Speaker 1: This is the galaxy Z fold three 5g. You can fold it from a tablet into a phone. It doesn't have the same love at first sight appeal. As the Z flip three, the Z fold three is more of an acquired taste. And after 10 days I find myself craving it.
Speaker 1: Samsung announced the Z fold three and Z flip three. At the same time, [00:00:30] the Z flip three follows a familiar form factor that of a clamshell flip phone, which has been around for decades. The Z flip three cost, a thousand dollars. The Z fold three cost 1800, which is $1,800. The Z fold three has a form factor that until a couple of years ago was something you only saw in a movie or TV show like the Westworld, the Z fold three is by far the best implementation of a tablet that folds down to fit in your pocket. That there [00:01:00] is right now, but because it lacks years of people using it in years of refinements by different companies like the flip phone, there are things about the Z fold, three that are weird. It's a wonderful tablet that folds into this kind of weird kind of awkward kind of heavy phone.
Speaker 1: When it's closed. It's about the size of a remote control for an air conditioner unit. It takes on the same form as the Z fold two, albeit [00:01:30] with a bunch of small improvements that just add up to something more refined. The Z fold three is lighter, which I feel as soon as I pick it up, but it is still one of the heaviest phones I have reviewed this year. It's thin and more felt than the Z fold two, but one of the bulkiest phones I have ever tested. It's more durable. The metal is reinforced and you can feel that extra Tenile strength when you hold it and interact with it. The folding screen hinge and body feel more like a single uniform [00:02:00] hole versus separate features. We is a huge deal. The screen has better durability and yes, there is still a crease, but it doesn't bother me in the least.
Speaker 1: In fact, let's cut to me for my galaxy Z flip three review. Let me put it this way. The iPhone has a large black knot that eats into the display. I'm bother it by it. More than the crease on the Z flip three, the Z fold three packs nearly all of the Android flagship [00:02:30] specs. You could want. The cover screen now has 120 Hertz refresh rate and looks lovely. Heck this phone even has water resistance and can be submerged up to 1.5 meters, about five feet remarkable. Samsung did all of this and managed to drop the price $200. Now, one indication that Samsung is sure of the Z full threes durability is it sells a sharp pointy stylist thing for you to use on the screen. If you have [00:03:00] an old Spen, you can't use it with the Z fold three, there is a special Spen for the Z fold three, which costs $50 though. There's also one that comes with a phone case to hold it for $80. What makes this Spen special is its retractable tip in use. It rarely retract all the way instead. It feels like it's relieving some of the pressure as I write or draw. There is a small arsenal of Spen tricks like hover to magnify or note taking in flex mode. [00:03:30] So after a week with the Spen full edition, how's the screen? Well, let's take a look.
Speaker 1: Yeah. There's no signs of where a tear. I mean, it looks just like it did whatever 10 days, two weeks ago, when I got the phone, now the cover screen, it does not support the new S pin. And that's kind of a bummer cuz there are times I want to jot down a note or, or, or, or, or, or draw a doodle and this combo in no way replaces the inherent convenience that a galaxy note and being [00:04:00] able to store an Spen in its body provides there are two selfie cameras or, well three, let me explain. So there's the one on the front cover so I can use it to take a selfie, but then I can also use the main camera, flip it down like this, uh, turn on the preview and I can take it picture there, but then I can also take a selfie using this camera here.
Speaker 1: [00:04:30] Yes, it's under the display. So let's talk about Samsung's first under display camera. The part of the display where the camera is behind has fewer screen elements over it, which you can kind of see when you hold the fold at certain angles. Think of it like looking through a window that has blinds on it. The under display camera is only four megapixels, which isn't a lot, but that lower resolution helps it see through and around those screen elements and Samsung [00:05:00] applies some AI processing improve the overall image quality. Now here are a few selfie photos. I took one with the cover selfie camera, another with the under display camera and the last with the main camera indoors, you can really see how processed photos from the under display camera look, outdoor shots look a little better, but not much so, but this camera is intended for video calls and I found it works fine for them.
Speaker 1: The other benefit the under display camera [00:05:30] provides is to reduce visual distractions on the display. There isn't a notch there isn't a whole punch. Instead you either see nothing which yay, or if there is a bright color on the screen, you see this glitery stop sign shape that catches your eye and is actually more distracting. What's happening here is Maura also known as screen door effect and it's because there are less screen elements over the camera, but when you put it all together, the benefit of having a screen that's clear of [00:06:00] visual interruptions, is it worth the trade offs from this under display camera? Well, at least at this point, the Z fold three runs Android 11 and Samsung's one UI three blitz screen apps are more customizable. You can do them side by side or even in threes. You can move them around resize windows, save split screen app groupings and setups, and like the Z flip three, if you dive into settings, there's a section called labs, which can make nearly any app optimized [00:06:30] for the screen.
Speaker 1: Now here's Instagram natively and here it is after I go into labs and force it into full screen, which looks pretty good. Flex mode gets more support in one UI three, there are more apps that can take advantage of the Z fold three S half open position. Now some apps just move to the top. Half the screen with general navigation controls on the bottom. Other apps like for videos or music place, the playback control on the bottom of the screen. Not [00:07:00] every app is optimized for flex mode, but it is a big step up from the fold too. And I think apps still can go further. Also continuity from the cover screen to the main screen works better. I rarely see the restart this app window pop up. So let's talk about a few regular phone drawbacks and probably the biggest one for me is battery life.
Speaker 1: The batteries on the Z fold three are actually a tad smaller than those on the Z fold two. And I barely make it through a day screen [00:07:30] on time averages, about three and a half hours, which isn't great. And yes, I could drop the Z fold three S refresh rate to 60 Hertz and reduce rightness even more, but still there isn't any dust resistance. And in my use, this hasn't been an issue, but I suppose if you were taking this to the beep or on a hike or well anywhere there's potential for small particles to interact with this phone, I'd just say, be careful like this would not be a good phone for salt bay, the screens and finish [00:08:00] on the body look great, but pick up fingerprint SMUGs so easily. I am always wiping it. Clean. The Z fold three has B plus cameras instead of a plus ones. But remember you're paying the price for this phone to fold in half, not to have the best cameras. And for most people, these cameras are fine. The Z oh three is essentially its own tripod. And like the Z flip three, I wanted to take more photos and videos just because of that flexibility and bright lighting photos. Look good. Take [00:08:30] a look at some of my favorites.
Speaker 1: The telephoto camera now has optical inmate stabilization and I love having the option to go from ultra wide to Y to telephoto digital zoom is pretty good. And up to four times, magnification, there is very little image deterioration, [00:09:00] but when you get past six times, magnification things look well, less stellar night mode on the Z fold three is solid, but when you compare it to something like the S 21 or S 21 ultra images look a bit soft. Videos are decent, but suffer from image noise in all, but the most ideal of situations, take a look at some videos. I shot with the Z fold three.
Speaker 1: At the end of the day, the [00:09:30] Z fold three is Samsung's best foldable tablet to date it's far from perfect, but it's a remarkable showcase of technology and innovation. There are times where I wondered, why does this tablet need to fold in half? Or is this the best way to do this? And I think for now, if you want a tablet that folds in half into a phone that the Z fold three deserves your consideration. So for more on the galaxy Z fold three, check out my in depth written review on CNET. [00:10:00] And if you're interested in getting one, click the link in the description, but now I wanna hear from you. What do you think about the Z fold three? Are you planning on getting one? If so, are you planning to get an Spen with it? Throw your thoughts in the comments.