Samsung’s small change to the Fold 3 display allows apps to better fit the tablet-sized screen


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Samsung's small change to the Fold 3 display allows apps to better fit the tablet-sized screen

Out of all of the changes made by Samsung to the Galaxy Z Fold over its three years (including the OG version that was named the Galaxy Fold), some are easy to spot. The change in the cover display is probably the easiest to spot; it changed from a 4.6-inch 720 x 1680 resolution screen to a 6.2-inch display with an 832 x 2268 resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. With the change, the exterior screen is so much easier to use.

One little change by Samsung allows the Fold 3 to display more optimized apps for the tablet-sized display

Some changes though, cannot be easily seen. For example, the water resistance on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 isn’t something that you would be able to spot right away. Support for the S Pen though is certainly something that you would notice when other Galaxy Z Fold users start scribbling on the display. And those with sharp eyes might have noticed that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is using more Android tablet apps and apps optimized to fit the internal display.
According to 9to5Google, users of last year’s Galaxy Z Fold 2 noticed that many Android apps were not using all of the display space available on the foldable tablet-sized screen, which weighed in at 7.6-inches. This year’s internal screen is the same size and resolution as last year’s but Samsung made one change and increased the minimum DPI (Dots per Inch) from 589 on the Galaxy Z Fold 2 to 673 on the Galaxy Z Fold 3.

This change allows more optimized versions of Android apps to appear on the internal tablet-sized display, doing away with the blank spaces. Some of the touch elements on the display are now smaller, to be sure, but more text is now crammed on the screen. For example, 9to5Google noted that using the Galaxy Z Fold 3, users can now see sidebar navigation in Gmail and Spotify while the YouTube app sports smaller thumbnails and the Google Chrome browser features a desktop-like list of tabs.

Who needs a Galaxy Note 21 if the Galaxy Z Fold 3 provides an even-larger display (and the S Pen experience)

Samsung also made some changes to its own apps to show a more tablet-like UI. Those apps include the Settings app, the Phone app, and both Samsung and Google’s Messages apps. So if an app left too many blank spaces on the Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Z Fold 2, there is a possibility that the app has been optimized for the 7.6-inch display on the Galaxy Z Fold 3.

Pre-orders for the Galaxy Z Fold and the clamshell Galaxy Z Flip 3 both started on August 11th. The pair will be released on August 27th.

Speaking of noticing things, Samsung fans have come to the realization that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 with its S Pen support is replacing the large-screened Galaxy Note series. This year we would have expected Sammy to offer the Galaxy Note 21 line but the manufacturer has apparently realized that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 delivers an even larger sized display (at 7.6-inches) than any screen that a new Note model would have delivered this year.

Of course, there is a huge difference between what a Galaxy Note 21 Ultra might have cost and the price of the Galaxy Z Fold 3. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra was $1,299 in the U.S. (since there is no Note 21 series, this is the best we can do) compared with $1,799 and up for the Galaxy Z Fold 3. While Samsung has lowered the price of the Galaxy Z Flip 3 by some $450 this year, if foldables are going mainstream, it is the Fold that needs to come down in price.

And that also makes the pricing of the rumored Google Pixel Fold very important. If the rumors of such a device launching this year are true, Google might have a chance to undercut Samsung, deliver a pure Android foldable that will be among the first Android devices to receive updates, and grab a decent share of the foldables market. Sure, it seems that Samsung has for now locked up the foldables niche in the states, we have yet to hear officially from Google, and more importantly Apple.

When it comes to foldables, we are still very much early in the game.


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