Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 review: Unfolds prospects that will be hard to match

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G speaks volumes about the South Korean electronics maker Samsung’s efforts to add finesse to its foldable devices. This third-generation foldable device looks the same as the first-gen model. But do not let the looks deceive you. The Galaxy Z Fold3 5G is an entirely reworked and repurposed foldable device, with monumental upgrades across lengths that make it a lot less delicate. That in turn makes it a lot more fun and practical to use.

The Galaxy Z Fold3 5G is not just a smartphone. There are two schools of thought about its design. As a smartphone, the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G is bulky (folded) and heavy, but a trim in weight and thickness when compared with its predecessors makes it a lot friendlier. For a device with two displays, including a big bendable one, the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G seems appropriately sized, with weight evenly distributed for a good in-hand feel, especially when unfolded.

Complementing the design are the IPX8 rating for water resistance and Gorilla Glass Victus protection on the cover screen. While these two make the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G less delicate when compared with its predecessors, the device’s fundamentals – the mechanical hinge and bendable plastic display with a layer of ultra-thin glass on top – remain the same. Therefore, the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G will still require proper care for longevity. Important to note that the device is not dust-resistant and most of the caveats of its predecessor apply here too.

Design and construction details aside, Samsung’s efforts to bolster the productivity features in the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G are worthy of appreciation. For starters, the company has brought its productivity-centric digital stylus, SPen, to the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G. Moreover, it has optimised the Android operating system (Android 11 with OneUI user interface) to harness the potential of the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G’s big bendable screen to the max.

The changes in the OS include the ability to now pin the app sidebar for taskbar-like utility. This aids multitasking and boosts productivity. Likewise, Samsung has improved the drag-and-drop functionality by extending support to more apps. The company has also enabled the dual-pane mode for select apps and settings menu for a familiar PC-like experience. The dual-pane mode shows the app's menu and headers on the left half of the screen and subsequent content and details on the other half. Samsung has also added the ‘Labs’ feature, which allows the user to run the otherwise non-optimised apps on full screen without leaving thick blank areas on sides. All these upgrades are over and above the existing productivity-centric features of the Galaxy Fold series, such as the flex mode, app continuity, multi-action window, etc (read more). Together, the old and new features make the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G a productivity powerhouse better than any other smartphone at present.

The Galaxy Z Fold3 5G is as good for entertainment as it is for productivity. The 6.2-inch HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X display of 120Hz on the device cover is bright, responsive and vivid. It is good for a quick peek into what is happening on social media channels like Instagram Reels, Facebook Stories, etc. Then there is a large 7.6-inch QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X flex display of 120Hz, which is apt for streaming videos available from over-the-top apps like Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+ Hotstar, etc. The displays are complemented by stereo speakers supported by Dolby Atmos. The speakers are loud and deliver a solid audio experience to add to the visual experience delivered by the dual dazzling displays of the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G.

The Galaxy Z Fold3 5G is a solid foldable device, but not perfect. The imperfections stem from imaging performance and on-battery time. Starting with imaging performance, the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G has a total of five camera sensors – three of 12-megapixel each on the rear, a 10MP one on the cover, and a 4MP one under display camera on the inside. The triple-rear-camera module and the one on the cover are sensors that have been borrowed from the predecessor. These are not bad, but they are not flagship grade and do not match the might of this otherwise impressive foldable device. The 4MP under-display camera is an addition, but it is more about novelty than utility.

As for the on-battery time, the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G’s 4,400 mAh battery leaves you asking for me. The device sails through a day if you use the cover screen for most tasks but the bigger bendable screen hogs the battery power, even if used sporadically, impacting the on-battery time drastically.

Verdict

The Galaxy Z Fold3 5G showcases Samsung’s innovation competence. Priced Rs 1,49,999 onwards, this foldable device has more strengths than weaknesses. The Galaxy Z Fold3 5G is the best foldable device yet, not because it is the only one of its kind available in India but because it delivers polished experience both as a smartphone for communication and a big-screen device for productivity and entertainment.




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