Pocket-lint is supported by its readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

(Pocket-lint) - Samsung revealed the Galaxy Z Fold 3 alongside the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and a few other devices during Unpacked on 11 August 2021.

The third generation - or fourth if you count the fixed version of the original Fold - offers a similar design to the Galaxy Z Fold 2 but with a couple of key differences.

Here is how the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 compares to the Galaxy Z Fold 2.

squirrel_widget_5828722

Design

  • Galaxy Z Fold 2: 159.2 x 128.2 x 6.9 (unfolded), 159.2 x 68.0 x 13.8-16.8mm (folded), 282g
  • Galaxy Z Fold 3: 158.2 x 128.1 x 6.4mm (unfolded), 158.2 x 67.1 x 14.4-16mm (folded), 271g

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 and Galaxy Z Fold 3 share similar design traits, but the Z Fold 3 makes a couple of refinements, including a more streamlined rear camera housing.

The vertically-folding, bookstyle design continues for the Z Fold 3 with a large display on the front, unfolding to a larger internal display, but the Z Fold 3 adds IPX8 waterproofing, as well as a tougher frame.

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 also features an under-display front camera on the main display, which results in a more seamless design than the Galaxy Z Fold 2's centralised punch hole camera. 

In terms of colour options, the Z Fold 2 comes in Mystic Black and Mystic Bronze. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 meanwhile, is offered in Phantom Black, Phantom Silver and Phantom Green.

Display

  • Galaxy Z Fold 2: 6.23-inch cover display, 7.6-inch main display, 120Hz, HDR10+
  • Galaxy Z Fold 3: 6.23-inch cover display, 7.6-inch main display, 120Hz, HDR10+, S Pen

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 comes with a 6.23-inch external display on the front, that offers a resolution of 2260 x 816, and a 7.6-inch display when unfolded that has a resolution of 2208 x 1768 pixels. 

The foldable dynamic AMOLED display has HDR10+ certification and it offers a 120Hz refresh rate. The cover display on the outside of the device is AMOLED, but it has a standard 60Hz refresh rate.

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 has a 6.23-inch screen on the outside, offering a 2268 x 832 pixel resolution, while the inside display is 7.6-inches with a resolution of 2208 x 1768 pixels, making it the same as its predecessor. A 120Hz refresh rate is offered on both displays this time round though, and HDR10+ support is featured on the main display.

Where the two devices differ - aside from refresh rate - is the top of the main display. The main folding display of the Z Fold 3 has an under-display camera compared to the punch hole camera on the Z Fold 2. There is still a punch hole camera on the front display of the Z Fold 3, like the Z Fold 2.

The Z Fold 3 also offers support for the S Pen. Like the Galaxy S21 Ultra, the S Pen isn't built into the device like the Note range, and Samsung has designed an S Pen specifically for foldables without Bluetooth connectivity.

Hardware and specs

  • Galaxy Z Fold 2: Snapdragon 865, 12GB RAM, 256/512GB storage, 4500mAh
  • Galaxy Z Fold 3: Snapdragon 888, 12GB RAM, 256/512GB storage, 4400mAh

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 platform, with 12GB of RAM and a choice of 256GB or 512GB of storage. 

The device is 5G capable and there's a 4500mAh battery under the hood, which supports 25W fast charging, 11W wireless charging and 4.5W reverse wireless charging.

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 runs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, supported again by 12GB of RAM and 256GB or 512GB storage.

It is 5G capable again, though the battery capacity is a bit smaller than its predecessor at 4400mAh. Support for fast charging, wireless charging and reverse wireless charging are all expected, though specifics have not been detailed as yet. 

Cameras

  • Galaxy Z Fold 2: Triple rear (12MP+12MP+12MP), two 10MP front
  • Galaxy Z Fold 3: Triple rear (12MP+12MP+12MP), 10MP front, 4MP UPC

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 has a triple camera on the rear, made up of a 12-megapixel (f/1.8) main camera, 12-megapixel telephoto sensor (f/2.4), and 12-megapixel (f/2.2) ultra-wide camera. 

On the front, there is a 10-megapixel punch hole front camera, and a 10-megapixel punch hole camera sits at the top of the main display too.

The Z Fold 3 comes with a triple rear camera made up of 12-megapixel main camera (f/1.8), 12-megapixel telephoto sensor (f/2.4), and 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera (f/2.2) too. 

On the front, there is a single 10-megapixel punch hole front camera on the cover display, along with a 4-megapixel under-display camera on the main display, the latter of which makes up the main difference between the Z Fold 2 and Z Fold 3.

Conclusion

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 offers some design refinements compared to its predecessor, largely in terms of the camera housing on the rear but also in terms of waterproofing and a stronger frame.

It also offers a hardware upgrade in terms of processor, some camera improvements to the rear cameras, as well as the addition of an under-display camera on the main display. 

Battery capacity reduces compared to the Z Fold 2 and the display specifications remain the same, except the Z Fold 3 supports the S Pen and offers a faster refresh rate on the cover display.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle. Originally published on 15 July 2021.