The desire of companies to increase the phone screen to a phablet size is an obvious direction for their improvement. In turn, the solution to this problem is most obvious due to the folding or sliding structure. Probably, its implementation was accompanied by huge difficulties, including the mechanism reliability, ergonomics, power consumption of several screens, etc. But these difficulties did not stop the developers and the industry leaders actively took up the development of the new direction.
As a result, Huawei unveiled the folding Mate X series two years ago, Samsung expanded its lineup with the Galaxy Fold series, and TCL unveiled two concepts last year, including TCL tri-fold phone-tablet hybrid and rollable phone.
Probably thickness, weight and ergonomics can be considered as one of the main cons of hybrid models. Fold 3 folds in the three-layer ‘sandwich’.
Structurally simpler Flip series folds like a traditional ‘clamshell’.
The additional external screen in the Fold series is the main difference between these series.
Huawei’s Mate X2 tries to reduce the thickness with a tapered design.
One of the TCL’s concepts uses a hinge and a rolling mechanism to expand the display from a 6.87-inch phone to an 8.85-inch phablet.
Another concept is based on the use of guides.
Unfortunately, TCL’s announcements are still at the concept level, Huawei Mate hasn’t presented anything new either. In fact, this year the Samsung Fold Z 3 is the only continuation of this direction.
Of course, the high price and quite natural starting cons of the first models significantly limited their popularity. Galaxy Z Fold 3 has become the third generation, and its preliminary specs demonstrate the very real chances of this concept to take its rightful place in the smartphone segment. But, of course, psychological barriers remain relevant for many consumers. Perhaps analysis of some aspects of these promising hybrids using Galaxy Fold 3 as an example will eliminate them.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 phone
Its design is fully consistent with the premium level.
Maybe the image aspect is not the main selection criterion, but it remains essential for many people.
The bright 7.6-inch internal screen is ideal for watching movies, working with documents and other applications, making other gadgets pointless. In fact, the Fold 3, when unfolded, matches the average tablet, transforming into a compact phone when folded down.
Compared to the Fold 2, the company has upgraded the waterproof from IPX6 (protection against water jets from any direction) to IPX8 (full immersion in water more than 1 m deep). Of course, curious consumers with genuine enthusiasm have already tested the waterproof level. But the phone dispelled their skepticism, withstanding even immersion in the pool.
Moreover, reinforced aluminum flaps, a new stronger glass, a reinforced inner screen, etc have significantly increased the mechanical strength of the new phone vs the Fold 2. As a result, its mechanical strength is not lower compared to traditional smartphones despite complex design. But the dust protection has not changed and the cover will obviously be useful for the beach.
Unfortunately, the Fold 3 does not come with an S Pen, but its support is one of the main advantages of the new product. Like the Note line, the new generation radically expands its functionality with drawing, document signing, etc.
Dear and high quality stereo speakers deliver loud and clear sound.
Probably in a few years the company will introduce the Fold 4, 5 and beyond. But a well-balanced 3rd generation with very high performance and a user-friendly interface quite claims to be relevant for a fairly long period of time, even as a premium model. Moreover, the almost complete absence of competitors potentially increases this period.
Price, ergonomics and other
The price of the Galaxy Z Fold series continues to be high. For example, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 costs $ 1,800. On the other hand, today it competes only with Huawei Mate X, the real price of which reaches almost $ 3,000. Also, the starting price of the Fold 3 is lower vs the Fold 2.
Moreover, in America the company is offering a very tempting deal. Specifically, Samsung offers trade-in deals discounted up to $ 800. The list includes older Samsung’s phones, tablets, wearable, or any combination up to four devices to reach that maximum value. In this case, the price may drop to $ 999. Similar offers are valid in Europe, Australia, etc. Probably, this proposal will be very interesting for people whose apartment lockers are filled with old Samsung’s devices.
Everything comes at a price, and the big screen is no exception. Galaxy Fold is a symbiosis of two concepts and it cannot be compact. Fold 3 is larger vs most smartphone, but smaller vs tablets.
An external screen allows the user to use it like a phone. What’s more, some people even use the S Pen in this mode. But using the opened phone requires two hands.
The inner screen Fold 3 uses 4.2: 3 aspect ratio, which is hardly familiar to most people. As a result, viewing is accompanied by black bars around the screen.
Unfortunately, many modern apps are not adapted to this format, and solving this problem will take some time.
An excellent Qualcomm 5G modem and a wide range of wireless interfaces ensure excellent connectivity in almost any region.
The intuitive Samsung OneUI is perfectly adapted to the large screen.
Controversial key features
Trying to maximize the area of the internal screen, the developers hid the front camera under its surface. Unfortunately, this decision required reducing its resolution to 4 megapixels, which, of course, reduced the shooting quality. However, the external screen uses a higher resolution front camera in the form of a small hole. In fact, the Fold 3 offers a traditional front camera on the external screen and additional hidden camera on the internal screen, the quality of which is quite acceptable, for example, for video calls.
Maybe the resolution and photo quality of the Fold 3 falls short in comparison, for example, with the Galaxy S21 Ultra. But on the other hand, the company is not positioning this series as a camera phone.
Unfortunately, Fold 3 comes only with charging wire, but no case, charger, etc. Perhaps, Samsung have picked up on this trend from Apple, but it seems highly questionable.
The new model does not have memory cards. In principle, a memory capacity of 256 GB or 512 GB is quite sufficient, but memory cards are also sometimes convenient.
Compared to the Fold 2, which had special grooves, the Fold 3 halves are less comfortable to open due to the smooth surface. Unfortunately, this aspect degraded the overall ergonomics.
Of course, S Pen support is one of the main pros of the new model. Unfortunately, the developers did not provide a place for the stylus in the body. Of course, additional purchase of case solves the problem, but increases the price and sizes.
The new model quite realistically claims to break through the wall of traditional consumer market skepticism to almost any revolutionary concept. Today many myths about folding models have been dispelled, including:
– in winter, the screen will crack from the cold – delirium;
– easily breaks due to low mechanical strength – nonsense.
Other rumors are similar. Fold phones are really expensive, the power consumption of the large, bright, high-resolution screen is higher compared to the regular model, the sophisticated precision mechanism is sensitive to dust. But otherwise, each model has specific cons & pros. For example, the Fold 3 supports the S Pen, delivers great connectivity and high quality audio, has a sleek design and an unprecedented high IPX8 waterproof rating. At the same time, the hybrid completely replaces the phone & tablet. And given the company’s tempting discount offer in exchange for old Samsung’s devices, the Fold 3 could be a great deal for their owners.
With the exception of a meager delivery set and a lack of progress in dust protection, the Fold 3 has practically no significant cons. This fashionable and reliable hybrid with flagship performance and an enticing discount system really claims to be one of this year’s bestsellers.
The video showcases the new Galaxy Z Fold3 5G & Galaxy Z Flip3 5G.