The REFINED foldable: Galaxy Z Fold 3 review
The first reaction is wow. I really do want the biggest screen possible in my pocket and, if samsung can make this thing right, i am in. The second reaction is stop trying to make folding phones happen. Samsung theyre not gon na happen, and even though those two reactions seem completely contradictory, i dont think i can prove either one wrong. So lets talk about this phone or tablet fold, even though this is the z fold, three, its the fourth version of the galaxy fold that i have reviewed thats, because during my very first review of the very first galaxy fold it broke on its own. Without me doing anything to it, so samsung delayed the launch and it made a bunch of changes to that very first fold before officially releasing it and ever since then, the story for the z fold has been samsung, making a bunch of changes to make this phone More durable and also to address some of the really obvious complaints with the previous generation, its just been a relentless iteration on the same basic idea and form factor its one. That samsung really seems to believe in all of which brings us to this the z fold. Three, which i think is about as good as the core idea can get its actually faster and easier to talk about the features this fold is missing than it is to talk about the things that it has. In fact, i just do that right now, its missing a top tier camera system and dust resistance.
Otherwise samsung has checked so many boxes here it has added s. Pen support its given the outer screen, a high refresh rate, its put a snapdragon 888 high end processor. In it, its improved the software for multitasking to the point where i actually like it, but, more importantly, samsung is still iterating on durability, so it made this thing ipx8 waterproof like. I did not think that this was going to be the year where i could do this Music with a folding phone. Now, its just in a vase. Samsung also used a custom, aluminum alloy to reduce the weight and make it stronger. It rearranged all the layers on the folding screen and made the top layer a p e t screen protector that actually feels normal and does a better job of resisting indentations. The earlier galaxy fold screens were honestly kind of gummy. I really dont have any complaints about the 7.6 inch inner tablet screen here. The new screen protector really does change the feel of it and yes, it still does have a crease, but i really only notice it when im holding the thing at off angles. Most of the time it goes away from me, but i do have one major complaint and its the one place where i think samsung over extended itself with this phone, the inside selfie camera. It is an under screen, selfie camera and its only four megapixels, but i dont really care about that. Junkie.
Quality im just using it for video calls if i want to take a good selfie ill, take a selfie with the good outside cameras, either on the back or the one thats here on the front. No, the thing that annoys me about that under screen, selfie camera – is that when the screen has something bright on it, like a white background, it is super distracting. It has this low res screen door look and if you move your head or the tablet, even just a little bit, it has this moir effect that draws your eye to it. It just pulls it up there. There is no setting to just bring back the hole, punch back and so its just there, and i really think that its too experimental a feature for samsung to put on an 1800 flagship device. Thats my biggest hardware complaint and i dont really have a lot of others. I mean you know. I wish it was thinner when it was closed and there was no gap here, but i wish for a lot of other things that arent physically possible and the phones that ive seen that have gotten rid of the gap have been weird anyway. Speaking of physics lets talk about the cameras because light physics, whatever theyre, okay, the three on the back – are all 12 megapixels and really the only new thing compared to the last fold is the 2x telephoto has optical image stabilization. The pictures it takes are a step below samsungs, galaxy s21 phones, samsungs processing is still too bright and too vivid and sometimes over sharpens, but the night mode is decent and the main selfie camera on the front screen, which is 12 megapixels, is good enough.
I mean i could go on, but really the bottom line in the cameras is theyre good enough and theyre. Just not the point on this phone, so samsung didnt put a lot into them. Theyre not what youre paying the 1800 bucks for. Instead samsung put effort into s, pen compatibility, this s, pen is sold separately and no, you cant use the old s. Pens. This new one is 50 bucks or 80 when its bundled with a case that can hold it right here behind the hinge. But you know samsung has sales all the time, so youll probably end up paying less. For this thing now this s pen is custom to the z fold three, because the tip retracts, if you press hard – and you really do – have to press pretty hard for it to retract, but even so, i dont have any marks on the screen yet from it. Otherwise, you know taking notes on this. Big screen is really nice and fun its good to draw on, but it is really wobbly on a table because of this camera bump, even if you have a case on it, and the other thing you should know is the stylus doesnt work on the outer screen. So you cant just really quickly jot a note like you can, on a proper galaxy note, the software on the galaxy z fold. Three is one ui three and it it still does stupid, samsung things like putting ads and apps like samsung pay or samsung weather.
Although apparently theyve promised theyre gon na stop doing that, eventually, it also pushes you into using the bixby assistant, which is not very good. Now you can clean a bunch of this up and replace a lot of samsung apps with the ones that you actually want, but thats a hassle. I think overall, samsung phones just require a little bit too much fiddling with the software settings. One thing i do like is: you can set the outer screen and the inner home screen to mirror each other. So you dont have to set up two different home screens, but samsung has done something kind of special with how it handles windowing and multitasking. On the z fold, three its good, you can do two apps side by side, split screen or three apps up on the screen, but theyre much more flexible, now and easier to move around. You can save app combos in the dock and, if you really want you can even just make that dock permanently visible on the big screen. On the right hand, side samsung also has a labs feature that will strong strong arm android apps, that havent been updated to support tablets or windowing and force them to work in this system, and even though it is a bit of a hack, it actually works fairly. Well, like instagram, actually does what you would want it to do on the screen for once, you can move windows around by grabbing a little lozenge and dragging them about.
But if you dont want to learn that system theres little three dots, you can tap on and itll pop up a button that will show you all the different ways. You can rearrange your windows, its a lot like whats, going to happen soon with ipad on ipad. Os 15., i mean overall, the whole system is fluid and natural, and i feel just as weird praising multitasking on a tablet and android tablet. As you do hearing me, praise an android tablet. I know its uncomfortable, but at least we can still complain that android apps havent been changed to update their design to work on bigger screens. They still just look like big blown up phone apps im, looking at you, twitter and slack and strava, and just so many others. So i really do like this phone, but if youre not into the phone that opens up into a tablet concept, i might not have convinced you so lets get back to those two reactions. The this is great reaction and the stop trying to make folding phones happen. Reaction, i admit, then, when this phone is closed and youre trying to use it just as a phone. This technically very nice screen is still really narrow and frustrating to type on and that, when its open in tablet mode, it is definitely a two handed device and it can be awkward to use in situations where you just want to use your phone with one hand.
Its big and its heavy and its super expensive, and we dont, really know if the screen will crack after a year or two of constant use, plus all that water sealing, makes third party repairability a bit of a nightmare, so youre probably going to want to pay Samsung for its extended warranty to feel really confident in your purchase. However, you know how there are big phone people and small phone people well look. This is a big screen for big phone people and big screens are great, watching movies playing games, reading books actually reading pds without having to pan around its all very nice, using multiple windows at once, and sometimes just icing on the cake. You know how youre on a phone and then sometimes youre like well. I guess i need to go to a real computer with a real screen, because i cant do what i want on this little thing with the fold three. It takes me way longer to get to that point. What im saying is that, if you are so into the idea of having a little tablet with you all the time that you are willing to make the trade off of having a kind of a chunky phone that costs 1800 bucks, i dont think anything better than The z fold 3 is going to come along until there is another technological breakthrough with folding phones. I mean this thing is dope, but if youre not convinced in that trade off, then youre not convinced and thats.
What i mean when i say that both reactions are right, the z fold 3 is about as good as it gets for big folding phones for some people. That means its time to make the jump for others as good as it gets, is still not good enough. Hey everybody thanks so much for watching. Let me know: do you think that folding phones are finally ready? Do you think that waterproofing is enough to make it worth it? For you talk about that down in the comments and then like and subscribe, please so i can.