Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3: Key details

Foldable smartphones, led by Samsung Galaxy Fold and Flip editions, offer a whole new convenience and multi-tasking experience that one cannot know of unless having used a foldable phone. There has been some competition, for instance from the latest Huawei Mate X2, but the market remains in favor of Samsung foldable.

With the second half of the year fast approaching, it is time to see new foldable phones from the Koreans both in the Fold and the Flip series. There is no definitive release date yet or anything official from Samsung, but rumors already have much to reveal about the forthcoming Galaxy Z Fold3 and the Galaxy Z Flip3. Here in the article we will try and detail all that is shared and makes these newbies interesting to the consumers.

The roadmap

Samsung in its first-quarter 2021 report highlighted that "demand for foldable phones... is expected to continue to grow" in 2021 and that the "company will focus on addressing such demand." This is in tune with the assurance made by TM Roh, President & Head of Mobile Communication Business Samsung, in the tail end of 2020. He said, in 2021 Samsung will be releasing more foldable phones.

Roh also informed that these phones will be more accessible than before. In the effort to remain ahead of the curve, Samsung is likely to introduce at least two new foldable smartphones in the coming months. Both will be the third editions of their respective – Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip series – and one of them could be more affordable, somewhere around the general flagship range at least.

The Galaxy Z Fold3 and the Galaxy Z Flip3 are expected to roll out with major design and specs enhancements compared to the previous generation of foldables. In addition to sealing the gaps better, strengthening the hinge mechanism to take more toil and streamlining the camera arrays; both the phones are even expected to get some sort of Ingress Protection rating.

There is no definite number to what kind of IP rating this is going to be but it's interesting because smartphone takers have a reservation regarding how a foldable phone fares against accidental splash or an attack of dust. An IP rating for the first time could add more weight to Samsung's foot on the pinnacle of the foldable phone market.

The Fold story

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 has been in the rumors since the end of 2020. Since then we have been hearing about the new book-like foldable that should come in thinner and lighter form factor. It is believed, and only solidified by various rumors to that end over time, that the Galaxy Z Fold3 will be the first Samsung smartphone – let alone a foldable – to feature an in-display camera, though the placement of such optic enhancement is still debatable.

Another interesting speculation is the inclusion of S Pen. There have been repeated hints that Samsung may prefer to do away with the Galaxy Note series – that's built around the S Pen experience – in favor of the foldable Galaxy phones. Either of the Galaxy Z Fold3 or the Galaxy Z Flip3, or maybe even both are likely to get S Pen Stylus. It is still in smoke whether the Stylus will be provided along with the phone or it will just be compatible, like with the company's flagship Galaxy S21 Ultra.

Heading to the rear, the phone is likely to retain the triple camera setup in a vertical orientation with the LED floating just below. The camera island is speculated to be slightly trimmed, and a possibility of a third, very thin LED screen along the hinge – that would be further tweaked to minimize the gap between the folded halves – is expected. Since the Z Fold3 is likely to be slimmer and lighter, there is a chance the bezel will now be almost insignificant.

It's unsurprising to presume the Galaxy Z Fold3 will be powered by the Snapdragon 888 SoC paired to 16GB RAM and 512GB storage. The battery could be a compromise in the new model to be presented with a Dynamic AMOLED 120Hz display. Z Fold3 is likely to feature about 4,275mAh battery, down from 4,500mAh on the Galaxy Z Fold2. There is no definite time frame as to when the new foldable phone would launch but an August date is most likely. According to leaked renders the phone could launch in black, silver and green colors.

The Flip side

Samsung's new clamshell foldable phone – the Galaxy Z Flip3 – is scheduled to release this year. A natural successor to the Galaxy Z Flip should be called the Z Flip2, but since Samsung rolled out a 5G variant of the Z Flip in the interim, a Z Flip3 moniker makes all the sense.

Again, there is no official confirmation from Samsung, but most likely it would be called the Galaxy Z Flip3 and would launch anytime now. Before the Galaxy Z Fold3 or after it, is anyone's guess at this point in time, though some rumors suggest both the new foldable smartphones could launch at the same time – in August or maybe later.

While the Z Flip3 is expected to be more or less the same in aesthetics as its predecessor, it will have a vertical dual-camera setup this time. This orientation of the camera module may be in line with another rumor that suggests the phone will have a bigger and brighter outer screen – enough to show one complete notification.

From what has been floating in the tech circles, Galaxy Z Flip3 is likely to have a redesigned hinge mechanism and an improved display material to distinguish it from the predecessor. Samsung is paying more heed to the durability of its eye-candy device, which in addition to the IP rating, will have Gorilla Glass Victus on all sides.

A pitfall for the Galaxy Z Flip3, if the rumors turn out true, will be its 3,300mAh battery, which would support a modest 15W wired charging. It remains unclear whether the Z Flip 3 will debut with Stylus support or would it be the business phone with S Pen experience or whether it would simply launch without the accessory – even a possibility!

What is more definitely however is that the phone will be powered by Snapdragon 888 and would launch in four color options with a fashionable two-tone layout. Expectedly, the Galaxy Z Flip3 could be the foldable model to hit the more affordable price tag; would that happen, only time will tell.