When Samsung went from the Galaxy Fold to the Galaxy Z Fold 2, this marked one of the most drastic design changes between devices in the same line that we’ve ever seen. From the camera module to both of the displays, Samsung completely overhauled its design for the best 2020 foldable phone.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 Design
Leaks and rumors point to a more reserved design iteration with the Galaxy Z Fold 3. The phone will still sport a triple camera setup on the back, but instead of featuring a squared-off camera module, the Z Fold 3 is said to bring a smaller bump. The flash has been moved from the right of the camera module to the bottom.
Rumors have also suggested that Samsung has slimmed things down, “fixing” one of the biggest complaints of the Galaxy Z Fold 2. The Z Fold 3 aims to be a bit lighter, with this combination hoping to make the phone easier to handle without tiring your hands out.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 Display
With the Z Fold 2, Samsung vastly upgraded the inner folding display. Gone were concerns of breaking the phone with a built-in screen protector that was actually part of the display. And although Samsung recommended against doing so, you can remove the pre-installed Galaxy Z Fold 2 screen protector.
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 aims to bring an even better display, with a focus on durability. Samsung is said to be using its 2nd-gen Ultra-Thin Glass, along with sporting the following “industry firsts”:
- The first foldable display that replaces the circular polarizer with a color filter to reduce thickness, increase brightness and lower power.
- There is a rugged protection layer under the UTG cover like the one added to the Z Flip 5G.
- Another, carbon-reinforced polymer layer, is added under the panel for improved durability.
Considering that durability is the largest concern of the current Galaxy Z Fold 2, Samsung is pulling out all the stops with the Z Fold 3.
As for the display itself, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is said to be just slightly smaller than its predecessor, coming in at 7.55-inches. Meanwhile, the Cover Display will also be a bit smaller, as it is said to be at 6.21-inches, compared to the 6.23-inches of the Z Fold 2.
Samsung is also said to be bringing a 120Hz refresh rate to the Cover Display. This was an issue for some users as going from the 120Hz found on the main display to the 60Hz panel could be a bit jarring.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 Specs
As expected, Samsung will likely be throwing the kitchen sink at the Galaxy Z Fold 3, at least for the most part. Here’s what we’re expecting to see in the spec department:
- 7.55-inch AMOLED Main Display
- 6.21-inch Cover Display w/ 120Hz refresh rate
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC
- 12GB RAM
- 256GB / 512GB Storage
- 5G connectivity
- Bluetooth 5.1
- 4,275mAh Battery
- (3) 12MP Rear Cameras
- 10MP Cover Display Camera
- 16MP Sony IMX571 Main Display camera (UPC)
There aren’t too many surprises on this front, but the biggest takeaway is that the Z Fold 3 will feature an IPX8 rating. Since durability is one of the bigger barriers of entry, the IPX8 rating means that the Z Fold 3 will actually be able to be submerged in water. Meanwhile, you’ll still need to be careful with dust and dirt, as there won’t be any official rating in that department.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 Cameras
While the Galaxy Z Fold 2’s cameras are pretty great, they aren’t what you would expect to find in a phone priced at around $2,000. The triple camera array gives you plenty of options, and it seems that Samsung will again be playing it safe with the Z Fold 3.
Rumors point to a trio of 12MP sensors, with a wide-angle, ultrawide, and telephoto camera. On the Cover Display, we’re expecting a 10MP selfie camera, but we might be in for a surprise with the main display.
Over the past year or so, we’ve seen ZTE attempt to release a phone that forgoes the hole-punch camera cutout. And with the Z Fold 3, Samsung is rumored to do the same with its use of the 16MP Sony IMX471 in the main display. This will be the company’s first Under Display Camera (UDC), giving you a true edge-to-edge main display.
ZTE’s recent attempts have not gone over quite as the company hoped. But if anyone is going to get this technology right, it has to be Samsung.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 Features
Since the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Flip 3 are replacing the Galaxy Note line in 2021, Samsung needs to do something a bit extra for the Fold. After introducing S Pen support with the Galaxy S21 Ultra, it would appear as though the same upgrade is coming to the Fold 3.
This is a huge addition for a couple of reasons. First, it shows that Samsung is confident in its upgraded display tech that it can actually withstand the use of a stylus. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 offers a great display, but you could still cause an indentation with nothing more than your fingernail.
Next, adding S Pen support has been one of those wish-list items for many Z Fold 2 fans. The Z Fold 2 is a productivity powerhouse, but it also unfolds into a mini Android tablet, and being able to use an S Pen would take things up a notch.
Unfortunately, the design for the Z Fold 3 doesn’t allow for it to be housed in the frame like the Note lineup. Instead, you’ll have to opt for a case, much like the Galaxy S21 Ultra.
When Samsung announced S Pen support on the S21 Ultra, it also showed off the S Pen Pro. However, until now Samsung has not released an upgraded S Pen version. This version is a bit different from the one released earlier this year, as it will feature Bluetooth connectivity allowing things like Air Gestures.
Price and availability
Aside from durability, the next biggest hurdle for the Z Fold 2 was the price. Starting at $2,000 was a tough pill to swallow, even if you got the phone at a subsidized price through your carrier.
Rumors suggest Samsung is going to be dropping the price a bit, with some claiming that the base model will be around $1,600. Truthfully, the pricing information has been all over the place. Some claim that the price won’t change compared to the Z Fold 2, but that simply wouldn’t make sense.
Samsung’s Unpacked event has been confirmed for August 11th, where the Galaxy Z Fold 3 will be unveiled alongside the Z Flip 3 and the company’s new lineup of smartwatches. Although you can “reserve” the unannounced device today, we aren’t sure as to when the Z Fold 3 will actually begin shipping.
If Samsung wants to take foldable phones into the mainstream, it needs to improve on the durability along with dropping the price. It seems that the Z Fold 3 will hit the mark on both of those.