You’ll feel the first of these foldable drawbacks as soon as you pick up the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3. This thing is heavy. 271g heavy, to be precise. That’s 20% more than a Galaxy 21 Ultra, a phone already heavy enough to put some people off. Plus it’s 16mm thick – double the depth of a tablet and chunkier than plenty of laptops.
Your first few hours with a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 will be spent 50% feeling the foldable wow factor, 50% wondering if you actually want to live with the thing. But we have good news: you’ll probably get used to it pretty swiftly. Samsung knows the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is a whopper in some dimensions, so has made sure it isn’t gigantic in all dimensions.
In folded form, it’s just 67mm wide. Despite the thickness and weight, that means the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is actually easy to handle. The one tweak we made was to enable swipe typing on the keyboard. After that, the phone didn’t feel odd or much more cumbersome to use than an ordinary Android handset.
Up front, the Z Fold 3 is home to an ultra-narrow 6.2in OLED display. It’s what you’ll probably use for WhatsApp and other quick phone checks most of the time. You won’t often need to flip it open to get the big-screen experience. And that’s OK.
When you do, you’ll need to get a good grip to flip it. Samsung has spent the last couple of years perfecting the hinge. Its current strategy is all about making the joint strong, while keeping dust and bits of grit out of the mechanism. So it doesn’t open up with the delicacy of a blooming flower. You hold the sides firmly with your thumbs and open it like a cursed book from a horror movie. One day we might get a light-touch foldable. But for now, it’s enough to know you won’t end up returning the Z Fold 3 with a broken bend.