When the first-time touch screens were introduced to the world, every tech geek, every engineer, in short, every person who had ever used a mobile phone was left in awe of what was put before them. Turns out that was the end. A few years back smartphone manufacturers set on a new journey of making a foldable device. Samsung was the first one to do so, by introducing another flagship alongside the already present S series and Note Series.
This new flagship lineup was called as the Galaxy Fold with the primary concept of a large screen tablet that can fit into your pants’ pocket. This concept further evolved into a 3 screen-side device with 2 displays that welcomes users to a whole new world of utility.
The first of this line was rolled out in 2018 by the name of Galaxy Z Fold, which may be considered the father of all the foldable devices that came in afterwards. However, this device was very much like a premature baby, with not all its system working to their maximum capacity and a great room for improvement.
This was followed by the revelation of the Galaxy Z fold 2 which in 2020 was considered to be the KING of all the foldables there were. Until recently, when Samsung had announced that there would be no Note Series phone this year due to financial issues that came alongside the “gift” of Covid-19. This was also an indication that the newer Z Fold 3 would have to fill in big shoes and deliver something really unexpected to fill up for the lack of a Note Flagship this year.
With the Galaxy Z Fold 3 finally here, the questions of whether it has left its predecessor in the dust, or there is still a long way to go have been answered. So, what is it? Let’s analyze the differences, the upgrades from the Fold 2 to Fold 3 and find out!
Let’s start with the elephant in the room, does the Fold 3 have a better hinge than the Fold 2? The answer is Yes. Samsung faced a lot of criticism on the first batch of fragile Galaxy Folds but have been working on it ever since.
The Galaxy Z Fold 2 was a great improvement of the original Fold. It was rigid to bear fair amount of pressure. It could hold the screen in multiple angles. It had a less prominent crease but it did not provide much water resistance. It featured “Anti-Erosion Waterproof Coating” which essentially meant that the main components of your phone would survive in case of an accidental drop in water. The hinge was also somewhat dust resistant but the job was not done quite well.
Samsung understood that was an area where they could work on and improve massively to make the next foldable the talk of the town. And believe me when I say that they were successful in doing so. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 has an IPX8 rating which means that this phone is water resistant and even though not completely dust resistant, still far better than what was provided by the Fold 2.
Apart from that, both Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 and 3 both look marvelous and have a premium finish. With Z Fold 3 having the best aluminum frame Samsung has provided, the feel is truly amazing. You can get the hinge in different colors combined with the body colors which make the device feel like ‘yours exclusive’. Both the phones have made use of the Corning Gorilla Glass Victus on the outside, providing maximum protection against scratches where it can.
The vibrant, colorful and buttery-smooth displays is what Samsung has always been known for. From LCD displays to 120 Hz Super Amoled 1440p displays, it has been quite a journey.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 and Z Fold 3, have similar screen sizes, with the outer screen being a 6.2 Inch AMOLED Display. These full-size screens are made so because of the concept in mind that these devices can be a fully functional smartphone even when folded. The expansive displays give you enough space to do your work, watch YouTube and play games. The only thing that could be felt as awkward when using the Z Fold 2 or 3 folded is its chunkiness, feels like holding a chocolate bar.
The main displays on the inside of the Z Fold 2 and 3 are also similar in size. The 7.6-inch foldable displays are made from Samsung’s Ultra-Thin Glass. However, a notable thing here that should be pointed out is, Samsung has made great progress in the Ultra-Thin Glass since the Z Fold 2. The main screen Fold 3 is made from a glass that is 80 percent more durable and stronger than the one used in its predecessor. With the Dynamic Amoled making up the main screens of both the Folds, the colors are more beautiful than ever.
Coming to the resolution and refresh rates, the Z Fold 2 had a resolution of 1768 x 2208 pixels and 376 pixels per inch density. This phone’s outer screen had a locked 60 Hz display while the inner main screen had an adaptive 120 Hz display, meaning that it could go from 11 to 120 Hz depending on the screen activity, this feature also helped in battery optimization.
The Z Fold 3, was not expected to improve massively on these features, and with no changes in the screen size, you must be asking how is it better? Although the Z Fold 3 has the same dimensions and resolution, it inside display is much more durable. This has allowed Samsung to provide support for the Note-iconic Samsung Stylus. The usage of 60 micrometer Ultra-Thin glass has made the hideous crease go away which has improved its looks. Additionally, the outer screen has an adaptive 120-Hz display as well.
The Fold 2 housed a 4500 mAh battery, which was enough for a whole day because of the fact that people did not spend all of their time using the tablet mode. With the same screen sizes, an almost similar in size battery seemed enough to Samsung, a total of 4400 mAh.
The words ‘a total of’ were used here, why have I pointed it out? To bring into light the fact that this battery in the Fold 3 is indeed present in two halves. This Lithium Polymer battery of the latest technology has been optimized to give longer life so that your work sessions or entertainment hours go uninterrupted.
Another feature related to the battery is the charging, and the Z Fold 3 uses a 25 Watt wired fast charging, same as that of the S21 and the Fold 2. This could be the one thing that you could accuse Samsung of not developing as great as other tech giants like Huawei who have introduced Ultra-Fast charging of more than 60 Watts.
Samsung has always provided its flagship series with the best features they have, but what about the cameras in the Folds? We have both exciting and gloomy news in this regard.
The Z Fold 2 had a triple camera setup on the back, and two punch holed cameras on the front, one on the main screen while the other on the outer screen. The rear camera setup was 12MP+12MP+12MP, a main sensor, ultra-wide and telephoto respectively. This module is not the best of the best but its still a really good one with being able to record 4K videos at 60 FPS. The remaining cameras are 10 MP each and provide a good range of details in the selfies.
The gloomy news was, the Z Fold 3 has exactly the same camera department as its predecessor. But Samsung has introduced something which although had been tried before, did not work as perfect as now. The front camera on the main screen is an under-display 4MP camera. That means there is no punch hole or camera cut out in the screen. Even with this technology being in the initial phases, you can not complain because you can still get a 1080p video from the under-display camera.
Another teensy detail here is even though the Z Fold 3 can not record 8K videos, it can still play them which is great considering the displays are being perfected and improved almost every day.
Samsung will always make sure that their flagship devices are second to none in their performance and do not experience any slow or rough patch while functioning. They have always made this possible by using the latest technologies may it be the chipset, the storage or the gigabytes of RAM.
The Galaxy Fold 2 encloses 12 gigabytes of RAM, UFS 3.1 and to make it all work together, the Qualcomm 865+ which is a 7nm fast chipset. No one could say that their phone became unresponsive with these features.
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 however, would win the race by a mile. Even though it also has 12 GBs of DDR5 ram and UFS 3.1, it has something which Fold 2 does not, the Qualcomm 888 which is a 5nm fast chipset and obviously one of the best available right now.
There is no Exynos variant for the Asian markets in the Z Fold 3 (despite the performance, the Exynos in the Fold 2 annoyed a lot of people), with the Snapdragon 888 being the international variant having an option of 256/512 GB of storage.
Because of the fact that the main screen of Z Fold 2 was not as strong, durable and pressure-resistant as the screens of the Note Series are, Samsung was unable to offer the S pen utility in it. The presence of a tablet mode but the absence of S-pen made many users sad. Samsung knew this and also knew they had to do something about it. So, when they were able to make the Ultra-Thin glass durable, they knew it was time for the S-pen to work on it.
With the Bluetooth controlled S-pen, made specifically for the Z Fold, you can make full use of the tablet mode. It is the feature that might make people forget that we are not getting a new Note Series phone this year.
The Z Fold 3 does not have a separate place with in itself to house the S-pen though. You have to buy a case for your Fold which has space for the stylus. Neither does the S-pen does not come within the box of Z Flip 3 as is the case with its charger. You have to buy these accessories separately or you may also buy the package by the name of the NOTE PACK which has both the S-pen and the charger along with your phone.
The Galaxy Z Fold flagships are expensive, because unlike their counterpart flagships, they have more screens, newer technology and require much more innovation and effort to be built. As a result, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 when launched, was priced originally at $1999 which is not a small price tag. Later on, Samsung reduced the price tag by 200 dollars and the Z Fold 2 has been sold for $1799 ever since. Keeping in mind the heavy price tag and the not-so-spec-king qualities, there has been some reluctance in people to buy it. Samsung did not overdo the price of the newer Z Fold 3 this time and it has been launched at an international price of $1750.
Should you buy the Z Fold 3 or stick with the old one?
You may argue that people who already own the Fold 2, may not want to spend so much to upgrade from Z Fold 2 to Z Fold 3. This is fairly logical based on the fact that even though we have new fast features in the Fold 3, the technological jump is not that huge that one would want to spend over 1700 bucks. However, to all those who want to get a piece of the so famous foldables, the Z Fold 3 might just be the best start.
Ans: Samsung claims that their foldables can fold and unfold for an approximately two hundred thousand times before experiencing any issues in the hinge, the screen or any other constituent. This roughly translates to 5 years of perfect usage.
The Z Fold 2 has quite a visible crease when unfolded and it feels somewhat like an indentation across the screen. However, Samsung has worked a lot on this and now the Z Fold 3 has almost no crease at all!
Even though the Z Fold 2 boasts an “Anti-Erosion Waterproof Coating”, it still would not be able to keep your phone completely water free if it accidentally fell into a pool. However, the Z Fold 3 has IPX8 rating which means that it is water resistant. As for the dust, Z Fold 2 did okay in this regard. Samsung has really levelled up the game in Z Fold 3 and most of the dust remains out, although it still does not have a dust-resistance rating.
The Z Fold 2 has a screen made of ultra-thin glass that would not do well against the pressure from S pen. But, the newer Z Fold 3 has a better, stronger and more durable glass for which they have crafted a special Fold Edition S pen.