Smartphones nowadays are very powerful. The chips that are equipped in these handheld devices are capable of emulating home consoles of the past. Though, the idea of emulating these classic games isn’t exactly appealing to me previously since phones have this… extremely long aspect ratio for screens.
Recently, I joined the foldable future with the Galaxy Z Fold3. I scoured around Reddit and I saw that many people were using the Galaxy Z Fold3 as an emulation device. So, I decided to give it a try.
While we’re not particularly keen on talking about emulation due to the legality surrounding that topic, we can still share our experience with you.
That screen is 👌💯 perfection
Since the first Galaxy Fold from the year 2019, there were a lot of criticism about its weird aspect ratio. It’s not quite 4:3 but I think it’s close enough to the point that I didn’t realize that slight aspect ratio mismatch.
For the Galaxy Z Fold3, I emulated some Nintendo GameCube classics like Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door and it filled the screen with its vibrant colors shining through its 7.6-inches of Foldable Dynamic AMOLED 2X display.
Since the game was released a long time ago, the textures don’t look the sharpest. So, I downloaded some HD texture packs, then selecting the emulator’s internal resolution of the GameCube emulator to be 4x the native resolution.
What we end up with is 2560×2112 resolution – 4x the GameCube’s resolution – which is slightly above the Galaxy Z Fold3’s resolution of 2208×1768, and combined with a crispy-looking HD texture pack for Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, the game looks absolutely stunning on this device.
Oh – we absolutely need to highlight the under-display camera. Like what we have already mentioned in our full review of the Galaxy Z Fold3, the under-display camera isn’t exactly invisible but it is so much better than having a black hole.
Of course, I tried one older Nintendo console too – the Nintendo 64. I emulated Banjo Kazooie and it worked fine at upscaled resolution.
Performance to match
The latest Galaxy Z Fold3 and Galaxy Z Flip3 are both powered by the Snapdragon 888 chipset – and we’re all very familiar with this chipset. Because this chipset is using an Adreno GPU that is found in a majority of the smartphones in this world, emulators are optimized for that GPU.
Though, we did have to do quite a lot of tinkering to get the game to run smoothly. Once that’s done, we were able to run the game at a consistent 60fps at 100% game speed (which is the original speed) and it ran smoothly even when we scaled the resolution by 4x and used an HD texture pack.
Though, I’d be lying if I said that the experience is without issues. There are a few minor hiccups and glitches here and there but generally, it doesn’t impact the overall experience.
Emulators are also very dependent on what type of graphical technique that the game is using. For example, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is a little difficult to emulate because of the bounding box graphical technique that it’s using.
Maybe Luigi’s Mansion will run better than this? That I’m unsure if it’ll run smoothly.
A gamepad to complete the experience
One major contributing factor about the Galaxy Z Fold3 is the height of the phone. It’s still just as tall as any other phone, and it can fit into the GameSir X2 Type-C controller grip that I was using for the last year.
But since we can unfold it to get a larger screen, the experience that we can never experience with any other smartphone.
We are also using the official Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 Flip Cover with the S Pen holder and everything coincidentally fits together with very tight tolerance. It’s so satisfying to see.
Emulating Nintendo DS games feels magical on the Galaxy Z Fold3
Ever since the first Galaxy Fold, we were already hoping that the upcoming Galaxy Z Fold3 to work with the S Pen. We joked about how the S Pen can be stored inside the device like the Nintendo DS too.
Fast forward to today, the Galaxy Z Fold3 is the world’s first foldable device to work with the S Pen – and it works oh, so well. But it doesn’t store inside the device like the Nintendo DS, though.
Still, I was able to play Cooking Mama 3: Shop & Chop. It’s my guilty pleasure game and I got to fry some shrimps and got a gold medal too.
Battery life to last for hours
Of course, no one likes to have a gaming session cut short due to the battery running low. Despite me running Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door with 4x upscaled resolution with an HD texture pack, the Galaxy Z Fold3 still lasts for hours.
That’s fantastic – and the Galaxy Z Fold3 also supports USB PD PPS fast-charging standards of up to 45W – so take a quick break and we can get back to gaming ASAP.
Emulation is not the only purpose of the Galaxy Z Fold3
Other than just emulating games, we can still do a lot of things with this device. Reading things with a larger screen, multitasking by opening two apps or even three apps at once, and taking some fantastic pictures. With the S Pen support, I was also doodling on the Galaxy Z Fold3 as a form of creative outlet.
The Galaxy Z Fold3 is the one device that literally changed my perspective of how I integrate my workflow on a smartphone. Better yet, the Galaxy Z Fold3 is IPX8-rated, so it’s not afraid of some rain or water splashes.
Where to buy?
Samsung is having a promotion for the Galaxy Z Fold3 too. You can get it with these freebies:
- RM500 e-voucher
- 1 year of Samsung Care+ (worth RM799)
- Get 30% off accessories via purchase-with-purchase
The Galaxy Z Fold3 is available in two different variants and three different colors:
- 256GB storage @ RM6,699 (the one we are using)
- 512GB storage @ RM7,099
By the way, you can also trade-in your devices to get an even better deal while upgrading the new Galaxy Z Fold3.
To place your order now, click the links below: