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Fold 3 vs. Fold 2 vs. Fold 1: Samsung's luxe foldables compared spec-by-spec

Samsung's Z Fold 3 gets S Pen support, water resistance and a welcome $200 price cut. Here's how it stacks up against its predecessors.

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Samsung

We asked and Samsung answered. The South Korean company unveiled its third generation of foldable phones this month at Samsung Unpacked. The new models are more durable and affordable than its foldables of years past. At its third event of the year, Samsung showed off the Z Fold 3 and the Z Flip 3, which are available for preorder but will launch on Aug. 27.

The Fold 3 is the most expensive phone Samsung has released this year, but it still got a welcome price drop compared to last year's Fold 2 and the original 2019 Fold. The Fold 3 comes in at a starting price of $1,800 in the US, which is a welcome $200 price cut from the Fold 2's launch price. In the UK the Z Fold 3 will start at £1,599 for the 256GB variant, while in Australia it'll start at AU$2,499. The Z Flip 3 meanwhile, saw its launch price slashed by nearly $400.

Read more: Galaxy Z Fold 3 ongoing review: Big update with lots of small improvements

Samsung says it also brought a more durable design to the Fold 3, building it with tougher materials and ensuring it has some degree of water resistance -- a first for a foldable phone. According to the company, the Fold 3's frame and hinge are crafted with the strongest aluminum ever used on a Galaxy phone as well as Gorilla Glass Victus, the toughest glass from Corning, to protect the fancy phone from scratches and drops. The Fold 3 also gets an IPX8 rating for water resistance. That rating is based on test conditions for submersion of up to 1.5 meters of freshwater for 30 minutes. Keep in mind, the device is not dust-resistant.

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Samsung

Perhaps the most salient change to the Fold 3 is the addition of S Pen support, which brings a signature feature from Samsung's Note line for the first time to a foldable phone. According to Samsung, you can watch media content on the top of the screen when unfurled and take notes with the S pen on the bottom half of the screen. 

The S Pen for Z Fold 3 comes in two options: S Pen Fold Edition and S Pen Pro 12. Samsung says each stylus has a specially engineered retractable tip with "force limit technology" to protect the Z Fold 3's main interior screen. Samsung also added an under-display camera beneath that main screen for the purposes of unencumbered viewing. 

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For more details on how the Z Fold 3 stacks up against its predecessors, take a look at our specs chart below.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs. Z Fold 2 vs. Z Fold 1


Galaxy Fold 3 Galaxy Z Fold 2 Galaxy Fold
Display size, resolution, refresh rate External: 6.2-inch AMOLED (2,268x832 pixels); Internal: 7.6-inch AMOLED (2,208x1,768 pixels) External 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED; Internal: 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2,208x1,768; External: 2,260x816 pixels Internal: 7.3-inch Dynamic AMOLED; 2,152x1,536-pixels (plastic); External: 4.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED; 1,680x720-pixels 
Pixel density 387 ppi (external) + 374 ppi (internal) 386ppi (external) + 373ppi (internal) 362ppi (internal screen)
Dimensions Folded: 67x158x16mm (hinge) ~14.4mm (sagging); unfolded: 128x158x6.4mm Folded: 68x159x16.8mm (hinge) ~13.8mm (sagging); unfolded: 128x159x6.9mm (frame) ~6mm (screen) Folded: 63x161x15.7mm ~17.1mm; unfolded: 118x161x6.9mm ~7.6mm
Weight 271 grams 9.95 oz; 282 grams 9.7 oz; 276grams
Software Android 11 Android 10 Android 9.0 with Samsung One UI
Camera 12-megapixel (main ultra-wide), 12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (telephoto) 12-megapixel (main),12-megapixel (wide angle), 12 megapixel (telephoto) 12-megapixel (wide-angle), 16-megapixel (ultra wide-angle), 12-megapixel (telephoto)
Front camera 4-megapixel (under display), 10-megapixel (front cover) 10-megapixel, 10-megapixel 10-megapixel (main), 10-megapixel, 8-megapixel (3D depth)
Video 8K 4K 4K
Processor 5nm 64-bit Octa-Core processor Snapdragon 865 Plus Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
Storage 256GB, 512GB 256GB 512GB
RAM 12GB 12GB 12GB
Fingerprint reader Side Side No
Battery 4,400 mAh 4,500 mAh 4,380 mAh
Special features Foldable display, 120Hz, water-resistance, S Pen support, 5G Foldable display, 120Hz refresh rate, wireless charging support, 5G Foldable display, Power button, wireless charging, fast charging
Price (USD) $1,800 (256GB) $2,000 $1,980