(upbeat music) – Hey, what’s up? MKBHD here. And I think it’s safe to say we’re about to be right back in the thick of it. Smartphone season is about to be upon us. And what better way to kick that off then with a folding phone? Well, it’s a pair offolding phones, actually. We have this new Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 that I have a lot of thoughts about that I was really curious about after such a big improvementfrom the last Fold. But also, there’s a new ZFlip announced alongside it that I also got to play with. And honestly, if I’m onlyable to recommend one of these to a regular person, it’s probably the Flip and itsmuch more pocketable design and really nice refinementwith the outside cover screen. So check out that video.
It’s gonna drop at thesame time as this one. I’ll link it below the like button. But this is the one I’m more into. So this is the one I’m more likely to use. It’s the Z Fold 3. And holding it for the first time, it does look and feel verysimilar to the Fold 2. We’ve seen this look before, but there’s some prettynoteworthy improvements here with a bunch of smallchanges that kind of add up to being worth a new generation.
So you’ve probably alreadyseen the new camera bump. It’s smaller than thathuge square from last time. And we’ll get to thosecameras in a second, but everything, everythingis just a little tighter and a little more well put together here. New Gorilla Glass Victus on the front. The whole phone is abouttwo millimeters thinner, and it’s slightly lighterthan last year as well. And the hinge, the most important part, is even more tucked intothe side of the phone. It doesn’t stick out as much. So the whole phone, alongwith the weight of the hinge, has this feeling of beingvery firmly well put together.
And it’s just very satisfying feeling. It’s so well put together, in fact, that it’s actually, Iwas surprised to learn, it has an IPX8 water resistance rating, which is pretty intense. That means it can survivewater from all directions and can actually be immersed in water, which I already knowmeans someone’s gonna do an underwater test with itand I’ll probably watch.
But that’s a pretty big stepfor a folding phone, isn’t it? Now, importantly, that’s IPX8, not IP68. So the X means it wasn’t tested for like fine, granularparticles, solid particles. So it’s not dust resistant. And that actually makes a lot of sense. That’s been the nemesis of these hinges, just little tiny grains, little particles getting into the hinge and eventually ending up under the screen. But the fact that it’s so watertight that they can actually certifyit for water resistance is pretty impressive to me. I’m pretty sure that’sthe first folding phone that we’ve seen, the firstnew folding screen type phone that’s water resistant. Then another great touchis the cover screen that’s on the outside, which is almost exactly thesame size and resolution, is now 120 hertz also to match the inside screen that I love. Last year on the Fold 2 I never really got over the fact that the 60hertz outside screen felt worse than the 120 hertz inside screen.
It made me want to use it less. But now it just kind offeels like a really tall, candy bar-shaped, normal phone with high refresh rate and everything. But let’s talk about thatbig inside screen, shall we? Because this is where wehave the most changes. Same size, same bezels and120 hertz refresh rate, same dust caps at the top of the bottom.
But, you notice anythingmissing from the inside screen? See, last year there was ahole-punch camera at the top in the middle of the right-hand side. And if you’re looking upthere, yeah, this year, that selfie camera hasmoved to behind the display. Oh yeah. So Fold 3 has anunder-display selfie camera inside of a folding display. So I’ve made an entire videojust all about this camera behind the display tech.
Boom. I’ll also link it below the like button if you wanna watch that video. But if you do check it out, it is a really curious new technology. It’s a first-generation thing, and it definitely has some quirks and some weird things about it, which is why I was kindof surprised actually to see it in, you know, such a premium, high-end, expensive Samsung device, but it’s here. Like it’s definitely notinvisible by any means. You can clearly see itwhenever you look for it, and it exhibits thispixelation through the gaps in the pixels that I talkedabout in that full video. It’s got like thisoctagon shape of pixels. And everything that passes through that octagon gets really pixelated, especially when it’sbright colors and whites, and especially when it’s off axis. And most interesting of all, the actual quality of these other first-generationselfie cameras I looked at are not great.
It would look reallyhazy in the viewfinder. And then once you snap the photo, it literally runs a defogging algorithm to sharpen up and clean up the picture. And I could actually see thatsame thing happening here. When I took selfies on the Fold 3, it’s a little hazy in the viewfinder, but then you snap the picture and then you look atthe picture fast enough, you can literally see thatprocessing snap the contrast in, get rid of that haze. But it’s still not thatgreat of a picture. So this, it’s interesting that it is… I mean, I’m excited to get my hands on this phone longer-termfor the full review, but also to see what kind of photo quality and video quality thatthis actually produces to see how much worse it actually is than the a hole-punchcamera that came before it.
But yeah, I think if you askedSamsung why they did this, I think their logic would be that this is the least important orleast used selfie camera on the Fold. Like you already have on the new Fold, you’ll have a selfie hole-punchcamera on the cover display. And then if you reallywant a high-quality selfie, well, you can open it upand point those cameras at yourself and use theviewfinder as a nice selfie shot. So this inside selfie camera, it’s not really used all that much. Maybe for video calls sometimes. They’re just a veryquick, convenient thing. So they figured this was Samsung’s place to take a little bit of a riskwith some bleeding edge tech to give us the full, corner-to-corner, expansive inside screen we’vewanted since the beginning. Sure, you can still seethe camera sometimes, and it’s not perfect, but hey, it is bettertechnically than a hole punch. But my favorite insidescreen improvement here is that the foldable glass protective film is 80% more durableagainst scratch resistance, meaning they’ve finally madethe Fold S Pen-compatible.
Now, this is all greatand we love the headlines. Obviously this is very exciting for people who wanted the bigger canvas for the note-taking and all that, but this definitely comes with an asterisk that I think we should consider, okay? Not to pour water onthis fire or whatever, but think about it. Yes, the Fold is gonna be clearly great for note-taking, sketching. Maybe it’s just straight up just as good as the Note at everything it did. It’s got all the same S Pen features and it’s a superresponsive 120 hertz panel. All that is great. But this is like a special case of an S Pen for this phone, okay? First of all, you needliterally a special S Pen. It’s a new one calledthe “S Pen Fold Edition.” And it looks like a normal S Pen, but it has a softer, retractable tip, so you can’t apply too much pressure that could still damage the screen. And it’s, of course, stillan optional accessory.
So you also need to buy an optional case to carry it around with the Fold, unless you wanna have themboth loose in your pocket. And other styluses generallyaren’t going to work. I mean, there are somebig, soft-tip styluses if you just wanna replace yourfinger as an input device, but most pens for writing and sketching and all that good stuffare not soft-tipped. They’re not retractable-tipped. So I even got a warningon the screen that says, “Only use S Pens designedfor your Galaxy Fold. Other S Pens,” or otherstyluses, for that matter, “may damage the screen.” Which brings me to the onlyother option for this phone, which is a brand new,much bigger S Pen Pro that has to be set to Z Fold mode, which is literally a physical switch on top of the pen that makesthe tip attract more easily and with less pressure. But that’s it. Now, the S Pen Pro, itactually is pretty cool. And unlike the Fold Edition, it is active, it’s got a battery, itcharges via USB type C, but it also has onboard memory.
So you can copy and paste stuff between different Samsung devices, like if you have a Samsungtablet or a laptop. That sounds super cool, but this is all specialized workarounds to loop in the GalaxyFold into the S Pen world. So at the end of the day, if you’ve gotta go theextra mile to buy the S Pen and buy the case to carry it around in, well, then you can do all that and you can bring theS Pen into your life. But I guess what I’m trying to say is I think Samsung shouldkeep around the Galaxy Note.
Fold has a new set of triple cameras. Like I mentioned, anultrawide, a standard, and a 2x telephoto and a flash, right in line with the tamed-downstuff we usually see here in the Fold. And I think they’ll probablyhold up in the full review, but we’ll see. And there’s a bunch of prettysweet new software features that make this phone even moreof a multitasking monster. I already always feltlike super productive anytime I use the Fold, and now there’s a new Labssection in the settings where you can like force every app to work in multitaskingfor custom aspect ratios.
And my favorite tweak, thoseslide over apps from the side, you can now permanently pin over to the right-hand sideof the phone like a dock. Like just straight up like a dock like a desktop operating system. And so then your shortcuts just live over there all the time. Kind of like the dock inmacOS X or in Windows, it can shuffle aroundyour most recent apps.
It’s really useful for copying and pasting between apps or moving back and forth between things. Hop in your app draweranytime from over there. Unpin it anytime you want to. Very nice. Very nice. Wow, I just realized thatI haven’t told you guys the specs yet. Snapdragon 888 and 12 gigs of RAM in every module starts at 256 gigs. There’s also a half terabyte version. And 4,400 milliamp hour battery, which is technically a little smaller than last year’s 4,500, but the phone is just alittle bit more compact, little thinner. And then three colors. There’s the silver you just saw most of my hands-on time with, but there’s also a blackand a phantom green. And that is a nice green. I’m kind of into that morethan I expected to be. But yeah, would you, thisis my question to you, just from the first impressions, now that you’ve seen it’s official, would you pick up this phone for $1,800? ‘Cause that’s how much it’s gonna cost.
It’s a little less than before, but that’s the starting pricefor the 256 gig Z Fold Three. And like I said, I still think, among these two new foldingphones they’ve announced, the Flip, which startsat 999, still expensive, but that’s like more of a reasonable phone to recommend to more people I think. So if you wanna check over on that video for my thoughts on it, definitely do that. But I’m curious if you guyswould be into 1,800 bucks for the newest, highest end, most premium, well-built folding phone I’ve ever seen. Super interested. Either way, thanks for watching, subscribe if you haven’t already, and I’ll catch you guys in the next one.
Peace. (funky electronic music).