Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 release date, rumours and features

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(Pocket-lint) – Samsung revealed the Galaxy Z Fold 2 alongside the Note 20 during an event in August 2020, followed by full details at the beginning of September 2020, but there have been plenty of rumours surrounding the Galaxy Z Fold 3.

This feature rounds up everything we have heard so far about the Galaxy Z Fold 3, including what features we might see, when it is expected to be released and what it might look like.

Release date and price

  • June/July 2021
  • Likely around £1800/$2000

The original Galaxy Fold was revealed at Mobile World Congress 2019, followed by a “fixed” model at Berlin consumer electronics show IFA in 2019. The second generation was then revealed in September 2020, so there isn’t a pattern for the Galaxy Z Fold as there is with Samsung’s other devices. 

According to rumours, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 could appear in June 2021. While at first this may seem a little strange, Mobile World Congress is scheduled to start on 28 June 2021, making it entirely plausible. That said, July has also been a suggestion, putting the middle of the year as a strong contender for launch.

In terms of price, we’d expect it to sit within the same region as the Galaxy Z Fold 2, which costs £1799 in the UK and $1999 in the US so if you’re after Samsung’s next folding flagship, it might be time to start saving.

Design

  • Vertical fold
  • Armor Frame?
  • IP rating
  • S Pen compatibility?

We are expecting the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 to adopt the same book-style vertical fold as the original Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Z Fold 2, reserving the horizontal fold for the Galaxy Z Flip series. We also expect to see the hinge offering multiple angles again.

There have been rumours to suggest the device will be compatible with the S Pen – like the Galaxy S21 Ultra. This could see a slot built into the device like the Note, or it could just mean the S Pen will work if bought separately, like the S21 Ultra. S Pen compatibility rumours surfaced before the Galaxy Z Fold 2 was revealed too, but it was thought the folding display couldn’t accommodate the pressures the stylus would exert, which Samsung has apparently now overcome.

A patent has surfaced, showing S Pen use on a folding phone – looking a lot like the original Galaxy Fold. This is far from confirmation that it will happen on the Fold 3, but it seems like it’s a long-term aim of Samsung. 

There was also talk of waterproofing before the Z Fold 2 arrived, but it seems that the Z Fold 3 could be get an IP rating. Sources have revealed that it will get an IP rating, but the level remains unknown.

Samsung has also filed a trademark for the expression Armor Frame. It’s being speculated that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 might be the first beneficiary of a new design or material to strengthen the frame of the phone.

Display

  • External and internal 
  • 120Hz refresh rate on internal likely

We’d expect the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 to have a large flexible display inside, as well as an external display when folded, as the previous models have done. 

The Galaxy Z Fold 2 has a 7.6-inch main display that has a 120Hz refresh rate, coupled with a 6.2-inch exterior display. There is a punch hole camera on the front, though there have been a couple of rumours indicating the Z Fold 3 may have an under-display camera, which might allow for a larger external display than the Z Fold 2.

It’s also claimed the main display will be 7.55-inches instead of 7.59-inches, and the cover display will be 6.21-inches instead of 6.23-inches. 

Hardware and specs

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 likely
  • Exynos with AMD GPU?
  • 12GB RAM/256GB storage
  • 5G

Expect flagship hardware under the hood of the Galaxy Z Fold 3. No rumours have suggested what exact specs we might see on the Z Fold 3 but it could be the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 under the hood, along with a good amount of RAM – probably at least 12GB – and at least 256GB of storage. Alternatively, Samsung could use Exynos with AMD GPU which the company is said to be working on.

Battery capacity is claimed to be slightly smaller than the Galaxy Z Fold 2, but the same as the original Fold at 4380mAh.

In terms of connectivity, both the original Fold and the Z Fold 2 were 5G enabled, so we would expect the same for the Z Fold 3.

Camera

  • Punch hole front
  • Under-display camera?

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 has a triple rear camera and a dual punch hole front camera. The rear camera is made up of a 12-megapixel main camera, 12-megapixel telephoto sensor and 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera. 

The front cameras are both 10-megapixel sensors.

It is not yet known what the Galaxy Z Fold 3 will offer in the camera department, but as mentioned previously, a report has suggested Samsung is hoping to offer an under display camera and a well-known leaker has tweeted claiming this is “still very likely” to happen.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 rumours: What’s happened so far?

Here are the rumours surrounding the Galaxy Z Fold 3 so far.

19 April 2021: Samsung Galaxy Fold 3 will have an IP rating

Sources talking to SamMobile have revealed that the Galaxy Fold 3 will have an IP rating.

18 April 2021: Samsung trademarks Armor Frame 

Samsung has applied for a trademark of the term Armor Frame, declaring that it applies to smartphones. It might be applied to a new design or material on the Galaxy Fold 3.


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13 April 2021: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 could have a smaller battery and ‘zero bezels’

Korean news site The Elec claims the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 will have a smaller battery capacity than the Z Fold 2, as well as a smaller main screen with zero bezels.

8 April 2021: Patent shows S Pen use on a Folding phone

An uncovered patent shows off stylus use on an folding phone, suggesting this remains a long-term ambition for Samsung.

24 February 2021: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 will support S Pen, report says

A report from Korean news outlet ET News, claimed Samsung has “succeeded in implementing the pen function for foldable phones with high technical difficulty” and it will be coming to the Galaxy Z Fold 3.

23 February 2021: Samsung’s June reveal of its GPU developed with AMD might be just in time for the Galaxy Z Fold 3

A reliable leaker of Samsung information suggested that there will be a showcase of the Samsung-AMD GPU in June, which might be just in time to see it launch in the Galaxy Z Fold 3.

17 February 2021: Galaxy Z Fold 3 leak suggests under-display camera is coming

Ice Universe claimed the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is “very likely” to implement an under-display front camera.

8 February 2021: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 could launch in July

Leaker Ice Universe claimed the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Galaxy Z Flip 2/3 could launch in July – which would put the launch of the next foldable devices in the middle of the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note launches.

1 February 2021: Samsung Display developing rollable and slidable displays

Samsung Display is said to be looking at developing slidable and rollable displays in a bid to cement its leadership in the foldable displaymarket.

15 January 2021: Samsung is bringing S Pen support to other product categories

Samsung confirmed the expansion of the S Pen support to the Galaxy S21 Ultra wasn’t a one off: “We’ve made the bold decision to expand the S Pen experience to Galaxy S21 Ultra, and plan to expand the S Pen experience across additional device categories in the future.” That sounds unequivocally like we can expect to see S Pen support more widely. 

In the short term, that means that the next iteration of the Galaxy Fold could well work with it.

24 December 2020: Displays to reduce for Galaxy Z Fold 3

According to leaker Ross Young, who has a good track record, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 will see slightly reduced displays in order ro accommodate the S Pen rumoured to be coming to the device.

23 November 2020: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 could be scheduled for June 2021, with S Pen support

Ajou News reported that the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 would arrive in June 2021, coupled with S Pen support. An under-display camera was also mentioned in the report.

7 October 2020: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 could have light up hinge

LetsGoDigital reported that Samsung had filed a patent titled “Galaxy Z Fold with Light Indicator” in March 2019, granted in Ocotber 2020. The site made a number of mock up renders suggesting what the Galaxy Z Fold 3 could look like if it adopted the technology in the patent.

Writing by Britta O’Boyle. Editing by Chris Hall.





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