The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is coming to become the new benchmark in the foldable screen smartphone market. Expected news, technical characteristics, release date, price, we summarize everything we know about Samsung’s next flagship.
Samsung is about to offer us an update to its very first foldable screen smartphone range with the Z Fold 3, a device that takes the recipe of its predecessors by adding improvements here and there. With a goal for the South Korean manufacturer: to impose on consumers the idea that such a design is practical and represents the future of the mobile industry. The brand is betting big with its folding, going so far as to abandon its Note range to make room for them.
If, as usual, Samsung is silent on its upcoming products, preferring to wait for the big detailed presentation to communicate, we already know a lot about the Galaxy Z Fold 3 thanks to countless leaks from sources that have turned out to be reliable in the past. Here is everything you need to know about the folding smartphone.
📅 When is the Galaxy Z Fold 3 released?
It’s official, Samsung will be hosting a Galaxy Unpacked conference on August 11, 2021. It will be held at 4:00 p.m. KST. “Get ready to unfold”, teases the manufacturer, who will also take the opportunity to announce its other new model of foldable screen smartphone, the Galaxy Z Flip 3.
Generally, Samsung opens pre-orders quickly, or even immediately, following the presentation of a product. The duration of these can last up to two weeks, then the device is officially marketed to everyone and pre-orders are honored.
💰 What is the price of the Galaxy Z Fold 3?
More than its atypical design, the price constitutes the highest barrier to the purchase of a folding screen smartphone. The first two Galaxy Z Folds were sold in France at a price of 2020 euros, much more expensive than any ultra high-end with a more conventional design. Samsung is aware of this and according to several sources, the manufacturer should make a significant effort on the price of its Galaxy Z Fold 3.
A first information from Sam Mobile suggested that a reduction of about 20% of the price was to be expected with this generation. Then a Korean source hinted that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 would indeed be cheaper. The most recent leak was shared by insider FronTron. According to him, the price of the mobile should be very slightly below two million won in South Korea, or less than 1,500 euros after conversion. A sum to which must be added the VAT in Europe, of course. And we are never safe that Samsung decides to lower its prices in some markets and not in others.
In the United States, Samsung has opened reservations for the smartphone so that consumers are notified when the product is available. A procedure which gives the right to a few advantages, including 12 free months of Samsung Care + as well as an exchange credit of 200 dollars to add to the value of a phone that would be taken back. Moreover, the brand accepts this time the resumption of two devices to reduce the bill of the Z Fold 3, and not only smartphones but also tablets and connected watches. What to encourage even more the public to be tempted by the experience of the foldable. In France, we have no information on a possible take-back program at the moment.
📱 How does the Galaxy Z Fold 3 foldable screen work?
The design of the Galaxy Z Fold 3 has changed little compared to that of its predecessors. We find the same principle that has guided the range since its beginnings, namely a vertical hinge that allows the screen to be folded inwards horizontally. Unfolded, the device offers a comfortable tablet format. Folded, it can easily be stored anywhere and can be used with one hand. And there is the Flex Mode, an intermediate way of folding the hinge so that the smartphone rests on a flat surface in complete stability, ideal for watching videos or for daylighting with the controller.
On the other hand, the smartphone would be thicker than his ancestors, already not very thin. It should display a few additional millimeters necessary for the integration of the digitizer which will make the mobile compatible with the use of an S-Pen, but we will come back to this in more detail a little later. The exact dimensions would be 158.1 x 64.8 x 14.5mm when the Z Fold 3 is folded, and 158.1 x 128.1 x 6.6mm when it is unfolded. However, it could be a little lighter by a few grams, the battery capacity being said to be lower.
One of the big news will be the disappearance of the selfie camera in a punch, a design that hinders the display. This is moved under the screen and thus becomes invisible. A technology that we have been talking about for years and which finally seems ready at Samsung, whose engineers have had to meet many development challenges.
The 7.5 (or 7.6) inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X main screen displays a resolution of 2208 x 1768 pixels, a refresh rate of 120 Hz and supports the HDR10 +. The external panel, dedicated to the use of the mobile folded on itself, has a diagonal of 6.23 inches with a definition of 2260 x 816 pixels, all in a very elongated 25: 9 format. Characteristics that do not change compared to the Z Fold 2, therefore.
On the other hand, the photo block on the back is entitled to a welcome aesthetic touch-up. The photo sensors appear larger and closer together, with the LED Flash positioned just below it vertically. The whole thus becomes more discreet than on the previous generation.
Regarding the colors, several renderings have already revealed the black, navy green and gradient pink models. The chassis of the device is made of aluminum, the back panel of glass, and the front of glass in smartphone mode and plastic in tablet mode (to allow the action of folding).
Small surprise, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is water resistant and has an IPX8 waterproof rating, tells us the leaker Maw Weinbach. For design constraints, Samsung had never been able to launch a waterproof foldable screen smartphone on the market. IPX8 means that the device can be submerged in water up to 1.5m deep for 30 minutes, so it is not afraid of splashing, showering or dropping in water. On the other hand, it is sensitive to dust and debris, like its predecessors.
🏎️ How does the Galaxy Z Fold 3 perform?
Ultra premium requires, Samsung equips its Galaxy Z Fold 3 with the best chip on the market for Android smartphones: the Snapdragon 888 engraved with a fineness of 5nm and 5G compatible. And this even in Europe, when we were treated to Samsung’s Exynos 2100 SoC in-house on the Galaxy S21 series. We know that the manufacturer is working in partnership with AMD to develop a fast chip with a supercharged GPU, but it will probably be necessary to wait for the Exynos 2200 and the Galaxy S22 to see this promise in action.
At least two variants of the folding smartphone are expected. One with 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of internal memory, and another with 12 or 16 GB of RAM for 512 GB of storage space. No microSD card slot is provided to expand storage.
Interesting information, the Ice Universe leaker, always very aware of future Samsung products, claims that the Galaxy Z Flip 3 dissipates heat much better than the Galaxy S21 Ultra and therefore heats less during daily gaming sessions. However, it does not specify which cooling technology is at work.
🔋 What is the autonomy of the Galaxy Z Fold 3?
Several sources evoke a battery capacity of 4400 mAh for the Galaxy Z Fold 3, against 4500 mAh for the battery of the Galaxy Z Fold 2. Can we expect a decrease in autonomy with the Z Fold 3? Not according to Ice Universe in any case, which says that despite this reduction, the smartphone remains very durable. It is possible that Samsung has succeeded in reducing the consumption of the screen, or that the Snapdragon 888 chip and its 5nm engraving fineness is my energy guzzler.
In terms of recharging, the technical characteristics remain the same. The mobile supports up to 25W wired charging power, and up to 11W via induction charging. The reverse wireless charging functionality for charging compatible accessories is limited to 4.5W.
📸 Is the Galaxy Z Fold 3 good in photos?
Photo excellence at Samsung remains the prerogative of the Galaxy S series. The Z Fold 3 should fare in much the same way as the Z Fold 2 in this area, with a triple photo sensor consisting of a 12 MP main module, 12 MP ultra wide-angle and 12 MP telephoto lens allowing 2x optical zoom. It could actually be the exact same setup as last year’s model. Our test of the Galaxy Z Fold 2 will therefore give you a good overview of the photo capabilities of its successor.
There is still a difference for the front camera of the main screen (the one located under the slab), which goes from 10 to 16 MP.
🖊️ Is the Galaxy Z Fold 3 compatible with the S-Pen?
Many reports evoke support for the S-Pen by the Galaxy Z Fold 3. Samsung having set aside its historic Note range, the brand seeks to offer the productivity tool as an optional accessory on other models. The Galaxy S21 Ultra was the first to take advantage of it, the new versions of the South Korean manufacturer’s foldable smartphone will follow suit.
But in addition to the S-Pen, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 will also be compatible with a premium-oriented Samsung stylus reference: the S-Pen Pro. This is what we learn from a certification document from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States. This could also be announced at the same time as the folding smartphone. It should benefit from lower latency, improvements in Bluetooth connectivity, and support for more gestures via the Air Action feature, which allows apps to be controlled remotely.
As a reminder, the S-Pen already allows you to take pictures remotely, control a presentation, can be used with the DeX desktop experience mode, take a screenshot, write text by hand with the possibility of converting it into computer text, drawing, underlining text …
🛠️ Galaxy Z Fold: which version of Android is installed?
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 will be released on Android 11. Samsung now promises three years of feature updates and four or five years of security updates for each high-end smartphone model. The Z Fold 3 should quickly switch to Android 12, the availability of the official stable version of which is getting closer.
For the Android version, no surprise, but what about the software overlay applied by the manufacturer? We expected to find the last major update to Samsung’s home interface, One UI 3.5, but it is possible that the world number 1 in terms of sales of smartphones is other ideas behind the head.
Ice Universe does indeed evoke a certain overlay Split UI, which you can see in action in the GIFs of the tweet above, which would be Samsung’s new benchmark for the brand’s future foldable and roll-up screen smartphones, including the Galaxy Z Fold 3. One UI regulars won’t be not lost, many interface elements are taken over. Split UI is mostly a “Adaptive user interface” able to match the display format of the screen, and therefore can automatically adjust when the screen is folded or unfolded.