Samsung's best offering in the foldable genre, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 will launch in less than two weeks of time and at this point, we know almost everything there's to know about the handset. From specifications, features, and even the price. And judging from the available information so far, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 doesn't outright beat its biggest competition Huawei's Mate X2 in all of the phone segments which right now, has the most impressive, bleeding-edge foldable hardware.
Samsung could have easily made the Z Fold 3 better than the Mate X2 in literally every segment, but they didn't and that's actually a smart decision. Here's why.
You see the Galaxy Z Fold 3 offers better specs and features than the Mate X2 in areas like the display, 120Hz vs 90Hz. The Z Fold 3 has ultra-thin glass, the Mate X2 doesn't. There's an under-display camera on the inner screen of the Z Fold 3 while the Mate X2 has none. S Pen functionality, IP rating, and more.
But there's one area where the Mate X2 totally outweighs the Z Fold 3 and it's the rear camera. Huawei managed to cram a true flagship camera system including a 10x Periscope zoom lens into the Mate X2, as well as manufacture a hinge that folds completely flat without leaving a gap.
The Z Fold 3, by comparison, has only a 3x telephoto zoom lens and a noticeable gap when closed. This means just like last year, Samsung's foldable will have an inferior camera compared to not only its ultra phones but also compared to Huawei's foldables. But I think Samsung did this on purpose to broaden the appeal of their foldables by making them more accessible to average consumers.
You see if Samsung wanted to put the same camera on the Z Fold 3 that they have on the S21 Ultra, they could have done it because if Huawei can then Samsung can do it as well as it suggests space isn't really a constraint on the foldables. But this camera hardware comes with a cost. For as impressive as the Mate X2's camera is, the phone's $2,700 starting price would be a non-starter for most people. Samsung chose not to go with this camera setup which is one of the reasons leading to a lower price tag where we're hearing that the phone will be 300 to $400 cheaper than its predecessor.
Also not going with this big camera setup allowed Samsung to not only reduce the weight of the phone but thickness as well which is one of the biggest issues people had with foldable phones. So am I happy that the Z Fold 3 doesn't have the latest camera hardware? No, absolutely not. But I'm totally okay with it this year because I totally understand that at this point it's not the specs that will sell the foldables but their price.
With the Z Fold 3 is surely taking a step in the right direction but we'll have to wait and see whether or not average consumers would take a leap of faith with the Z Fold 3 as it's now a little more accessible to flagship buyers.