As Samsung has introduced its latest foldable smartphone to the world, the latest Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 has brought numerous refinement that made it to be best time to own one. After having experience the device for a week and a half in Malaysia, I have to say the Galaxy Z Fold3 is the mobile workstation you should get today but there are other things you need know more about the device.
You can watch video review of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 at above. Anyway, let’s dive into experiencing the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 in Malaysia.
Design – Looks like Fold2 but with added important features, Armor Aluminum and IPX8 rating
The design for the Fold3 is similar with the Fold2’s design unless you looked at the new rear camera module and the new foldable screen’s under screen camera. I think it’s a good choice since the Fold2 design is still looking great in 2021 and beyond.
On the top of Fold3 (when folded), it has speaker grill with mics for the camera and at bottom, it has a USB Type-C port, speaker grill and a mic hole. The right houses the sim card slot, volume rocker and power button/fingerprint scanner. The buttons on the Fold3 definitely feel as premium it can gets as the tactile feedback from the buttons is precise.
The left side is the Fold3’s hinge which looks similar to the Fold2 (again), but this time it has added IPX8 rating. Yes, the Fold3 has waterproof feature thus making the record as one of the foldable phone to offer the feature in market. Also, Samsung has improved the springs on the hinge for the Fold3. Each time you fold and unfold the device, you feel so effortless to do it which provides confidence and satisfaction using it on a long term. Just take note the device has no dust protection, so don’t take the device to beach or dusty area.
Samsung also introduced Armor Aluminum for Fold3 body which claimed to provide 10% better protection than the previous models. The cover display and rear is protected by Gorilla Glass Victus. Overall, the new Fold3 definitely feel solid to hold and its also lighter (271 g) compared to the predecessor models. However, you still need to be aware this phone is still heavy and chunky when compared to other slab style smartphone in the market.
The design department for the Fold3 definitely scores a high mark for the foldables segment. Although I wished there are other vibrant colours to offer apart from the Phantom Black, Phantom Silver and Phantom Green. I would think a Phantom Blue or Phantom Gold on the Fold series will be a hit!
Performance – Brings mobile multitasking to another whole new level
For the Malaysia market, the Fold3 is powered by the 2021 flagship processor, Snapdragon 888 which paired along with 12GB RAM and 256/512GB storage.
Here is why I highly mention the device as the perfect mobile workstation because the specs is really powerful enough to run your productivity and entertainment at anywhere. You need to multitask with multiple apps? Sure, you can open 4 apps at the same time when you unfold it. Need to play demanding game title like Genshin Impact? No problem as you can even maxed out the graphic settings for the game as well.
You still can use Samsung’s Wireless DeX feature here too. You can hooked it up to your Samsung TV and use it as a desktop. Alternatively, you can even paired a wireless mouse and keyboard if you need to set it up as a mobile desktop. The Multi-Window feature is great way to enjoy multitask especially when you need to get your productivity done. The Flex mode also offers a new way to enjoy entertainment or productivity as well.
You won’t go wrong if you need serious performance on the Fold3 in Malaysia or anywhere you want to bring it to. No doubt, the performance department is outstanding here.
Display – Two 120hz refresh rate display with the foldable screen supports S Pen
The Fold3 has two display: 6.2 inches Cover display and 7.6 inches Foldable screen. Samsung has upgraded the cover display to include 120hz refresh rate here. You definitely enjoy the smooth scrolling when using. But, the cover display has one issue though, a narrow 25:9 ratio. Since you might be using the cover display most of the time, you will find the typing experience is quite cramped if you big fingers. Don’t get me wrong here, it is still usable for you daily usage.
The narrow cover display is usable for watching content or playing games. I would love the 25:9 ratio when playing games like Genshin Impact as you can see a wider field in the gameplay which offers a new way of immersive playing games. Out of the box, the cover display has a screen protector installed onto it.
As for the 7.6 inches Foldable Dynamic AMOLED 2X screen, it is largely similar to the Fold2 but this time it has several upgrade features. Viewing experience feel immersive thanks to the large size display and colours are adequately vivid with balance saturation. This display has 120hz refresh rate and brightness level is considerably good for indoor usage. However, I do noticed the foldable display still have apps displaying side bars, a missed opportunity to have an immersive scrolling experience. Hopefully app developers can sort it out with Samsung on future app updates.
This time you can use a S Pen on the Fold3’s foldable screen. However, you need to use the S Pen Fold Edition or S Pen Pro in order to use it. Other normal S Pen or generic stylus may damage the screen. I didn’t test out the S Pen feature as it was not provided for my review.
The main attraction for the Fold3’s foldable screen is the new under screen camera. The under screen camera technology works good when playing games, watching content or scrolling through social media. You can noticed the pixels if you peep upclose but when looked a far, you don’t really noticed the camouflaged area. The foldable screen also has a new screen protector installed by Samsung which claimed to be 80% better protection than previous models. I couldn’t do any test onto it as the device is a loan review unit so just take note about it.
Both display can output an immersive viewing experience and you won’t be disappointed. Yes, the foldable screen still as a crease but you largely don’t care about it. I do feel that Samsung really need to start working on the crease part for the next version to boost more confidence for new buyers to get one.
Speakers – Great for contents, music and games
The speakers on the Fold3 is really good for watching video content or playing music. The stereo speakers offers adequate bass and the volume output is loud that you would get yourself immerse with the audio experience offered here. No 3.5mm headphone jack here but you should pair it up with Galaxy Buds series with the Fold3 for discreet listening moment. Do watch the review video for how the speakers on the Fold3 works.
Battery – if only the battery could be larger, that would be great
The Fold3 has a 4400 mAh battery which is just doing average for battery life. The battery has to power two 120hz refresh rate display and a powerful flagship chip hence it’s going to drain the battery really quick despite software optimising the battery usage. Depending on your usage, you can try to squeeze it until the end of the day but most of the time you might want to look for the charger by early evening time.
The device supports Fast charging 25W and Fast wireless charging 11W but there is no charger provided here. You can use the reverse wireless charging 4.5W to wireless charge your accessories like Galaxy Buds Pro.
I do wished Samsung to packed at least a 5000 mAh battery for the Fold3 but then again, it might increase the weight and size. Hopefully Samsung could solved it on the next iteration.
Camera – not much of an upgrade but still delivers it
This is going to be a long one for the camera department so bare with me. Let’s start off with the rear cameras. Samsung didn’t really done much of an upgrade as it is the same 12 MP main camera, 12 MP telephoto camera with 2x optical zoom and 12 MP ultrawide camera. Apart from the new camera module design, rear camera is rocking the new Corning Gorilla Glass with DX lens. Photos taken with the new lens on all three camera does looked brighter and crisper. The rear cameras can take videos up to 4K 60fps and quality is good enough for social media or vlogs upload.
There is two selfie cameras on the Fold3. Let’s start off on the cover display selfie camera as it still rocking the same 10MP camera like the previous model. The cover display 10MP selfie camera is the one you will use the most for quick selfies but you unfold it to use the rear camera to capture even higher details selfie photo. Night mode and Portrait mode is usable on the cover display selfie camera and rear cameras. For those wants to vlog with the cover display 10MP selfie camera, it can offers up to 4K 60fps videos and quality is quite generally good.
Now, to the under screen camera of the Fold3. Samsung has put an unusual 4MP camera on this section. The photos taken with the under screen camera looks soft and fuzzy details. When you are taking photo with light shining behind, the flares will pop out. This camera only takes photo and video as other features like Night Mode and Portrait is not available. You can capture videos up to 1080p 60fps but it still suffers from soft and fuzzy details. I do think that the screen protector on the foldable screen is one of the reason for the below average photo and video quality. Hopefully Samsung can fix it by either providing higher MP camera for the under screen camera or perhaps leave a hole on the screen protector for the under screen camera. Just use the cover display selfie camera if you need a great selfie photo or vlogs.
Overall, the cameras is nothing much to shout out. It’s still usable despite the lack of new updates like 108MP main camera or a 5x zoom telephoto camera. Then again, new parts mean driving higher cost for the device. Hopefully the next Fold model can improved greatly on the camera department with new camera technology implement onto it.
Overall, the Fold3 has brought some important updates for the users. The Armor Aluminum, IPX8 rating, better hinge and amazing internal specs just provides a confidence the device is capable to last longer. The foldable display also allows the device to be the mobile workstation dream for those who really needs one. But some niggling problems like the battery, under screen camera, lack of upgrade for rear camera and app support for the foldable large display, still requires Samsung to refined their foldable phone. End day, if you really need to get a mobile workstation to cover your productivity, entertainment and content creation, I would recommend you to get the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G today.
In Malaysia, the Galaxy Z Fold3 price starts from RM6,699 for the 256GB variant and RM7,099 for the 512GB variant. If you really want to get one, I would highly recommend to go for the 512GB variant as there is no expandable storage option for the Galaxy Z Fold3.
*The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G is a review loan unit provided by Samsung Malaysia for a week and half usage. However, this is not a paid content. Therefore, the review contents doesn’t require any creative input or final approval from Samsung. Any comments on the device in the review (article or video) is based on a week and half usage hence it may differ when new software updates are provided by Samsung.