12th August 2021 - 4 min read
Samsung has announced new iterations of its futuristic foldable Z series of smartphones with the launch of the new Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3. Featuring new technologies such as water resistance and an Under Display Camera, the new Z series devices are designed to bring foldables into the mainstream.
On paper, it does look like the new Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 are iterative updates without bringing anything new to the table. But what Samsung has done is to apply meaningful technologies to drive home its goal of making foldables a viable alternative for smartphone users today.
Here’s a quick rundown of what’s new on the two devices announced late last night.
There’s no new Galaxy Note this year, and if the whispers are to be believed, the Z Fold range is the spiritual successor as the power-user device of choice. The fact that this year’s Z Fold 3 supports the S Pen seems to validate that point. Samsung even created two new S Pens, a regular S Pen for the Z Fold 3 and an S Pen Pro with increased features and the ability to connect to two Samsung devices simultaneously.
The Z Fold 3 builds on the learnings from previous iterations, resulting in an iterative update that focuses on better use of the Main Screen and, more importantly, durability. For instance, the Z Fold 3 (and the Z Flip 3) both feature IPX8 rating for water resistance, making them the first water-resistant foldable smartphones in the world. It might not sound impressive, but it is quite an engineering feat considering the exposed moving parts of a foldable.
As for the phone itself, there are various upgrades as well. The device is made from a proprietary material made by Samsung, called Armor Aluminum – Samsung claims it is the most durable material used on smartphones today. Meanwhile, the 6.2-inch Cover Screen has been upgraded to a 120Hz Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel – the same as the Main Screen for a more fluid experience. Inside, the 7.6-inch Main Screen sports an updated Infinity Flex display that is 29% brighter, and sports Samsung’s first Under Display Camera which allows for a more immersive experience when using the Main Screen.
Inside, there’s a top-of-the-line Snapdragon 888 processor paired with 12GB of RAM and 256/512GB of internal storage. There’s a total of five cameras around the device: a 10MP Cover Camera on the Cover Screen, a 10MP Under Display Camera beneath the Main Screen, and a triple-camera array at the back, consisting of a main 12MP, a 12MP ultra-wide, and a 12MP sensor with 2x optical zoom.
Where the Z Fold 3 is designed for the uncompromising power user, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is catered to the young and trendy crowd. This lifestyle piece is as compact as before, focusing on aesthetics while still featuring various improvements over its predecessor.
On the outside, the colour-contrast design pairs the black camera and Cover Screen portion with eye-catching matte colours to give a striking look. The 1.9-inch Cover Screen is now 4 times larger than the one on the Z Flip and Z Flip 5G, which offers enhanced usability and customisation options.
Like the Z Fold 3, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is also IPX8 rated for water resistance, providing much-needed peace of mind that candy-bar smartphones have now taken for granted. Unfolded, the 6.7-inch Main Screen has been upgraded to a 120Hz Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity Flex panel, the same technology as Samsung’s flagship displays (though at a lower 2640 x 1080 resolution due to the phone’s size).
Inside, the Z Flip 3 is also powered by the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset, but with 8GB of RAM and 128/256GB of internal storage. As for the phone’s imaging capabilities, there’s a 10MP selfie camera located on the Main Screen, while the main dual-camera setup at the phone’s rear consists of two 12MP sensors – a main wide angle one and a secondary ultrawide camera.
Samsung has announced that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 will be priced at US$1,799 and $999 respectively, and will go on sale later this month. However, while Samsung Malaysia has confirmed that both devices will be coming to Malaysia, it has not yet announced local pricing and availability.
But considering that we are usually in the first wave of countries that get the latest Samsung flagships, expect more details to come soon – including pre-order info and freebies, as is usually the case. Samsung Malaysia also confirmed that the Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic smartwatches as well as the Galaxy Buds2 that were also announced at the Samsung Unpacked event will be coming to Malaysia.
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