Galaxy Z Fold 3 diary: How has it held up a year later?

Until Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Fold 3, the products that ultimately boosted sales to indicate there is true interest in these devices, foldables never truly went mainstream. How did the Galaxy Z Fold 3 hold up a year later, and what does that tell us about what comes next?

This was my second foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Z Fold 3. I acquired it by exchanging my Galaxy Z Fold 2, an update that made me ecstatic because the 2020 model hadn’t held up all that well.

With the Fold 2, I had seen that the inner screen was difficult to use, the hinge had lost some of its resistance, and the accessory ecosystem required significant improvement. The Fold 3 thankfully handled each of these.

My Galaxy Z Fold 3’s hinge is still sturdy and functions well in Flex Mode after a year of use. Additionally, the inner screen protector has endured very well. It is essentially damage-free, and the oleophobic coating still controls fingerprints to a respectable degree. But I have definitely observed that it has gotten worse and worse at removing moisture from my fingertips on a hot afternoon over the course of the summer.

It’s also obvious that the generation of Fold 3s has seen a rise in the popularity of accessories. Over the course of a year, Samsung’s first-party cases performed admirably for me; I used both the leather case and two of the silicone cases, which I alternated during the year. I regrettably had to shift away from the white silicone case because it was so easily stained, compared to the black silicone case, which offered fantastic grip. The leather case was possibly my favorite because it held up well in terms of grip and how well it suited the phone despite being regularly put on and taken off.

How, though, did the Galaxy Z Fold 3 do after a year? Did Samsung’s efforts to increase durability succeed?

As already said, the inside screen has endured much better than I anticipated. Another significant benefit with peace of mind was water resistance. The Fold 3 comfortably survived a couple contacts with rain, showers, and more without any issues, so I wasn’t afraid about using it on most outings.

However, it is obvious that Samsung still needs to improve its dust resistance. Within the first few months of use, I was able to let some dust to enter my Fold 3 through the hinge, where it eventually jammed itself under the display and left a noticeable bulge. Fortunately, this never caused any actual damage, but it is unsightly, slightly noisy, and was undoubtedly a source of concern during my ownership. Although I’ve never been huge on phone insurance, I’ve always had Care on my Fold 3 device.

And I’m not the only one who experiences such difficulties. Fold 3 cracks are still frequently observed, and the screen protector on the Fold 3 frequently starts to peel. There is obviously opportunity for improvement. Michael Fisher had issues with his device, and while I’m relieved that I haven’t had them with mine, Samsung support continues to be a pain in the neck.

But now that we have the Galaxy Z Fold 4, I was more than prepared to make the switch. But unlike the Fold 2, I won’t be replacing this one because I’m not satisfied with it anymore. The Fold 4 simply strikes the appropriate notes for me personally.

One of my biggest complaints with the Fold 3 is addressed by the upgraded main camera on the Fold 4, and the larger display sizes convinced me to trade it in even though it still cost me $800.

Do you own a Galaxy Z Fold 3? Upgrades are you making? Let’s discuss in the section below!

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