Reviewing Smartphones - The Foldables

With so many great smartphones on the market, there are bound to be a couple that stand out for being innovative and interesting in their designs. These devices—many of which fall into the foldable category—are pretty neat and worth looking into. Here are some of the better options on the market today.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G

With a foldable OLED screen, the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G is quite the device. It boasts an aluminum frame with a Gorilla Glass Victus on the front and back. While folded, the device has a 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 832 x 2,268px display that refreshes at a rate of 120 hz. One of its biggest claims to fame is that you can do most anything you need right from the outside of the device.

This device is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G chip, 12 GB of RAM, and either 256 or 512 GB of built-in storage, and it can be upgraded to the Android 12 and Samsung One UI operating system right out of the box. It also sports a pretty impressive camera with a 12 MP wide-angle lens with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), a 12 MP telephoto lens with 2x zoom and OIS, and a 12 MP ultra wide-angle lens. The front-facing camera on the large display is a 4 MP in-display wide-angle lens, while the cover camera is a 10 MP wide-angle lens.

The battery is unfortunately an unimpressive 4,400 mAh with 25W fast charging–a battery life of about 7.5 hours. It has other features, though, including a side-mounted fingerprint sensor, IPX8 water resistance, Samsung’s DeX capability, and 5G. The Galaxy Z Fold3 5G is available in Phantom Black, Phantom Silver, Phantom Green, Thom Browne Edition, and an exclusive Wooyoungmi Edition. As for the price, the Galaxy Z Fold3 costs nearly $2,000 from Samsung and most major cell carriers. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G
Body:  Aluminum Frame, Gorilla Glass Victus front and back, plastic large display
Display: Closed – 6.2-inch Super AMOLED 2X, 120 Hz,  832 x 2,268 (~374 ppi); Open – 7.6-inch Super AMOLED 2X, 120 Hz, 1768 x 2208
OS: Android 11; upgradable to Android 12, One UI 4.0
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
Memory: 12 GB RAM; 256-to-512 GB onboard storage
Expandable Memory: No
Cameras: Rear – 12 MP, 26mm, OIS; 12 MP 52mm 2x optical zoom OIS; 12 MP 123º ultrawide. Front of device – 10 MP 26mm; Front of folded display – 4 MP under-display
Sounds: Stereo Sound
Battery (battery endurance rating): 4,400 mAh (7.5 hours)
Security: Side-mounted fingerprint sensor
Miscellaneous: Samsung DeX, IPX8 water resistant, 24W fast charging

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3

The Galaxy Z Flip3 is a classic flip phone in every sense of the word with an aluminum frame, plastic front, and a Gorilla Glass Victus back. The screen is a 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with a resolution of 1,080 x 2,640px and a 120Hz refresh rate, and just like the flip phones of old, the screen folds in half for protection. It has a 1.9-inch Super AMOLED screen for notifications, the time, and other quick-view information. The Flip3 uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G chip with 8 GB of RAM and 128 or 258 GB of storage, running the Android 11 operating system by default (it can be updated later) with Samsung’s One UI 4.0.

The camera on this device leaves much to be desired, unfortunately. It only has a 12 MP wide-angle lens and a 12 MP ultra wide-angle lens, so it’s not incapable, while the selfie camera is a 10 MP wide-angle lens. The battery also suffers at 3,300 mAh and 15W fast charging for 69 hours of battery life. Available in a litany of colors including Phantom Black, Green, Cream, Pink, Dream White and more, the Z Flip3 runs about $1,000 from your friendly neighborhood cell carrier or from Samsung directly. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3
Body: Aluminum frame, plastic front, Gorilla Glass Victus back
Display: 6.7-inch Foldable Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120 Hz, 1,080 x 2,640px
OS: Android 11; Upgradable to Android 12, Samsung One UI 4.0
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G
Memory: 8 GB RAM; 128 GB-to- 256 GB of onboard storage
Expandable Memory: No
Cameras: Rear – 12 MP 27mm OIS; 12 MP 123º; Front – 10 MP 26mm
Sounds: Stereo sound
Battery (battery endurance rating): 3,300 (69 hours)
Security: Side-mounted fingerprint sensor
Miscellaneous: IPX8 water resistant, 15 W fast charging

Microsoft Surface Duo 2

Unlike the above options, the Surface Duo 2 does not have an external display, instead opting for panels that total an 8.3-inch screen when it is folded out, including some large bezels. Its build quality could mean some interesting app development for productivity moving forward.

This device is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G chip with 8 GB of RAM and has up to 512 GB of internal storage. It also features a side-mounted fingerprint scanner and a 4,449 mAh battery with 23W fast charging. Its cameras include a 12 MP wide-angle lens with OIS, a 12 MP telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom and OIS and a 16 MP ultra wide-angle lens. The front-facing camera is a 12 MP wide-angle lens.

Available in Glacier and Obsidian, the Microsoft Surface Duo 2 is currently being sold for $1,500 online at microsoft.com and some other retailers.

Microsoft Surface Duo 2
Body: Plastic frame, Gorilla Glass Victus front and back
Display: 8.3-inch AMOLED, 90 hz, 1,832 x2,688 (~401 ppi)
OS: Android 11
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
Memory: 8 GB RAM; 128-to-512 GB onboard storage
Expandable Memory: No
Cameras: Rear – 12 MP 27mm OIS; 12 MP 51mm telephoto 2x optical zoom OIS; 16 MP 13 mm; Front – 12 MP 24mm
Sounds: Stereo sound
Battery (battery endurance rating): 4,449 mAh
Security: Side-mounted fingerprint reader
Miscellaneous: Stylus support

So, now that you have the lowdown on tons of great devices for this year, which do you want to go with for your mobile device needs? Let us know in the comments below.

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