48 hours with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 – .

48 hours with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 – .

I’ve always thought the bigger the better, from the days when “phablets” were an entire category of phones to the Pro and Plus size models of the various iPhones, from the Samsung Galaxy series. Note and large LG panels. After all, the screen is your primary point of interaction on a phone, where you consume videos, play games, browse sites, and more.

After 48 hours with the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Z Flip 3, I thought I had a clear preference for the first. What I found instead was an attachment to the smaller Flip with two other key takeaways.

I liked the Galaxy Z Flip 3 a lot more than I thought

In many ways, Samsung’s latest and greatest foldable Z Fold 3 seems designed to appeal to me in particular. The Fold 3 benefits from some key screen-related improvements. The narrow 6.2-inch cover screen is upgraded to 120Hz instead of 60Hz, features Gorilla Glass Victus protection, and the 7.6-inch main screen is now fully S Pen compatible Fold and the S Pen Pro so you can take notes and draw.

This gives you a large, bright 7.6-inch AMOLED display with an absolutely stunning 120Hz display. There is plenty of space to open multiple apps, read e-books, play games like Valley of stars and Genshin Impact on both screens and be able to access full size menus when scanning a QR code menu in a restaurant. There’s a lot to like here, and there’s no denying that Samsung has improved the Fold 3’s look, feel, and overall experience across the board.

Ajay Kumar / Digital trends

But despite all of that, I found myself gravitating more and more to the Flip 3. With its cute, pocket-sized design, this isn’t a phone that would typically spark my interest. But after years of platters of treats in hand, there’s something undeniably refreshing about being able to shut down a phone that’s no bigger than my wallet. It doesn’t weigh down my pocket, doesn’t leave an unsightly bulge in my jeans, and my girlfriend found it easier to fit into her smaller handbags.

The Flip 3 also features similar upgrades to the Fold 3. It has a bigger and better 1.9 inch cover screen with the more durable Victus Gorilla Glass, a 120Hz high refresh panel inside. and a less obvious hinge and fold. But the selling point for me so far comes down to form factor and price – for $ 1,000, the Flip 3 isn’t more expensive than most other flagship phones on the market. I think this is the first foldable that most consumers will want to buy.

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 did not need an under screen camera (UDC)

The UDC is completely redundant. Samsung could have omitted it altogether and I wouldn’t have missed it. In fact, I would even have preferred that they got rid of it. For starters, at just 4 megapixels (4MP), that’s a regression in both resolution and quality. When you take selfies on it, there’s a significant level of grain sprinkled over almost every shot, and you can actually see the post-processing start a few seconds later to help clean up the image.

My opinion is that if the quality of the sensor is just not up to par, then no post-processing can really fix it. But more than that, the SVP is simply redundant, as you don’t have one, but two superior camera options if you want to take selfies or front-view videos. The cover screen has a 10MP sensor which is sharper and better in low light than the 4MP main screen sensor.

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

If you want an even sharper shot, you can turn the Fold 3 over and take a selfie with the 12MP rear sensors, using the cover screen as a viewfinder. The shots are superb, with great detail and clarity, even in difficult lighting conditions.

It all comes down to a somewhat useless UDC that doesn’t even hide very well. On white backgrounds there is a noticeable level of pixelation, so you’ll definitely notice this when scrolling through a web page or viewing certain types of content. This begs the question of why Samsung even bothered to include one when Huawei omitted one for the Mate X2 and was no worse for it.

I’m not convinced the Fold 3 is a true Note replacement

If there’s one thing Samsung is really trying to sell people on, it’s the idea of ​​using the Fold 3 as a replacement for the Galaxy Note series. At first glance, this makes sense. You get a bit more screen space than the Note 20 Ultra or S21 Ultra, which gives you more room to write and draw.

At this point, it’s far too early for me to judge as I only had an hour to use an S Pen Fold and didn’t pack one with my review model. But I will say that not having a convenient place to store an S Pen is a huge downside. Samsung says there will be cases that support an S Pen slot available for sale, but none were available during my practice, and a compatible case directly from Samsung costs $ 80.

Ajay Kumar / Digital trends

Also, according to PCMag, there is not one, not two, but five S Pen models currently available. If Samsung was serious about selling the Fold 3 for productivity, the S Pen Fold should come by default, just like the Note, so you know you’re getting the right one. If you’re paying $ 1,800 for a phone, it doesn’t seem like too much to ask to include a $ 99 accessory, let alone having to fork out for an $ 80 case to hold.

More than that, only the S Pen Fold or the S Pen Pro is compatible with the Fold 3 main screen. Using any other S Pen, including those from previous generations, will damage the screen as they have no not the retractable tip. You also can’t apply that much pressure, because despite the durability improvements Samsung has made, the Fold’s main screen isn’t Gorilla Glass, and you can damage it if you press too hard. You are actually warned about this when setting up the device.

I still have a lot of testing to do on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3, but my first 48 hours definitely reversed some of the initial expectations I had about which phone I would love and why.

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