The Galaxy Z Fold3 is Samsung’s crown jewel, but I bet you’ll buy a Galaxy Z Flip3 instead

Samsung has christened its third generation of foldable display mobile phones. The debut of the Galaxy Z Fold3 phablet also includes support for an S Pen for the first time in the series, while the flip3 clamshell offers plenty of flexible display surface at the lowest price offered so far, at least by this company. This update also introduces an even clearer gap in identifying which type of consumer is going to buy which device.

These phones got a lot of chewing as fanatics started packing their wallets, lines of credit and trade-ins to buy themselves a piece of the future – it’s worth noting that Android Police partnered with Decluttr to boost your rating of trade-in 10%, but what exactly does that piece look like? Well, if you read us often and are generally knowledgeable about mobile technology, we’ll try to dig beyond the more obvious and mandatory cruft.

Where a Galaxy Note may have come out around this time another year, the Galaxy Z Fold3 appears to be the replacement. The lid’s display is bigger and cooler than ever with its new 120Hz refresh rate, but the battery drops a bit from last year. Swings and roundabouts, we suppose.

There are two new S Pen designs and none of them fit into the Fold3 silo because it doesn’t exist. As such, they are separate purchases. The so-called “Fold Edition” S Pen costs $ 50 and is the thinner and more basic of the two, giving way to the $ 100 S Pen Pro. The Pro, which must be charged via USB-C, gets All of The Features ™ : things like gesture commands and the ability to pair with multiple devices at the same time (mostly previous flagship Galaxy phones and tablets) for features like cross-copy-paste device. The Fold Edition pen, without the need to power a Bluetooth connection, fits perfectly in a folio case for your phone. To satisfy the relatively delicate display, the tips of each stylus are more rounded than previous S Pen and can react to pressure by retracting slightly.

No, they will not work with the Z Flip3.

The Fold3 has the same number of cameras as its predecessor. The four outdoor units are more or less the same. You’ll find the difference with the new 4MP camera found under the foldable screen: unlike the previous 10MP “punch-out” camera, this sensor needs larger pixels to compensate for panel obstruction.

For data accumulators, good news: in addition to the 256GB level, Samsung is bringing back the 512GB option from the original Fold. Pricing starts at $ 1,799 in the US and is flagged at £ 1,599 and £ 1,699 in the UK The phone comes with a cable in the box, but there is no adapter. We saved our comment on this for a short sidecar.

Before moving on, we should note that both devices gain crucial support against wear. The new IPX8 rating, which means your device will continue to work after half an hour in up to 1.5m of fresh water, is a big change and a big plus. Even greater is the change of the upper substrate on the folding glass from thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) to polyethylene terephthalate (PET). It’s a stiffer plastic and should better resist the easy dings that the Fold2 and Flip 5G have done, but we’ll have to see how it translates into doing its main job: folding. The Fold3 is also coated with Armor Aluminum, which prides itself on being the strongest Samsung has used on a smartphone by 10%, and Gorilla Glass Victus on its front and back covers.

After the Z Flip 5G, the Z Flip3 seems to have received a fairly milquetoast update. Yes, the foldy bit is now 120Hz, the lid display is much larger and the speaker situation has received an update, but as substantial as they may be, it’s the weird angles the phone manufacturer has cut to steal a bit. of attention.

Even where the components are identical, the size-related complications, including talk of thermal casings and power consumption, don’t fully explain why the Fold has some advantages over the Flip. The former, for example, has Bluetooth 5.2 and Wi-Fi 6E, while the latter is a step back on each front with Bluetooth 5.1 and Wi-Fi 6. The Fold can charge up to 25W, which makes the 15 seem like it. W of the Flip a joke – oddly enough, both devices can comply with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2 standard and should max out at 18 W. Also, a unique advantage of the Fold is that it supports wired video output via DisplayPort adapter up to 4K and 60 fps. The two lose on MST (at least in the US), which allowed Samsung Pay to transmit credit card information to magnetic readers. One could almost be forgiven for believing that Samsung has its deck stacked badly.

It’s still – it’s still – the company was determined to realize the fundamental ambition of making people pay for a foldable phone. This means that customers must be able to afford one. The Flip3 attempts to fulfill this mission by starting at $ 999 (in the UK, £ 949 for 128GB and £ 999 for 256GB) instead of the Flip 5G’s $ 1,400. Samsung’s unique ‘panda’ cute color schemes and all those hedge cutouts in the spec column are meant to cut costs and increase volume. Keep in mind that years of research and development and billions of dollars have been invested in expensive iterative foundries to make foldable display technology commercially viable, and the thing that has to happen to keep that dream alive is growing consumer interest.

This has to be the next piece of the future for your average Joe or Jo. Samsung has already paid for it.

Hey, at least the loop grips and strap cases you can buy look powerful.

Samsung has essentially voided the Premiere Z warranty and service package it introduced last year – for unimpressed critics, we might add – and will instead offer an extra year of support with a Samsung Plus extended warranty. Z Premiere will remain however.

You can learn more about where to pre-order a Galaxy Z Fold3 or Flip3 and where your best deal could come from from our accompanying stories here and here.

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