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Samsung Z Fold 3 Review: The Best Folding Phone Gets Better!

Pros

  • IPX8 Water Resistance
  • Improved Displays
  • Durable Build
  • Under Display Camera

Cons

  • Under Display Camera Quality

Samsung recently unfolded the brand new Z Fold 3. It’s the 3rd entry in Samsung’s Z Fold lineup which brings a healthy dose of improvement upon its predecessor.

The Z Fold 3 price in Nepal starts at Rs. 2,19,999 and it is available for purchase via Samsung Plaza.

I have been using this phone for more than a week and it is definitely a special phone. Why? I’ll tell you all about it in this review article of the Samsung Z Fold 3.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 Specifications

  • Body: Unfolded: 159.2 x 128.2 x 6.9 mm, Folded: 159.2 x 68 x 16.8 mm, 282 g, Glass front (folded), plastic front (unfolded), glass back, aluminum frame
  • Protection: Gorilla Glass Victus (cover glass & rear panel)
  • Main Display: 7.6 inches Foldable Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 1768 x 2208 pixels (~373 ppi density), 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10+
  • Cover Display: 6.2 inches Super AMOLED, 832 x 2260 pixels (25:9), 120Hz
  • Chipset: Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 5G (5 nm)
  • CPU: Octa-core (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 680 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 680 & 4×1.80 GHz Kryo 680)
  • GPU: Adreno 660
  • Memory: 12GB LPDDR5 RAM, 256/512GB UFS 3.1 storage, No Card Slot
  • OS: Android 11, One UI 3.1
  • Rear Camera: 12 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), OIS
  • Front Camera: 4MP, Under-Display
  • Battery: Li-Po 4400 mAh, non-removable, Fast charging 25W, Fast wireless charging 11W, Reverse wireless charging 4.5W
  • USB: 3.1, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector
  • Misc: Fingerprint (side-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer
  • Colors: Phantom Silver, Phantom Black, Phantom Green

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 Price in Nepal: Rs. 2,19,999 (12/256GB) | Rs. 2,29,999 (12/512GB)

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 Review

Improved Build + Water Resistance

  • Unfolded: 159.2 x 128.2 x 6.9 mm, Folded: 159.2 x 68 x 16.8 mm
  • 282 g
  • Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
  • IPX8 Rating
Samsung Z Fold 3 Review
Samsung Z Fold 3 Design

At a first glance, Samsung Z Fold 3 looks just like the Z Fold 2. But, it brings better materials and improved durability.

Samsung Z Fold 3 DesignFirst, the hinge is getting a much more durable Armored Aluminium which is supposed to be 10% stronger than the previous iteration. And, it definitely feels stronger and sturdy compared to the Z Fold 2. I folded and unfolded this device plenty of time and it did not feel flimsy at all.

On top of that, the Z Fold 3 is now IPX8 rated for water resistance and is the first water-resistant folding phone. To achieve this, Samsung has added rubbers and CIPG caskets on the hinge. This is definitely a very big deal for a folding phone.

ALSO READ: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 Review: The Best Affordable Flip Phone

Moving on, the rear panel now has a pill-shaped rectangular camera module and the rear panel is also protected by Gorilla Glass Victus along with the Cover display.

Samsung Z Fold 3 Review
Samsung Z Fold 3 Under Display Camera

On to one of the more drastic cosmetic changes, the Z Fold 3 has an under-display camera on the main display. The hole punch on the Z Fold 2 is now replaced by an under-display camera and I kind of support Samsung on this. However, it does bear some consequences which we will talk about in a later segment.

Durable Main Display

  • 7.6 inches Foldable Dynamic AMOLED 2X
  • 1768 x 2208 pixels (~373 ppi density)
  • 120Hz
  • Cover Display- 6.23 inches Dynamic AMOLED
  • 120Hz
Samsung Z Fold 3 Review
Samsung Z Fold 3 Main Display

The main display of the Samsung Z Fold 3 feels as good as any other flagship display panel from Samsung. The AMOLED panel is more than bright enough and the colors are punchy.

Most of you might say that the crease is still there. Yes, it is still there but it won’t be a problem once you get the hang of it. Also, it is only noticeable when the display is viewed at a slanted angle.

The refresh rate optimization here is very smooth. The display stays at 120Hz while scrolling and it drops down to 60Hz when the display is not being used. I noticed that it drops down to 48Hz on YouTube while playing some videos and it stays at 60hz while playing most of the games.

While we are on the topic of playing games, the display ratio of Fold 3’s main display doesn’t feel natural for games. The games do not use the full screen in portrait mode and there are blanks on both sides of the display. You will get the full-screen experience in the landscape mode but the content will be cropped and squared.

With the help of the under-display camera, it gets an uninterrupted display and it feels really good. The under-display camera is noticeable if you search for it. But, it feels natural most of the time.

You can also notice graining/pixelization in and around the under-display camera which looks more obvious with bright background colors. All in all, the under-display camera feels like the right choice for the Z Fold 3.

Samsung Z Fold 3 Impressions
Samsung Z Fold 3 Cover Display

Switching to the cover display, it is a much narrow 6.23 inch AMOLED panel with the same 120Hz refresh rate. But the cover display can only switch between 60Hz and 120Hz. The cover display also gets Gorilla Glass Victus protection.

How useful is the cover display though? For me, I don’t mind using the cover screen as the primary screen. It is narrow and typing will not be as fast but it’s fine. Most of the time I ended up watching YouTube videos on the cover screen and I would only use the main display at leisure.

But the cover display is great for capturing selfies with the rear camera. The cover display mode helps you easily capture selfies with all of the rear cameras.

Top-Notch Hardware

  • Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 5G (5 nm)
  • Octa-core (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 680 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 680 & 4×1.80 GHz Kryo 680)
  • Adreno 660
  • 12GB LPDDR5 RAM, 256/512GB UFS 3.1 storage

Powering the Samsung Z Fold 3 is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G (5 nm) chipset. It is paired with 12GB LPDDR5 RAM and 256/512GB UFS 3.1 internal storage.

Well, I guess I don’t need to tell you much about the Snapdragon 888’s performance. The Z Fold 3 is super sleek and super smooth even when going from the cover display to the main display.

I was not expecting it to have any trouble running high-end games and it didn’t prove me wrong. I played plenty of COD Mobile on Fold 3 at Max graphics and Max fps setting. The gameplay was super smooth and it was easily able to maintain 60fps without throttling.

Dialed Down Camera Setup

samsung z fold 3 impressions
Samsung Z Fold 3 Camera

Samsung Z Fold 3 doesn’t get Samsung’s full-blown flagship camera setup. It gets a trickled-down triple camera setup on the rear with a 12MP main sensor, a 12MP ultra-wide sensor, and a 12MP telephoto lens with 2X optical zoom.

Likewise, it has a 4MP under-display camera and a 10MP camera on the cover display.

MAIN CAMERA

The 12MP Sony IMX 555 sensor is not what we would like to call a flagship sensor but the Z Fold 3’s processing makes it a competent snapper. The images might look soft from time to time but the detail is on point.

The images do not look oversharpened and noise suppression is also not aggressive. The color reproduction is vivid but the images might get overexposed sometimes.

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ULTRAWIDE CAMERA

The ultrawide shots from the Z Fold 3 are just good enough. It is definitely not the best we have seen on a Samsung phone but it is just fine. The images lack fine details and the images also look a bit soft.

Not only that, but the dynamic range is also not excellent. The color is consistent with the main camera though.

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2X ZOOM

The telephoto sensor can apply 2x native zoom and it can take some good shots. The dynamic range is good and the color is also consistent with the main camera.

You might notice noise in daylight shots but the 2x zoom photos are quite good.

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SELFIES

You can capture selfies with a total of 5 sensors including the rear camera. We have already talked about the rear camera so let’s see how the rest of the cameras perform.

The 4MP under-display camera is not a good selfie snapper. It is acceptable but you won’t be posting any of the selfies captured from this camera.

The photos look soft and hazy but Samsung’s processing does a good job of sharpening the face. I would say that it is good enough for video calls only.

Onto the 10MP snapper on the cover display, it captures plenty of details and the face looks sharp. It doesn’t get autofocus but that really didn’t hinder the overall experience.

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VIDEOS

Z Fold 3 can capture videos up to 4k 60fps as it doesn’t get 8k support. But, I don’t think 8k will be missed much.

The 4K 30fps videos have plenty of detail, a wide dynamic range, and punchy colors. You won’t notice noise or any other artifacts in daylight shots. The 2x zoom videos are also good albeit the noise is more evident in this one.

While the 4k 30fps videos from the ultrawide camera are not disappointing it is not exciting either. It lacks detail and you can notice noise even in daylight shots.

As for stabilization, the main camera and telephoto lens have OIS. And, you can toggle EIS as well. The EIS works well with all three sensors. The footage won’t appear shaky while walking and the usual pans are also quite smooth.

Decent Battery

  • Non-removable Li-Po 4400mAh battery
  • Fast charging 25W
  • 11W Fast Wireless Charging
  • Reverse charging
samsung z fold 3 impressions
Samsung Z Fold 3 Battery

In terms of battery, Samsung Z Fold 3 has a slightly smaller 4400mAh battery paired with a 25W fast charger. However, you won’t get a charger in the box.

On average usage, Fold 3 will last for a day. I was getting around 5 hours of screen-on time during light usage. If you are a heavy user, you might need to charge it before the end of the day.

With a 25W charger, Z Fold 3 took around 1 hour and 20 mins to charge from 0 to 100%.

Software

  • Android 11
  • One UI 3.1.1

Samsung Z Fold 3 runs on One UI 3.1 on top of Android 11.

The Z Fold 3 runs on Android 11 with One UI 3.1.1. With the new Fold, the One UI also offers PC-style interactions for various apps such as messages.

ALSO READ: Samsung Mobiles Price in Nepal: Features and Specs

The camera UI also gets a new feature called Capture View that allows one to instantly view the images without opening the gallery. There’s also the cover screen preview mode which lets you capture high-quality selfies from the rear camera. If you are into vlogging then you can just use the rear camera with the cover screen preview mode. But, it does cap the video to 30fps.

One of the more useful features is the ability to open 3 apps in split-screen view and up to 5 apps in the pop-up view. Likewise, it also gets all the S Pen features with the new S Pen Pro.

Moving on you can force apps to open in Flex mode. When the phone is in Flex mode, the supported apps will auto-adjust themselves. Some supported apps such as YouTube will play the video on the top half and the bottom half of the screen will be dedicated to commenting section.

Else, you will get shortcut controls on the second half of the screen just like on the Z Flip 3.

Should You Buy It?

If you want a premium experience of a folding device then Z Fold 3 is the best phone you can get right now. Samsung has done a really good job on the Fold 3 to make it more practical.

A foldable screen is surely a great option for people who want a smartphone and tablet-like experience in the same device. While doing so, the Fold 3 feels durable and it now comes with water resistance as well.

To top it off, Samsung’s ever-improving One UI brings together top-notch hardware and innovation with a flawless software experience.

Not everyone might want to pay for this experience. But once you taste the Z Fold 3’s amazing experience, there’s nothing else like it.

What do you think of the Samsung Z Fold 3? Let us know in the comments!


Also, watch our review of the OnePlus Nord 2 in Nepali.


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