Why do I think you would like to buy a Samsung foldable device? That’s easy. Forget about regular smartphones or tablets, even if they are premium flagships; foldable phones are today’s cutting edge devices. They are the coolest types of mobile devices you can carry around today, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to know that, like me, you find yourself drawn to them.
A compact phone that opens up into a larger device for reading or video consumption or work. There isn’t anything cooler on the planet right now. Yesterday, my buddy, Dayo, and I were discussing the latest gadgets to buy. We talked about how fantastic the iPhone 13 Pro Max is. As far as we can tell, it is the hottest smartphone to buy right now. It leaves everything else in the dust.
Well, except that it isn’t as cutting edge and as cool as a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 or OPPO Find N or Huawei Mate X. Is there really anyone out there who will argue that you can’t do more, and more efficiently on these foldable devices? I don’t think so. They are the best things since the Nokia Communicators of old.
Dayo and I come from that generation. I owned three Communicators back in the early 2000s: the Nokia 9210, 9500, and E90. They were the most advanced mobile phones you could buy. They were also great work tools. As such, seeing as today’s foldable devices appear to be spiritual descendants of those dinosaurs, Dayo and I drooled over them. Actually, we fawned over the Galaxy Z Fold3 the most. Why?
It is the most available and easy to buy foldable device in almost all markets worldwide. You’d have to get on a plane to China to buy the OPPO Find N. Yes; I exaggerate, but you get the message. And with Huawei’s recent ordeals, how many people want the Mate X2? They are all fantastic devices with premium flagship specs and a cutting edge form factor. They are just not easy to buy.
But let’s get to a question you are probably already asking: if I am so enamoured by this genre of mobile devices, why then is this article about why not to buy a Samsung foldable phone? The answer to that is that the Galaxy Z Fold3 is plagued by a weakness that is a deal breaker for me. Poor battery life.
I cannot deal with a mobile phone with poor battery life. And trust me, I have tried. I end up almost tearing out my hair every time. It just does not matter how fantastic the device is in other ways, poor battery life always messes it up. Which busy, productive person wants to carry a power bank around or spend their day looking for the next spot to charge their device? I know that many iPhone lovers, for example, have become used to this bad thing, but it couldn’t be me. Thankfully, iPhone 13 Pro Max is a different beast.
If you are anything like me and cannot stand poor battery life, do not buy a Samsung foldable phone yet. They aren’t ready for you. Perhaps the Fold4 will get it right. We shall have to wait and see. But the Galaxy Z Fold3 has piss-poor battery life; iPhone-like battery life, to be honest. You will go about your day and be needing to top it up every few hours.
And this is not a drag on Samsung. Foldable phones from other brands like OPPO and Huawei are just as guilty. The battery life of Huawei Mate X is just as bad as that of the Fold3. OPPO Find N does a better job of holding on to a full charge, but it isn’t exemplary; just fair. Perhaps I could live with it. Just perhaps. But it would be a compromise on my part.
The thing is, foldable screens are new technology, and manufacturers are constantly refining new technology for optimal performance. We already know that displays are the top battery drainers in mobile phones. Is it any surprise that foldable phones are experiencing greater battery drain than regular phones? It should not be. It comes with the terrain. Those massive screens come at a cost – battery life.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 is one foldable phone with a moderate screen size and it would have been the exception to this scenario of poor battery life, but guess what Samsung did – they put in a smallish 3300mAh battery. The result? Poor battery life again – poorer than the Fold3’s. Aargh!
But it is all good. I am pretty sure that by the time foldable display technology is mainstream, all the refinements and optimisations will have been done, and someone like me won’t have to agonise about the battery life.
If battery life is not a top criteria for you, go buy a Samsung foldable phone. If you ask me, the Galaxy Z Fold3 is the big, bad boy to splurge on. It is certainly the more imposing and more impressive of the two latest models. However, if you prefer something compact and chic, the Galaxy Z Flip3 beckons to you. As for foldable phones from other brands, if you can find them to buy, take a look, especially at OPPO Find N. That is a pure work of craftsmanship, and it has the best battery life of the foldable lot.
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Way back from the days of EPOC, Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems, founder of MobilityArena, Mister Mobility, has owned a few hundred smartphones and tablets, and counting.