Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3: What we know so far

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 launched in September this year and brought loads of improvements from its predecessor. It is still pretty fresh a device but the smartphone arena is so dynamic that already we have rumors about the successor – Galaxy Z Fold 3 making rounds.

The folding smartphone is still a long way from official release – little less than a year to be precise, but excitement is building for this premium device that'll improve on the Galaxy Z Fold 2 (the logical assumption). Samsung has in a way pioneered this niche category of smartphones, and we expect nothing less, come 2021.

Design and features

At the 2020 Investor Forum, Samsung hinted about launching a thinner and lighter foldable device. So, it is anybody's guess that the South Korean giant will do that with the premium Galaxy Z Fold 3 out of all the foldable devices in the works for 2021. This should satisfy the critics who have repeatedly pointed fingers at a foldable phone's form factor for a daily driver.

Galaxy Z Fold 3 could be Samsung's first device with an under-display camera. This was brought to light by a Korean news website, which revealed in the latter half of November that Samsung has chosen the premium folding smartphone for 2021 as its canvas for the under-display camera (UDC) for a wow factor. The technology is still in the early stage, and Samsung should get rid of some minor issues like the color bleeding or the inherent camera quality before finalizing a debut.

Another speculation about the design is the inclusion of an S Pen, in case Samsung plans to ditch the Galaxy Note series in the future. To use the S Pen technology, Samsung will have to let go of EMR-based stylus tech as it can damage the sensitive surface of the foldable. Rumor has it that the next best option is the Active Electrostatic (AES technology) for the S Pen to be a viable option for the Z Fold 3. If it is so, Samsung will also have to figure out a way to charge it up.

Galaxy Z Fold 3 is also likely to put a third thin 1.1-inch LED screen that runs along the hinge of the device. This will act as a notifications indicator for times when your phone is in the bag or on the table, and you don't want to open it time and again to check what's new. The new hardware will bring a unique design aesthetic to the foldable phone –giving it a definitive edge.

Yet another leak by The Elec suggests that the upcoming folding phone will have a smaller (much smaller) 4-inch external screen. Compare that to the 6.23-inch Super AMOLED cover display on the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and it sounds disappointing. This could happen if Samsung is willing to trade off the screen size to support better camera hardware, UDC, S Pen, or maybe a third LED screen.

Something that we would appreciate on the premium foldable device is a water-resistance rating and more durable glass protection. Paying a huge chunk of money to only be apprehensive about its safety at all times is something nobody wants.

Rumored specifications

It would be a safe bet to assume that Galaxy Z Fold 3 will be powered by the flagship Snapdragon 888 processor or maybe even its next slated version. That depends on the release date of Qualcomm's plus version for its chipset. A minimum of 12GB RAM is another surety, but it'll be nice to see 16GB RAM on this beast of a device. A variant with the 512GB onboard storage could be a probability, but if there's only one model coming, then 256GB is a given, any more will be a perk. As always expect the most stunning display on the device. A 7.6-inch display that beats the current Dynamic AMOLED HDR10+ with 120Hz refresh rate on the Galaxy Z Fold 2 would be an addition to brag about.

If Samsung manages to stack in a bigger-sized battery with the technological innovations in the works, it would be a big boost for users fancying the 120Hz refresh rates. A 5,000 mAh battery pack would be a viable addition to the device. Galaxy Z Fold 2 offers impressive performance with its 4,500mAh battery, any more in the upcoming device would be simply amazing for the owners.

The camera module is in for a radical change from a single array of lenses that act as both front and rear depending on the folded position of the phone. A bump up in the camera prowess of the phone could play well for consumers. That said, you can expect a 16MP main camera along with 12MP shooters for the ultra-wide and telephoto compositions.

Expected release date and price

Samsung is already rumored to release at least three foldable smartphones next year – the Galaxy Z Fold Lite, Galaxy Z Flip 2, and of course the Galaxy Z Fold 3. Samsung has, through various platforms, expressed the desire to provide foldable phones in a more affordable range, which means, the company will be giving budget buyers that want to experience this radical technology a chance at a more manageable price point.

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is likely to keep its predecessor's premium price tag of a whopping $2,000 or maybe cost even more. If Samsung can pack the Z Fold 3 with unique features or revolutionary hardware, early adopters will still be willing to pay that price. However, if the price tag in that ball park, and the feature list is nothing stand out, Galaxy Z Fold 3 will have a hard time luring prospective buyers.

Galaxy Z Fold 3 is expected to be announced sometime in Q3 2021. Galaxy Unpacked event is what Samsung schedules for the Fold models, and don't expect anything different unless there are uncontrollable factors that delay the launch. An earlier launch date is highly unlikely, so mark your calendars for September 2021 – it's when the foldable device should show up officially.