So far this year Samsung hasn’t said much about its next batch of foldable phones, though thanks to a recent spate of leaks and rumours, we may now have a better idea of what to expect as early as this summer.
While Samsung typically saves its Z Fold devices for spring, according to a report from the Korean site The Elec, Samsung may be prepping to hold a special Unpacked event for foldable phones in July to announce the new Z Flip 3 and Z Fold 3.
But even more importantly, according to a recent report from Sammobile, it seems both the Z Flip 3 and Z Fold 3 will both feature IP 67 ratings for dust and water resistance for the first time, which has been one of the most highly requested features for Samsung’s foldables since the release of the original Galaxy Fold. Due to the complicated design of foldable devices which feature flexible displays and relatively chunky hinges, Samsung hasn’t been able to include proper water resistance on any of its bendy-screen devices to date, which can make phones like the Z Fold2 a bigger liability while travelling.
On top of that, Dutch site Lets Go Digital also discovered a trademark application made by Samsung in Korea for something called “Armour Frame,” which some suspect may herald a new chassis for the Z Flip 3 or Z Fold 3 meant to decrease weight while also increasing overall durability, which is definitely something Samsung’s foldable devices lack compared to more traditional smartphones.
Fold 3 camera specs
(cover) 10MP / details: Sony 1.22um IMX374
(foldable) 16MP / details: Sony 1.12um IMX298 (details not sure)
— Tron ❂ #SamsungUnpacked (@FrontTron) April 22, 2021
Unfortunately, the rest of the Z Fold 3’s specs seems to be comprised of somewhat minor upgrades including the use of a Snapdragon 888 chip from Qualcomm and a rear camera module which @FrontTron claims will sport three 12-MP sensors for its main, ultra-wide, and telephoto cameras. Previously, IceUniverse claimed the Z Fold 3’s processor had been designated “Top Secret” by Samsung, hinting that the Z Fold 3 might get one of Samsung’s upcoming processors featuring a GPU designed by AMD, but in recent weeks, IceUniverse has since backed away from those rumours.
Samsung 'Armor Frame' for Galaxy Z Flip3 and Z Fold3https://t.co/NJFawjsXFb
Samsung Electronics filed trademark for 'Armor Frame' for smartphones. Likely developed for the next-generation foldable phones.#Samsung #GalaxyZFlip3 #GalaxyZFold3 #ArmorFrame pic.twitter.com/NZQ8ypI9ZU
— LetsGoDigital – Mark Peters (@letsgodigitalNL) April 18, 2021
However, there is one even more far-out rumour regarding Samsung’s foldables. In a recent patent filing spotted by Lets Go Digital, Samsung describes the use of sensors hidden beneath the screen of a foldable phone to support pulse wave analysis, allowing the device to measure a person’s blood pressure and other health metrics.
Samsung already uses PWA on the Galaxy Watch 3 to similar effect, but according to the patent, when implemented on one of Samsung’s foldable phone, it would require the somewhat unique process of placing your finger on part of the phone’s screen and then folding the other half of the phone’s flexible screens on top of your finger to apply pressure. Alternatively, it seems measurements can also be taken by holding the device at each end or even simply by touching two points on the outside of the phone, though the latter method may be slightly more imprecise. Still, as this leak is only tied to a patent filing, for now, there’s a good chance this feature won’t be available for another couple of years, if ever.
As for the Z Flip 3, it seems it’s not getting any major changes when it comes to its overall design, though a new rumour from Sammobile claims it will arrive in eight different colours including black, white, dark blue, light purple, green, a mix between violet and magenta, and an unusual matte grey with a beige hue. With Samsung leaning into positioning the Z Flip as a phone for more fashion-conscious buyers, adding a new selection of eye-catching colours makes sense.
Sadly, there’s no word if either the Z Flip 3 or Z Fold 3 will be any cheaper than Samsung’s previous foldable phones, which is a bit disappointing because their high price is easily the biggest obstacle preventing more people from trying out a device with a flexible display. In the meantime, Samsung seems to be more focused on launching a new line of laptops, which Samsung is expected to officially announce tomorrow at its next Unpacked Event.