Tom’s Guide Verdict
The Milky way Z Fold 3 is all-time foldable phone yet, with a more than durable blueprint and South Pen back up, and the multitasking features are fifty-fifty better. You need a example to store the stylus and the cameras are non upgraded, but overall the Milky way Z Fold 3 is a dandy choice for power users.
More durable, water resistant blueprint
Dual 120Hz displays
Southward Pen support
Improved multitasking features
More optimized foldable apps
Photographic camera hardware not upgraded
No S Pen or charger included
Bulky when airtight
Battery life could be better
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold iii: Specs
$1,799 (256GB), $one,899 (512GB)
6.2 inches (2268 x 832) 120Hz Adaptive
7.6 inches (2208 ten 1768) 120Hz Adaptive
12MP broad (f/1.eight); 12MP ultrawide (f.2.2, 123-caste FOV); 12MP telephoto (f/2.iv, 2x optical zoom, 10x digital zoom)
Front end camera:
Charging: 25W (charger non included)
Size: half-dozen.2 10 2.6 10 0.56 to 0.62 inches (closed); 6.2 x 5 ten 0.25 inches (open up)
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is so expert that information technology might simply win over foldable phone skeptics. Samsung addressed some of the immovability concerns. The display, for example, is up to fourscore% tougher, and the whole phone is water resistant. Want to do more with a massive vii.6-inch screen? At that place’s S Pen back up, plus an under-display camera to brand for a more than immersive display.
Think foldable phones cost also much? Well, we can’t assist you much in that location. This sequel is all the same pricey at $one,799, only at to the lowest degree it’s $200 cheaper than its predecessor at launch. If you lot’re looking for a truly affordable foldable, the new $999 Samsung Milky way Z Flip 3 is a improve bet. (For a deeper comparison, see our Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs. Milky way Z Flip 3 face-off.)
Other notable Galaxy Z Fold 3 upgrades include a brighter display and enhanced multitasking features, complete with a Windows-like taskbar. Nevertheless, the bombardment life could be better, the pattern is yet quite bulky, and Samsung should have included the S Pen. (Read our comparison between the Milky way S22 Ultra and Milky way Z Fold iii South Pen)
While this foldable remains a niche device, our Galaxy Z Fold iii review shows that Samsung has refined the
best foldable phone
you can purchase, making it an splendid selection for power users who want a phone and tablet in one gadget.
Milky way Z Fold three review: Quick pros and cons
on the Milky way Z Fold 3 impresses with its power to disappear when you’re viewing content. Yet, the 4MP resolution is not great for selfies.
- The primary
7.six-inch brandish is easier to view outdoors, as the panel gets up to 30% brighter. The cover display now has 120Hz refresh rate.
- I really like the Taskbar feature, which lets you pin your favorite apps to the side of the display and follow you to whatever app. It’south just like Windows. However, you lot accept to dig in the Labs setting to turn this on.
- There’due south no getting around the fact that the
Milky way Z Fold three is a thick telephone
when closed. You will definitely notice this phone-tablet philharmonic when information technology’south in your pocket.
- It’s good to see that
more apps have been optimized for the Galaxy Fold three, including Spotify, Gmail, Chrome and TikTok.
South Pen support is a cracking addition
just we wish Samsung didn’t charge extra for this accessory.
overall camera quality is very good from the Galaxy Z Fold 3, with information technology taking sharp and colorful images for the most part. But the iPhone 12 Pro is better.
The Galaxy Z Fold’southward 3 battery life could be improve.
The foldable lasted nether 8 hours on our web surfing examination, while other flagships last 10 hours or more.
Samsung Milky way Z Fold 3 review: Release date and toll
The Galaxy Z Fold three was released on Baronial 27. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 has a starting price of $ane,799 for the 256GB model, and the 512GB version costs $i,899.
Check out our best Galaxy Z Fold iii deals page for all the biggest discounts, and you might also detect our guide to the all-time Samsung Milky way Z Fold 3 cases helpful. If you do pick up a Galaxy Z Fold three, make sure to check out what nosotros think is the showtime app you should install on your Samsung Milky way phone.
Galaxy Z Fold 3 deal:
AT&T merchandise-in – New and existing customers get the Milky way Z Fold3 5G for up to $i,000 off
(opens in new tab)
with eligible trade-in
Milky way Z Fold 3 review: Design and durability
The Milky way Z Fold iii adds a lot of in the way of immovability, even if information technology’s nonetheless on the bulky side.
Right off the bat, y’all’ll be glad to know that the new Galaxy Z Fold is IPX8 water resistant, which means it tin withstand being in up to i.five meters of water for upwardly to 30 minutes. I doubt most people will dunk this foldable, but it’s adept to know it can handle everything from splashes to rain.
Unfortunately, we are not able to test water resistance on our review sample, merely we have purchased a Galaxy Z Fold 3 and volition put that unit to the test and update this review. Just annotation that the Z Fold 3 is not dust resistant, so I wouldn’t feel comfy bringing this foldable to the beach.
To further fortify the Galaxy Z Fold 3, its stronger Armor Aluminum body and Gorilla Drinking glass Victus display are designed to resist scratches and drops. Last only non to the lowest degree, Samsung claims that the Z Fold 3 employs a new protective PET moving picture that when combined with “optimized” main screen layers results in a 80% more than durable screen.
If that isn’t enough to convince you that the Z Fold 3 you’re thinking of buying volition be safe, take a expect at the best Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 cases you tin can get for additional peace of mind.
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 measures 6.2 10 2.6 x 0.56 to 0.62 inches when closed and 6.2 x 5 x 0.25 when open. And it weighs 9.5 ounces. Compare that to 6.two x 2.6 x 0.66 inches (airtight), 6.ii x 5 10 0.27 inches (open) and 9.9 ounces for the
Milky way Z Fold 2. Still, this is way thicker and heavier when closed and so most phones, and so you’ll feel it in your pocket.
The Galaxy Z Fold three comes in 3 main colors: Phantom Black, Phantom Green and Phantom Silver. I’chiliad a fan of the silver considering it pops most.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 review: Displays and audio
The Milky way Z Fold three once again features two displays: a half dozen.ii-inch OLED cover display and a vii.6-inch primary screen that’s revealed once yous unfold the device.
Both panels offering a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate, and I experienced shine scrolling and overall performance during my hands-on fourth dimension with the phone.
The resolution for the interior screen is the same as before at 2208 x 1768 pixels, but the good news is that the new brandish is rated to be 29% brighter than before, thanks to new Eco display technology.
The Galaxy Z Fold 3’s chief display looks pretty stunning, and a big reason for that is a new nether-brandish camera. Instead of having to stare at a notch or punch hole, the UDC on the Galaxy Z Fold iii is most invisible, especially when you go full screen on content like photos and videos. When the display is nighttime, say on the dwelling house screen, yous can brand out the tiny pigsty, but it’southward not that noticeable.
Unfortunately, the Galaxy Z Fold 3’due south display averaged 422 nits of brightness in our lab testing. That’s okay but about one-half what the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra turned in (821 nits), and the iPhone 12 Pro Max also hitting a relatively high 654 nits.
The Galaxy Z Fold 3’s speakers are quite powerful and delivered clear and loud audio while listening to Spotify and when making calls. The sound can get a bit muffled when you stand the Z Fold iii on a desk (one of the speakers is on the bottom) just overall the audio is solid from this foldable phone.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 review: Softwares and special features
The Milky way Z Fold 3 Is a multitasking powerhouse. Thanks to the Multi-Active Window feature, you tin run two apps side by side (dragging and dropping content betwixt them) or run up to 3 apps at one time. And now the enhanced App Pair characteristic lets you create shortcuts for two apps later in the same way yous had them open.
Don’t feel similar constantly swiping in from the right side to open the Edge Panel to see these and other apps? Samsung added a new Taskbar feature that lets you switch betwixt apps on the fly; it just sits at that place on the correct side of the brandish, like to the Windows taskbar. To get the Taskbar to work, I had to dig into the Settings menu and activate Samsung Labs, which about people won’t know how to do.
One time activated, the Taskbar is a great add-on. I honey that I tin quickly glance at how many notifications I might accept in Slack, for example, then quickly switch to that app. Or I can quickly open my favorite App Pair: Gallery and Messages.
Samsung Labs tin can likewise force apps that are non optimized for foldable displays to work in Multi-Active Windows way. For case, I could park Netflix on the left side of the display and continue watching Outer Banks while keeping an eye on messages on the right side of the screen.
Another absurd feature is drag and split up. For example, if you’re in the Samsung browser and you’re looking at items on Amazon, you tin can simply elevate one over to the correct to open a new window. That way you can look at the details on one product while comparing other products on the left. Other apps that back up this feature including Samsung Bulletin, MS Office, One Note and more than.
When you fold the Milky way Z Fold 3 like a laptop, a number of apps back up Flex mode, which puts the content up top and controls on the bottom portion on the display. This works in YouTube and the Camera app, and I also used it during a hands-free Google Meet video call. You tin can even strength Flex way to appear in apps, but I’d rather run into more developers just embrace the feature.
Samsung is too working closely with third-party developers to whorl out more than apps that piece of work natively with the Galaxy Z Fold iii. These include Snapchat, TikTok, Netflix, Spotify and YouTube. For example, when you’re using Spotify, you’ll run into the At present Playing window on the bottom left side and the balance of the notice carte on the correct side, making it easier to multitask.
But my favorite optimized app for the Galaxy Z Fold iii is Chrome. I like existence able to run across all my tabs at the meridian and move them effectually, only as I would on the desktop.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold iii review: South Pen
Given that I’ve always institute using a stylus on even the biggest phablets cramped, it’south refreshing to see Samsung add S Pen back up to a 7.half-dozen-inch foldable phone. There’south only more room to take notes, sketch or marker up documents without needing to constantly zoom in.
But correct away, in that location’south an issue with the Galaxy Z Fold 3’due south S Pen back up. While the stylus will piece of work with the foldable phone, it’s not included, nor is there a built-in slot for the stylus similar there is with Milky way Note models. Instead, the South Pen is an accessory that yous purchase separately on top of the $1,799 you’re already spending on your phone. If yous desire a way to store the pen, yous’ll need a specially designed case, which is another buy.
You’ve got two Due south Pen options — the $49 S Pen Fold Edition and the $99 S Pen Pro. The latter offers Bluetooth connectivity for supporting features similar Air Gestures and other remote control capabilities. The S Pen Fold Edition is merely a writing instrument, albeit ane that’southward been specially designed with a collapsible tip to work with the Galaxy Z Fold 3’due south screen.
We tested the S Pen Fold Edition, and it’south a good sturdy stylus in a uniform black. We struggled to notice the Southward Pen’southward button at times, and that’s unfortunate since you’ll demand to printing that button to activate features like off-screen memo or quick notation. Just hovering the pen over the Galaxy Z Fold 3’s active screen summons upwardly the S Pen card, though, giving you access to diverse tasks y’all can perform with the stylus.
The Galaxy Z Fold 3’s expansive 7.6-inch sheet offers ample space to jot down a quick note — only hold that push button on the S Pen and tap the screen to get-go writing things down. If the screen is turned off, all you have to do is press and concur the S Pen button and tap the screen to create an off-screen memo.
Other S Pen-powered features include productivity boosters such as Screen Write (a markup feature), Smart Select (pull text and pictures out of other apps) and translate (where you can tap words to find out what they hateful in dissimilar languages). Other features like Alive Bulletin — where yous can capture an paradigm and add text and doodles — or AR Doodle for superimposing your drawings over real-world objects are less almost productivity and more most fun.
Annotation that you can just use the Southward Pen on the Galaxy Z Fold three’s master screen. The cover display doesn’t back up input from the stylus. This seems like an oversight, every bit if you want to jot down a quick note, possibly you lot don’t want to bother with unfolding the device.
Samsung Milky way Z Fold iii review: Cameras
At that place’s really non much new to report on the camera hardware forepart with the Galaxy Z Fold 3, with the exception of the under-display photographic camera. But Samsung has brought some of the best photographic camera features over from the Galaxy S21 Ultra, including Single Take (Dynamic Video) and Manager’s View (for using the front and back cameras at once). Other highlights include rear camera selfie and a Capture View Mode that lets you run into your photos on the left and your alive preview on the right.
The rear cameras one time again include a trio of 12MP lenses: an f/one.viii broad-bending shooter, an ultra-wide f/2.2 photographic camera with a 123-caste field of view, and a 12MP telephoto camera. Based on our photo comparisons, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 takes colorful and mostly abrupt photos. But it’s a step behind the iPhone 12 Pro in terms of details and more realistic hues. And you miss out on the zooming power of the Galaxy S21 Ultra.
But at present that the Milky way S22 is the new kid on the cake, Samsung has appear that it’s bringing some of that telephone’south camera features to the Galaxy Z Fold 3, similar nighttime portraits with the telephoto lens. The Fold 3 is besides getting Good RAW and support for the telephoto lens in Pro Mode.
You can meet in this shot of portulaca flowers that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is capable of delivering vibrant colors, though the details could be a fleck improve in the petals when I zoomed in. I slightly prefer the contrast offered past the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
In this portrait, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 does a mostly fine job with the bokeh upshot, blurring out most of the groundwork, though the leaves on the right side are adequately pronounced. My blue shirt really pops, and there’southward a good amount of item in my hair, merely my skin tone is a bit washed out, with the iPhone 12 Pro offering a warmer and more realistic take.
Once more the Milky way Z Fold 3 produces a colorful shot here of various peppers, offering saturated hues of light-green, orange, yellow and red. And this fourth dimension the particular remained fairly strong as I zoomed in on the sign and even the stickers on some of the produce. It’southward almost a draw with the iPhone 12 Pro Max, though once again the added contrast gives Apple’south phone a slight border, and the oranges are a fleck richer.
In this beach scene you lot can see that the Galaxy Z Fold iii struggles to deliver the same corporeality of detail and subtlety every bit the iPhone, especially when it comes to the translucence of the water, the variations in sunlight and the bawl in the tree on the right side.
With Dark style engaged, I compared the Milky way Z Fold iii and Galaxy S21 Ultra, and the Fold has an edge with more realistic colors. The S21 Ultra’due south shot is brighter but has an orange tinge to it.
To test out the Milky way Z Fold 3’s selfie capabilities I used both the 4MP nether-brandish camera and 10MP front photographic camera, and it’s no contest. My face looks blurrier and washed out with the UDC photo, and my hair, shirt and the surrounding grass only look better with the 10MP camera. For more on this UDC run across my Milky way Z Fold 3 under-display camera examination results.
It’s too bad that y’all get just a 2x optical zoom and 10x digital zoom with the Galaxy Z Fold iii. The Galaxy S21 Ultra, for case, packs dual telephoto lenses with 3x and 10x optical zoom, and that phone’s Space Zoom (digital) goes up to 100x.
In the above photo the Z Fold 3 delivers a shot that’southward nearly as good as the S21 Ultra at 10x, even if the pic is a bit too bright. Only the Galaxy Z Fold 3 pushes much farther, as you tin can see in the higher up shot taken with the 50x zoom setting.
Samsung Milky way Z Fold 3: Performance
The Galaxy Z Fold three proved mostly snappy in our easily-on time, and that’due south because it has some pretty beefy hardware nether the hood. A Snapdragon 888 chip runs the show, and information technology’southward backed by 12GB of RAM. There’s also 256GB of internal storage standard, though yous can opt for 512GB.
In everyday use the Galaxy Z Fold 3 provided swift performance, whether I was running three apps at once or racing around the track in Cobblestone 9. However, I did notice some glitches at times, such equally when going from the encompass display to the primary brandish.
On Geekbench 5, which measures overall performance, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 notched 3,418 on the multi-cadre portion of the test and 1,107 on single core. That’south on par with the the Milky way S21 Ultra (iii,400/1,123) but well behind the iPhone 12 Pro Max (4,100/1,600).
The Galaxy Z Fold iii wasn’t equally far backside the iPhone 12 Pro Max on the 3DMark Wild Life graphics test. The Samsung mustered 33 frames per 2nd, compared to 39 fps on the iPhone.
On our video editing test using the Adobe Premiere Rush app, the Milky way Z Fold iii took 50 seconds to transcode a 4K video to 1080p. That’s faster than the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s ane minute and 2 seconds merely still slower than the iPhone 12 Pro Max’due south 28 seconds.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold iii review: Battery life and charging
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 packs a four,400 mAh dual bombardment, which is a bit smaller than the Z Fold two’southward four,500 mAh pack. And nosotros were disappointed in the results of our web surfing bombardment test, which involves surfing the spider web over 5G on 150 nits of screen effulgence.
The Galaxy Z Fold iii lasted just 7 hours and 52 seconds in 60Hz display mode, and even less on adaptive mode (upward to 120Hz) at vi:35. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 lasted a much longer 10:10 and 9:05, respectively, on the same screen modes. Final year we used T-Mobile’s network so that may account for some of the difference. Nosotros will report back with more test results.
Every bit expected, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 doesn’t include a charger, so we used a 25W Samsung charger to test the charge time. After thirty minutes, the phone reached 47%, which isn’t bad.
The Galaxy Z Fold iii likewise supports upwardly to 10W wireless charging. You can too use the back of the Z Fold 3 to reverse wireless charge other devices up to four.5W.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 review: One UI 4.1
In mid-March, Samsung appear some new features coming to older Galaxy phones in the One UI four.1 update. Most of these relate to Galaxy S22 photographic camera features that will starting time trickling down to these handsets, including the Galaxy Z Fold 3.
We’ve detailed everything that’southward coming to the Fold 3 in the One UI 4.1 update. The foldable is getting admission to Samsung’s ExpertRAW app, letting you take RAW photos that you tin tweak to your heart’due south content.
The Galaxy Z Fold is first up for the One UI iv.i update.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max vs. Galaxy S22 Ultra
Foldables are a category of their ain and Samsung is substantially the just player right now. While Apple allegedly prepares its own foldable, we tin merely draw comparisons to what’s available right now, and that’southward the iPhone xiii Pro Max.
It’s a fleck unfair to compare these phones in some regards due to the differing form factors, but Samsung has to convince people to buy the Fold three. And when compared to the new iPhone, the Fold iii falls far short in several areas. Key amongst these are bombardment life and camera quality. In fact, the iPhone 13 Pro Max has earned a spot on our best phone battery life and best camera phones lists.
Foldables are still in their infancy, merely when you lot get an arguably better phone for several hundred dollars less, the Milky way Z Fold 3 is a tough sell in some respects. Information technology’due south nonetheless a bully and novel phone/tablet and information technology’due south past no means bad, but Apple knocked it out of the park this year. The Fold 3 has trouble keeping up in some places.
And so there’s Samsung’s latest flagship, the Galaxy S22 Ultra. This fauna brings back the Galaxy Note with a blocky pattern and a built-in Due south Pen. It’s a productivity powerhouse for those who similar the stylus life. Like the iPhone 13 Pro Max, it’south almost unfair to compare these two phones, only no device exists in a vacuum.
The Milky way S22 Ultra features ameliorate zoom, more power, a brighter display, better bombardment life and the built-in Southward Pen. The Galaxy Z Fold iii is a swell device, simply information technology flounders a bit when compared to its newer cousin.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 review: Verdict
With the Galaxy Z Fold iii, Samsung retains the title of best foldable phone, and that’southward not merely because at that place’due south really no competition right now. You get a more durable design, improved multitasking and improve displays for a piddling less coin than last time effectually.
The under-brandish photographic camera is a stride forrad in terms of pattern, letting you lot see more of the screen when not in use. But you’ll need to trade off some paradigm quality from this 4MP shooter.
Samsung also deserves credit for working with developers to optimize more apps for foldables. However, while I appreciate the S Pen support, Samsung should have included the stylus for $ane,799. Plus, the battery life could exist ameliorate and the overall design slimmer.
Overall, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is a winner, just it’southward only for those users who are willing to pay a premium for a telephone that can double every bit a tablet.
Want to see what’southward on the horizon for Samsung’south bigger foldable? Here’s what we know nigh the
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4