Galaxy Z Fold 3: Samsung confirms new multitasking features, better durability, S Pen and more

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 with S Pen
(Image credit: Evan Blass)

Samsung's made it official: new versions of the Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip will highlight its upcoming Galaxy Unpacked event on August 11, as the company continues to push out new foldable devices.

T.M. Roh, the president and head of Samsung's mobile communication business, spilled the beans in a blog post that went live tonight (July 26), confirming that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 will be the center of attention during the company's virtual product launch next month. (Samsung didn't use those specific names, but did promise to show off a third generation of its foldable devices.)

And that's not all Roh revealed — we also got official confirmation of S Pen compatibility as well as new multitasking features headed for Samsung's foldables.

None of this is surprising if you've been paying attention to the steady flow of Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 rumors, which have been pointing to an August 11 debut for both phones. Still, it's enlightening to hear Samsung officially tell us what to expect while also outlining how this fits in with the phone maker's overall strategy.

Samsung "is poised and ready to unveil visionary, purposeful mobile technology for a better world," Roh wrote. "In a few weeks, we will unleash our latest and greatest Galaxy Z series to reshape the smartphone category and completely reimagine your experiences."

Samsung started the year promising to continue its push into foldable phones, pledging to make the devices more accessible and appealing to a wider audience. "Our third generation of foldable devices will open up amazing new multitasking capabilities and enhanced durability for even more people around the world," Roh said. In particular, the Galaxy Z Flip will be made out of "more durable, stronger materials," Roh added.

The event will also feature what Samsung described as the first S Pen designed with foldable phones in mind — Roh didn't specify whether that stylus would work with the Galaxy Z Fold 3 alone or whether it supports both new foldables. Confirmation of S Pen compatibility comes as leakers are claiming there will be no built-in slot for the S Pen on the Galaxy Fold, requiring users to pick up a separate case to hold their stylus. That's what Galaxy S21 Ultra owners have to do, as that phone supports the S Pen, too, but only as an optional accessory.

Prior to this year, the S Pen had only been supported by Galaxy Note phones. Bringing that to other devices is part of Samsung's strategy to take the Note's best loved features and extend them to other product lines, Roh said. It also means that the Galaxy Note 21 won't appear this year — Roh confirmed that particular rumor which has been circulating since the start of the year.

More significant than S Pen support is the announcement that more apps will be able to take advantage of features in the Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip that rely on those devices' unique design. In Flex mode, for example, you can open the screen of either a Galaxy Z Fold 2 or Galaxy Z Flip part way and split your screen into two different function areas.

Roh says Samsung is "working with Google to enrich our foldable ecosystems with popular apps and services." There aren't additional details, but we'd assume a slew of partner announcements from app makers during the Aug. 11 Samsung event.

Roh's announcement focused on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip, but rumors point to other product announcements joining them on stage next month. The Galaxy S21 FE, a stripped-down Galaxy S21 could also debut alongside the two foldable devices on stage, and new versions of the Galaxy Buds and Galaxy Watch could also garner some attention.

We'll have to wait until August 11 to get the full extent of what Samsung plans to announce. But if you've been hoping to hear about the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3, your wait just ended.

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.