– I remember seeing the Fold for the first time and thinking that’s cool, but why? It’s not gonna be as good as any of the phones that I have and it’s not gonna be as good as any of the tablets that I have. The only way it made sense to me was if it was gonna be a good enough phone and a good enough tablet to not need both. But something unexpected happened when I started using it. So, let’s talk about what I liked, what I didn’t like and whether this is a phone that I would recommend.
Before I even get to the design I wanna mention that in the US this phone is 1800 bucks, and that’s the most expensive phone that I’ve ever bought. And I’m also curious about prices everywhere else, so, if you’re watching from outside of the US drop a comment with where you live and how much the phone costs.
Now, to the design. So we’re essentially getting a narrow and tall phone with a 6.2 inch screen that opens up into a massive 7.
6 inch, almost squarish display. Before handling this phone for the first time, I thought that I wouldn’t like the narrow design because I thought it would be limiting. But in actual use I like it specifically, because it’s narrow and that makes it really easy for me to use with one hand. I can reach the other side of the keyboard with my thumb, if I need to, and I can still type with two hands if I need to, which I rarely do but more on this later. And while this aspect of the ergonomics was better than I expected, I do have to mention the weight because it is noticeable.
We’re looking at 271 grams which is substantial. Not quite like carrying two phones but maybe one and a half. So, the Z Flip weighs 183 grams, the S21 plus weighs 200 grams and my iPhone 12 Pro weighs 189 grams.
So, you’ll definitely feel this added weight when you’re using the Fold with one hand. What I notice is that for the majority of the time, I actually use it open, at which point I’m using two hands and the weight is less of a concern, it becomes more of a light tablet than a heavy phone.
Now, another thing that you notice right away when you’re using it with one hand is that it’s thick and there’s really no way of getting around it. It’s gonna feel like you’re holding two phones. And I also found that the edge of the screen protector is a little sharp and my finger would sometimes catch on it when I try to use the edge panel.
You know technically they should have called it the unfold because the Flip flips open and the Fold unfolds open but enough with semantics. I have to tell you that the first time I opened the phone, I involuntarily smiled.
I just couldn’t help myself when I saw how big and bright the display was. I’ll get to the quality of the display in the next session, and there are some great features that you need to activate to get the best user experience. So, as far as handling the Fold when it’s open, it’s been really great. The phone is actually slightly thinner than the S21 plus, and the ergonomics are excellent. I feel like I’m getting a really large display when compared to a phone, but without feeling like I’m using a Galaxy Tab or an iPad.
And gaming on this phone, which I’ll talk about later on is absolutely amazing. Now, the one concern that I have has to do with protecting the phone.
If you’re not new to this channel then you know, that I always use a case with my mobile devices and I also use screen protectors because I got tired of paying so much money for screen replacements. And those of you who don’t drop your phones or crack your screens, your wizards and I don’t know how you do it. Now, here’s the problem.
There is zero chance that I’m putting a leather flip cover on this phone. It’s already bulky enough when it’s closed and I would never use the cover screen if I had to flip open the case every time and not to mention the clunky ergonomics. At least there are screen protectors on it so, I don’t have to worry about the displays but I am worried about it falling out of my pocket or me dropping it so, that’s something that I’m gonna need to figure out.
And since I’m not getting a case, I also didn’t get the dedicated S Pen because there’d be nowhere to put it and I would for sure lose it. Now, let’s get to the display.
And I can’t even talk about it without smiling. I’ll get to the cover screen in a minute because I still think it’s underrated, but I know most of you are more interested in the bigger one. I didn’t know what to expect out of a folding display. And even though I have some amazing displays with the Tab S7 plus and the S21 plus, I was preparing myself to be underwhelmed. Well, in one word, wrong.
The 120 hertz Dynamic AMOLED display is absolutely beautiful. It’s a 7.6 inch display which doesn’t sound a lot bigger than the 6.7 Flip3 but of course it’s measured diagonally, and we’re getting a resolution of 2208 by 1768 374 pixels per inch and a 22.5 by 18 aspect ratio.
First let’s address the elephant in the room.
Yes, there is a crease yes, you can see it if you’re not looking straight on and yes, you can feel it. The nice thing is that unlike the Z Flip, it’s a vertical seam in the center so my thumbs very rarely hit it. I remember thinking why would I want such a large display on a phone? And that had got it and I like it so much better than I thought I would.
For watching videos on YouTube, I’m getting a significantly bigger image than I do on any of my phones. But even when using productivity apps, surfing the web and just using social media apps, the larger display is so nice to have. Now, not all apps are optimized for this size of display so, make sure that you go to settings, advanced features, labs and then turn on multi windows for all apps, and then go to customize app aspect ratio where you’re going to see the app defaults.
Checkout Instagram, for example, where you’re gonna see that the default is 16 by nine, and now change it to full screen. Instead of the narrow interface in the center of the screen with smaller content, you get this immersive viewing experience of your feed where every image is large, vibrant and bright.
One thing I had to get rid of immediately was the split keyboard. So, by default when you’re typing, the keyboard is divided so that half of it is on the left, and then there’s a space in the middle, and the the other half is on the right. I actually don’t mind typing on these types of keyboards in real life because there’s tactile feedback from the keys, but on the display, it was definitely slowing me down. So, all you need to do is tap this keyboard icon and you’re back to a standard keyboard. Now, another feature that I implemented is pinning the edge panel, so that I would have access to my favorite apps.
Since I have so much screen real estate to work with, I didn’t really feel like I was missing out and I really liked the convenience. As far as the cover display, we’re getting a 6.2 inch HD plus Dynamic AMOLED display with a resolution of 2268 by 832, 387 pixels per inch and 120 hertz adaptive refresh rate. Beyond the specs, just like the main screen, this one is bright, it’s crisp, and the colors are vibrant. Again, it’s much better than I expected and I quickly adapted to this narrow aspect ratio because I only use it for very specific tasks.
If you’ve gotten value from this video, give it a thumbs up so, that I know to make more of this type of content.
And if you’re new here hit that subscribe button. Now, let’s talk about the cameras you get. And I’m not gonna do a deep dive in this video because those of you who are familiar with the history of this channel know that I will nerd out about cameras. The front facing under display camera is okay at best.
I like the image quality, definitely isn’t something impressive but I really only use it for video calls. If I wanna take a selfie, I’ll just open the phone and then use the rear facing camera which is way better. Aesthetically the front facing camera is not perfect and you can definitely see it when there’s content below it. Hopefully with the next iteration, Samsung can make it invisible. But when I’m actually watching content I’m very rarely focusing on that area of the display, so it’s not really something that’s extremely disruptive to me.
The rear facing camera module consists of three 12 megapixel cameras.
The first is a wide angle F1.8 with dual-pixel autofocus and optical image stabilization for sharp images and steady video. The next is an ultra wide F2.2 then finally, we have a telephoto F2.
4, again, with dual-pixel autofocus and OIS. You’re getting two times optical zoom which means you’re not losing quality, and then 10 times digital zoom which does come with a progressive loss of quality as you zoom in. You can record video at 4k-60, slow motion at 1080P with up to 240 frames per second, and then even slow motion at 720P at 960 frames per second.
Moving on to the speakers, they’re very loud for a mobile phone and they sound much fuller than the other phones that I have. We’re getting stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos which is great and while they don’t sound like what you get out of the Tab S7 plus they more than serve their purpose on this device.
Looking at performance, we’re getting the Snapdragon 888 chip and both the 256 gig and the 512 gig models come with 12 gigabytes of RAM. When you’re interacting with the device, opening and closing apps, playing games or watching content, the Fold3 is very responsive. And there hasn’t been anytime so far where I felt like it was underpowered. I say this in almost every video review but I’m not overly interested in benchmarks scores. But in case you’re curious in geek bench, it’s scored 1132 for a single-core performance and 3360 for multi-core performance.
This is plenty of processing power for anything that I would ever throw at this device. And I like the fact that it comes and 256 and 512 gig of internal storage options, unlike the Flip, which caps out at 256. However, again we’re seeing that there’s no micro SD card slots so there is no way to expand the internal storage so, make sure that you get enough storage for what you need. And let me know in the comment section if you think Samsung should have offered a one terabyte option. The Fold3 comes with Android 11 and one UI 3.
1. And I really liked the column functionality that we’re getting in the setting and in various different apps. Looking at multitasking, we’re getting split view so you can have two apps either stacked or side-by-side depending on which one you like better.
And you can also choose how much of the display you wanna allocate to each app. You can also have an app open in a floating window, and there are lots of ways to take advantage of this larger display.
You can also connect a wireless mouse and keyboard if you wanna use the Fold3 as a display, but most importantly you can attach an external display and then use DeX. If you’re not familiar with it, DeX lets you use your phone to drive a desktop like interface. You have a desktop with icons, a taskbar where you can minimize and access apps, you can snap windows to the side, you can use floating windows and it very much feels like you’re using a desktop OS. And it’s a really versatile way to get more productivity out of your phone. Moving on to biometric authentication, we’re getting face recognition with both the front and rear facing cameras, depending on whether the phone is open or close.
We also have a fingerprint sensor that’s incorporated into the power button and I always like having both options because then I’m covered in every situation, and it’s extremely rare that I actually have to type my password. Another area of concern for me was battery life. We’re getting a 4400 milliamp per hour battery, which is not huge but it is 33% bigger than the 3300 milliamp per hour that we’re getting on the Z Flip3. As another point of reference the S21 plus has a 4800 milliamp per hour battery. My guess is that a larger battery would have resulted in a thicker device and a heavier one, and that’s something that Samsung was trying to avoid.
And I actually got better battery life on this device than I expected. Of course, it’s gonna depend on what you do, how much you end up using your phone, the brightness of your display and whether you’re using the cover or main display, and in a few more months I’ll include more of my feedback in a followup video.
When it comes to charging, we’re getting 25 watt fast charging when it’s wired, but still only 10 watt charging when wireless, just like we get with the Flip3. It would have been great to get 15 watt fast charging wirelessly but it is a tablet that I can fold into a phone so I am willing to make some concessions. We’re also getting reverse wireless charging at 4.
5 watts so, you can use the Fold to charge another device. It’s not something that I’ve done very often because I wanna maintain as longer battery life on the Fold as possible but it’s nice to know that it is available if I’m in a bind. Okay, now, I wanna to talk about gaming, which was so much fun on the Fold. The 120 hertz display looks amazing. I connected my X-Box controller, I fired up X-Box Game Pass and I was on my way.
I played all my favorite games and I didn’t run into any lagging issues or dropped frames. The display was definitely big enough and it’s for sure a portable gaming setup that I’ll be using when I’m on the go. Also, if you’re curious about any specific games, hit me up in the comment section and I’ll do my best to answer. All right, so, what’s my experience with this phone, what I expected and do I think it provides a good value? Let me start off by saying that it can do what no other phone that I have can do, and at the same time it costs $1,800.
So, the price is gonna put it out of range for a lot of users and in that context, it almost doesn’t matter how good it is. If it’s a phone that’s within your budget, then the main display is big, bright and beautiful. It’s outstanding for consuming content, surfing the web, social media and productivity. It’s the most fun phone that I’ve ever gamed on to date and it also comes with DeX if you’re looking to up your productivity.
What’s even more exciting about this phone is that I feel like we’re still at the beginning of folding displays and the more iterations we see, the better and more affordable they’re going to get.
Hopefully this video was helpful. Click on my face to subscribe and then watch one of these videos. You know what I always say, buy it nice or buy twice. Good luck and see you soon..
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