Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs Galaxy Z Fold 2: should you upgrade?


If you’re already a proud owner of the Galaxy Z Fold 2, then you’re at least intrigued by the all-new Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3. These are two of the best phones on the planet, and not just because Samsung is pushing the boundaries of innovation. Both the Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs Galaxy Z Fold 2 have a lot to offer, but did Samsung add enough to the Fold 3 to make you want to upgrade?

For the most part, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs Galaxy Z Fold 2 comparison is pretty even. The specs are largely the same, other than the Fold 3 sporting the newer Snapdragon 888 compared to the Fold 2’s Snapdragon 865+ chipset. Both are equipped with 12GB of RAM and either 256GB or 512GB of storage.

In terms of the display size and dimensions, there are minor differences between the two, but nothing to write home about. The same can be said about the camera specs, as Samsung is reserving its more-powerful camera systems for the likes of the Galaxy S21 Ultra and rumored Galaxy S22 coming early next year.

Both devices offer similar software functionality thanks to Samsung’s One UI 3.1 based on Android 11. That means you’ll be able to enjoy things like Flex Mode or Multi-Active Window, even if the Fold 3’s software is a bit more recent than the Fold 2’s.

Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs Galaxy Z Fold 2: Spec comparison

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
Price $1,799 $1,999
Screen size 7.6-inches (foldable)
6.2-inches (cover)
7.6-inches (foldable)
6.23-inches (cover
Resolution 2208 x 1769 (foldable)
2268 x 832 (cover)
1768 x 2208 (foldable)
816 x 2208 (cover)
Density 374 ppi (foldable)
387ppi (cover)
373 ppi (foldable)
384 (cover)
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 5G+
Storage 256/512GB 256/512GB
Battery 4400 mAh 4500 mAh
OS Android 11 Android 11
Rear camera Triple cameras:
12MP. OIS, f/1.8 (main)
12MP, f/2.2 (ultrawide)
12,MP, OIS, f/2.4(2x telephoto)
Triple cameras:
12MP. OIS, f/1.8 (main)
12MP OIS, 52MM (2x telephoto)
12MP, f/2.2, 123˚ (ultrawide)
Front camera 10MP, f/2.2 (cover)
4MP, f/1.8 (interior, under display)
10 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (cover & interior)
Bluetooth v5.2 5.0
NFC Yes Yes
Dimensions 128.1 x 158.2 x 6.4mm (unfolded)
67.1 x 158.2 x 16mm (folded)
159.2 x 128.2 x 6.9 mm (unfolded)
159.2 x 68 x 13.8-16.8 mm (folded)
Weight 271g 282g
Water Resistance IPX8 N/A
Wireless Charging Yes Yes
Special features 25W fast charging, 10W wireless charging, 4.5W reverse wireless charging, Side-mounted fingerprint sensor, Face Recognition, stereo speakers, Wi-Fi 6E, no charger in box, 120Hz adaptive refresh rate 25W fast charging, 11W wireless charging, 4.5W reverse wireless charging, side-mounted fingerprint sensor, WiFi 6, face recognition, stereo speakers

Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs Galaxy Z Fold 2: Key differences

When you start looking at the differences, there are a few, and they may be enough to push you one way or another. The elephant in the room is the added S Pen support and improved durability offered by the Galaxy Z Fold 3. This release marks the first foldable Galaxy phone to sport an IP rating, with its IPX8 water resistance. This may not equate to much, but having the peace of mind to be able to get caught in a rain storm and not having to worry about your phone being ruined is enough for many.

This trend continues with the display itself, as Samsung needed to make it strong enough to withstand the use of a stylus. The Galaxy Fold 2 simply could not handle even those cheap stylus options, as you could leave a permanent indentation in the screen just with your finger nail. Those concerns are gone, as Samsung is now making use of a stretchable PET film and additional layers resulting in an 80% increase in durability with the Fold 3.

With this improved display, Samsung is also claiming that the panel is brighter than the one used on the Fold 2, while consuming less energy. And that’s definitely going to matter as the Fold 3 ships with a slightly-smaller battery — 4,300mAh vs 4,400mAh. While the 120Hz Adaptive Refresh Rate makes it return to the Fold 3, the Cover Screen has been updated, going from 60Hz to 120Hz. So Samsung is going to need to make up the difference in any ways that it can.

Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs Galaxy Z Fold 2: Making a decision

Truth be told, it’s rather compelling to upgrade from the Galaxy Z Fold 2 to the Z Fold 3 if not only to take advantage of Samsung’s trade-in program. Samsung is allowing customers to trade in up to four phones at the same time, something that has never been done before. But if you don’t care about that, or even want to hold onto the Fold 2 while upgrading, the decision is tough.

On one hand, you have increased durability coupled with S Pen support and another year of major software updates to look forward to. On the other hand, even with the Snapdragon 888, the SD865+ is no slouch, and the camera system is largely the same across both devices. It’s a tough decision, but if we’re making a recommendation, go for the Galaxy Z Fold 3.


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