User Experience: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3has been in the market for a few months now. I would be lying if I were to say I’m not interested in the device. Like what we have covered earlier, Samsung is going all-in with its third generation of foldable devices. They are offering not just bleeding-edge engineering improvements, but including one of the best software experiences at a way lower price package compared with when it first launched.

After spending the last few weeks with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 and here’s my experience of using the device for work and entertainment.

Design & IPX8 Water Resistant

This is simply the biggest update for the Galaxy Z Fold3. Just two years ago, I would not believe how a foldable device can incorporate water-resistant in its design. It is not like I want to encourage users to bring their electronic devices into a pool, but rather, Samsung’s engineering team has done a splendid job at the IPX8 water-resistant design that I can at least rest assured that the phone has a certain level of protection against accidental splashes.

While Samsung also mentioned how the Z Fold3 has a stronger frame, frankly speaking, that’s something I can’t really test as it involves taking apart the phone. At 271 grams, the Galaxy Z Fold3 is considered a heavy phone, that’s roughly the same weight as a Galaxy S21 Ultra with S-Pen and case. The phone feels dense when it is in a folded state. Surprisingly, once you unfold the device, it feels way lighter than how it looks. Probably due to the illusion that a big screen should weigh more.

Brilliant Display

The Z Fold3 still uses the vertical book-style folding mechanism with a tall 6.23″ display at the front, offering a 2278*832-pixel resolution, and unfolds to a larger internal 7.6″ display with 2208*1768-pixel resolution.

Samsung has offered a 120Hz refresh rate for both displays, a massive Quality-of-Life improvement over the previous generation 60Hz and 120Hz combination. I absolutely adore the internal display for how it actually improves productivity. I can run two apps side-by-side, or up to three if I really need it, especially when crosschecking the information from different sources and taking notes at the same time. This is something we always do on a computer with a bigger screen.

Having the capability to do the same on mobile is a godsend and I don’t have to rely on a PC as much as before. Even if I don’t multitask, the bigger screen also provides a better UI for some apps, for example, Notion can now display multiple columns for team task tracking. Unfortunately, my review sample doesn’t come with a Galaxy Fold Edition S Pen, so I can’t really comment on the user experience.

One thing that’s new is the under-display camera on the main screen. It is a 4-megapixel user-facing camera that spends most of the time hiding under the display.

While I was initially concerned about how the camera would perform considering there is a pixel matrix right above it, but since it will mostly serve as a video call cam, 4MP is more than enough. You can still tell where the camera is located but you won’t really pay too much attention to it especially when you’re consuming content.

Triple Camera System

While Samsung has reserved the flagship camera system on the Galaxy S21 Ultra, the Galaxy Z Fold3’s triple camera system is still a very good option. The triple rear camera is made up of a 12MP main camera, a 12MP 2x telephoto camera, and a 12MP ultra-wide camera. With the Scene Optimizer feature turned on, you’re allowing Samsung’s computational photography algorithm to take over the photo enhancement. While photography purists would despise the use of such a feature, I personally think it is a great tool to help normies to take great-looking photos without editing.

Flagship Specs

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset. It is paired with 12GB RAM and users has the option to choose between 256GB or 512GB internal storage during purchase. The SD888 is the best performing chipset one can get on an Android device right now. That goes without saying, multitasking is a breeze on the Galaxy Z Fold3, such as running triple apps at the same time with the split-screen feature.

While the phone itself is not directly marketed for gamers, I think it is still a suitable phone for casual gamers or even gacha gamers like myself. The phone is powered by a 4400mAh battery which supports 25W wired charging, 11W wireless charging and 4.5W reverse wireless charging. I was hoping Samsung would at least take a step forward when it comes to charging but they are still stuck at 25W. The battery life is pretty remarkable for a 7.6-inch device as I managed to churn out 6 hours of screen on time over a course of 12 hours of extensive gaming usage. Don’t ask me why, that’s just how I choose to spend my precious day off.

Conclusion

The Galaxy Z Fold3 pretty much ticks all the checkboxes which I would say is my most-wanted phone of 2021. The display is gorgeous, even though I don’t really consume any HDR content on it, but games alone are looking stunningly good on it is more than enough for my entertainment purposes.

Samsung has done a lot when it comes to investing, researching and developing a foldable device. The third generation has seen a lot of improvement that I can safely say the foldable is finally ready for the general public, not just for the bleeding edge crowd. The capability of producing a folding phone that unfolds into a tablet is a godsend to those who require maximum productivity on the move.