The Galaxy Z Fold3 is Samsung’s crown jewel, but it’s a safe bet you’ll be buying a Z Flip3 instead.

Samsung dubbed its third generation of cell phones with foldable screens. The Galaxy Z Fold3 phablet debut also supports an S stylus for the first time in the series, while the clamshell Flip3 offers a large, flexible display area for the lowest price offered, at least from this company. . This update also introduces an even clearer division in determining what type of consumer is supposed to buy which device.

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These phones were the subject of a lot of gnawing as fanatics began preparing their wallets, lines of credit, and trades to buy themselves a coin of the future, but what exactly does that coin look like? Well, if you read us often and are generally well versed in mobile technology, we’ll try to dig past the most obvious and mandatory silliness.

Where a Galaxy Note could have been released around this time another year, the Galaxy Z Fold3 seems to replace it. The cover screen is bigger and cooler than ever with its new 120Hz refresh rate, but the battery is shrinking a bit compared to last year. Swings and roundabouts, we suppose.

There are two new models of S Pen and neither of them fits into the Fold3 silo because it doesn’t exist. As such, these are separate purchases. The so-called “Fold Edition” S Pen costs $ 50 and is the thinner and more basic of the two, making way for the $ 100 S Pen Pro. The Pro, which must be charged via USB-C, benefits from all the features ™ – things like gesture controls and the ability to pair with multiple devices simultaneously (older flagship Galaxy phone and tablet models, mainly) for features such as device cross-copy-paste. The Fold Edition pen, without the need to power a Bluetooth connection, will fit perfectly in a folio case for the phone. To meet the relatively delicate display, the tips of each stylus are more rounded than previous S Pens and can respond to pressure by retracting slightly.

No, they will not work with the Z Flip3.

The Fold3 has as many cameras as its predecessor. The four outdoor units are more or less the same. You’ll find the difference with the new 4MP camera that sits under the foldable display – unlike the old 10MP “punch-out” camera, this sensor needs bigger pixels to compensate for panel obstruction.

For data grabbers, good news: in addition to the 256 GB level, Samsung is bringing back the 512 GB option from the original Fold. The price starts from $ 1,799 in the US and is marked 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 small sidecar.

Before continuing, note that both devices benefit from crucial shoring against wear. The new IPX8 rating – which means your device will still run after half an hour in up to 1.5m of fresh water – is a big change and a big plus. Even more important is the change of the top substrate on the folding glass from thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) to polyethylene terephthalate (PET). It’s a stiffer plastic and should withstand the easy bumps of the Fold2 and Flip 5G better, but we’ll have to see how that translates into its main job: folding. The Fold3 is also coated with Armor Aluminum, which boasts of 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 gotten a pretty milquetoast upgrade. Yes the foldy bit is 120Hz now, the cover screen is much bigger and the speaker situation has been improved, but as substantial as they are, it’s the weird corners that the phone maker cut that attract attention.

Even when the components are the same, the sizeable complications, including thermal envelopes and power consumption, don’t fully explain why the Fold has certain 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 side with Bluetooth 5.1 and Wi-Fi 6. The Fold can charge up to 25W, so the 15W du Flip sounds like a joke. – oddly enough, both devices can comply with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2 standard and this is said to exceed 18W. In addition, a unique advantage to the Fold is support for wired video output through the DisplayPort adapter up to ‘at 4K and 60 fps. Both are losers on MST (at least in the US), which has allowed Samsung Pay to pass credit card information to scan readers. You could almost be forgiven for believing that Samsung stacked its deck badly.

And yet – and yet – the company’s fundamental ambition is to make people pay for a foldable phone. This means that customers must be able to afford it. 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. The Samsung exclusive “panda” color combinations and all those hedge clippings in the spec column are meant to keep costs down and increase volume. Keep in mind that years of R&D and billions of dollars have been invested in iterating expensive foundries to make foldable display technology commercially viable and the thing that needs to happen to keep this dream alive is growing consumer interest.

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

Hey, at least the rings and strap cases you can buy look mighty.

Samsung essentially canceled the Z Premiere warranty and service pack it introduced last year – to unimpressed reviewers, we might add – and will instead offer an additional year of support with an extended Samsung Plus warranty. . Certain individual benefits of Z Premiere will always be retained.

You can learn more about where to pre-order a Galaxy Z Fold3 or Flip3 as well as where your best deal could come from from our upcoming companion stories.

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