Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

by Jeremy

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Samsung has unveiled the new foldable flagship duo – the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G and Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G. This article will compare the Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs Galaxy S21 Ultra and see which of these may be a better pick for you to upgrade to. To help you make the best decision, we have also collected some of the best Z Fold 3 cases and some of the best Galaxy Z Fold 3 deals that we could find today. 

At the Galaxy Unpacked event, Samsung also released the brand new Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 series and the new generation of wireless earbuds, the Galaxy Buds2. All of the devices are now available for pre-order, and there are some extra perks available, not to mention the fantastic trade-in values and other benefits.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra specifications

SpecificationSamsung Galaxy Z Fold 3Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
Build
  • Corning Gorilla Glass Victus on the outer screen and back panel
  • Armor Aluminum frame
  • IPX8 water resistance
  • Aluminum mid-frame
  • Gorilla Glass Victus back
  • Gorilla Glass Victus front
Dimensions & Weight
  • Folded: 67.1 x 158.2 x 16 ~14.4mm
  • Unfolded: 128.1 x 158.2 x 6.4mm
  • 271g
  • 165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9 mm
  • 229 grams
Display
  • Outer display:
    • 6.2-inch HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X
    • 2268 x 832; 387 PPI
    • 120Hz adaptive refresh rate
  • Inner display:
    • 7.6-inch QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X
    • 2208 x 1786; 374 PPI
    • 120Hz adaptive refresh rate
  • 6.8″ QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X curved display
  • 3200 x 1440 pixels
  • 515ppi
  • 120Hz variable refresh rate
    • 120Hz at QHD+ supported
    • 10-120Hz
  • 20:9 aspect ratio
  • 1500nits peak brightness
  • HDR10+
  • Always-On display
  • Infinity-O display
SoC
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
    • 1x Kryo 680 (ARM Cortex X1-based) Prime core @ 2.84GHz
    • 3x Kryo 680 (ARM Cortex A78-based) Performance cores @ 2.4GHz
    • 4x Kryo 680 (ARM Cortex A55-based) Efficiency cores @ 1.8GHz
  •  Adreno 660 GPU
  • International: Exynos 2100:
    • 1x ARM Cortex X1 @ 2.9GHz +
    • 3x ARM Cortex A78 Cores @ 2.8GHz +
    • 4x ARM Cortex A55 Cores @ 2.2GHz
  • USA: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888:
    • 1x Kryo 680 Prime Core @ 2.84GHz
    • 3x Kryo 680 Performance Cores @ 2.4GHz
    • 4x Kryo 680 Efficiency Cores @ 1.8GHz
RAM & Storage
  • 12GB RAM
  • 256/512GB UFS 3.1 storage
  • 12GB LPDDR5 + 128GB
  • 12GB + 256GB
  • 16GB + 512GB
Battery & Charging
  • 4,400mAh dual-cell battery
  • 25W fast charging support
  • 10W wireless charging support
  • 4.5W reverse wireless charging
  • Charger not included
  • 5,000mAh
  • 25W USB Power Delivery 3.0 fast charging
  • 15W wireless charging
  • 4.5 reverse wireless charging
  • No charger in the box in most regions
Security
  • Side-mounted fingerprint sensor
  • AI face recognition
  • Ultrasonic In-Display Fingerprint Scanner
Rear Camera(s)
  • Primary: 12MP, f/1.8, Dual Pixel AF, OIS
  • Ultra-wide: 12MP, f/2.2, 123° FoV
  • Telephoto: 12MP, f/2.4, PDAF, Dual OIS, 2x optical zoom, 10x digital zoom
  • Primary: 108 MP, wide-angle lens, f/1.8, 79°, 24mm, 1/1.33″, 0.8µm (pre-nona-binning), OIS, PDAF, Laser AF
  • Secondary: 12 MP, ultra-wide-angle lens, f/2.2, 120° FoV, 13mm, 1/2.55″, 1.4 µm, Dual Pixel AF
  • Tertiary: 10 MP, telephoto lens, f/2.4, 35°, 72mm, 1/3.24″, 1.22µm, OIS, 3x optical zoom, Dual Pixel AF
  • Quarternary: 10 MP, telephoto lens, f/4.9, 10°, 240mm, 1/3.24″, 1.22µm, OIS, 10x optical zoom, Dual Pixel AF
Front Camera(s)
  • Outer camera: 10MP, f/2.2
  • Inner camera: 4MP, f/1.8, under-display sensor
  • 40MP, f/2.2, 0.7µm, 80° FoV, PDAF
Port(s)USB 3.2 Type-CUSB 3.2 Type-C
Audio
  • Stereo speakers
  • Dolby Atmos
  • Stereo speakers by AKG
  • Dolby Atmos
Connectivity
  • 4X4 MIMO, 7CA, LAA, LTE Cat.20
  • SA/NSA 5G (Sub6/mmWave)
  • Wi-Fi 6E
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • NFC
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • NFC
  • Wi-Fi 6E
  • 5G
SoftwareOne UI based on Android 11Samsung One UI 3.1 based on Android 11
Other Features
  • IPX8
  • S Pen Fold Edition/S Pen Pro support
  • IP68 water resistance
  • Samsung DeX
  • UWB
  • Wacom Stylus and S Pen support (sold separately and stored externally)
  • MST support in some regions
Colors
  • Phantom Black
  • Phantom Green
  • Phantom Silver
  • Phantom Gray
  • Phantom White
  • Samsung.com Exclusive:
    • Phantom Titanium
    • Phantom Navy
    • Phantom Brown

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra: design

The design of the two devices is vastly different. One can fold, while the other sits flat and cannot be unfolded. The question is, which of these is the better device for you. If you always wanted a portable tablet, you could technically pick up the Galaxy S21 Ultra and use it as such. After all, it even supports the S Pen, and it has a massive screen at 6.8-inches. On the other hand, if you always wanted a slightly more portable tablet and an even bigger screen, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 offers just that in a compact form factor.

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is taller and weighs more than the Galaxy S21 Ultra, although it only measures more by about 50 grams. The outer display of the Fold 3 is still very narrow, which can make videos and other content look a little odd at first, and it certainly takes some time to get used to. The S21 Ultra offers the standard smartphone aspect ratio, which we’ve got used to over the years. When the Z Fold 3 is folded, it can be very thick, measuring at 16mm, while the S21 Ultra always measures at 8.9mm, unless you put a case on it. Even then, it will be much less and far more comfortable to hold and carry around all day in your pocket. It’s not a major issue, but you should keep it in mind as you will likely have to change a few habits.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is the first device to be IP certified, and its IPX8 certification, meaning that it can withstand splashes of water, so using it in rainy conditions should be fine. If you want more peace of mind and occasionally take your phone to the beach or places with a lot of sand, the Galaxy S21 Ultra offers more protection in every scenario. We have to warn you that technology doesn’t match well with water and dust, and you should always avoid it to prevent damaging your expensive gadgets. Accidents do happen, and it’s great to know that both devices offer some form of protection.

Samsung has also announced that a Thom Browne Edition Galaxy Z Fold 3 and S Pen Pro are coming in late September, so if that’s something that you’re interested in, it’s worth looking out for as the Galaxy S21 Ultra does not offer that special edition.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra: performance

20210809_Samsung_11807171920px

Both the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Galaxy S21 Ultra come equipped with the same chipsets – in the US, at least. Both devices are powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 chipset and perform similarly. It’s currently one of the most premium chipsets on the market. It offers power efficiency and the power you need to play graphics-intensive games and complete tasks quickly and without hassle.

Both devices should be highly similar for everyday tasks and offer the same performance, quality, and user experience. The main difference is that on the Galaxy Z Fold 3, you would be interacting with the outer 6.2-inch display most of the time to make calls, look at the calendar, and do smaller, quicker tasks. On the Galaxy S21 Ultra, you would only interact with the main display, which is larger at 6.8-inches and offers more space to write and consume content.

Productivity is where the Galaxy Z Fold 3 excels, and you can see the main differences. Due to the larger display, many people explained that it had become their go-to device. Many people have also replaced, or sold their iPads and tablets since the Fold offered a more comfortable viewing experience to read books, do work, and consume most of their content. This is very person-specific, and it depends on how you use your devices daily. You may also use your foldable differently than a standard phone since it offers far more flexibility to get work done and enjoy content on the go.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra: camera

GALAXY S21 ULTRA POCKETNOW

The camera on the Galaxy S21 Ultra is considered one of the best in 2021. It has a 108MP main sensor with Laser autofocus and Optical Image Stabilization (OIS). There’s also a 10MP periscope telephoto with 10x optical zoom, a 10MP telephoto with 3x optical zoom, and a 12MP ultrawide sensor. The selfie camera is a 40MP sensor.

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 features the same camera setup as the Galaxy Z Fold 2 from 2020. It has a 12MP main sensor with Dual Pixel Autofocus and OIS. There is a 12MP telephoto camera with 2x optical zoom and a 12MP ultrawide sensor. Looking at the specifications, it’s clear that the Galaxy S21 Ultra offers far more camera sensors and features to take more breathtaking images. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is still great, and it will capture all of your moments and allow you to take great images in both day and night, but don’t expect it to take your breath away as much as the Galaxy S21 Ultra can. Both devices are aimed at different users, and if you are looking for the absolute best photography experience, the Galaxy S21 Ultra offers more features and better quality overall.

Should you buy Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra?

Before you go ahead and pre-order the Galaxy Z Fold 3, you should ask yourself whether you need a bigger screen and think about what you would be using it for. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is an excellent eBook reader companion, entertainment center that offers movies on a larger screen, and games. However, suppose you only plan on using it for social media, surfing the web, and sending emails all day long. In that case, you may be better off with a slightly smaller, thinner, and overall more comfortable device, such as the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

    Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
    The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is the ultimate flagship that has all of the power, design and flagship features that you ever wanted to have in a smartphone. If you want the best non-folding, true flagship experience, this is for you.

If the thickness, heavier and larger form factor doesn’t scare you, and you want to take advantage of the more durable foldable flagship, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 offers just that. You can also use the S Pen and your smartphone for even more tasks thanks to the more screen estate and opportunities. Samsung has managed to make this their best Galaxy Z Fold yet, and they upgraded and improved just about every aspect of it to improve the user experience further. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is more durable than the Z Fold 2, and any other existing foldable smartphone that is out there on the market today.

    Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
    You can Pre-Order your next Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and get $200 Samsung credit. Samsung also gives you one year of Samsung Care+ for free when you opt into a 3 year Samsung Care+ plan.

Roland Udvarlaki

Roland is a technology enthusiast and software engineer based in United Kingdom. He is also a content creator and writer, and is best known under the name “Techusiast”.



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