Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs. Surface Duo: The ultimate fold off

Microsoft Option
Surface Duo

Samsung Option
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

While there’s a Surface Duo 2 simply coming into view on the horizon, that is the one Duo available on the market proper now and one of many few true opponents to the Galaxy Fold 3. After value cuts, it’s most likely probably the most inexpensive foldable available on the market, making it an excellent entry level for tech fans who fancy one thing totally different. Is it ok to be your each day driver, although?

$700 at Microsoft Store


Dual shows for simple multi-tasking
Separate screens are possible extra immune to wear-and-tear
Far extra inexpensive after value cuts
Works with the Surface Slim Pen for note-taking


Thicc bezels for weak body-to-screen ratio
Weak digital camera setup
Performance is common
Low customization
No wi-fi charging, and no 5G
Nowhere to retailer the pen
Terrible microphone and middling sound
Bluetooth sign power could be very dangerous

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 introduced folding show tech to the lots, and whereas the implementation is not excellent, after three generations, the Fold 3 has overcome a lot of its gen-1 criticisms. The Fold 3 beats the Surface Duo in virtually each facet, and truthfully, it ought to, contemplating it prices virtually triple the worth.

$1830 at Amazon


(*3*) efficiency with good cameras
Flexible show expertise lastly offers us a pocketable single-screen pill
Great multitasking expertise
Mature Samsung One UI OS with themes and mountains of extra options
Works with the brand new Galaxy S-Pen for note-taking
(*3*) and loud audio system with Dolby Atmos


Flexible display screen tech is worryingly fragile, even with common use
A financial institution account-busting price ticket
Nowhere to retailer the pen

Honestly, the Surface Duo is not a lot of a contender for the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3. The Duo is an older cellphone on the time of this comparability, making it a bit unfair in lots of respects. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 has the Duo beat, clearly, in virtually each spec class, with higher chips, shows, cameras, alongside a extra polished working system. The Fold 3 additionally has mountains of sought-after options lacking on the Duo, like wi-fi charging and 5G.
However, we’ll concentrate on the implementation of the folding show. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 additionally prices a really monumental $1800, whereas the Surface Duo has come down closely in value, resting at round $700 as of writing, which is way extra respectable for its spec sheet.
Surface Duo vs. Galaxy Z Fold 3: Spec showdown
Here are the specs for reference, however to be honest to the Surface Duo, it is a far older handset than the Galaxy Z Fold 3. We’ll have a significantly better, extra up-to-date image of how these approaches to foldables stack up with the Surface Duo 2 is revealed.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
Surface Duo

Device identify
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G
Surface Duo

Operating System
Android 11, One UI 3.1.1
Android 10

(Cover): 6.2 inches, 25:9, 2268×832 (387 ppi) decision, Super AMOLED, 120Hz refresh charge. (Inner) 7.6 inches, 22.5:18, 2208×1768 (374 ppi) decision, Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz refresh charge
(Single): 5.6 inch (1800×1350), 401 ppi, 4:3 facet ratio. (Open): 8.1 inch (2700×1800), 401 ppi, 3:2 facet ratioType: AMOLED, Wide shade gamut: 100% SRGB and 100% DCI-P3, Corning Gorilla Glass

Snapdragon 888
Snapdragon 855


256GB or 512GB
128GB or 256GB

Expandable Storage

Rear Camera
12MP, ƒ/1.8, 1.8μm (wide-angle) 12MP, ƒ/2.2, 1.12μm (ultra-wide) 12MP, ƒ/2.4, 1.0μm, 2x optical zoom (telephoto)

Inside Front Camera
4MP, ƒ/1.8, 2.0μm
11MP, ƒ/2.0 1.0um, PDAF, 84.0-degree diagonal FOVOptimized with AI for entrance and rear

Cover Camera
10MP, ƒ/2.2, 1.22μm

Side-mounted fingerprint sensor
Side-mounted fingerprint sensor

4400mAh 25W Fast Charging 10W Wireless Charging 4.5W Reverse Wireless Charging
3,577mAhFast Charging utilizing 18W in-box energy provide

Folded: 158.2 x 67.1 x 16.0mm Unfolded: 158.2 x 128.1 x 6.4mm
Folded: 145.2mm (H) x 93.3mm (W) x 9.9mm (T at hinge) Unfolded: 145.2mm (H) x 186.9mm (W) x 4.8mm (T)

250 grams


With all the main points so as, let’s have a look at how these folds match up.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs. Surface Duo: What the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 does higher
Source: Windows Central
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, as its identify suggests, is the third entry in Samsung’s foray into folding cellphone tech. Where it differs massively from the Surface Duo is the way it has applied its fold, utilizing “Ultra Thin” versatile glass. The Duo, for comparability, has two separate shows linked with an progressive hinge mechanism, which comes with benefits and a few downsides.

Indeed, this comparability is much less about specs, provided that the Surface Duo 2 is simply across the nook, and the Duo is sort of outdated at this level.

First, I’ll tackle the elephant within the room. Yes, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 has higher specs throughout the board. It’s sooner, the cameras are higher, and the screens are brighter. It has 5G, whereas the Duo doesn’t. It has wi-fi charging, too. It helps 120hz (though your battery life will not thanks for turning it on), and it has a powerful under-screen selfie digital camera, which disappears when it is in your peripheral imaginative and prescient. The Duo solely has a single digital camera, which will be reversed backward and used both as a standard digital camera, or a selfie digital camera, relying on the way you orient the shows. The trade-off is huge bezels which give it a really dated-looking physique to display screen ratio that I simply can’t recover from. You do need to pay a premium for what Samsung is providing right here, although, provided that it is roughly $1800~ relying on the place you purchase it from.
Indeed, this comparability is much less about specs, provided that the Surface Duo 2 is simply across the nook, and the Duo is sort of outdated at this level. This is extra about how the folding type issue is applied. Honestly, each types have execs and cons, however this is what the Galaxy Z Fold 3 does higher.
Source: Windows Central
Obviously, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 supplies you with a real pill expertise. While there’s a crease (which I discovered myself getting used to extremely shortly), you get a big steady show. It’s a real tablet-like expertise that you would be able to match firmly in your pocket. I’ve at all times been a fan of the smaller tablets since they stability media consumption with portability. I hate enjoying video games on a small cellphone display screen. Plus, you lose a lot element watching reveals and flicks on a cellphone until you are holding it proper as much as your face. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 offers you the most effective of each worlds, and it really works splendidly.
I’ll admit that I wasn’t certain if I favored it at first. Moving from a normal Samsung One UI system to the Galaxy Fold 3 took some getting used to. It was the primary time I truly bothered to make use of the Tips app on a tool like this to get a greater deal with on how multi-tasking truly works. To get probably the most out of the Fold 3, it is advisable use the sting show taskbar. From right here, you’ll be able to drag and drop apps, snapping them into place very similar to you’ll be able to with apps on Windows by dragging an utility to the sting of your show. It works intuitively, and a fast faucet on the house between apps permits you to change them round, rotate them horizontally or vertically, and even set them to drift in a window-like approach.
For video games and flicks, having the total span of the display screen in panorama is an apparent boon. Unlike the Surface Duo, you aren’t getting an enormous cut up down the center of your video or sport, obscuring particulars and even UI parts. The practicality comes with downsides, although, giving the Surface Duo just a few benefits.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs. Surface Duo: What the Surface Duo does higher
Source: Windows Central
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is a pill on the within, and a cellphone on the surface, providing you with the most effective of each worlds in a expensive bundle. The Surface Duo thinks of foldable tech a bit bit in another way, although.
Unlike the Fold 3, the Surface Duo falls again on extra typical show expertise, dropping versatile glass in favor of a normal show setup consisting of twin screens. The Surface Duo has an unimaginable hinge mechanism to permit the screens to speak, which is an oft-overlooked and underrated feat of engineering. This configuration lets the Duo rotate 360 levels creating varied positional modalities, that are a bit clunky on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 by comparability. There’s a delicate, underrated class in regards to the Surface Duo, which feels way more comfy being folded into totally different shapes than its dearer counterpart.
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is “conscious” of various folding states, however apps usually count on to both be working in a pill dimension mode or a cellphone dimension mode. Most apps do not know what to do if the display screen is folded upwards at a 90-degree angle. Furthermore, the Fold 3’s facet ratio does not precisely lend itself nicely to folded situations. Folded down the center, you are creating a really slim 25:9 facet ratio, which crushes 16:9 apps into near-uselessness. Generally, you may need the Galaxy Z Fold 3 folded out utterly flat for its extra tablet-like expertise, however the Duo has some fascinating, distinctive use instances as a dual-screen cellphone.
Source: Windows Central
For instance, the Surface Duo’s Xbox Cloud Gaming implementation is really nice, displaying the contact controls on the decrease portion of the display screen. This removes contact parts from the show, providing you with a greater, fuller view of the sport you are enjoying. Apps like Outlook span intelligently throughout shows and do not should be dragged and dropped like on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 to reap the benefits of their multi-tasking capabilities. For productiveness, the Duo feels invariably extra intuitive because of this. I needn’t configure my display screen for particular situations or modify my keyboard for folded modalities. The Duo extra typically simply is aware of what I’m making an attempt to do, based mostly on how I’ve oriented the screens, which is a productiveness win.
While the Galaxy Z Fold 3 does supply a a lot bigger display screen for gaming, in fact, your contact controls overlay everywhere in the display screen, which will be problematic in some video games. There are just a few video games designed to work natively on the Galaxy Z Fold 3, nevertheless, like Genshin Impact, that reap the benefits of the full-screen house supplied — and so they look wonderful.

For productiveness, the Duo feels invariably extra intuitive.

For me personally, although, the overwhelming majority of my cell gaming goes to be on video games that pressure a 16:9 facet ratio, full with pressured on-screen controls. The Surface Duo has potential as a dual-screen system, letting you cut up controls throughout screens or different UI parts, however the overwhelming majority of video games and apps most likely will not reap the benefits of the setup. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 simply behaves like an Android pill and can most certainly take pleasure in higher assist in that space because of this.
Despite all of this, there stays an enormous elephant within the room. I’d be mendacity if I stated I wasn’t overly involved in regards to the Galaxy Z Fold 3’s “Ultra Thin” show glass. The tech used within the display screen is equivalent to final 12 months’s Fold 2, regardless of enhancements to the physique itself. Yes, it ought to be safer from drop collisions, however colleagues like Mr. Mobile over on YouTube have reported that the Fold 2’s crease ultimately begins to separate for no actual motive, based mostly on common utilization alone. That’s not the form of threat you need in an $1800 cellphone.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs. Surface Duo: Which do you have to purchase, if any?
Source: Windows Central
The Surface Duo is a really exceptional piece of tech, with award-worthy engineering wrapped in an uncompromising and modern physique. Impossibly skinny, mild, and versatile, the Surface Duo was betrayed solely by its middling specs, inflated launch value, and poor OS, which sadly nonetheless suffers most of the annoyances and quirks at present because it did when it launched. All too typically have I had the UI get caught as I shifted between modalities. Although the expertise has gotten higher over time, it merely cannot compete with Samsung’s mature One UI, with its wealthy array of options and customization capabilities. The huge factor that killed the Surface Duo, for me, was the very weak Bluetooth antenna, which successfully stopped me from having the ability to use it for music.
The Surface Duo’s dual-screen implementation does have some benefits, doubtlessly, if they will get it proper. It’s extra intuitive for side-by-side productiveness situations, with a bigger panorama folding functionality for pseudo-laptop phrase processing and handheld gaming. The folded screens on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 are extremely slim by comparability, that means that you will usually wish to use it in its flat pill state the overwhelming majority of the time.
Indeed, whereas the Duo affords some potential with its modal plurality, it should depend on app builders to actually notice its full potential. Samsung’s answer successfully makes it an everyday single-screen pill, which affords huge advantages for media consumption that the Duo merely cannot compete with until it could possibly shrink these bezels down sooner or later.
Source: Windows Central
Ultimately, it boils down to cost, like the rest. You get an entire heap of cellphone for $1800 with the Galaxy Z Fold 3, with normal trendy options and up to date efficiency. The Surface Duo, whereas extra elegant in some methods, nonetheless appears like a prototype. It depends on inventory Google Android options for telephony and lacks many primary options you’d count on of a contemporary smartphone.

I hope that future Surface Duo iterations can carry the warmth to Samsung sooner or later as a result of there may be simply one thing magical in regards to the Surface crew’s engineering.

To purchase the Galaxy Z Fold 3, you finally need to count on this to be your each day driver, and for a very long time, most certainly. It’s for heavy cellphone customers, heavy media customers, and individuals who finally take pleasure in dwelling on the slicing fringe of tech. I traded in my Galaxy Note 20 Ultra for the Fold 3, and so far, I’ve completely no regrets by any means, regardless of the large gap I simply blew in my financial savings account. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is the ultimate Jez cellphone, though I can completely envision a future the place the Duo 2 or Duo 3 may supplant Samsung for me sometime.
I believe the Surface Duo may supply some worth at its $700 value level as a Surface fanatic’s system for many who do not see themselves spending extra for a cellphone. The Surface Duo is about to get replaced by the Duo 2, however Microsoft remains to be supposedly planning to assist the primary Duo with updates for the foreseeable. I do not assume it is ok, or succesful sufficient, to be a full each day driver for many, nevertheless, with a digital camera that lacks versatility, Bluetooth that does not work, and microphones that sound like they got here from the 90s.
Either approach, I hope that future Surface Duo iterations can carry the warmth to Samsung sooner or later as a result of there may be simply one thing magical in regards to the Surface crew’s engineering. But at present, the clear winner — regardless of the worth tag — is the Galaxy Z Fold 3.

A much less fragile choice

Surface Duo
The first Surface cellphone

The Surface Duo misses the mark in a whole lot of methods, however its new value level makes it a much more engaging mid-range choice for tech fans who wish to dabble in folding gadgets with out utterly blowing up the financial institution.

The actual (costly) deal

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
Break the financial institution

I say the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is the most effective cellphone I’ve ever owned, however I’d be mendacity if I did not have a heap of issues in regards to the versatile show’s long-term high quality.

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