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Directive has been serving the Oneonta area since 1993, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

The Highest-End Smartphones Right Now - Foldables

The Highest-End Smartphones Right Now - Foldables

For the past two weeks we have looked at some of the best phones and some that bring the most value. This week, we turned our gaze to a form factor that is only a couple of years old, but seems to be the future of mobile technology, foldable screens. The different form factors made possible by foldable OLED technology make the future of mobile devices more exciting. Let’s take a look at three of the top foldable devices right now.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G

A couple of years ago Samsung came out with their first foldable device, the Galaxy Z Fold, and while the device itself wasn’t anything to really write home about, it did usher in a whole new era of mobile computing. The Galaxy Z Fold3, the third iteration of the line, is by far the most notable of the foldable devices. 

The Z Fold3 is built on an aluminum frame with Gorilla Glass Victus front and back. When the phone is folded, it has a 6.2-inch, Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 832 x 2268px display that has a booming 120 hertz refresh rate. Basically they put a high-end, mid-size smartphone screen on the outside cover of the phone. This means that it can ostensibly be used folded up most of the time, but unfolded it gives you a nice tablet-like experience. The larger screen is made from plastic, but it’s remarkable how it doesn’t lose any effectiveness. 

The rest of the phone has flagship specs. It runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G chip, and comes with a whopping 12 GB of RAM and 256 or 512 GB of onboard storage. The device runs Android 11, but is able to be upgraded to Android 12 and Samsung’s One UI OS. More and more applications are being designed to take advantage of the foldable screen and the flexibility it gives users. 

The Z Fold3 features a 12 MP wide-angle lens with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), a 12 MP telephoto lens with 2x zoom and OIS, and a 12 MP ultra wide-angle lens. The front-facing camera on the large display is a 4 MP in-display wide-angle lens, while the cover camera is 10 MP wide-angle lens. Overall, the Z Fold3 presents a pretty impressive cache of cameras to do most anything you would need a smartphone to do. 

The battery is pretty small at 4,400 mAh, but comes with 25 Watt fast charging to offset the lowly 75 hour endurance rating. For security, there is a side-mounted fingerprint sensor. Other features include a iPX8 water resistance rating, Samsung’s DeX capability and 5G capability. 

This ingenious device is available in Phantom Black, Phantom Silver, Phantom Green, Thom Browne Edition, and an exclusive Wooyoungmi Edition, the Galaxy Z Fold3 costs nearly $2,000 from Samsung and most major cell carriers. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G
Body:  Aluminum Frame, Gorilla Glass Victus front and back, plastic large display
Display: Closed - 6.2-inch Super AMOLED 2X, 120 Hz,  832 x 2,268 (~374 ppi); Open - 7.6-inch Super AMOLED 2X, 120 Hz, 1768 x 2208
OS: Android 11; upgradable to Android 12, One UI 4.0
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
Memory: 12 GB RAM; 256-to-512 GB onboard storage
Expandable Memory: No
Cameras: Rear - 12 MP, 26mm, OIS; 12 MP 52mm 2x optical zoom OIS; 12 MP 123º ultrawide. Front of device - 10 MP 26mm; Front of folded display - 4 MP under-display
Sounds: Stereo Sound
Battery (battery endurance rating): 4,400 mAh (75 hours)
Security: Side-mounted fingerprint sensor
Miscellaneous: Samsung DeX, IPX8 water resistant, 24W fast charging

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3

Samsung is definitely the leader in foldable devices. As the Z Fold3 is an engineering marvel, the Z Flip3 brings back one of the most popular form factors in smartphone history. The Z Flip3 is Samsung’s best folding phone for people who want both a compact device and a large smartphone experience. The Z Flip3 is effectively a flagship smartphone that folds in half for safekeeping.

The device is made on an aluminum frame, it has a plastic front and a back made from Gorilla Glass Victus. The screen is made from plastic and houses a 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display that comes in at 1,080 x 2,640 pixels and sports a 120 Hz refresh rate. Not bad for a phone that folds in half. When folded there is a 1.9-inch Super AMOLED screen for quick view of time and notifications. 

The device runs Android 11 (upgradable to Android 12 with Samsung’s One UI 4.0) on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 FG chip. It comes with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB or 258 GB of onboard storage. For security it has a side-mounted fingerprint sensor. 

The camera on the Z Flip3 has a 12 MP wide-angle lens and a 12 MP ultrawide angle lens, while the selfie camera is a 10 MP wide-angle lens. The battery is a paltry 3,300 mAh offering that allows for 15W fast charging. At a 69-hour endurance rating, the device is at the low end of the premium smartphone market…but it folds in half. 

Available in a litany of colors including Phantom Black, Green, Cream, Pink, Dream White and more, the Z Flip3 runs about $1,000 from your friendly neighborhood cell carrier or from Samsung directly. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3
Body: Aluminum frame, plastic front, Gorilla Glass Victus back
Display: 6.7-inch Foldable Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120 Hz, 1,080 x 2,640px
OS: Android 11; Upgradable to Android 12, Samsung One UI 4.0
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G
Memory: 8 GB RAM; 128 GB-to- 256 GB of onboard storage
Expandable Memory: No
Cameras: Rear - 12 MP 27mm OIS; 12 MP 123º; Front - 10 MP 26mm
Sounds: Stereo sound
Battery (battery endurance rating): 3,300 (69 hours)
Security: Side-mounted fingerprint sensor
Miscellaneous: IPX8 water resistant, 15 W fast charging

Microsoft Surface Duo 2

Samsung might have superiority over the foldable device space, but other manufacturers are creating some pretty useful devices, too. Microsoft is one of them and their newest folding smartphone is a big upgrade over the first Surface Duo. Well, it has cameras this time at least. 

The Surface Duo 2 has great build quality, what you would expect from a Surface line product. There is no outside display like you would find on the Samsung devices, but when closed there is enough of the wrap-around screen to show the time, notifications, and other information. When the device is open there are effectively two 5.8-inch AMOLED panels that add up to a total of an 8.3-inch screen when it’s completely folded out as it functions with large bezels.  

The Surface Duo 2 runs Android 11 on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G chip and has 8 GB of RAM and can go up to 512 GB of onboard storage. It comes with a side-mounted fingerprint sensor for security. The battery of the Duo 2 is a 4,449 mAh power cell with available 23W fast charging. 

Microsoft decided to put a full suite of cameras on this year's model, a feature that was suspiciously left off of last year’s. The rear mounted cameras have a 12 MP wide-angle lens with OIS, a 12 MP telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom and OIS and a 16 MP ultra wide-angle lens. The front-facing camera is a 12 MP wide-angle lens. 

Available in Glacier and Obsidian, the Microsoft Duo 2 is currently being sold for $1,500 online and at microsoft.com.

Microsoft Surface Duo 2
Body: Plastic frame, Gorilla Glass Victus front and back
Display: 8.3-inch AMOLED, 90 hz, 1,832 x2,688 (~401 ppi)
OS: Android 11
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
Memory: 8 GB RAM; 128-to-512 GB onboard storage
Expandable Memory: No
Cameras: Rear - 12 MP 27mm OIS; 12 MP 51mm telephoto 2x optical zoom OIS; 16 MP 13 mm; Front - 12 MP 24mm
Sounds: Stereo sound
Battery (battery endurance rating): 4,449 mAh
Security: Side-mounted fingerprint reader
Miscellaneous: Stylus support

The foldable phone, or some other form factor using the incredible OLED foldable panels, is definitely not a fad. Once manufacturers can roll out these devices for less, you will see more people snatching them up.

Of the three devices we went through, what was your favorite? Are there any other devices that you would recommend to other users? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below and check back to our blog for more great technology content. 

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Sunday, July 03 2022

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