 in four colors, Phantom Black, Phantom Green, Phantom Silver, and the limited-edition Thom Browne pinstripe white. Best of all? Samsung even managed to lower the price. The Fold3 starts at $1,799. Samsung starts pre-orders today. Samsung says that everyone who pre-orders the Z Fold 3 gets a $200 credit and, if you opt for the three-year protection plan, you’ll get the first year free. The company will also accept four trade-in items to help you pay for the device.

SAMSUNG Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G Factory Unlocked Android Cell Phone US Version Smartphone Tablet 2-in-1 Foldable Dual Screen Under Display Camera 512GB Storage, Phantom Black

Samsung's refined Galaxy Z Fold 3 packs a new, large cover screen, S Pen support, and an IPX8 water-resistance rating. Pre-order it now starting at $1800.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

Pre-order the Galaxy Z Fold 3 on Samsung’s website for a $200 credit. Samsung will also let you trade in 4 items to help pay for your device.

Josh Hendrickson Josh Hendrickson
Josh Hendrickson has worked in IT for nearly a decade, including four years spent repairing and servicing computers for Microsoft. He’s also a smarthome enthusiast who built his own smart mirror with just a frame, some electronics, a Raspberry Pi, and open-source code. Read Full Bio »

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