Foldable phones. Some people think it’s a gimmick, and others think of it as luxury. To me though, I think that we are experiencing the birth of a new generation of smartphones. They are expensive, yes, but that is because the people behind these devices are putting in so many resources to make that generational leap. When it comes to foldable smartphones, Samsung is the brand that would probably land at the top of the list.
Looks that Define Innovation
Apart from the fact that they fold, what makes a phone like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G is that it basically transforms from simply being a mere phone when it’s closed, to what is essentially a tablet when it’s unfolded. That’s basically one device delivering two completely different experiences.
Both the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G and Z Fold3 5G boast IPX8 water resistance rating and are made of a material Samsung calls Armor Aluminum, which, according to them, makes it up to 10% more durable than its predecessor. Both also use Gorilla Glass Victus as well as a protective film and a redesigned layer structure to enhance overall durability.
Testament to its ability to learn from its shortcomings, Samsung has also made great strides to improve the hinge on its foldables, which now incorporates an enhanced sweeper technology with shorter bristles to help repel dust and other particles to maintain a seamless user experience. Both the Galaxy Fold3 and the Flip3 5G have also undergone a rigorous folding test, verified by Bureau Veritas to withstand up to 200,000 folds.
On the other hand, Galaxy Z Flip3 5G is now more compact and pocketable while having a larger cover screen that also gives you access to select widgets to enhance overall functionality.
Screens that Offer Unmatched Immersion
When closed, the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G’s 6.2-inch HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X cover display is big enough to work like a traditional candy bar phone. Typical tasks like browsing social media, reading up on news, messaging, listening to music, and email are still very much manageable. Despite having a lower resolution, the cover screen supports up to a 120Hz refresh rate, which makes animations much smoother and more fluid.
But then again, why watch video there? When you can use its 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOELD 2X Infinity Flex Display that boasts a QXGA+ resolution while also benefitting from a high refresh rate. Unlike its predecessors, the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G focuses on delivering an uninterrupted viewing experience. The device is the first in the company’s flagship lineup to sport an under-display camera.
The technology involves using as minimal pixels as possible above the camera hole to give the user an unhampered view of the main display. Moreover, the screen itself is 29% brighter while also consuming less power.
That’s basically a phone to a tablet in one step, and that completely changes the entire experience. View an entire website, or your favorite game now, on a larger screen. On a regular phone, you’re basically stuck with that screen forever.
Samsung has also developed several plugins that can enhance the gaming experience. Downloadable from the Google Play Store, it allows you to set a limit for your gaming time to prevent yourself from getting into your game too much, track performance indicators such as FPS and CPU/GPU temperature, and even create GIFs.
For the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G, you get a larger 1.9-inch Super AMOLED cover screen that’s now more functional compared to its predecessor, thanks to access to select widgets that extend the device’s functionality to more than just reading notifications. You can even use it as a viewfinder for taking a selfie using the main cameras – something that most candy bar phones don’t offer.
When open, you’ll be greeted with a gorgeous 6.7-inch FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X main display that also supports up to a 120Hz refresh rate.
To make the most out of its high refresh rate displays, Samsung has equipped both its new foldables with the Snapdragon 888 SoC, which, at the time of launch, was Qualcomm’s top-end chip, now second to the Snapdragon 888+. Combined with 12GB of RAM on the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G and 8GB of RAM on the Galaxy Flip3 5G, both deliver flagship performance that allows you to breeze through typical daily tasks and take on demanding mobile games with ease.
So, imagine just messaging someone with the phone closed, and then 2 minutes after you’re playing a game on that glorious main screen at the highest settings, all in one device.
Flexibility and Multitasking
Another beauty of foldables is that users can take advantage of the fact that these devices fold to make room for new experiences that you don’t get with a regular smartphone. Galaxy Z Fold3 and Z Flip3 5G have a feature called Hands-Free Flex Mode, which allows you to take advantage of the folding mechanism and just let the phone sit on a surface. Take selfies, do video calls, or even long exposure shots from a distance. For a regular phone, you’ll probably need a tripod. Not on this one though.
The UI will also be split in half, with the top section being your preview screen, and the bottom half for all the granular controls you’ll need to take those winning shots.
Another advantage of the Galaxy Z Fold3 and ZFlip3 5G is multitasking. Thanks to the enhanced Multi-Window experience, the latter’s screen can be split in half for two apps, and the former’s large 7.6-inch display can be used to multitask with up to 3 windows in split screen plus 2 floating window apps at once.
This is especially useful if, for example, you want to take notes of the YouTube video you’re watching, or you simply want to see if you’ve been to same place in a video by looking at your gallery.This feature makes the devices distinctive from other smartphones today.
A feature that was once unique to the Note series, S-Pen support came to the S Series in the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G and is now available on the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G and can take advantage of its large screen for new approaches to taking notes.
Use it to instantly launch Samsung Notes and start doodling for those moments when you need to quickly take notes. Easily convert emails or messages into actual text that you can use in other apps and compose your emails by hand.
Need to add notes to a PDF file? You don’t need to convert it anymore, just import it via Samsung Notes and start adding your notes, or to make things even better, add a voice clip so you can explain your notes easier.
You can even use the app on the bottom half to take notes while viewing your online meeting on the top half. No need to switch from one app to another.
Samsung has introduced two new versions of the S Pen – There is the S Pen Fold Edition, which is the shorter of the two, is ideal for taking notes and drawing, and comes with the Flip Cover that you can get for free if you purchase the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G (until November 30).
Then there is the S Pen Pro which adds features like Bluetooth, and gives you access to Air Actions. Additionally, it also works with other Samsung Galaxy Smartphones and tablets with S-Pen support.
Fast and Seamless Connectivity
Samsung’s newest foldables can take advantage of 5G networks to deliver better connectivity. That means you’ll be able to experience consistently high-quality video and audio streaming, responsive and lag-free gaming, high-quality video calling, as well as improved responsiveness thanks to lower latency, and of course, faster uploads and downloads.
A Full Ecosystem
You can also pair the Galaxy Z Fold3 and Z Flip3 5G with Samsung’s newest wearables – the Galaxy Watch4 Series and Galaxy Buds2. Both are designed to work seamlessly with your foldables, allowing you to reach that fitness goal or enjoy your favorite music in the best way possible.
Galaxy Watch4 and Watch4 Classic offer health tracking and other smart features in sleek and minimalist designs. Both are powered by the Exynos W920 chip along with 1.5GB of RAM as well as 16GB of storage. These smartwatches also pack Samsung’s BioActive Sensor and boast up to 40 hours of uptime on a single charge.
Take advantage of the Body Composition Analysis Tool for a more detailed picture of your overall health, Enhanced Sleep Management that now also involves Snoring Detection, refined gesture controls, as well as the Auto Switch feature and the Buds Controller that lets you manage touch controls and noise- cancelling setting on your Galaxy Buds.
Galaxy Buds2, on the other hand, offers a new design, Active Noise Cancellation that reduces unwanted noise by up to 98% for total immersion, three levels of Ambient Sound Control, three microphones and a voice pickup unit for crystal clear calls, and up to 20 hours of battery life with the case.
Compared to say, an iPhone or any regular candy bar smartphone, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 and Z Flip3 5G offer a unique user experience that those phones won’t be able to deliver, transforming from one category to another in a single step and allowing you to do so much more in new ways. It’s not just the fact that they are foldable that make them great, but it’s the things that you can do with them, and the new features that can be added moving forward.
Samsung is committed to reshaping the smartphone landscape with its foldable technology, and with nowhere to move but forward, it will not stop in pushing the boundaries to deliver the best user experience.
Emman has been writing technical and feature articles since 2010. Prior to this, he became one of the instructors at Asia Pacific College in 2008, and eventually landed a job as Business Analyst and Technical Writer at Integrated Open Source Solutions for almost 3 years.