Samsung officially launched the Galaxy Z Fold 3, but how does it compare to its predecessor, the Z Fold 2?
The Z Fold 3 is the successor to the original Galaxy Fold which launched in 2019 and the Z Fold 2 which came out in 2020, adopting the Z moniker from Samsung’s Z Flip line as a way to group all of the company’s foldables together.
The original Fold offered an innovative design, great battery life and plenty of cameras, but the £1899 price tag and delicate build made it difficult to recommend to most people. The Fold 2 saw its price drop slightly and a larger display and a bigger battery, but it wasn’t a huge jump from the original.
Read on to learn how the Z Fold 3 compares to the Z Fold 2.
Pricing and availability
While the Fold 2 originally launched at a higher price, the Fold 2 and the Fold 3 are both currently priced at £1599.
This is because the Fold 3 has seen its £1799 RRP reduced to just £1599 (256GB) in the Samsung store. Meanwhile, the Fold 3 will launch at £1599/€1799, making it the most affordable Fold iteration yet.
This means you won’t have to worry about paying any extra for the newer model – not that the Fold 2 is particularly old. The Fold 2 launched in September 2020, making it less than a year old at the time of the Fold 3’s launch. Meanwhile, the Fold 3 will be available to buy from August 27.
Screen and design
- The cover screen on the Fold 3 has a faster refresh rate
- The Fold 3 is more durable than the Fold 2
- The Fold 3 features S Pen support
Both the Fold 2 and the Fold 3 feature 7.6-inch dynamic AMOLED Infinity Flex main displays with resolutions of 2208 x 1768 and 120Hz adaptive refresh rate.
The biggest upgrade with the screens comes in the form of the Fold 3 cover display’s faster refresh rate. The Fold 3 has a 6.2-inch HD+ dynamic AMOLED cover display with a resolution of 2268 x 832 and a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate, while the Fold 2 has a 6.2-inch super AMOLED cover screen with a resolution of 2260 x 816 and a lower 60Hz refresh rate. This means the Fold 3 is likely to feel smoother when scrolling.
The Fold 3 is lighter and ever-so-slightly smaller than the Fold 2, as well. There’s only been about 10g shaved off, but we immediately noticed the lighter body and it makes it much nicer to use.
The Fold 3 also addresses some of the durability problems that were lacking in previous models. The Z Fold 3 and the Z Flip 3 are the first foldables with a water resistance rating of IPX8 and are built from Armor Aluminium – Samsung’s strongest aluminium frame yet. They also feature Corning Gorilla Glass Victus. If you’ve been worried about investing so much in a foldable phone due to issues with durability then these changes should help ease your mind.
The Fold 3 also comes in three colours – one more colour than the Fold 2. The Fold 3 is available in Phantom Black, Phantom Green and Phantom Silver, while the Fold 2 was limited to Mystic Bronze and Mystic Black (limited edition designs aside).
Another upgrade arriving with the Fold 3 is S Pen support. While you couldn’t use the Samsung stylus with the Fold 2, the Fold 3 features support for the S Pen Fold Edition and the S Pen Pro.
Specs and camera
- The RAM, storage and OS are the same
- The Fold 3 features a more up to date chipset
- The Fold 3 has an under display camera
Both the Fold 2 and the Fold 3 launched with 12GB of RAM, 256/512GB of storage and can run Android 11. However, the Fold 2 is powered by 2020’s Snapdragon 865 Plus, while the Fold 3 runs on Qualcomm’s latest flagship Snapdragon 888 processor. Whether you’ll notice that oomph remains to be seen, but both should be very quick phones.
Both the Fold 2 and the Fold 3 feature triple rear cameras and two front cameras.
Both the Fold 2 and the Fold 3 consists of a 12-megapixel ultra-wide angle (f/2.2) sensor, a 12-megapixel wide angle (f/1.8) sensor with Dual Pixel AF and OIS and a 12-megapixel telephoto (f/2.4) sensor on the rear.
The front is where the cameras differ, with the Fold 2 including two 10-megapixel (f/2.2) sensors – one on the cover and one punch-hole camera on the larger display. Meanwhile, the Fold 3 features a 10-megapixel (f/2.2) cover camera on the cover screen and a 4-megapixel (f/1.8) under display camera on the fold-out screen.
- The Fold 3 has a smaller battery than the Fold 2
The Fold 3 actually has a slightly smaller battery than its predecessor however the more efficient chipset could offset this different. We’ll have to compare the two to see if there is a real difference.
The Fold 3 features a 4400mAh dual battery, whereas the Fold 2 packed a 4500mAh battery. This puts the Fold 3 closer to the original Fold, which had a 4380mAh battery.
The Fold 3 packs a faster refresh rate, improved durability, a more up-to-date chipset and S Pen support, to name a few things. The only downside seems to be the smaller battery, but we’ll have to see how the two foldables perform to determine if that’s an issue.