Samsung is back to blow your mind once again, The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G is here, and we’ve got an inside look at the device before it hits the shelves. Here’s everything you need to know.
What is the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G?
Samsung has a strong stable of foldable phones, and the new Z Fold3 5G is the latest and best in the range.
First things first. This isn’t your ordinary phone. This is the apex of the form: a phone that turns into a tablet and back in the blink of an eye. If you’re getting this device, you’re getting the best Samsung has to offer. More of everything you could want.
Samsung has been tinkering in the lab to make the third edition even better.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G: screens galore
Unboxing the new Z Fold3 5G, you immediately notice that it isn’t like other phones. In its closed state, it’s taller than your average smartphone. Narrower, too.
Closed, it’s a 6.2-inch cover screen with way less bezel than the previous model, meaning more room for your stuff when you’re on the go.
Unfold it, and you get a massive 7.6-inch display on the inside.
It almost doesn’t look real the first few times you open it up and start using it. Remember the first time you sat in front of an enormous IMAX screen? It boggles your mind, slightly.
Not only are the screens massive, they’re better than ever: the cover screen is higher res, and features an unreal 120Hz adaptive refresh rate – double that of the previous model for super smooth viewing. 120Hz is a measure of how many times the screen refreshes per second.
Does trying to understand Hertz hurt? Think of it like this: 120 means there are 120 images being shown on screen every single second. More images means a smoother image, and that’s what you get here. You notice how buttery smooth it is while scrolling, opening apps and running animations.
Both screens are now way brighter than their predecessors with something Samsung is calling Eco2display technology, so you can use it in either mode both indoors and outdoors.
That incredible high res screen, with its fast refresh rate means that this Z Fold3 can do more than ever.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G: designed for everything
A fast, new processor powers a bunch of gear you’ll love. Gear like the triple rear-facing camera with 2x optical zoom, fingerprint reader, facial recognition and more. More on the cameras further down.
All that screen and all that power mean you can use multiple apps at once for perfect mobile productivity. When you open the device, you see a small virtual panel on the top-right of the device. Slide it out and you can choose a number of apps you can dual-screen with.
I was dual-screening with Microsoft Teams and the Samsung Notes app; later I was dual-screening YouTube and Chrome at once, and a bunch of the native apps – like the Camera – are set up to take advantage of the additional real estate.
And to make it even better, there are two new S Pens to choose from.
The Galaxy Note die-hards will love this one: there’s an S Pen Fold Edition exclusive to this device for great on-the-go note taking, and a S Pen Pro for more serious artists.
The S-Pen Pro is the most versatile S Pen device, and works across a whole range of Galaxy products, including the Galaxy Tab or Galaxy Book, thanks to fast switching. It’s heavier, longer and supports your favourite Air Actions from previous Note models via the built-in Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity.
The S Pen Fold Edition is exclusive to the new Fold family and is great for on-the-go use. It’s smaller, lighter and thinner than the S Pen Pro, while still featuring the Pro Tip for great notations, drawings and more.
The design means you won’t need any funky third-party stands where you’re going, either. The hinge is strong enough to support the device half-closed on a flat surface, a bit like your laptop. When playing content like YouTube or taking a video call, in what Samsung calls Flex Mode, the content simply plays on the top half of the screen, for a more comfortable viewing experience.
Flex Mode also allows you to be a dual-screen master. For example, you can be taking notes with your S Pen on the bottom half of the screen, while watching YouTube video or video call on the top. All about that versatility!
I have often found myself looking for a device that can do what my laptop can while still fitting in my pocket. The Z Fold3 5G is closest to the pin by a long way. It’s a phone that behaves like a tablet. A tablet that behaves like a laptop. A laptop that behaves like a portable, pocketable wunderkind.
No matter how you cut it, you’re getting an incredibly capable device.
Got work to do on the go? Great: the Z Fold3 5G supports everything from split-screen multitasking to Microsoft Office 365. They’ll never know you wrote or edited a doc on your phone.
Need to make a video like the one we made to show you this device? Unreal: switch to Pro Video mode for fine controls over your shot, the exposure, sound and more. We even used the Pro Video mode to make the video in lockdown!
Want to stay entertained with cloud games on the go? You’ve got more real estate for your on-screen gaming thumbsticks than ever, and the biggest phone ever in a smartphone to keep you going.
And the absolute best thing is that you can still just use it like a normal phone if you want. Close the cover, scroll your social media, read the news, just like any other smartphone.
And with a 4400mAh (typical) battery, you’ll have enough juice to get you through the day without scrambling for a plug halfway through. Interestingly, the battery is intelligently split in two underneath each screen panel. Just because it’s a cool design doesn’t mean you have to make sacrifices.
And if you do end up chewing through your juice with a particularly big day, you’ll get back up to 100 faster thanks to 25W Fast Charging or Fast Wireless Charging at 10W. You’ll need a compatible charger to do both of those things, however.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G: cameras everywhere
Cameras you can see, and cameras you can’t: the Z Fold3 5G is bringing it when it comes to imaging.
On the rear of the device, you get a triple-camera rig. There’s the Wide-Angle 12-megapixel F1.8 camera with Optical Image Stabilisation and Dual Pixel auto-focus; a 12-megapixel, F2.2 Ultra-Wide camera, and the 12-megapixel 2x optical zoom/10x digital zoom; Telephoto lens.
Check out all the modes you get access to with the Samsung Camera:
While the zoom isn’t as good as something like the Samsung Galaxy S21, the trade off is screen real estate. The laws of physics simply won’t allow Samsung to jam a camera rig that size in something as slim, foldable and pocketable as the Z Fold3 5G.
Check out a demonstration of the zoom at work:
You get two front-facing cameras, too: the outer cover screen also gives you a 10-megapixel shooter with a massive 80-degree field-of-view so you can take awesome selfies even when the device is closed. Open it up, and there’s another camera there waiting for you.
And on the inside, there are even hidden camera secrets to discover. This model has a camera secreted under the screen, so you don’t see it while watching your content. No more “hole punch”. Very nifty.
Check out some of the images we captured on the Z Fold3 5G (click for larger version, and note, these images have been resized to 2160p from an original resolution of 4000×3000):
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G: built strong
Even though it’s made almost entirely of screens and tiny moving parts, Samsung says this is the most robust Fold yet, by a long shot.
On the rear of the device and over the cover screen, you get new Gorilla Glass Victus, which Samsung says is 50% stronger than before. On the inside, there’s a new protective film for better scratch resistance, and it’s all reenforced by Samsung’s new Armor Aluminium frame and hinge, which it says is the strongest material ever used on a smartphone.
All that reinforcement doesn’t add bulk though. In fact, it’s lighter than the previous Fold models!
And to top it all off, it’s IPX8 rated water resistant – the first folding phone to be so – protecting it against spills, splashes and the odd dunk.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G: what’s in the box?
To keep the new devices a little more green, Samsung isn’t bundling a charger in the box this year.
The device charges via USB-C, so you do get a USB-C to USB-C cable shipped in the box, but no charger. Nor is there a pair of bundled headphones. Samsung assumes that by this point you have headphones and a charging plug you prefer using anyway, and by not making them it’s being more environmentally friendly.
If you want to get a specific USB-C charger, Samsung will happily sell you one that is also capable of fast charging.
Speaking of fast-charging, the Z Fold3 5G supports 25W recharging for a faster refill – provided you have the right charger. Check the wattage on the box when you buy!
Availability: price and release date
We’re excited to carry the new Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G on our awesome 5G network.
We’ll be stocking:
|Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G RRP|
Pre-orders for the new device open from 9am 12 August 2021 through to 11:59pm 9 September 2021.
Pre-order bonuses from Telstra and Samsung
Ordering your new Z Fold3 5G or Z Flip3 5G from Telstra and adding a Medium or above mobile data plan means you get access to our awesome 5G network that works in more places than ever. We’re also throwing in some incredible exclusive gifts with purchase to anyone who pre-orders on an eligible plan before September 2021.
Customers who shop at Telstra and pre-order the Galaxy Z Fold3 or Z Flip3 before September 09 2021 score a bonus Samsung 43-inch AU8000 Crystal UHD 4K Smart TV (RRP value $949), as well as a bonus Telstra TV when you join Telstra Plus. We’ll also upgrade new Telstra Plus members or non-Gold tier members to Gold tier membership on, unlocking a range of other benefits.
Samsung is also throwing in a choice of bonus packs.
For the Z Fold3, you can choose between a set of Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, a Productivity Pack (S Pen Pro, Universal stand and Trio Universal Keyboard) or a Power Pack (Cover with S Pen and Black Trio Wireless Charger).
Things you need to know:
Bonus offers: Redemption and eligibility criteria apply. Redeem bonus gifts by 15 October 2021. For more information please see https://www.samsung.com/au/offer/galaxy-z-series-offer/terms/telstra/.
Telstra Plus: Must be 18+ with an active service. Points are earned on payment for services bill or pre-paid recharge (excluding outright purchases, refunds, credits & late payment fees). Points expire 3 years from earning. Marketing opt-in required (preferences can be changed). Excludes Telstra Enterprise and Corporate accounts. S Pens sold separately.
 5G rolling out in selected areas on selected plans
 Current Gold tier members will not receive any additional benefits