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Samsung doubles down on foldable strategy

At a globally-streamed Unpacked event yesterday, the premium Android device maker asserted its dominance in the foldables market with several firsts.



At the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event yesterday afternoon, it revealed the updates to its existing foldable line with the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3. The updates show just how mature the foldable device market is becoming, and how Samsung is holding its title of innovation leader in the segment.

It revealed the Z Fold 3 first, which now features a slightly larger 7.6” Infinity Flex Display with PET film over the screen, which it says is 80% more durable than the previous generation. The magic of this device comes with the under-display camera on the foldable screen, which makes this the first foldable to feature this technology. It does this by decreasing the number of pixels that sit over the camera lens on the area where the hole punch would usually sit to create an uninterrupted display experience. 

The folding display is 29% brighter than the previous generation, and it consumes less battery at full brightness too. It’s also super smooth at 120Hz. When the device is folded closed, the cover display is also improved with a stronger glass, with Gorilla Glass Victus. It too runs at a smooth 120Hz, like its larger display under the fold.

To appease the Note users, the S Pen will now work on the foldable screen. The new S Pen has a softer, retractable nib to work with the softer screen to prevent scratches. The tech inside the S Pen is also lower latency, meaning the time between the pen making contact with the screen and it registering pen strokes is reduced. The compatible S Pens are the S Pen Fold Edition and the S Pen Pro.

Specs of the Z Fold 3 are:

  • Cover display: 6.2” Dynamic AMOLED display at 2268 x 832 resolution.
  • Main display: 7.6” Dynamic AMOLED Infinity Flex Display, which supports new S Pens.
  • Processor: 5nm octa-core processor. No specific chipset mentioned.
  • Rear camera set: 12MP ultra-wide, 12MP wide, 12MP telephoto
  • Under-display camera: 4MP
  • Cover camera: 10MP
  • Connectivity: 5G, 4G/LTE-A, 3G, 2G
  • Battery 4400mAh battery
  • RAM: 12GB
  • On-board storage: 256/512GB

For content creators and those who want a more traditional smartphone experience, the Z Flip 3 was also refreshed with newer features. Its main update is the larger Cover Screen, which is four times larger than the previous generation, at 1.9”. This also brings new features like updated widgets and the ability to use this outer screen as a camera viewfinder. Our big favourite is the Samsung Pay widget, which enables users to pay for things at Tap-to-pay terminals without having to flip the phone open.

The screen is also a 120Hz panel, like its bigger foldable counterpart, and also features Gorilla Glass Victus for more durability and scratch-resistance.

Specs of the Z Flip 3 are:

  • Cover display: 1.9” Super AMOLED display at 512 x 260 resolution
  • Main display: 6.7” FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED Infinity Flex Display at 2640 x 1080 resolution.
  • Processor: 5nm octa-core processor. No specific chipset mentioned.
  • Rear camera set: 12MP ultra-wide, 12MP wide.
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Connectivity: 5G, 4G/LTE-A, 3G, 2G
  • Battery 3300mAh battery
  • RAM: 8GB
  • On-board storage: 128/256GB

Across both devices, they are both the market-first water-resistant foldables with an IPX8 rating, which means they can handle a few splashes of water and can be rained on. They feature a new armour aluminium casing, which improves the rigidity of the device and protects its foldable mechanisms from bumps and drops.

Pre-orders for both devices start from 8 September 2021. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 comes in Phantom Black, Phantom Green, and Phantom Silver, and starts at R38,000. The Galaxy Z Flip 3 comes in Cream, Green, Lavender, and Phantom Black, and retails for R22,000.

Contract plans with network providers are:

  • Galaxy Z Fold 3 over 24 months: R1,700
  • Galaxy Z Fold 3 over 36 months: R1,300
  • Galaxy Z Flip 3 over 24 months: R1,000
  • Galaxy Z Flip 3 over 36 months: R700

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