New Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 sets the bar with S Pen support, 120Hz display and more from US$1799

Samsung still had plenty of surprises left for their latest Unpacked 2021 live stream with their pièce de résistance, the Galaxy Z Fold3 foldable flagship phone taking center stage with a slew of improvements that include a 120Hz display, S Pen stylus support and more.

The successor to the Galaxy Z Fold2 last year, the new Galaxy Z Fold 3 is a massive leap forward in design, durability and performance.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 in hand

For starters, Samsung’s latest foldable is hewn from their toughest phone material currently in service dubbed Armor Aluminum which is rated to be 10% stronger than conventional aluminium chassis. They’ve also integrated tough Corning Gorilla Glass Victus for enhanced protection. 

On top of being more durable, the Galaxy Z Fold3 has an IPX8 water resistance rating. This means it can survive in 1.5 meters of freshwater for up to 30 minutes which is quite a feat for a foldable phone.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 water ipx8

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 has an IPX8 water rating, allowing it to shrug off immersion in up to 1.5 meters of freshwater for up to 30 minutes.

The new Samsung foldable is also 11g lighter at 271g over the older Galaxy Z Fold2’s 282g carry weight. It’s also thinner all around, shaving a few millimetres off each side with the Fold 3 measuring in at 158.2 x 67.1 x 16mm over the slightly chunkier 159.2 x 16.8mm x 16.8mm dimensions of the older Galaxy Z Fold2.

Galaxy Z Fold3 Cover Screen and Display

As a more refined upgrade, the Galaxy Z Fold3 still retains the same sized front-facing Cover screen and main folding display but upgrades both touchscreens to a lusciously smooth 120Hz adaptive refresh rate. 

The front Cover Screen is a 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED display with a 24.5:9 tall aspect ratio and a HD+ resolution with a decent 387ppi. Without opening the Fold3, the Cover Screen is able to act as a candybar phone with just enough screen real estate to process emails, text and sort through social media. If you need to get serious work done, you can unfurl the phone to reveal its larger main display.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 open and closed

The primary screen is a 7.6-inch QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity Flex display with a squarish 22.5:18 aspect ratio. What impresses is that Samsung has managed to implement an under display 4MP camera so you can enjoy the entire display with nary a single cutout or punch hole to mess up the view. It’s somewhat visible if the display is off but when turned on, it’s nigh invisible.

The tradeoff here is understandably the relatively small sensor size of the under display camera but the phone has a more powerful triple camera on the rear and another 10MP camera alongside the front Cover display so it’s not a huge trade-off. The phone also features stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos support.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 under display camera

The main display has an under-display 4MP camera which is quite an impressive feat of engineering.

The triple camera on the rear consists of a trio of 12MP cameras with one primary camera with OIS, an ultrawide angle camera with a 123-degree field of view and a telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom.

Galaxy Z Fold3 Cameras

Like its predecessor, you can fold the phone halfway up in what they call Flex mode to take advantage of its form factor to watch movies and to take photos without the need for a stand.

Galaxy Z Fold3 Processor and S Pen Support

The Galaxy Z Fold3 runs Android 11 with the latest version of their OneUI 3.0 user interface overlaying it on a potent Snapdragon 888 processor that’s currently the flagship mobile processor from Qualcomm for 2021.

This is paired with 12GB RAM and either 256GB or 512GB of non-expandable UFS 3.1 storage depending on region. On top of 5G (Non-standalone and standalone) , it also features Bluetooth 5 and WIFI 6E. Keeping the phone powered is a large 4,400mAh dual battery.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 Flex Mode deployed

The user interface of the Z Fold3 features enhanced multitasking support with a number of subtle improvements at the app and device level via close collaboration with developers. An example is if you open up a link in a browser with the new site link popping open in a secondary window so you can view and compare two websites side by side which is especially handy if you’re shopping online. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 S Pen variants

What makes the Galaxy Z Fold3 a jaw dropping affair is that it has S Pen stylus support with your choice of not one but two possible S Pen styli for you to choose from though this isn’t shipped with the phone by default and is an optional purchase. The first, more compact version called the S Pen Fold Edition lacks Bluetooth connectivity but has support for Air commands and only works with the Z Fold3.

The larger version dubbed the S Pen Pro features Bluetooth support, the full suite of Air commands and Air actions so you can wave it about like a wand to access features on the phone like the camera.

For those invested in the Samsung ecosystem, it has the nifty ability to switch between other S Pen supported devices like the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

Unfortunately, the phone itself has no stylus well to store it in so you’ll need to get a separate Samsung-issued casing with a built-in stylus holster to tote it around in as well. You can check out the complete list of S Pen Pro compatible devices here.

Galaxy Z Fold3 Price and Availability

Samsung announced that the Galaxy Z Fold3, will be priced from US$1,799.99 for the 256GB version with availability from 27th August 2021 which makes it cheaper than its predecessor at launch. For comparison, the Galaxy Z Fold2 at launch retailed for a princely US$1,999 last year.

Colour choices are a bit more diverse and posher this time around and the phone can be acquired in Phantom Black, Phantom Green and Phantom Silver in keeping with this year’s naming theme with the Galaxy S21 series. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 colour choices

The Galaxy Z Fold3 at launch will feature 3 colourways in Phantom Green, Phantom Black and Phantom Silver

For now, there’s no word on the price and availability of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 in Malaysia but we’ll keep you posted. You can also check out their official Samsung Malaysia Galaxy Fold3 page here

In the meantime, here’s stat sheet of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 for easier reference:

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 Specifications

Price From US$1,799
Display 6.2-inch HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display (24.5:9), 2268 x 832, 387ppi, 120Hz adaptive refresh rate [Cover Screen] / 7.6-inch QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display (22.5:18) Infinity Flex Display (2,208 x 1,768), 374 ppi, 120Hz adaptive refresh rate [Main Screen]
Processor Snapdragon 888
Memory 12GB RAM/ 256GB or 512GB UFS3.1 Internal storage
OS Android 11
Cameras 10MP F/2.2, 1.22um FOV:80′ [cover camera] / 4MP F/1.8 2.0um, FOV:80′ [under display camera] / 12MP F/2.2 1.12um FOV:123′ + 12MP F/1.8, Dual Pixel AF, OIS, 1.8um, FOV:83′ + 12MP F/2.4, PDAF, Dual OIS, 2x optical zoom, up to 10x digital zoom, tracking AF, 1.0um, FOV: 45′ [rear triple camera]
Battery 4,400mAh dual battery / 25W wired charging, 10W wireless charging
Connectivity LTE – Enhanced 4×4 MIMO, 7CA, LAA, LTE, Cat 20, 5G Non-standalone (NSA), Standalone (SA), Sub6/mmWave
Size/Weight 67.1 x 158.2 x 16-14.4mm (Folded) / 128.1 x 158.2 x 6.4mm (Unfolded) | 271g [Phantom Green, Phantom Black, Phantom Silver] IPX8 water resistance
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 Specifications