Folding n Flippin’, Slipping n Sliding

Was it just recently, i.e. a few years ago; that we were using bank books roughly the size of 12 centimeters (cm) x 5 cm to keep track of our deposits and withdrawals in our savings account?

Then, there was the famous little pocket “Three 5s”, no, not the cigarette brand. In Malaysia, mostly everyone from the yester era of the 1970s or 1980s (I have to put “19” before 70 and 80 as it is fast coming one full circle of 100 years 🙂 ) remembers this as the “Buku Tiga(3) Lima(5) book.

This little roughly 10cm x 7.5cm book had it’s cover in light blue, yellow, green or pink. It had about 48 lined pages.


This book was / is famously used as the “I.O.U.” book. All purchases were recorded in these little books as I.O.U. with the agreement to pay at the end of the week or month. These books were used by small business traders. The traders would write your name on the book – your account, but they keep your book. Those recordings of purchases would be crossed out when payment is made. Famously used by the “sayur man” (vegetable seller), meat sellers and the “roti man” (bread sellers).

In 1972 – 1975, I had the opportunity to utilize one of these books because I was granted credit. I was still in school at that time. I used to love reading aeroplane and car magazines but could hardly afford them as they cost about $4 or $5 (no RM Ringgit those days) each and they came out on a weekly basis. So, I had an “account” with our neighbourhood newspaper and magazine shop in Palm Grove, Klang.

The shop owner would stop the supply of these magazines until I settle at least 75% of what was outstanding each time the total amount owing reached a certain amount. This was to ensure that I had the money to pay him. Anyway, he knew my parents and would have gone to them if I did not pay up. Haha! Lucky I was a good paymaster. Phew!

If you lived in Palm Grove or nearby at that time, this newspaper vendor’s shop was next to the barber shop in that row of single-storey shops. I think that was the only row of convenience shops in the whole of Palm Grove and its surroundings.

Did I go off tangent by rambling along (a line from the film “Mrs. Doubtfire”?) with a “blast from the past?” One thing led to another and more nice memories came to mind. Back to the present: Samsung just launched their latest and their greatest in smartphones and watches.

In March of this year, I decided that I was going to buy myself the Samsung Galaxy Fold 3. Though it’s price was expected to be hefty at RM8,000 or US$1,925; I was planning on using the Fold 3 to help improve my productivity especially in writing my articles whenever I am away from my workstation. I thought it a minimalist way of doing things – everything could be done with one device.

At a recent big Samsung world launch event on August 11th; Samsung unveiled the not so secret Samsung Galaxy Fold 3, Z Flip 3 and the Watch 4.

The Fold 3, probably the most awaited for; top-end, premium flagship phone of this year, did not fail to impress. It is on par with the other two Samsung flagships, namely the S21 and the Note series in terms of build quality and looks. Being able to fold the nearly 8 inch screen into two so that it fits in most pants pockets, is in itself an interesting attraction.

My amateur skills in recording this video.

The decision that hinged (the folding hinge) on whether I should pick up this phone or not (Malaysian decision making: can or not), was initially based on Samsung’s pre-launch video which highlighted and underscored the impracticality of holding the phone in one hand and using the S-pen in the other. It also focused on the difficulty of holding the Fold folded at a 90 degree angle and using the S-pen. Based on this video, I decided that I was not going to get it.

But then again, I waited eagerly since March to get this device of the year. At this point, I was still compelled on getting it. Talk about being fickle-minded.

This edition, Samsung’s third, impresses and will continue to impress for a long time to come. It’s closest competitor, the other brand which is from China; seems to have withered away without so much as a whimper.

I managed to get my hands on a display unit at Harvey Norman in Mid-Valley Megamall, not once but on two occasions. On the first occasion, I managed to do the video above. I was itchy-fied (1) to make the pre-order straight away. But I was a bit hesitant and wanted to check it out further.

On the second hands on limited review, I found the phone to be top notch build quality, screen was good. The front panel screen was Samsung’s usual Dynamic Amoled. It had hardly any competition or no real competition. Another thing I noticed about the front screen panel – it looks like a slab of glass was attached to it, with its edges above the body of the phone as it does not seem to be recessed in the body.

Unfolding (opening) the phone, needs a two-hand operation. It is stiff. I don’t know if it will remain stiff or firm throughout its lifespan or get into a loose, dangly mode after using it for sometime. The screen may seem really big, but in reality; it is almost 3/4 inch bigger than Samsung’s S21 Ultra or Note 20 Ultra only.

Oh, by this time of my second hands on of the Fold 3, I picked up the Samsung S21 Ultra 5G 512gb storage 16gb ram with the optional S-Pen. I bought the silicone cover case for the S21 because it could house the S-Pen in it. (I may do a user’s review of my Samsung S21 Ultra 5G 512gb storage 16gb ram – a mouthful, isn’t it?)

Galaxy S21 Ultra pen coming out of a case attached to the phone
The Samsung S21 Ultra 5G with S-Pen capabilities. Shown here, is the S-21 in the silicone case which tucks away the S-pen neatly at the side.

And I was still thinking of the Fold 3. It was like being lured into an entrapment with no way out. And this time round, the S-Pen was available for testing. This was what made things look complicating to me, from here the Fold 3 was downhill all the way.

The S-Pen for the S21 Ultra does not work on the Fold 3. The Fold 3 S-Pen does not work with the S21 Ultra. The Fold 3 S-Pen pro does not work on any of the other Samsung S-pen enabled devices. The Master S-Pen Pro sells for RM499 or US$120. Not cheap. Using an S-Pen other that that designed for the Fold-3 could damage it’s main screen though the claim is the screen is much stronger than the previous Fold 2.

The different S-Pens. Now, there are 5 S-pens for the various Samsung devices. Shown here from left to right: Master S-Pen Pro, S-Pen Pro and S-Pen. Photo: (Nice pic)

After watching JerryRigEverything’s You Tube video review (2) on how he put this phone through the various forms of damage tests to gauge its durability, I decided to give the Samsung Galaxy Fold 3 a miss for sure. It still seems a very delicate phone.

At the events unfolded (pun intended) further, I finally decided against getting the Samsung Fold 3 5G. There were just too many caveats that deterred me from getting this otherwise marvelous smartphone.


i. I have not attempted to give a full, detailed preview of the Samsung Galaxy Fold 3. Therefore, I have not provided the full specs, etc, of this smartphone. I am attempting to bring you into the aura of me awaiting for the arrival of this folding marvel, and then giving it a miss as it did not quite meet my expectations. I may not seem forgiving but this is too expensive to close an eye on its shortcomings.

ii. Having said that, this article is in no means meant to discourage you from buying this smartphone. Those of you without high or much expectations placed on this Fold 3; are going to enjoy this device for sure.

iii. Let me know your thoughts and views in the comment section.


I, an amateur, did these video-recordings. They were done on a spur of the moment, not planned for. No pre-written script. My voice was very muffled due to me having two face-masks and a face shield, on.

1. itchy-fied” – Can’t keep ones hands to him/herself. The word is famously used within the Atkinson – Gomes family.

2. JerryRigEverything, “Is the Galaxy Fold 3 really 80% Stronger?!”;

5 thoughts on “Folding n Flippin’, Slipping n Sliding

  1. Cool! Ive always been an Android user. From note to S and currently note 10+ . But itching to try iphone next just because i really want the iwatch! 😅 is that a good excuse? Lol.. love your stories!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your nice comments.

      The iPhone and the iWatch are excellent and premium products from Apple. If you are into customizing your devices to the way you like it; these may not be the products for you.

      On the other hand, Android provides a near limitless choice of customization. Check out the latest watch 4 from Samsung.

      We can chat further on this if you like. 🙂

      Disclaimer: I am not loyal to one brand against another.


  2. Hah… I remember my days in Kampong Pandan Govt Quarters when I was aged between 5-10 and we lived on credit with the ubiquitous 555 book. It was a lifeline for is during those times. My mother would dictate to me the provisions needed and I would write them down and toddle off to Ah Pek’s shop to deliver the list. He was the proverbial Chinaman sitting on his stool with the abascus in front of him. And then the deep cough and spit into the drain in front. We would all watch him do this as it was a spectacle by itself.
    Luckily his son was able to read English and after loading the provisions into his tricycle he would deliver them with the list. Mum would tick them off as he unloaded. Payment was made end of month.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I remember that type of provision shop. Brings back memories. Most of these shops had the coconut scraping machines at the entrance of the shop. And the Chinaman would be in his “Crocodile” brand (famous in those days) white singlets.


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