The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 reinforces the ambitions of the South Korean brand in the folding smartphone segment. And for this new generation, the manufacturer has planned some welcome innovations and novelties.
Samsung will launch a new iteration of its Galaxy Z Fold range, the reference of foldable screen smartphones on the mobile market. This technology is still young, and we expect significant improvements and new features from each new model to impose little by minor this form factor. What does the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 have in store for us? Here is a summary of everything we already know.
When will the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 come out?
Usually, the big star of the second half of the year at Samsung is the Galaxy Note. But 2021 marks the disappearance (definitive or temporary, we do not know) of the range, which no longer makes sense now that the Galaxy S Ultra offers a large screen, considerable autonomy, and support for the stylus. Instead, it is the Galaxy Z Fold 3 that will mark the calendar of the South Korean manufacturer.
And as with the Note series at the time, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is expected to be presented in August, along with another foldable, the Z Flip 3, and potentially the Galaxy S21 Fan Edition (it could be absent due to production problems related to the component shortage situation). There is talk of a formalization for the beginning of August. The Z Fold 3 is expected to be released shortly after its announcement. Generally, Samsung leaves a pre-order period of one to two weeks after its conference.
What will be the price of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3?
Of course, it will be necessary to wait for a communication from Samsung to know the exact tariff of the mobile. But trends are already emerging to give a little idea of what price to expect.
To democratize and impose on the market its devices with a foldable screen, Samsung could, according to rumors, offer the Z Fold 3 more affordable than its predecessors. A report also mentions the fact that Samsung is preparing two variants of the Galaxy Z Fold 3. We could have a slightly more entry-level model cheaper, and next to it a premium Z Fold 3 that should cost around 256,880 KES.
This second screen is necessary because the slab bends inward and not outward. The hinge is positioned vertically to fold and unfold the mobile horizontally, unlike the Z Flip, for which it is the opposite.
What design changes for the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3?
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 could be a little thicker than its predecessor because it would incorporate a digitizer to support the S-Pen stylus.
But the big novelty is the famous selfie sensor under the screen that has been talked about for years and has never been offered on a significant product marketed. Inevitably, this technology raises new technological challenges that have delayed its adoption.
And it is, therefore, Samsung that will draw the first with its Galaxy Z Fold 3, which will become its technological showcase between its foldable screen and its camera under the screen. Smartphones from other brands may offer this feature by the end of the year, but it is a new design choice for now.
What is the datasheet of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3?
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 should not embed an Exynos house chip but a Snapdragon SoC from Qualcomm. And it is the Snapdragon 888 engraved in 5nm that will be the chosen one, which already equips the Galaxy S21 series in the United States and China.
Samsung has announced that its next high-end Exynos SoC will incorporate a GPU developed in partnership with AMD to boost graphics performance. There was a rumor that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 could be the first to take advantage of it. This possibility remains unlikely.
If two models of Z Fold 3 are marketed, it is likely that the cheapest of them will have to settle for a less fast chip, such as the Snapdragon 870, boosted reissue of the Snapdragon 865 that could be found among others on the Z Fold 2.
The amount of internal memory will vary depending on the configuration: 256 or 512 GB of storage. And this time, two RAM variants could be offered, with the choice between 12 and 16 GB of RAM.
If Samsung is true to its habits, the pre-order buyers will be offered accessories with the smartphone, including possibly wireless headphones Galaxy Buds.
How does the screen of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 fold?
Samsung takes the same form factor as on previous generations. The foldable screen might be slightly smaller on the Z Fold 3 than on the Z Fold 2 (7.5 vs. 7.6 inches), but the outer slab should retain its dimensions of 6.2 inches.
As a reminder, a Galaxy Z Fold can be used in two ways: unfolded in tablet mode to benefit from the large central screen or folded for a better grip using the secondary screen located on the outside.
The battery capacity differs depending on the source, with a reliable range from 4275 to 4380 mAh, slightly less than on the Z Fold 2. But this decrease would be compensated by a better optimization of energy consumption, especially about the screen.
According to a certification document, there should be no power enhancement for wired charging, remaining at 25W. The Z Fold 2 offered induction charging at 11W and reverse wireless charging at 4.5 W. Its successor will do at least as well.
For the rest, we should find stereo speakers, 5G compatibility, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC, and a USB-C charging port, of course.
Will the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 be good in the photo?
Samsung should not bet too much on the photo part for this device and could even take the same sensors present on the Z Fold 2, namely three modules of 12 MP, including a telephoto lens allowing an optical zoom 2x an ultra-wide-angle at 123°.
A leak claims that Samsung could still make some improvements, such as changing the telephoto lens to 3x instead of 2x and offering video capture in 4K at 60 frames per second, against 30 fps currently.
There should be two selfie cameras, one for unfolded mode (16 MP under the screen) and one for folded mode (10 MP in punch).
Finally, a collaboration between Samsung and Japanese optics specialist Olympus would be in the pipeline for an upcoming high-end smartphone. But if this information is accurate, it is more likely that it is the Galaxy S22 that benefits rather than the Z Fold 3.
Is the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 compatible with the S-Pen?
The Samsung S-Pen is the productivity accessory that was the hallmark of the Galaxy Note. With the latter’s disappearance, the manufacturer wants to offer the stylus on other high-end devices of its line-up. And after the Galaxy S21 Ultra, it would be the Galaxy Z Fold 3 to support the stylus.
Samsung could, as clarified earlier, launch two versions of the folding smartphone. One of them would be delivered with the support of the S-Pen, and the other not. The manufacturer is aware that many users are not interested in such a feature, which raises the final price of the mobile, and would like to offer both options to consumers to cover a broader range of tariffs.
As a reminder, the S-Pen allows using the smartphone’s touchscreen with a stylus more precisely than the finger for better comfort of use. Over the years, it has become an accessory packed with features. It allows handwriting on the screen (with a function of converting the script to computer handwriting), drawing, playing, passing slides or photos during a presentation, controlling the camera or video/audio playback.
What version of Android for the Galaxy Z Fold 3?
Samsung offers one of the best Android software overlays on the market since the switch to the One UI interface. The brand’s newest smartphones, including the latest Galaxy S21, are currently powered by version One UI 3.1, based on Android 11.
But a One UI 3.5 is in the works, and the Galaxy Z Fold 3 should natively offer this update, still based on Android 11 before it can upgrade to One UI 4 (Android 12) a few months later.
One UI 3.5 is a minor update and will not make any interface changes. It will improve the performance and stability of the system, fix some bugs and add some features, especially at the camera level.
Samsung’s major features like the DeX mode allow you to connect your smartphone to an external display to use it as a central unit and enjoy a desktop experience that will, of course, return.